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Fully Vaccinated? Here's What You Should Know About Travel Protocols

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A vaccination card or certificate of quarantine can be considered as alternatives to a RT-PCR test for travel between areas with different quarantine classifications, the government's pandemic task force said Sunday.

The Inter-Agency Task Force or IATF has finalized protocols for fully vaccinated individuals, including senior citizens, traveling within the same quarantine classification (intrazonal) or to areas with a different quarantine classification (interzonal).

"Ang pagpapakita ng COVID-19 domestic vaccination card na in-issue ng isang lehitimong vaccinating establishment or certificate of quarantine completion na nagpapakita ng holder's vaccination status na in-issue ng Bureau of Quarantine ay sufficient alternatives sa testing requirement before travel or upon arrival na hinihingi ng lokal na pamahalaan," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said. "Tama na yung certificate of vaccination at hindi na kinakailangan magpakita ng RT-PCR [test result]," he added.

Who are considered fully vaccinated individuals?

Individuals whose COVID-19 vaccination satisfy the following criteria are considered fully vaccinated:

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  • More than or equal to two weeks after having received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine; or
  • More than or equal to two weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine;
  • The vaccine administered to the individual must be included in any of the following:
    • Emergency Use Authorization List or Compassionate Special Permit issued by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration
    • Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization

How can fully vaccinated individuals travel?

For intrazonal movement, or traveling in areas within the same quarantine classification:

Senior citizens are allowed for intrazonal movement so long as they present their COVID-19 domestic vaccination card duly issued by a legitimate vaccinating establishment, or certificate of quarantine completion showing the holder's vaccination status as may be issued by the Bureau of Quarantine.

For interzonal movement, or traveling to areas with a different quarantine classification:

Although a COVID-19 vaccination card or a certificate of quarantine completion may be presented in place of a negative RT-PCR Test result, travelers still need to undergo health and exposure screening upon arrival in the local government of destination. Interzonal travel is also applicable to fully vaccinated senior citizens.

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What about quarantines?

When fully vaccinated individuals are close contacts of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases, they may undergo a shortened seven-day quarantine period only if they remain asymptomatic for the duration of the seven days. If there is a need for RT-PCR testing, this can be done not earlier than the fifth day after the date of last exposure. There is no need for testing and quarantine for close contacts who may have been traced beyond the seventh day from the last exposure and who remained asymptomatic.