The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in its December 9, 2021 meeting escalated Portugal to the Red List of countries, territories, and jurisdictions effective 12:01AM of December 12, 2021.
This was announced on Friday by Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Karlo Nograles, who in a press briefing explained that passengers who have been to Portugal within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines––and who arrive on or after 12:01AM of December 12, 2021––shall be required to undergo the testing and quarantine protocols applicable to the Red List of countries, territories, and jurisdictions.
“Simula 12:01A.M. ng December 15, 2021, hindi na papayagan ang pagpasok sa Pilipinas ng mga pasaherong galing o nanggaling sa Portugal sa loob ng labing-apat na araw bago ang pagdating nila sa Pilipinas, anuman ang kanilang vaccination status,” said the concurrent ITAF spokesperson.
The Palace official underscored that only returning Filipinos via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation, or Bayanihan Flights will be allowed to enter the country from Portugal beginning 12:01AM of December 15, 2021.
He added that passengers from Portugal who arrived in the Philippines before December 12, 2021 and are currently undergoing quarantine are required to complete the existing testing and quarantine protocols when they arrived in the country.
With regard to the testing and quarantine protocols for returning Filipinos coming from Red List countries allowed to enter the country via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation, and Bayanihan Flights, fully vaccinated individuals will have to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from country of origin, said Nograles.
These fully vaccinated individuals from the Red List are further required to undergo facility-based quarantine, with RT-PCR test taken on the seventh day, and may be released upon a negative test result. They shall, however, be required to observe home quarantine until the 14th day from their arrival.
“We urge those required to observe home quarantine to do so. As we have stressed the past few weeks, there may be a drop in new cases but we cannot be complacent. Alang-alang sa inyong mga mahal sa buhay, paki-observe lang po ito,” emphasized Nograles.
On the other hand, the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, need to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure from country of origin. They shall then undergo mandatory 10-day facility-based quarantine, regardless of a negative RT-PCR result taken on the seventh day, and shall be asked to observe home quarantine until the 14th day from their arrival, said Nograles.
The spokesperson reiterated that the testing and quarantine protocols of minors shall follow the protocols for parents or guardians who traveled with them. Children three years old and below, regardless of country of origin, shall not be required to present a negative RT-PCR test result before boarding, unless they show symptoms.
Meanwhile, passengers who merely transited in Red List countries, territories, and jurisdictions shall not be considered as coming from said areas if they only stayed in the airport and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities of the said countries, territories, and jurisdictions.
“Sa lahat ng mga galing sa Red List na sumailalim sa facility-based quarantine sa petsa ng pagpapatupad ng Resolution na ito, you may retroactively avail of the approved testing and quarantine protocols. Kabilang po rito ang France na kung matatandaan po natin ay naisama na natin sa Red List effective kaninang 12:01AM base sa IATF Resolution No. 152-A,” said Nograles.
In the same IATF meeting, the policy-making body approved the request of the Commission on Elections to conduct nationwide mock election exercises on December 29, 2021. Also, the IATF increased the annual deployment ceiling for new hire healthcare workers to 7,000, giving preference to nurses whose visas are set to expire by December 31, 2021. ### OPS