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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the implementation of quarantine protocols for workers in the aviation sector.

The quarantine rules for each group of workers are set out in IATF Resolution No. 157, the details of which were shared by Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesman Karlo Nograles on Friday, January 14. Nograles said the people covered by the resolution include, but are not limited to, flight crew, ground handlers, maintenance contractors, airport security, air traffic controllers, airport employees and other aviation-related personnel. As approved by the Pandemic Task Force, an isolation period “for up to five days” will be imposed on individuals with mild and asymptomatic confirmed cases of coronovirus disease (COVID-19) who are fully vaccinated and refreshed. Asymptomatic close contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 cases do not need to undergo quarantine if they have already received their first series of vaccine doses and booster doses. “Ganun din po ang mga Closed Contacts na wala namang pinapakitang (It is the same case for the closed contacts who showed no symptoms) who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days,” added Nograles, spokesman for the IATF, added. He further said that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its affiliated agencies should “designate the appropriate accountable group to make evidence-based decisions to shorten isolation or quarantine, similar to hospital infection prevention and control the infectious disease specialist, safety officer and management considers, monitors and responds to all infection-related concerns of the healthcare facility.” As an additional rule stated in the resolution, Nograles said that “all aircraft must ensure adequate ventilation and all aviation personnel should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.” The quarantine protocols for aviation workers have been announced along with the updated IATF red, amber and green list ratings for other countries.