The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the recommendation to extend until January 31, 2021 the entry travel restrictions and the rules applicable to all travelers coming from or transiting through the following countries:
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
The IATF directed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to strictly implement issuances against airlines that allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the Philippines, pursuant to the travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and the IATF. The IATF, in coordination with other agencies, may issue implementing guidelines on the exemptions to these entry restrictions.
Contact tracing protocols will be strengthened by expanding to third-generation contacts for known new variant cases. All identified close contacts are required to undergo a strict facility-based 14-day quarantine while remaining contacts from the flight manifest shall be advised of the appropriate quarantine protocols. In this connection, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is directed to issue advisories to local government units (LGUs) to prepare and strengthen the maintenance of their quarantine facilities.
The DILG is also directed to ensure the proper enforcement of the StaySafe.ph system use by LGUs for ease of contact tracing.
Those who are found to be positive, apart from the prescribed testing and quarantine protocols, shall undergo whole genome sequencing to be conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the UP National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH). Related to this, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the DOTr One-Stop Shop shall ensure that appropriate protocols are implemented for all those found to be positive of the new COVID-19 variants.
In addition, the IATF approved the continuation of weekly genomic biosurveillance activities of the DOH, UP-PGC, UP-NIH among incoming passengers and local cases, prioritizing hospitalized patients, re-infected patients, and those in clusters.
The IATF further directed the convening of a small working group as soon as possible to resolve issues on funding, availability and use of quarantine facilities, and eventual handling over LGUs of arriving overseas Filipinos. The DOH shall be the lead in this working group.