No more COVID-19 test for returning Filipinos from low-risk countries

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Returning Filipinos from countries classified with low- to middle-prevalence of COVID-19 are no longer required to undergo coronavirus testing, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire  said returning Filipinos from low-risk countries will not be required to undergo testing at points of entry, provided that they would strictly follow the minimum health standards and pass the symptoms screening.

She noted that the identification of low- to middle-prevalence countries will be based on the World Health Organization (WHO) weekly classification.

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The Health official explained that the move is meant to “rationalize the protocols” as returning Filipinos are being tested multiple times before they can enter their home provinces.

She further said, “When they arrive here, the experts recommend that we just do symptoms check. When they are cleared, when they do not have symptoms even in the past 14 days, they can be allowed to go back to their provinces.”

However, the Health official stressed that returnees need to comply with whatever the local governments will require for them to enter their provinces.

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