DOH: IATF approves COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers on 7th day of quarantine

Published May 7, 2021, 1:18 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the proposal to test inbound travelers for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the seventh day of their quarantine, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, May 7.

Passengers wearing face masks are seen at the departure hall of Ben Gurion International airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Xinhua)

“Naaprubahan na po sa IATF kahapon ito pong ating inirekomenda na magkaroon na ng seventh day testing (It was approved by the IATF yesterday our recommendation for seventh day testing) —no testing upon arrival….and completed 10-day quarantine here at the national level,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an online press briefing.

Vergeire said that the inbound travelers will be endorsed to their respective local government units on their 10th day of isolation for them to complete the required 14-day quarantine.

“So, this is a process na para ma ensure natin that even though nakakapasok pa rin ang ibang travelers, especially Filipinos, sa ating bansa, nasisiguro po natin na naqua–quarantine natin sila ng maayos o nai-isolate natin sila ng maayos to break the chain of transmission (So, this is a process to ensure that even though we are allowing travelers to enter the country, we make sure that we quarantine them properly to break the chain of transmission),” said Vergeire.

The Health official said that concerned government agencies are currently crafting the guidelines for this new policy.

“So, kapag nagkakaroon po tayo ng resolution from IATF, specific agencies concerned have to draft the necessary protocols (When we have a resolution from IATF, concerned agencies have to draft the necessary protocols),” she said.

“Nag-agree naman po ang lahat ng concerned agencies diyan na the soonest time possible ay maumpisahan natin yung ganitong protocol(All the concerned agencies agreed that in the soonest time possible, we will start this protocol),” she added.

Previously, inbound travelers will be tested on the 5th day of their quarantine. If they tested negative, they will be endorsed to their local government units to complete the two-week quarantine period.