Malacañang announced on Saturday the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the uniform travel protocols for local government units.
Under the said protocols specified in IATF Resolution No. 101, travelers need not undergo COVID-19 testing unless required by the LGU prior to travel. Such testing will be RT-PCR test only, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a briefing.
Meanwhile, travelers will no longer be subjected to quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms at the destination upon arrival.
"Authorities shall continue to strictly implement the minimum public health standards, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and wearing of face masks and face shields across all settings," Roque said.
"Clinical and exposure assessment shall be strictly implemented in all ports of entry and exit while health assessment of passengers, supervised by medical doctors, shall be mandatory upon entry in the port/terminal and exit at point of destination," he added.
Roque said the travel authority, which was previously issued by the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, as well as health certificates will no longer be required.
Those from national government agencies and their attached agencies who are authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) however need to present their ID, travel order and travel itinerary. They should also be able to pass symptom-screening upon entry and exit.
The IATF approved the uniform travel protocols on Friday, he added. The protocols were crafted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in coordination with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and the League of Cities of the Philippines.
The Palace said the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) Travel Management System of the Department of Science and Technology will be institutionalized as the one-stop shop application and communication platform for travelers.
"The StaySafe.ph System shall be utilized as the primary contact tracing system," Roque said.
"Other existing contact tracing applications, such as Traze App, must be integrated with the StaySafe.ph System," he added.
Ports and terminals
Roque said according to the IATF, ports and terminals should have sufficient quarantine/isolation facilities.
Passengers who are symptomatic should be transferred to quarantine isolation facilities, and from there, the Bureau of Quarantine will take over for airports, or local health officials for LGUs.
Provincial buses should use the Integrated Terminal Exchange in Metro Manila as terminal hub.
LGUs may also provide transportation for travelers transiting from one LGU to another "in cases of arrivals at air and seaports to their end-point destinations."
"The DILG, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Transportation (DOTr), DOST and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as the LGUs, shall ensure the smooth implementation of these protocols," the Palace said. —KG, GMA News