IATF reduces isolation, quarantine period for workers in aviation sector
MANILA, Philippines — The government has shortened the isolation and quarantine period for aviation personnel sick with COVID-19 and who are asymptomatic close contacts of a coronavirus-hit person but already fully vaccinated and “boosted,” Malacañang said Friday.
Under Resolution No. 157, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved a shortened isolation period for fully vaccinated and “boosted” COVID- positive aviation personnel, who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a Palace briefing.
The task force also scrapped the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated and “boosted” aviation personnel, who are asymptomatic close contacts of COVID-19 cases, he added.
These protocols for the aviation sector cover airline personnel, ground handlers, maintenance providers, airport security, air traffic controllers, airport workers, and other aviation-related personnel, Nograles noted.
Specifically, the IATF approved the following protocols for aviation personnel:
- Isolation for up to five (5) days for mild and asymptomatic confirmed COVID-19 cases who are fully vaccinated and boosted
- Quarantine of up to zero (0) day for asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases who have received primary series vaccine doses and booster, or asymptomatic close contacts who recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days
According to the resolution, “all aircraft shall ensure appropriate ventilation and all aviation staff should wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agencies are tasked to identify “the appropriate accountable group to make decisions for shortening isolation or quarantine based on evidence, similar to Hospital Infection Prevention and Control wherein infectious disease specialists, safety officers, and management deliberate, monitor, and act on all infection-related concerns of the health facility.”
Further, the DOTr is mandated to “monitor and evaluate the implementation of the aviation industry, and copy furnish reports to the [Department of Health] Epidemiology Bureau for assessment of COVID-19 cases, clusters, vaccination status, and the like.”
The IATF then reminded that it retains authority to revoke or modify the “privilege provided to the aviation industry for shortened quarantine and isolation.”
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