Regular RT-PCR test not required for partially vaccinated onsite workers — Nograles

Published November 19, 2021, 2:43 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

As the government aims to beef up its vaccination against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang clarified that partially vaccinated workers need not undergo regular reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test unless they are still waiting for their second dose.

Swab testing (Photo from Unsplash)

Acting presidential spokesman Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement weeks before the government’s new measures intended to increase the demand for vaccination in the country take effect on December 1, 2021.

In his press briefing on Friday, November 19, Nograles said all partially vaccinated employees in the public and private sector tasked to do onsite work need not undergo regular RT-PCR test at their own expense, “as long as their second dose is not yet due pursuant to the interval prescribed for the brand of vaccine received as the first dose.”

He added that employers will be the ones who will identify when the concerned workers should undergo the RT-PCR test.

“Its frequency shall be construed as that determined by the employer but which should be at least once every two weeks,” he said.

Last week, the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the measures that aimed to increase the demand for vaccination.

Based on the new measures that will take effect on December 1, 2021, COVID-19 vaccination of eligible employees who are doing on-site work in both public and private sectors will be required in areas where there are sufficient vaccine supplies.

Despite this, unvaccinated workers cannot be terminated but will be required to undergo regular testing at their own expense.

Public transportation services in the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors shall likewise require all their eligible workers to be fully vaccinated as a condition to continue their operations.

Public and private establishments may validly refuse entry and/or deny service to individuals who remain to be unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, despite being eligible for vaccination.

Frontline and emergency services, on the other hand, shall continue to render assistance to all persons, regardless of vaccination status.

Workers who will be vaccinated during work hours shall not be considered absent upon sufficient proof of a confirmed vaccination schedule.