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  • Quarantine Hotel Stay Extended For Returning OFWs And Pinoys

    From seven to 10 days.
    by Johnna V. Giolagon .
Quarantine Hotel Stay Extended For Returning OFWs And Pinoys
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano
  • Traveling back home to the Philippines? Make sure you’ve prebooked your quarantine hotel for 10 days.

    Government recently lengthened the required stay in facility isolation from seven to 10 days owing to the presence of different COVID-19 variants in the country.

    Just today, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the presence of the Indian variant, which is believed to be more infectious than other variants already here.

    “The Bureau of Quarantine shall ensure strict symptom monitoring while in the facility quarantine for 10 days,” said the May 7 resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (Click here for a list of quarantine hotels accredited by the Bureau of Quarantine as of March 5, 2021)

    A swab test will be conducted on the 7th day upon arrival and the 10-day quarantine will have to be completed regardless of the result.

    The 11th-14th day of quarantine will be “completed under home quarantine in (the traveler’s) respective local government units of destination.”

    The Department of Tourism will head the One Hotel Command to immediately and efficiently address concerns of those undergoing facility-based quarantine.”

    Double swabbing will also be conducted on the 7th day “in case necessary for whole genome sequencing,” which determines what type of variant the COVID19 positive patient has.

    “We are strengthening or tightening our restrictions right now because we would like to prevent further spread of this kind of variant,” DOH Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said in today’s press briefing.

    There is a risk of another uptick in COVID cases should travelers who initially tested negative later tests positive after they are allowed out of quarantine too early. The extension of facility quarantine adds another layer of protection to make sure all COVID cases are caught before they are allowed home.

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    While this might seem like an additional expense to inbound Filipino travelers, migrant workers or Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) need not worry. Government is still paying for their quarantine hotel stay.

    The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in March asked for an additional P9.2 billion to cover the expenses to pay for the quarantine hotel accommodations of returning migrant workers or OFWs. This is on top of the P6.2 billion existing allocated for them, which OWWA Adminsitrator Hans Cacdac said would be depleted within this month or April.

    As of April, 6,500 OFWs remain in the different quarantine hotels.

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