IATF shortens quarantine period for fully vaccinated people

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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has shortened to seven days the quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals who had direct exposure to people with Covid-19.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID approved on Thursday the altered protocol for close contact with probable, suspect, and confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The previous requirement ranged from 10 to 14 days.

“Fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases may undergo a seven-day quarantine period provided the individual remains asymptomatic for the duration of the seven-day period, with the first day being the date immediately after the last exposure,” Roque, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a press statement.

If a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test needs to be performed on the asymptomatic individual, the testing may be done not earlier than the fifth day after the date of the last exposure, Roque said.

“Should the RT-PCR test yield a positive result, or he/she becomes symptomatic, the individual shall follow the prescribed testing and isolation protocols,” he added.

Roque said close contacts who have been traced beyond the seventh day from last exposure and who have remained asymptomatic no longer need to undergo quarantine and take RT-PCR test.

However, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals exposed to a coronavirus-infected person are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, Roque said.

The Department of Health (DOH) defines close contact as having exposure two days before and 14 days after the onset of symptoms of a probable or confirmed Covid-19 case.

The DOH considers a person exposed to an infected individual if he has a “face-to-face contact within one meter and for at least 15 minutes, direct physical contact, direct care for a patient without using personal protective equipment, or other situations as indicated by local risk assessments”.

Fully vaccinated travelers from green or yellow list countries, or those classified as low or moderate risks, will quarantine in a facility until the fifth day when their RT-PCT test results are released and home quarantine for the next five days.

For unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers, facility quarantine will be for one week and home quarantine for another week.

Point-to-point interzonal travel

The IATF-EID also revised the guidelines on the alert levels system for Covid-19 Response in Metro Manila, Roque said.

The amendment would allow the point-to-point interzonal travel of several individuals to areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Under the revised guidelines, individuals aged 18 and below, fully vaccinated individuals aged 65 and above, fully vaccinated individuals with comorbidities, and fully vaccinated pregnant women may travel point-to-point to areas under GCQ and MGCQ.

The point-to-point interzonal travel, however, is still subject to guidelines and health protocols as may be prescribed by the Department of Tourism and the local government unit of destination.

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