The inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF) would discuss the possibility of removing the negative swab test results requirement for fully vaccinated travelers, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Monday.
“May IATF meeting kami this afternoon, ang pinag-uusapan kung paano, let’s say kung fully vaccinated naman, baka, baka hindi na kailangan mag-RT-PCR, pero ‘yun ay pinaguusapan,” she said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing.
[We have an IATF meeting this afternoon. We are discussing how to, let’s say, for those fully vaccinated, maybe we can waive the RT-PCR requirement, but that is still under discussion.]
Early this month, the government has allowed NCR Plus residents to tour areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ areas for all ages but with conditions.
Roque added that such a trip should be “point-to-point.”
NCR Plus covers Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna.
DOT: IATF to discuss possible removal of swab test for fully vaccinated travelers
Roque added that outdoor non-contact sports, 30% operating capacity for venue meetings or conferences, 40% operating capacity for personal care services, and 30% outdoor tourist attractions are also allowed in areas in GCQ with heightened restrictions, including the Metro Manila.
Before that, the government initially only allowed “staycations” and point-to-point air travel in the NCR Plus area.
The Department of Tourism earlier expressed confidence that quarantines will no longer be required for fully vaccinated tourists in the coming months.
“We are hoping that maybe in the future, in a couple of months, we could push for what Phuket is doing. Let’s say that if the tourist destination is vaccinated or the people they’re going to be in touch with, we hope that they will also accept fully vaccinated with no quarantine,” Puyat said in a mix of English and Filipino in Bohol.
“This is in the works, but what is important is that those from Bohol so that we could propose this to the IATF that the required quarantine for fully-vaccinated tourists be removed,” Puyat said.