DOH wants non-requirement of COVID test for Filipinos vaccinated abroad
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is recommending the non-requirement of COVID-19 testing for Filipinos who have been fully vaccinated abroad upon their arrival to the country.
Latest government guidelines only allow this policy for fully vaccinated individuals who have been inoculated in the Philippines.
Under the present guidelines, fully vaccinated Filipinos will only undergo an RT-PCR test when they manifest COVID-19 symptoms during a seven-day quarantine period.
“Ganyan din ang ating inirerekomenda for those vaccinated abroad na mga Pilipino na babalik dito, pero hindi pa natin ‘yan naipa-finalize kasi we need means of verification of their vaccine status or vaccination cards,” Vergeire told an online press briefing on Friday.
(That is what we are recommending as well for Filipinos vaccinated abroad and will return here, but we have yet to finalize that because we need means of verification of their vaccination status.)
The implementation of the seven-day facility-based quarantine period, from the previous 10 days, for Filipinos returning from abroad and were fully vaccinated in the Philippines will be in effect starting June 22.
“Itong pagtetest ay mahalaga na kasama ng ating response pero kung ikaw ay bakunado na rin naman, ito ‘yung ating sinasabi na pwede naman [na hindi i-test] basta naka-quarantine muna ng pitong araw,” Vergeire said.
(Testing is important in our response but if you are already vaccinated, you may not be tested as long as you have gone through quarantine for seven days.)
Vergeire noted that the easing of travel requirements for fully vaccinated individuals is being done gradually.
“Unti-unti ang pagluwag para sa mga fully vaccinated until we can reach that coverage na pwede na natin masabi na magiging safe ang ating mga kababayan kapag hindi na natin sila kina-quarantine at tinetest,” she explained.
(We are gradually easing the requirements for fully vaccinated individuals until we can reach that coverage wherein we can say that the people will be safe even if they are not being tested and quarantined.)
The health official also noted that even in the past, health experts have been saying that COVID-19 test may not be conducted for incoming travelers as long as they undergo quarantine. However, she said authorities still conduct testing as part of contact tracing and other response efforts of the government.
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