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DOT hopes quarantine for fully-vaccinated tourists be waived in coming months


The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday said it is optimistic that quarantines will no longer be required for fully vaccinated tourists in the coming months.

According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases (IATF-EID) is now looking into such a possibility.

"We are hoping that maybe in the future, in a couple of months, we could push for what Phuket is doing. Let's say that if the tourist destination is vaccinated or the people they're going to be in touch with, we hope that they will also accept fully vaccinated with no quarantine," she said in a mix of English and Filipino during a virtual press briefing on Bohol tourism.

The government earlier this month allowed leisure trips from the NCR Plus — Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan — to areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ regardless of age.

Restrictions depend on the local government units of the tourist destinations, most of which require a negative RT-PCR test result before being granted entry.

"This is in the works, but what is important is that those from Bohol so that we could propose this to the IATF that the required quarantine for fully-vaccinated tourists be removed," Puyat said.

Puyat is currently in Bohol to promote domestic tourism, and was recently called out by Senator Nancy Binay for supposedly violating public health safety measures.

The DOT has since maintained that the visit was above board, and was done in coordination with the LGU. Visitors were also subjected to RT-PCR tests and tested negative before the trip.

According to Puyat, some 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines are set to arrive in Bohol either on Monday or Tuesday.

These will be injected to tourism frontliners, especially those working in hotels serving as quarantine facilities. — RSJ, GMA News

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