IATF lifts antigen test requirement for outbound Filipino travelers

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The Philippines’ COVID-19 task force has lifted the antigen test requirement for Filipinos who wish to travel overseas, Malacañang said Friday.

 Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the decision was made by the policy-making Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Thursday.

Previously, the government required Filipinos on non-essential outbound travel to secure a negative antigen result at least 24 hours before departure.

However, the IATF said if the country of destination requires an RT-PCR test, then the same must be presented instead.

Travelers must also have roundtrip tickets and health and travel insurance, submit a declaration acknowledging the risks of travel and follow the COVID-19 guidelines for returning Filipinos.

The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday said the number of departing Filipino tourists remain low even after the government allowed the resumption of non-essential outbound travel starting on Wednesday.

BI data showed that only 95 Filipinos left under a tourist visa on Wednesday, out of the total 1,172 Filipinos who departed. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News

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