Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Govt: Move to lift travel restrictions on 10 countries carefully assessed

The government decision to lift restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting Monday was based on improved risk classification assessment and strict border control measures.

In an online media forum, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said four weeks prior to the lifting of travel restrictions on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the country adapted the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.

Over the weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation to lift the travel restrictions.

“We added one parameter for leeway for other countries because the CDC parameters are too strict and almost all countries fall under high, moderate risk classification” Vergeire said on Monday in Filipino.

“We added one metric, and this is the incidence rate of Covid-19 cases, and because of the CDC classification, other restrictions in our country like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, their situation improved based on the assessment internationally, they have gone to the moderate risk level countries, and their restrictions were lifted,” she added.

Vergeire said safeguards are in place and the country has strict border controls, including required 14-day quarantine for inbound travelers regardless of vaccination status.

The first 10 days of quarantine must be in a facility and the remaining four days at home.

To avoid false negative or false positive results, the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests of inbound travelers will be done on the seventh day of quarantine.

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