MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will impose stricter testing and quarantine requirements for inbound passengers starting Dec. 3, Friday, amid the threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The government’s pandemic task force has approved more stringent testing and quarantine protocols, which include requiring home quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, Malacañang said Thursday.
Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles clarified that this covers countries not classified under the “red list.”
Fully vaccinated individuals are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departing from the country of origin. Upon arrival in the Philippines, they should undergo facility-based quarantine and will re-take a swab test upon the fifth day.
Regardless of a negative result, they are required to undergo home quarantine up to their 14th day upon arrival.
For individuals who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those vaccination status cannot be independently validated, they are likewise required to present a negative RT-PCR test done within 72 hours before their departure from country of origin.
They are also to go under facility-based quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines and re-take a swab test on the 7th day from their arrival.
Even if they yield a negative result, they are also required to undergo home quarantine up to the 14th day from their arrival.
Nograles said the Department of Transportation has been directed to ensure that airlines only board passengers who comply with the negative RT-PRC test-before-travel protocol.
Minors would follow the testing and quarantine protocol of the parent or guardian traveling with them, regardless of the minor’s vaccination status and country of origin.
International passengers who have already arrived and are currently undergoing quarantine shall continue with the testing and quarantine protocols in place at the time of their arrival, Nograles said.
Filipinos from red list countries who are allowed entry via government-initiated or non-government repatriations and Bayanihan Flights shall only be allowed to disembark via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and/or Clark International Airport.
The DOTr, through their attached agencies, is tasked to ensure the compliance of airlines with this directive.
Countries under the “red list” include South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe due to the B.1.1.1529 or the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The Philippine government earlier suspended the move to relax testing and quarantine protocols for incoming passengers from “green list” countries, especially the move to allow entry of vaccinated foreign tourists.
Fully vaccinated travelers from “green” countries were likewise previously allowed to skip quarantine requirements as long as they present a negative RT PCR test result.