MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced on Saturday that the government’s Covid-19 task force has approved he uniform travel protocols for all local government units (LGUs), with Covid-19 testing and quarantine for travelers no longer mandatory.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that that under Resolution No. 101 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Covid-19 testing for travelers is not mandatory, unless the LGU will make it a requirement.
“Ang testing ay limitado lang po sa RT-PCR test (Testing will be limited to RT-PCR test) ,” Roque said over state-run PTV.
The latest IATF resolution also states that travelers shall no longer undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at their destination.
When it comes to documentary requirements, Roque said that the travel authority issued by the Joint Task Force Covid-19 Shield, as well as health certificates, is no longer required.
“Authorized persons outside of residence (Apors) from national government agencies and their attached agencies, on the other hand, must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary. They must likewise pass symptom-screening at the ports of entry and exit,” Roque said.
“They must likewise pass symptom-screening at the ports of entry and exit,” he added.
Authorities shall continue to strictly implement minimum health protocols such as physical distancing as well as wearing of face masks and face shields, Roque said.
“Clinical and exposure assessment shall be strictly implemented in all ports of entry and exit while health assessment of passengers, supervised by medical doctors, shall be mandatory upon entry in the port/terminal and exit at point of destination,” he added.
When it comes to ports and terminals, they must have “sufficient quarantine/isolation facilities” and shall also have a referral system “wherein symptomatic travelers shall be transferred to quarantine/isolation facilities to enable the Bureau of Quarantine for airports, or local health officials for LGUs, to take over.”
“Further, all buses in Metro Manila bound for the provinces shall be required to use the Integrated Terminal Exchange as the central hub for transportation,” the Palace spokesman said.
“At the option of the LGUs, they may provide transportation for all travelers who are transiting from one LGU to another in cases of arrivals at air and seaports to their end-point destinations,” he added.
DOST’s S-Pass ‘one-stop-shop’ app
Roque also announced that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) Travel Management System will be institutionalized as the one-stop-shop application or communication for travelers.
Meanwhile, the StaySafe.ph System shall be utilized as the primary contact tracing system, he added.
“Other existing contact tracing applications, such as Traze App, must be integrated with the StaySafe.ph System.”
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier said that it was eyeing to scrap travel authority and medical certificates, as well as mandatory swabbing as a requirement to harmonize travel protocols all over the country.