The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed fully vaccinated seniors to go out of their home. Despite this, the Department of Health reminded them that mobility is still limited.
They can only travel within their zones or regions of residence or to areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ. Senior citizens must also present their vaccination cards when entering an establishment and must continue to follow minimum health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields.
Establishments such as gyms, fitness centers and sports courts have also been allowed to open at 30% capacity, while historical sites and museums have been approved to operate at 20% capacity. However, they must also obtain a safety seal certification from the government, which the trade department has issued to 115 businesses. Over 600 others have applied and are awaiting inspection.
DTI secretary Ramon Lopez noted that this development would allow some 22,000 workers to return to their jobs.
The IATF also announced new guidelines for fully vaccinated inbound travelers that took effect last June 16. Vaccination cards must be verified before departure and must come with a certification from the Department of Information and Communications Technology or the local government’s city health officer. This certification will be handed over to the Bureau of Quarantine for reverification at the transportation department’s One-Stop Shop upon arrival in the country. Vaccinated travelers are also exempt from RT-PCR testing.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that the decision to permit senior citizens out of their homes was science-based and was meant to encourage more elderly individuals to get inoculated.
According to DOH data as of last Saturday, of nine million senior citizens included in the government’s inoculation masterlist, only 442,000 have been fully vaccinated.
Photo: Philippine Star