DOH studying proposal to ease quarantine for int’l visitors

January 22, 2022 People's Tonight 97 views

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) is currently studying the proposal to ease quarantine protocols for international visitors, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Saturday.

“We are now studying this together with our experts kung ano ‘yong tamang recommendation na maibibigay natin,” Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing.

She said the proposal was to forego quarantine and isolation for incoming travelers.

“Kung sakaling mai-rekomenda ‘yan, tayo naman ay magiging handa kasi kapag matatandaan niyo four-door policy po ang ating ipinatutupad. Ang first door natin would be our border control so mayroon tayong safeguards o layer of protection na ating aasahan kung sakasakaling mawawala po o tatanggalin na ang control natin sa borders,” she said.

The Four-Door Strategy is a national government-enabled and local government-led response, first implemented during the Delta variant wave.

The policy consists of border control; active surveillance, including test and trace; early isolation and treatment of all those who tested positive; and COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier proposed the gradual phaseout of quarantine for international travelers once the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant subsides.

Concepcion pointed out that countries, such as Thailand and Switzerland, have started to open up to travelers by removing the required quarantine upon arrival.

“We are not also suggesting that we implement the ‘no quarantine’ immediately. What I am proposing to our IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) members is a gradual move towards the removal of quarantine in the Philippines, and moving towards home quarantine rather than facility-based quarantine,” he said.

“As we see Omicron start to subside, then we can maybe move towards a gradual phaseout of our quarantine in our country,” he added. Philippine News Agency