Covid rapid test for arrivals approved

Flying out Passengers wait for their flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday, April 7, 2022. General Manager Ed Moreal inspected Terminals 3 and 4 as officials prepare for the influx of passengers. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

THE government's pandemic task force will allow the use of the rapid antigen test for Covid-19 as part of the entry requirements for travelers arriving in the country.

The test must be administered and certified by a health care professional in a health care facility, laboratory, clinic, pharmacy or other similar establishments from the country of origin of the arriving passenger, acting Palace spokesman Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement Thursday.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) also approved the recognition of the national coronavirus disease vaccination certificates of Bangladesh, Mexico, Panama and Slovak Republic as part of arrival quarantine protocols as well as for interzonal/intrazonal movement.

“This is in addition to other countries/territories/jurisdictions whose proof of vaccination the IATF has already approved for recognition in the Philippines, and without prejudice to such other proofs of vaccination approved by the IATF for all inbound travelers,” Andanar said.

The government already recognizes national vaccination certificates from 35 other countries, namely Egypt, Maldives, Palau, Albania, Estonia, Greece, Malta, Uruguay, Argentina, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Azerbaijan, Macau SAR, Syria, Malaysia, Ireland, Brazil, Israel, South Korea, Timor Leste, Slovenia, Bahrain, Qatar, Switzerland, Hong Kong SAR, Bulgaria, Iran and Paraguay.

The IATF also directed the Bureau of Quarantine, the Department of Transportation One-Stop-Shop and the Bureau of Immigration to recognize only the proofs of vaccination it has approved.

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