IATF allows relaxation of more quarantine protocols for tourism, disaster response

Published November 20, 2020, 12:08 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force has allowed local government units (LGUs) to relax quarantine restrictions for the purposes of tourism and disaster response, Malacañang announced on Friday.

(Photo by Miggy Hilario / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that age restrictions, for those below 15 years old and those who are over 65 years old under the Modified General Community Quarantine Areas (MGCQ), who are traveling for tourism purposes may be relaxed upon the determination of the LGUs.

The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has tasked the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to come up with the guidelines for tourism.

The IATF likewise instructed LGUs to relax entry protocols, such as test-upon-arrival requirements imposed upon airline crew layovers/positioning, due to emergency situations which include typhoons, volcanic activities, diversions, and emergency landings, and other similar unforeseen and time-sensitive evacuations.

Airline crew members are also permitted to temporarily billet in accommodation establishments under a “bubble” concept supervised by the LGUs.

According to Roque, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is authorized to set up a corporate jet flight maintenance and crew layover hub at the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone under a strict “bubble” concept.

The IATF likewise removed the requirement for air carriers to reserve a portion of the aircraft cabin as an isolation area for suspected or ill passengers on board as part of the COVID-19 health protocols for domestic flights.

Foreign nationals

Roque said that foreign nationals with “visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Section 9(d) of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended” are allowed to enter the Philippines. This refers to people seeking to enter the Philippines solely to carry on trade between the Philippines and his country.

Those with visas issued by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, and Clark Development Corporation may be allowed entry into the Philippines beginning November 1, 2020.


The IATF has allowed the conduct of the following activities, subject to conditions:

·  The conduct of a nationwide Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Consumer Payments Survey

·  The adoption of the guidelines for the conduct of onsite, written, oral, and practical specialty and subspecialty examinations issued by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA)

·  The onsite conduct of the 2020 Foreign Service Officer Examinations on December 15 to 17, 2020.