The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Thursday, February 4, 2021, allowed the entry to the Philippines of foreign nationals with visas issued as of March 20, 2020, and still valid and existing at the time of entry, and who were not permitted to enter the country under previous IATF resolutions. Also allowed to enter the Philippines are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) and Section 9 (A) visas as long as they present an entry exemption document to the Bureau of Immigration upon arrival.
This shall take effect on February 16, 2021 and shall be subject to the following conditions, namely, foreign nationals with pre-booked accommodation for at least six (6) nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility; foreign nationals subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the 6th day from date of arrival; and foreign nationals subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.
This expanded list, however, is without prejudice to existing immigration laws, rules and regulations. The Commissioner of Immigration has the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals allowed to enter the country under relevant IATF resolutions.
Also adopted was the resolution of the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) and the DOH Technical Advisory Group (DOH-TAG) containing the following key points, namely, prioritization framework for national, local, and private distribution; prioritization criteria for Priority Group A1; recommendations on the criteria for allocation of the first batch of Pfizer BioNTech; recommendations on health profiling, screening and informed consent in the patient pathway; and recommendations on vaccination cards.
Priority Group A1 includes frontline workers in national and local, private and public health facilities, health professionals and non-professionals, such as students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
The National Task Force, through its Vaccine Cluster Task Group on COVID-19 Immunization Program, is directed to issue the corresponding operational guidelines, for later release.
The IATF likewise granted the request of Baguio City for its hotels and other accommodation establishments to accommodate leisure travelers while under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) classification, subject to the observance of strict health protocols and contact tracing measures.
Also approved by the IATF is the unimpeded travel of government officials/personnel on official business, including employees of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, to their place of destination.
These public officials and government personnel shall not be required to undergo mandatory testing and/or quarantine protocols of the local government units of their destination as long as they can present valid IDs issued by their respective government agency and an original or a certified true copy of the Travel Authority/Order issued by the Department Secretary or his / her designated official. They must likewise pass symptom screening at the port of their arrival, or in the case of public transport, upon boarding; and they must strictly comply with the minimum public health standards.###