IATF revises protocols for int’l passengers from green list, yellow list countries amid Omicron threat

Starting Dec. 3, fully vaccinated travelers need negative RT-PCR test 3 days prior to travel, facility-based quarantine with RT-PCR test on 5th day upon arrival

Courtesy PCOO

(Eagle News) — Starting Friday, December 3, fully vaccinated travelers from countries and territories under the so-called “green list” and “yellow list” are required to have a negative RT-PCR test within 3 days (72 hours) before their departure from their country of origin and should undergo a facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test taken five days after their arrival in the country, the Palace said.

“Regardless of a negative result, they shall be required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from the date of arrival,” Malacanang said.

This was based on the new “testing and quarantine protocols for arriving international passengers in all ports of entry in the Philippines coming from countries/territories/jurisdictions not classified as a Red List country/territory/jurisdiction” approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Thursday, December 2.

The new protocols were put in place as a precautionary measure amid the increasing number of countries reporting Omicron variant cases.

-Protocol for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated travelers-

In a release, Malacanang said that “in the case of individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, they shall be required a negative RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.”

“Upon arrival in the Philippines, they shall undergo facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test done on the 7th day, with the date of arrival being the first day. Regardless of a negative result, they shall be required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from the date of arrival.”

The Department of Transportation has also been directed to ensure that airlines board only passengers who comply with the negative RT-PCR test-before-travel requirement.

“The testing and quarantine protocols of minors, on the other hand, shall follow the testing and quarantine protocol of the parent/guardian traveling with them, regardless of the minor’s vaccination status and country of origin,” Malacanang said.

“For international passengers who have already arrived and are currently undergoing quarantine, they shall continue with the testing and quarantine protocols in place at the time of their arrival.”

-Protocol for Filipinos repatriated/ on Bayanihan flights from Red List countries-

The Palace also advised Filipinos coming from Red List countries, territories or jurisdictions who have been allowed entry via government-initiated or non-government repatriations, and Bayanihan Flights that they will “only be allowed to deplane via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and/or Clark International Airport.”

They shall then comply with testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed under the IATF Resolution No. 149-A, series of 2021, which called for a strict facility based quarantine, and RT-PCR testing on the 7th day upon their arrival in the country.

The revised list of countries under the “Red List” includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy.

But the Department of Health said that more countries could be added to this Red List based on the case trends and incidence rate of Omicron variant cases in the countries which have already detected Omicron cases. As of December 3, there are at least 32 countries with reported Omicron variant cases.

The Philippines said inbound international travel shall not be allowed, except for Filipino nationals coming from or who have been to Red List countries/regions within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port of the Philippines, but still subject to IATF protocols.

(Eagle News Service)