Senate President Vicente Sotto III urged the government’s pandemic response task force to consider waiving the mandatory quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals who want to enter the Philippines.
Sotto said on Thursday, June 3, that requiring vaccinated people to still undergo the 14-day quarantine period “defeats the purpose” of the immunization program against COVID-19.
“Calling on IATF/DOH to remove the 14-day quarantine on fully vaccinated persons entering the Philippines as long as health standards are followed. Why do fully vaccinated people have to still do the two week quarantine when traveling to the Philippines? It doesn’t make sense!” Sotto said in a Viber message to reporters.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) require persons entering the Philippines to undergo a 10-day quarantine period in a hotel or isolation facility. They also have to do four more days of home quarantine after this.
The Senate President argued that imposing this policy on fully vaccinated people could potentially hurt the Philippine economy that is already reeling from the COVID-19 crisis.
“[It] defeats the purpose of vaccinating so we can open the economy. Vaccinated investors won’t come because they have to quarantine or even Filipinos who are vaccinated are having second thoughts,” said Sotto.
Reporters also asked the Senate President if he backs another proposal to allow fully vaccinated persons not to wear face shields anymore.
“Yes!" he said. "Not proven [to be effective against COVID-19]. No country in the world does it.”
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno had earlier asked the national government to scrap the face shield requirement.
A February 2021 survey showed that while a majority of Filipinos follow the policy to wear face masks, only 6 in 10 people adhere to the face shield requirement.
The Department of Health, however, insisted wearing both a face mask and shield, coupled with following physical distancing protocols, could could prevent COVID-19 transmission by 90%.