The 10-day mandatory facility quarantine was one of the things that has prevented balikbayans from returning to the Philippines. It’s also one of the reasons many Filipinos continue to hold off any plans of travelling abroad. Fortunately, in October 2021, the IATF officially shortened facility quarantine for all travellers coming from Green and Yellow List countries.
Shortened facility quarantine for inbound travellers
Guidelines for PH residents
The new IATF guidelines were made effective immediately. Regardless of vaccination status, all inbound travellers will still have to undergo quarantine at a DOT-accredited facility.
According to the updated protocols, fully vaccinated individuals will be tested for COVID-19 on the fifth day after arrival; if they test negative, then they may proceed to complete their 10-day quarantine at home.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers will be tested on the seventh day, and must complete another seven days of home quarantine after receiving a negative RT-PCR test result. The same will be required for those who cannot provide verification of their vaccination status.
To confirm one’s vaccination status, the following documents are accepted:
- Certification from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the country of origin (for OFws and their family members)
- VaxCertPH digital vaccination certificate or Bureau of Quarantine-issued International Certificate of Vaccination (for Filipinos or foreigners fully vaccinated in the Philippines)
Protocols for foreign nationals
Foreign nationals will be required to pre-book their stay at a DOT-accredited facility — at least six days for fully vaccinated travellers; and at least eight days for the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those with unconfirmed vaccination.
The following proof of vaccination will be accepted:
- National digital certificate of the foreign government which accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement or BOQ-issued ICV under a reciprocal arrangement (for non-OFWs and foreigners fully vaccinated abroad)
No required facility quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers coming from Green List countries
On 14 Oct 2021, the IATF declared that travellers arriving from Green List countries would no longer need to quarantine in a facility upon arriving in the Philippines. This is under the conditions that:
- Travellers are fully vaccinated and can provide the necessary documents as proof (as stated above)
- They provide a negative RT-PCR result taken within 72 hours before departure from country of origin
These new protocols reply to both Philippine passport holders and foreign nationals. Inbound travellers coming from Green List countries are still asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
According to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, the shortened facility quarantine will hopefully encourage more people to “fly, engage in economic activities, and most importantly reunite with families with lesser costs in mind.”
Featured image credit: Patrick Daxenbichler via Canva Pro