News Release

IATF temporarily suspends shortened testing and quarantine protocol for fully vaccinated close contacts

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, temporarily suspended the protocol that allowed for a shortened quarantine period for fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The said protocol, which is contained in Paragraph C of IATF Resolution No. 124-B series of 2021 issued on July 2, 2021, states that fully vaccinated individuals may undergo a shortened 7-day quarantine period, provided they remain asymptomatic for the duration of the 7-day period.

The decision to temporarily suspend said protocol is part of the continued implementation of proactive measures to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases and to stop the further spread of the variants.

With this suspension, the testing and quarantine protocols of fully vaccinated individuals shall comply with the Department of Health Department Memorandum No. 2020-0512, or the Revised Interim Omnibus Guidelines on the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration Strategies for COVID-19, issued on November 26, 2020.

Said DOH memorandum states that all close contacts of probable and confirmed cases and travelers shall be placed under a 14-day quarantine period.

Close contacts who remain asymptomatic for at least 14 days from the date of exposure can discontinue their quarantine. In the event that they develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus, they shall be isolated and shall be admitted and treated in an appropriate facility.

The abovementioned DOH memorandum defines close contacts as having exposure during the 2 days before and the 14 days after the onset of symptoms of the probable or confirmed case through the following: face-to-face contact within 1 meter and for at least 15 minutes, direct physical contact, direct care for a patient without using personal protective equipment, or other situations as indicated by local risk assessments. ###