IATF approves revisions in quarantine protocols for travelers entering PH

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The country’s inter-agency COVID-19 task force has approved the proposal to wait until the seventh day of quarantine before testing travelers who enter the country, the Department of Health said on Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire added that travelers who test negative for COVID-19 are instructed to quarantine in a government-approved isolation facility for 10 days before they can be discharged. Then, they may complete their 14-day isolation in their hometowns or hotels of choice.

“This is a process para ma-ensure natin that even though nakakapasok pa rin ang ibang travelers, especially Pilipino, sa ating bansa nasisiugro natin na naiisolate natin sila nang maayos to break the chain of transmission,” she said.

This recalibration in testing protocols was proposed by DOH. It cited the findings of experts that waiting for 7 to 8 days after possible exposure is the optimal time since the viral load is at its peak during this period.

The previous protocol was to confine inbound travelers in a facility for six days before they are tested. If they are negative, they can continue isolation in their hometowns or hotels until the 14-day requirement is met.

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