PH names China, Israel among ‘green’ or low COVID-19 risk countries

Published June 30, 2021, 6:07 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has released a list of more than 50 countries and territories identified as “green” or with low coronavirus risk amid efforts to screen the entry of vaccinated travelers into the Philippines.

(Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP)

The list of the “green” places was released after the government’s pandemic task force approved shorter quarantine protocol for travelers vaccinated abroad who stayed in these areas.

Among the places with low COVID-19 risk are Australia, Brunei, China, Israel, Hong Kong, Laos, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on June 30, 2021, Wednesday, listed the following countries/jurisdictions as ‘Green’ countries and jurisdictions,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

The green countries/jurisdictions are the following:

1. Albania

2. American Samoa

3. Anguilla

4. Antigua and Barbuda

5. Australia

6. Benin

7. Belize

8. The British Virgin Islands

9. Brunei

10. Burkina Faso

11. Burundi

12. Cayman Islands

13. Chad

14. China

15. Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

16. Eswatini

17. Falkland Islands

18. French Polynesia

19. Gambia

20. Ghana

21. Greenland

22. Grenada

23. Hong Kong

24. Iceland

25. Isle of Man

26. Israel

27. Laos

28. Liberia

29. Malawi

30. Malta

31. Marshall Islands

32. Mauritius

33. Micronesia

34. Montserrat

35. Morocco

36. Mozambique

37. New Caledonia

38. New Zealand

39. Niger

40. Nigeria

41. Northern Mariana Islands

42. Palau

43. Rwanda

44. Saba

45. Saint Barthelemy

46. Saint Kitts and Nevis

47. Saint Pierre and Miquelon

48. Sierra Leone

49. Senegal

50. Singapore

51. Sint Eustatius

52. South Korea

53. Taiwan

54. Togo

55. Turks and Caicos Islands

56. Vietnam

57. Zimbabwe

The task force earlier issued Resolution No.123-C on the guidelines for the inbound international travel of persons vaccinated in the Philippines as well as those inoculated abroad who stayed in these “green” places effective July 1.

The “green” countries/jurisdictions are those classified by the Department of Health as “low risk” countries/jurisdictions based on disease incidence rate, according to the IATF.

Under the rules, the passengers vaccinated abroad must undergo a seven-day quarantine at a facility upon arrival in the Philippines, instead of the standard 10-day facility-based quarantine and four days in their place of destination.

They must also take a polymerase chain reaction test on the fifth day of facility-based quarantine. The fifth-day COVID testing requirement shall be subject to review after 30 days from implementation.

The passenger must still complete the seven-day quarantine at a facility even if the person tests negative. If found positive, the passenger must follow the prescribed isolation protocols.

The government task force likewise required incoming vaccinated passengers to present documents such as vaccine certificates to prove vaccination status.

Green lanes for vaccinated OFWs

Roque said the task force also ruled that the option of presenting Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) validations as proof of vaccination status is exclusive to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The POLOs are expected to start accepting applications for validation starting July 5, 2021.

“OFWs who can present International Certificates of Vaccination may already avail themselves of the green lanes beginning July 1, 2021, provided they comply with other requirements,” Roque said.

The IATF earlier said returning passengers vaccinated in the Philippines must present their vaccination card, to be verified prior to their departure by a certification of vaccination record portal of the Department of Information and Communications Technology or the city health officer of the local government that issued the full vaccination.

Travelers vaccinated outside the Philippines are required to present official documentation of full vaccination validated through POLO or present their international certificate of vaccination.