All travelers who will enter the Philippines starting Feb. 1 will be required to undergo a facility-based quarantine upon arrival, Malacañang said Wednesday as the nation guards against the spread of a more contagious COVID-19 virus variant.
Asymptomatic passengers will undergo RT-PCR testing on the fifth day from arrival in the Philippines unless they show symptoms at an earlier date during quarantine, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
"Arriving passengers, regardless of their origin, shall be required to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival," Roque said.
Quarantine can be done at a facility approved by the government or approved by it.
Once travelers test negative for COVID-19, Roque said he or she would be endorsed to his or her respective local government unit for the continuation of the remainder of the 14-day mandatory quarantine "under strict monitoring" of authorities.
"Appropriate patient management shall be observed as outlined in the guidelines of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health Omnibus Guidelines on Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment and Reintegration Strategies for COVID-19," Roque said.
The Philippines has an ongoing travel ban covering several countries and territories that have reported cases of COVID-19 virus variants.
Earlier this month, the Philippines confirmed its first case too of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, known as B.1.1.7. in a male patient in Quezon City. Later, the Department of Health confirmed more cases of the virus variant in different parts of Luzon.
Most recently, health authorities also confirmed local transmission of the UK virus variant in Bontoc, Mountain Province.