SWAB TEST BEFORE FLYING. Marivic Radam, an overseas Filipino worker, undergoes a swab test Monday (Jan. 24, 2022) before going back to her job in Kuwait. OFWs need to present negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results before boarding their flights. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 26 (Mabuhay) — Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is pushing for reverting to the three-day quarantine protocol for fully vaccinated individuals entering the country.

Concepcion said this protocol for international arrivals had been in place late last year but was only put on hold amid the threats of the Omicron variant.

“We should revert back to the three-day quarantine for the fully vaccinated, which was approved and implemented prior to Omicron,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

Aside from negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results 48 hours before departure, at least five days of facility-based quarantine is required for international arrivals.

They are also subject to mandatory RT-PCR testing on the fifth day, in which the result will determine if they will continue the facility-based quarantine or they will be allowed to continue observation for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms at home.

Concepcion also proposed that passengers that had Covid-19 for the past 60 days upon arrival should be exempted from quarantine, and should present an RT-PCR test result when they were infected.

“We all know remnants of the virus can still linger on creating false positives,” he added.

OCTA research fellow Dr. Michael Tee said “quarantines are meant to catch the entry of variants of concern, which have already managed to enter the country anyway”.

“We don’t see any variants of concern at the moment,” Tee said.

Another OCTA research fellow, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, supported the easing of protocols for international arrivals.

Austriaco said the Philippines can adopt Thailand’s “test-and-go” system, where arriving passengers will only spend one night in a quarantine hotel while waiting for their Covid-19 test result. (MNS)

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