New Normal at MIAA: Passengers to Shoulder Cost of COVID Test, Hotel Stay for Quarantine

Only overseas Filipino workers are exempted from the fees.

(SPOT.ph) Since May 16, Metro Manila has shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine—which means "limited international flights" are allowed for overseas Filipino workers, returning Filipinos, and their spouses and children. They will, of course, be subjected to quarantine procedures. The caveat? Returning Filipinos (a.k.a. non-overseas Filipino workers or OFs) are required to stay in an approved quarantine facility at their own cost for at least 14 days after arrival in the Philippines, according to an advisory by the Civil Aeronautics Board dated May 11. The government agency also said that “all passengers arriving in the Philippines are required to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR test.”

Quarantine accommodations for land-based OFWs shall be shouldered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, while the Maritime Industry Authorities shall take care of the costs for sea-based OFWs. Disembarking crew members of international flights are required to go through the same testing procedure and observe quarantine protocols.

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In an advisory by Philippine Airlines dated May 9, they explained that passengers will undergo screening procedures, which will determine whether they will go through the “stringent” or “mandatory” quarantine.

Stringent quarantine covers all passengers coming from a high-risk country or vessel or have flu-like symptoms. This type of quarantine requires RT-PCR testing and staying in a government-designated stringent facility until results are released. If test results come out as positive, the passenger will be transferred to a hospital; otherwise, he/she will still be required a 14-day quarantine at home or a local monitoring facility.

The advisory also explained the requirements for mandatory quarantine, which includes rapid antibody testing and 14-day stay in a government-designated facility. "Passenger will have the option to stay at a hotel designated as an approved quarantine facility, at his or her choice and own expense," according to the flag carrier.

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On May 18, it was reported that repatriated OFWs, including those who tested positive for COVID-19, escaped quarantine facilities and breached the 14-day quarantine protocol.

Main photo from DPWH

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