IATF postpones shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2021 11:04 AM

IATF postpones shorter quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers 1
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are assisted by authorities at the arrival lobby of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 in Pasay City on June 3, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — Inbound travelers who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 would still be required to undergo a 10-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival, contrary to an earlier announced development

This, as the inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response pushed back the start of shorter quarantine for inbound travelers who were fully vaccinated in the Philippines, said task force and Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque. 

Instead of a June 16 effectivity date, the IATF would implement the shorter quarantine period beginning June 22.

Under the upcoming protocol, inbound fully vaccinated individuals will only need to go on a 7-day facility-based quarantine upon arrival, and would only be tested for the novel coronavirus if they show COVID-19 symptoms during the quarantine. 

This is "in consideration of the full rollout of the process of validation of vaccination certificates," he said in a statement. 

The IATF also "reiterates the strict enforcement of current testing and quarantine protocols" that it approved, "regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued the local government units on the contrary," he said. 

He said several agencies "have been instructed to ensure strict adherence to the abovementioned directive." 

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Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte directed Cebu to follow IATF protocols, after the province implemented different testing and quarantine rules for travelers. 

The Philippines has logged the second highest COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, with about 1.3 million coronavirus infections and 22,000 deaths. 

Authorities have taken delivery of some 14.2 million COVID-19 shots and have administered at least 7.5 million of these jabs.