Wed. Jun 23rd, 2021

An official of the Department of Health (DOH) is suggesting bilateral agreements with foreign governments as a way to shorten the quarantine period for those vaccinated abroad, the Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday.

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Based on the latest guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID), all individuals may leave and enter the country with a seven-day quarantine upon return.

The new rule, however, does not apply to fully vaccinated persons who received the vaccination abroad since there is still no existing system to verify this.

“There’s still a challenge when it comes to the verification system for those vaccinated but we’re now looking for ways, and this can be in the form of bilateral agreements with specific countries,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing in Filipino.

While the national government is working to establish a reliable verification system, Vergeire noted that the easing of quarantine would still be done in a “phased implementation” due to the number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Our number of vaccinated individuals are not yet that many so we’re going to do this gradually. The other sectors that were not covered by the new guidelines might just be included next week or next month,” she said.

As for foreign tourists, Vergeire said their entry would still depend on the existing community quarantine status.

 For the entry of tourists, we must first consider the quarantine status of the country and whether the coverage of our vaccination could now allow this kind of sector to enter,” she said in Filipino. SOVEREIGNPH

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