Concepcion: No need to re-impose quarantine on tourists amid detection of Covid-hit foreigners

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion does not think it is wise to require again foreign tourists to undergo quarantine when they arrive in the Philippines as this might discourage them from visiting the country and therefore affect local small businesses.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion (Screenshot from PTV)

Concepcion said this after Dr. Maricar Limpin of the Philippine College of Physicians suggested re-implementing the seven-day mandatory quarantine for international travelers after 15 foreigners in Palawan tested positive for Covid-19 early this week.

In a virtual public briefing on Saturday, May 7, Concepcion said there was no need to go as far as re-imposing the quarantine on tourists.

“We don’t need to go back to the seven-day quarantine kasi walang pupunta dito. So, babagsak uli ang tourism (because no one will come here, causing our tourism industry to crash again),” he said during PTV-4’s Laging Handa presser.

“Eh, kakabangon lang ng mga maliit na negosyante dito, na iyong negosyo nila ay nakasalalay dito sa tourism sector (Small business owners had just gotten back up and their businesses rely on the tourism sector),” he added.

Among the businesses affected are hotels that Concepcion said would be used as quarantine facilities again if the mandatory isolation would be implemented.

The Go Negosyo founder said re-imposing the quarantine would make the Philippines one of the few countries that have this rule. He said requiring vaccination cards would suffice.

“Halos lahat ng mga bansa sa buong mundo ay wala namang ganiyan na quarantine (Almost all countries in the world are not requiring quarantine),” Concepcion said.

“Importante dito sa mga foreign tourists na papasok ay ipakita lang nila ang updated vaccination card nila na may kasamang booster shot. Palagay ko okay na ‘yan (What’s important is for arriving foreign tourists to present their updated vaccination card that would indicate their booster shot. I think that’s enough),” he added.

Concepcion furthered that there was no need to go as far as implementing a quarantine since the concerned Covid-19 variant is the Omicron.

“We don’t need to go to that extent ‘no ang tingin ko. Hindi naman itong variant na bago, itong Omicron pa rin (I think. This variant is not new, it’s still Omicron),” he said.

“[It’s] highly contagious pero ang kalalabasan naman nito ay mild and especially if vaccinated (but you’ll only get mild symptoms especially if you’re vaccinated),” he added.

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