In a statement released on September 19, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder, Joey Concepcion said that the government should consider implementing a shorter quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers, citing how the aviation industry took a big hit since the start of the pandemic and is now on the brink of collapse.
Concepcion, along with airline officials, pushed for a five-day quarantine period for fully vaccinated passengers, especially those from North America, mentioning how Philippine Airlines (PAL) earned 1 billion dollars from that specific market prior to the pandemic.
In the same meeting attended by the Department of Health (DOH) and Inter-Agency Task Force adviser Dr. Edsel Salvaña, PAL proposed a new protocol that would mandate that passengers be tested 72 hours before a flight, undergo the 5-day quarantine upon landing, and on the third day, take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR).
Data presented suggest that getting tested prior to a flight reduced the positivity rate and risk. Included in the proposal was that passengers with a negative test result would be allowed to leave the quarantine facility on the fifth day and complete their quarantine at home.
Concepcion, along with over 1,000 business owners, has been pushing for the “bakuna bubble”; an effort to spur economic activity and stabilize jobs by easing restrictions on fully vaccinated individuals. He has argued that the tourism and transport sector would benefit from allowing them more mobility.
Meanwhile, the United States (US) has already announced the easing of travel restrictions, provided passengers are fully vaccinated.
The shocking decision came after European allies of the country put pressure on the current Biden administration to maintain ties of allyship with nations from the United Kingdom (UK) and the United Emirates (UE).
New rules will require foreign travelers to present proof of vaccination, a negative Covid19 test result, and provide their contact information. They will not be required to quarantine.
The new policy is slated to come into effect by early November.