Uniform protocols on domestic travel, approved by IATF

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Matina Enclaves in Davao City on June 4, 2020. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved uniform protocols on travel across all local government units, easing quarantine and documentary requirements.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Saturday that the state task force against COVID-19 has already given the go signal to the rules on air, land, and sea travel crafted by the Department of Interior and Local Government in coordination with LGU groups.

Varying requirements, including a negative swab test result, other documents, and mandatory quarantine, were previously imposed by LGUs to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to IATF Resolution No. 101, travelers still need to undergo COVID-19 testing if required by the LGU of their destination – the provincial government, and authorities of highly urbanized cities and independent component cities. In which case, only a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test will be accepted.

However, travelers can no longer be compelled to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arriving at their destination. Securing a travel authority from the police’s Joint Task Force COVID Shield, and even health certificates prior to their trip will also no longer be required.

“Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APORs) from national government agencies and their attached agencies must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary, and must pass symptom-screening at ports of entry and exit,” the IATF said.

It was stressed by the task force that minimum public health standards should be strictly observed. Clinical and exposure assessment shall be conducted to ensure that only asymptomatic travelers, and those who did not have close contact with COVID-19 patients, can enter the LGUs.

“Health assessment of passengers, supervised by medical doctors, shall be mandatory upon entry in the port/terminal and exit at point of destination,” the IATF clarified.

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