MANILA, Philippines — Travelers entering the Philippines who are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should no longer undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
“Calling on IATF/DOH (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases/Department of Health) to remove the 14-day quarantine on fully vaccinated persons entering the Philippines as long as health standards are followed,” Sotto said in a statement Thursday.
According to the Senate President, imposing the 14-day quarantine on individuals who are already fully vaccinated “defeats the purpose” of inoculating the public in order to open up the country’s economy.
“Why do fully vaccinated people have to still do the two-week quarantine when traveling to the Philippines? [I]t doesn’t make sense! Defeats the purpose of vaccinating so we can open the economy,” Sotto said.
“Vaccinated investors won’t come because they have to quarantine or even Filipinos who are vaccinated are having second thoughts,” he added.
According to the DOH, there is no sufficient evidence yet to say that an individual who has already received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can no longer get sick and infect other people.
Initial studies have shown that the currently available vaccines cannot adequately block virus transmission and that the sure benefit from the vaccines as of now are reduced risk for severe infection and hospitalization, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire previously said.
Earlier, the Department of Tourism (DOT) suggested that the mandatory quarantine period be shortened for returning Filipinos who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from the previous 10 days to seven days.
The DOT also proposed the creation of a “green lane” that will “facilitate the entry of foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”
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