Marcos OKs more lax entry rules to PH

As the country continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has approved more lax guidelines for inbound passengers, allowing even unvaccinated travelers to enter the Philippines.

OFWs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Ali Vicoy/ MANILA BULLETIN)

This came after Malacañang allowed the voluntary wearing of facemasks in indoor and outdoor settings, except in healthcare facilities and public transportation, last week.

Based on Resolution No. 2 of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, fully vaccinated travelers no longer have to undergo testing before flying to the Philippines. They only have to present any proof of vaccination.

In line with this, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin issued a memorandum on Oct. 28, tasking the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Health (DOH) to identify the acceptable proofs of vaccination "to avoid confusion and inconvenience" on the part of inbound travelers.

Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those whose vaccination status cannot be validated do not have to undergo quarantine upon their arrival to the Philippines anymore.

However, these types of inbound passengers must present a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours before their flight to the Philippines. Failure to do so will require them to undergo testing upon arrival at the airport.

The antigen test of unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those with an unvalidated vaccination status must be administered by a certified healthcare professional in a healthcare facility.

The same rule applies to unaccompanied unvaccinated minors below the age of 15.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated minors below the age of 15 must follow the protocol for their parents or guardian traveling with them.

Any inbound traveler who shall test positive for Covid-19 through an antigen test must undergo quarantine.