Mandatory quarantine, testing back in Ilocos Sur amid threat of Omicron variant
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union — The threat of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has prompted the provincial government of Ilocos Sur to bring back strict border protocols which include mandatory quarantine and testing beginning Jan. 10.
Gov. Ryan Luis Singson, in an executive order issued on Friday (Jan. 7), said that there is a need to update the existing travel protocols due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country in the past few days.
“It is imperative that the provincial government acts quickly to shield its people from another surge,” according to Singson.
The order will require those coming from areas under the stricter Alert Level 4 and 3 to present negative COVID-19 test results and undergo quarantine upon returning to the province, regardless of vaccination status.
A shorter home quarantine period of seven days would be enforced for those who were already fully vaccinated against the disease. Their homes, however, should be “feasible [for home quarantine arrangement] and no member of the household is immunocompromised nor unvaccinated,” according to Singson.
Tougher restrictions would be imposed on those who remained unvaccinated or partially vaccinated as they would be required to undergo a “facility quarantine” for a longer period of 14 days.
If coming back from areas under Alert Level 4, they would be required to present a negative RT-PCR test released within 72 hours prior to travel to the province.
A negative antigen test would be needed for returning residents coming from Alert Level 3 which should be taken within 48 hours prior to travel to the province, according to Singson.
No testing requirement is needed for inbound fully vaccinated returning residents from areas under Alert Level 2. But if unvaccinated, the same negative COVID-19 test results should be presented coupled with a quarantine period for 14 days, Singson said.
Unvaccinated APORs (authorized persons outside residents) coming from areas under Alert Level 3 and 4 are completely barred from entering the province, according to Singson.
Singson also required all indoor establishments to check the vaccination status of all persons entering their premises to curb the spread of the disease.
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