IATF scraps Covid-19 test for arriving foreigners, Filipinos

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has greenlighted the arrival of both foreign nationals and Filipinos in the country without the need for a negative Covid-19 test as long as they are fully vaccinated.

IATF signed Resolution No. 168 Series of 2022 exempting foreign nationals above 12 years old from mandatory Covid-19 testing provided that they can present a vaccination certificate approved by the IATF, such as those from the World Health Organization or from VaxCertPH.

They must be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to their arrival and have received their booster shot if their primary vaccination's effectiveness is deemed to have fallen below.

Meanwhile, Filipinos returning to the country also no longer need to present a Covid-19 test as long as they are fully vaccinated and have received at least a booster shot.

Those below 12 years old, both foreign and local, are also exempted from the test only if they are accompanied by their parents or guardians who are also exempted.

Those who should take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours prior to arrival and present a negative result are: those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals, as well as those whose status cannot be validated.

They are also required to undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day of their arrival. They shall continue the quarantine at home for the remaining days until their 14th day from date of arrival.

Filipinos who have just recovered from the virus but test positive for Covid-19 for the 48-hour pre-departure test must still be able to enter the country provided they have the following:

• Positive RT-PCR test taken not earlier than 10 days but not later than 30 days prior to date and time of departure from country of origin

• The positive RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin in a continuous travel to the Philippines, excluding layovers, provided that he or she has not left the airport premises or not admitted into another country during layover

• Medical certificate stating his or her Covid-19 case status of symptoms as well as if he or she has completed the mandatory isolation period, is no longer infectious and is allowed to move freely

Upon arrival, the Covid-19 positive Filipino shall be subject to the following protocols:

• If fully vaccinated, he or she no longer need to observe mandatory facility-based quarantine but shall self-monitor for any sign or symptoms for seven days

• If unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, he or she shall be required to undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of his or her negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day of arrival. After which, he or she shall continue the quarantine for the remaining days of the 14-day quarantine period.