IATF issues new ‘protocols’ for fully vaccinated citizens

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MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) declared on Sunday that fully vaccinated individuals do not need to present swab test results if they want to travel within the Philippines.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, fully vaccinated citizens will simply need to submit their vaccination card for interzonal travel as well as intrazonal movement under the new “protocols” granted under the IATF-EID Resolution No. 124-5.

“A fully vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received the second dose in a 2-dose vaccine; or more than or equal to 2 weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine,” Roque said in a statement.

Roque stated that a fully vaccinated person must be administered with vaccines that are on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) List or Compassionate Special Permit (CSP) issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the IATF-EID resolution.

Intrazonal travel

Intrazonal movement of fully vaccinated senior citizens inside the areas under the general community quarantine and modified GCQ imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic “shall continue to be allowed,” according to Roque.

“This, however, is subject to the presentation of a Covid-19 domestic vaccination card duly issued by a legitimate vaccinating establishment, or certificate of quarantine completion showing the holder’s vaccination status as may be issued by the Bureau of Quarantine,” he said.

Intrazonal travel is defined as the movement of people, commodities, and services between communities with the same quarantine classification without passing through an area with a different classification.

Interzonal travel

For interzonal travel permitted under amended IATF “pertinent resolutions” and provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on community quarantine implementation, Roque stated that the presentation of a vaccination card “shall be sufficient alternatives” for any testing requirements imposed by the local government desitination.

“This interzonal travel shall likewise apply to fully vaccinated senior citizens. Also, the traveler needs to undergo health and exposure screening upon arrival in the local government of destination,” Roque said.

Interzonal travel is the movement of people, goods and services across areas placed under different community quarantine classifications.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the suggestion last week to extend GCQ in the National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus), which includes Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, until July 15.

The GCQ status will also be imposed in Baguio City, Apayao, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Zamboanga, Iligan City, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Cotabato City for the entire July.

Cagayan, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa, Naga City, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, the entire Davao region, Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur are all subject to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until July 15.

The rest of the country will remain under MGCQ for another month.

Shortened 7-day quarantine

IATF Resolution No. 124-B further specified that in situations when fully vaccinated individuals are close contacts of probable and proven Covid-19 cases, they may have a shortened 7-day quarantine period if they stay asymptomatic for the course of the 7-day period.

“In case there is a need for [reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction] RT-PCR testing, this may be done not earlier than the 5th day after the date of the last exposure,” the resolution read.

No testing or quarantine will be necessary for close contacts who were traced after the 7th day following the last exposure and were asymptomatic.

If the RT-PCR test is positive or the person becomes symptomatic, the testing and isolation measures specified must be followed.