The Department of Health (DOH) said that local government units (LGUs) can still require fully-vaccinated individuals a negative RT-PCR swab test for local or interzonal travel. The health department cited that some LGUs have expressed concern over the recently announced Resolution No. 124-B, which states that fully-vaccinated individuals need only to present their vaccination cards for local travel.
Fully-vaccinated individuals still need to have a negative RT-PCR test for local travel
Resolution No. 124-B was issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) last July 2, 2021. The said resolution was even signed by DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, which happens to be the Chairperson of the IATF. As a review, resolution No. 124-5 states that fully-vaccinated individuals no longer need to submit a swab test result for travels within the Philippines. Their vaccination cards will be sufficient as a documentary requirement.
Presidential and IATF-EID spokesperson Harry Roque previously said that fully-vaccinated individuals are those who have had at least two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, and those who have had at least two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine. Roque added that half or incomplete vaccine do not count.
DOH to review policy on using vaccination cards as pass for local travel
The DOH has retracted the said resolution and said that it will discuss the matter once again as LGUs were reportedly not consulted about the issuance of the new protocol for local travel. The LGUs also noted that vaccination cards are difficult to be validated, which could potentially aid the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
As such, the health department announced that LGUs requiring individuals or travelers to present a negative RT-PCR swab test result as an entry requirement remains in effect. The negative RT-PCR swab test result will still be required as the DOH discuss the IATF’s latest local travel protocol.
"As we iron out the operational concerns raised by some implementers, IATF Resolution No. 101 remains in effect, which affords the LGUs the flexibility to require a negative RT-PCR result before granting anyone entry into their locality," the DOH said.
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