The Daily Manila Shimbun


Travelers with COVID-19 vaccine still required to undergo testing, follow quarantine protocols – Palace

January 6, 2021

The Philippine government will strictly implement the mandatory testing and quarantine protocols for travelers even if they have received vaccination for coronavirus disease in other countries, Malacanang said on Wednesday.

"Any individual arriving in the Philippines who may have received vaccination for COVID-19 in other countries/jurisdictions shall still be required to observe the mandatory testing and quarantine protocols," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement.

He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases resolved this and other related matters in a meeting on Tuesday, January 5.

Roque, also the spokesman of the IATF, likewise said all foreign travelers coming from other territories covered by travel restrictions for new variant of COVID-19, or with travel history in those areas within the last 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines shall not be permitted entry here.

However, local or accredited foreign diplomats and international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations will be exempted from quarantine protocols as long as they will undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival in the country, execute an undertaking, and observe strict 14-day quarantine, he said.

"Also exempted are foreign dignitaries who shall observe existing testing and quarantine protocols upon arrival and those for medical and emergency cases, including their medical escorts," Roque said.

Meanwhile, Filipino citizens coming from countries or jurisdictions where travel restrictions are in place, or who have been to the said areas within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall strictly observe "an absolute 14-day facility-based quarantine period, except for highly exceptional and/or medical reasons, which the DOH would determine," he said.

Roque also said the IATF ordered the DOH, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson and the Presidential Communications Operations Office to further strengthen their enforcement, monitoring and communication efforts or impose additional specific measures to mitigate the possible holiday surge of COVID-19 cases. Celerina Monte/DMS