Starting today, December 1, anyone entering Bohol as a locally stranded individual (LSI), overseas Filipino worker (OFW), returning overseas Filipino (ROF) or authorized persons outside residence (APOR), will follow a new set of quarantine protocols.
The new quarantine guidelines will take effect by virtue of Section 5 of Executive Order No. 54 which was issued by Gov. Arthur Yap on November 20, 2020.
Under the new rules, an ROF, OFW, LSI or APOR are given three options to be able to comply with quarantine requirements upon entering the province.
In the first option, upon entering Bohol, an ROF, LSI or OFW who did not undergo a reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test within a period of 72-hours prior to arrival or upon arrival in the province will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in an approved government facility.
However, an ROF, LSI or OFW may opt to comply with the 14-day quarantine requirement at their own home instead of isolating in a government-approved facility.
While an ROF, LSI or OFW is given the option to quarantine at his or her own home, the isolation area must first be evaluated by the Rural Health Unit (RHU) whether it would meet with criteria to qualify as an isolation facility. Moreover, the private confinement area must also secure approval from the local government concerned which must see to it that the ROF, LSI or OFW is the sole occupant of that home or the confinement area of said home.
Present quarantine guidelines require that an ROF, LSI or OFW must undergo isolation at government-designated facilities.
The second alternative is for an ROF, LSI and OFW who have already undergone a PCR test not more than 72-hours prior to arrival here in the province.
If the test turns out negative, the ROF, OFW or LSI may be allowed to undergo quarantine for a period of 10 days at a government-designated isolation facility or at his/her own home.
However, if the OFW, ROF or LSI chooses to isolate at home, he/she must do so in a private room away from the rest of the occupants of the household. Likewise, there must be prior approval from the RHU and an endorsement from the local chief executive concerned.
Under the third mode, an ROF, LSI or OFW may opt to undergo a PCR test only upon arrival in the province or anytime during his/her stay in a quarantine facility.
Upon release of the PCR test results, if it turns out negative and the ROF, OFW or LSI is found to be asymptomatic, he/she may be allowed to isolate in a private quarantine facility for a period of 10 days.
However, the ROF, OFW or LSI is still required to quarantine in a private room away from the rest of the occupants of his/her household and only upon approval of the RHU with the endorsement of the mayor.
Under this mode however, the person isolating shall be confined in a government-designated quarantine facility pending the release of his/her PCR test results. Said ROF, OFW or LSI shall be endorsed and monitored by the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT).
There is also a separate guideline for APORs entering the province.
An APOR must have been RT-PCR tested not more than 72 hours prior to his/her arrival here.
If the PCR test result is negative, the APOR may be permitted to go only to specified places pre-identified for the purpose of his/her visit and will be discouraged to go anywhere outside of said specified areas and interaction with individuals is likewise to be limited with those directly involved in the purpose of the visit.
If an APOR needs to stay in the province for more than 5 days, he/she is required to undergo a repeat PCR test on the fifth day and should remain in the quarantine facility until he/she receives a negative result.
The adoption of new quarantine protocols came amid a growing clamor to ease quarantine measures and community restrictions as well as unify and harmonize the health measures and guidelines among local government units considering the policy amendments of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) with regards ROFs, OFWs, LSIs and APORs upon their entry into the provinces. (KB, RT)