The Daily Manila Shimbun


Gov’t requires second RT-PCR test for passengers from countries with new COVID-19 variants

January 22, 2021

Passengers coming from countries with travel restrictions due to new variants of coronavirus disease shall undergo a second RT-PCR test, Malacanang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved in a meeting on Thursday the amendment on the testing and quarantine protocols for passengers coming from, and transiting through countries where travel restrictions are in place due to new COVID-19 variants.

"Incoming passengers shall be tested upon arrival and shall be quarantined until the result of a subsequent test administered on the fifth day is released," IATF Resolution No. 95 read.

After that, the task force said the persons who yield a negative result from both COVID-19 tests shall be endorsed to their local government units of destination "who shall then strictly monitor the remainder of the fourteen-day quarantine through their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams."

The IATF directed the Department of Health and other implementing agencies providing for quarantine protocols to amend their issuances to conform with the resolution.

The task force also ratified the approved Philippine National COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap and Implementation Plan, the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19, which shall serve as the end-to-end guide for vaccination implementers such as the local government units.

The IATF also said that only hotels or accommodation establishments with valid accreditation from the Department of Tourism shall be allowed to accommodate guests and clients for legitimate purpose under a state of public health emergency.

The operations of such hotels and accommodation establishments, as well as ancillary establishments within their premises such as restaurants, cafes, gyms, spas, function halls, and the like shall be subject to guidelines issued by the DOT and the IATF.

The task force also authorized the Department of Trade and Industry to issue a negative list of industries which shall remain prohibited even in areas under modified general community quarantine.

"Establishments in the negative list shall not be allowed to operate in any form of community quarantine," it added. Celerina Monte/DMS