The Inter-Agency Task Force announced on July 5 that fully vaccinated individuals—including senior citizens—may now travel for leisure without having to present a negative COVID-19 test. The policies for interzonal movement (a.k.a. traveling to areas with a different quarantine classification) are still upon the final decision of the local government concerned.
Baguio City was the first to adopt this updated entry protocol, citing full-dose vaccination cards or certificates as a requirement. Following suit is Surigao del Norte, which issued an updated travel protocol last July 7 for leisure travelers. This means you can now easily fly to Siargao Island, their most famous beach destination, if you're fully vaccinated.
These are the strict definitions of being fully vaccinated:
- Received the second dose in a two-dose series at least two weeks ago
- Received one dose of a single-dose vaccine at least two weeks ago
- The vaccines administered are included in either the Philippine Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization list or Compassionate Special Permit; World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing.
Here are the updated Siargao travel requirements (as of July 5) for local visitors:
- Negative COVID-19 Test Result OR Full-Dose Vaccination Card
Unvaccinated indiviuals still need to present a negative RT-PCR test (swab or saliva) taken 48 within 48 hours of travel. Fully vaccinated individuals only need to show a valid vaccination card "duly issued by legitimate vaccinating establishments." Another alternative is a Certificate of Quarantine Completion issued by the Bureau of Quarantine.
- Valid ID
- Confirmed booking of Department of Tourism-accredited hotel/resort/hostel for at least two nights
UPDATE (July 7, 6:30 p.m.): Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire clarified on July 7 that local government units may still require negative COVID-19 tests for arriving travelers. "While the IATF has said that vaccination cards may be used in lieu of the testing requirements, as we iron out operational concerns, IATF Resolution 101 remains in effect. This means that the LGU can still require testing as a requirement for entry," she explained.
Following this announcement, Surigao del Norte "reiterated travel protocols and requirements of all passengers traveling via Siargao Island Airport and Surigao City Airport through the issuance of Memorandum Order No. 21-151, Series of 2021." The local government is maintaining that valid vaccination card or Certificate of Quarantine of Completion can be presented in lieu of negative COVID-19 test results.
This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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