Inbound Filipino passengers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 but still test positive in the required pre-departure COVID-19 test will be allowed entry from abroad, provided they meet certain conditions, the Palace said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said this was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
All inbound Filipinos who test positive will be required to present the following to enter the country: a positive RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from country or port of origin; a medical certificate issued by a licensed physician stating that the passenger has completed the mandatory isolation period and is no longer contagious; and positive RT-PCR test taken not earlier than 10 days but not later than 30 days before departure.
He said Filipino travelers will need to go to a quarantine facility, but the duration of their stay depends on their vaccination status and the COVID-19 risk classification of the territory where they were from.
“If passengers are fully vaccinated and coming from ‘green list’ territories, they will need to follow the quarantine period prescribed for fully vaccinated passengers from ‘yellow list’ countries,” Nograles said.
“If they are negative for COVID-19, they can be released for completion of home quarantine up to the seventh day,” he added.
Some people who recover from COVID-19 may continue testing positive despite no longer being infectious, health officials say.
Earlier, the government lifted the ban on the entry of foreigners from “Red list” countries, provided that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and subject to additional protocols.
Nograles said starting February 16, 2022, proof of full vaccination shall be made a requirement for entry of all foreign nationals allowed to enter the Philippines.
He said travelers from “Red List” countries who were fully vaccinated would be required to do the following: present a negative RT-PCR test 48 hours prior to departure; undergo a facility based quarantine and subjected to an RT-PCR COVID-19 test on the seventh day; and complete the rest of the 14-day quarantine at home if they tested negative in the RT-PCR test.
Also on Friday, the presidential adviser on entrepreneurship, Joey Concepcion, and the deputy implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, Vince Dizon, said the country cannot continue to live in fear of COVID-19.
“Other countries seem to have already accepted the fact that COVID is here to stay. Maybe it’s time we practice living with COVID or else the Philippine economy will suffer and along with it, its MSMEs,” Concepcion said, referring to micro, small and medium enterprises.
“We need to have a dramatic change in mindset,” Dizon said. “I think we need to understand that the responsibility for protecting the community from the virus is as much an individual responsibility and not just a government responsibility or a private sector responsibility,” he said.