PH gov’t revises ‘green lane’ protocols for fully-vaccinated travelers

Point of entry in NAIA | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Immigration

Travelers from US still required to undergo 10-day quarantine 

THE Philippine government’s COVID-19 task force has revised the protocols for fully vaccinated travelers to qualify for “green lanes” upon arrival in the country.

The country’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the revised rules for “green lanes” that will apply to fully-vaccinated international arriving passengers to the Philippines beginning July 26.

“International arriving passengers to the Philippines, regardless of point of entry, need only to undergo a seven-day facility-based quarantine and RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) testing on the fifth day, with the day of arrival of being the first day,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday, July 23.

Individuals must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Their port of origin must be a “green” country, or jurisdiction with low COVID-19 risk;
  • They stayed exclusively in a “green” country in the last 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines;
  • They are fully vaccinated, whether in the Philippines or abroad; and
  • Their vaccination status can be independently verified or confirmed by Philippine authorities as valid and authentic upon arrival in the country.

Individuals qualified for the “green lanes” will be under strict symptom monitoring of the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) while in the facility for seven days.

“Even if the RT-PCR test yields a negative result, the individual shall still complete the seven-day facility-based quarantine. If the RT-PCR test is, however, positive, prescribed isolation protocols must be followed,” said Roque.

The BoQ will issue a Quarantine Certificate, which indicates the individual’s vaccination status, upon completion of quarantine.

“The individual is thereafter enjoined to do self-monitoring for the next seven days,” Roque added.

International travelers from non-green countries

On the other hand, international travelers entering the Philippines will not be eligible for “green lanes” if their point of origin is not a green country or jurisdiction.

Individuals who stayed outside a green country or jurisdiction — such as the United States — at any time in the last 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines are also not qualified for “green lanes.”

Likewise, individuals who are not fully vaccinated, or even if fully vaccinated but whose vaccination status cannot be independently verified by Philippine authorities as authentic upon their arrival in the country cannot qualify for “green lanes.”

According to Roque, international arriving passengers who are not qualified for “green lanes” are required to undergo a 10-day facility-based quarantine and a four-day home quarantine, including an RT-PCR test on the seventh day.

“All passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through a non-green country or jurisdiction shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to the said country or jurisdiction if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities,” the spokesman added.

Vaccination status

Roque also announced that the IATF approved the documents for purposes of verification or confirmation of vaccination status.

For overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their spouse, parent/s, or children traveling with them, they must present a Certification from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the country of origin.

For Filipinos and foreigners fully vaccinated in the Philippines, they must show either their local government unit (LGU) hospital-issued vaccination cards in original or hard copy form, or an LGU-issued vaccine certificate.

Meanwhile, for Filipinos vaccinated and foreigners fully vaccinated abroad, they must present the vaccination certificate issued by health authorities of their place of vaccination, provided that such certificate can be independently verified/confirmed by Philippine authorities as valid or authentic.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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