Solon seeks lifting of RT-PCR requirement, quarantine for vaxxed tourists | Inquirer News
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Solon seeks lifting of RT-PCR requirement, quarantine for vaxxed tourists

/ 09:11 AM October 13, 2021
WELCOME BACK Boracay Island has reopened anew to tourists starting Sept. 16 as restrictions were eased both in Aklan province and in Metro Manila, its main market of leisure travelers. —JACK JARILLA

WELCOME BACK Boracay Island has reopened anew to tourists starting Sept. 16 as restrictions were eased both in Aklan province and in Metro Manila, its main market of leisure travelers. —JACK JARILLA

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is urging the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to lift the quarantine and RT-PCR test requirement for vaccinated local and foreign tourists as long as they have a pre-booked accommodation and a pre-arranged itinerary.

In making his appeal Wednesday, Ang Probinsyano Partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong said that all hotel staff, guides, drivers, and other tourism personnel must also be fully vaccinated.

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Areas that will be open to tourism are those with alert levels equivalent to  moderate general community quarantine (MGCQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ), said Ong.

“I believe that we are ready to open our tourism to local and international travelers who have been vaccinated. We just have to make sure that they only come in contact with people who are also vaccinated to minimize the possibility of transmission,” Ong said in a statement.

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“Since we expect that face-to-face interaction will be only among vaccinated individuals which reduces the risk of infection, I think that we can skip the RT-PCR requirement and quarantine for international travelers,” he added.

Ong said that the government has to ensure that travelers are properly documented and properly monitored and that their pre-booked accommodations must be made only on hotels and lodging houses certified by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

“For foreign tourists, the government should just make sure that their country of origin has no COVID surge or is listed as safe by the DOT,” Ong said.

“While the government spends so much money on direct cash aids, business owners in the tourism sector are not really getting any support from the government. I think that it is about time that the IATF should relax some restrictions for fully vaccinated tourists so that we can start rebooting this sector,” he added.

The government has eased restrictions for inbound arrivals and paved the way for a shorter facility-based quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers coming from other countries, Malacañang announced on October 8.

EDV

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TAGS: COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test, quarantine restrictions, Tourism, Vaccination
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