THE high vaccination rate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may finally prompt the government to include the Middle East nation in its “green list” category, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The new classification, if approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), will ease the quarantine measures for inbound travelers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFW) coming from the UAE.
In a virtual press briefing last Monday, Labor attache for Abu Dhabi Manuel Dimaano reported 90 percent of the population in UAE are already inoculated against Covid-19.
“They are now in the process of administering booster shots,” Dimaano said.
With the high vaccination rate in UAE, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the IATF may now consider downgrading the classification of UAE from yellow to green.
“It will be the opinion or recommendation of the medical experts, which will be given weight on the said issue,” said Bello, who is currently in the UAE for the ministerial meeting between Middle East countries and other labor-sending countries in Asia.
Under IATF guidelines, fully vaccinated foreign travelers coming from “green” countries, who test negative for Covid within 72 hours prior to departure from their country of origin, will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine.
Fully vaccinated Filipino travelers coming from green countries could also forgo facility-based quarantine if they test negative 72 hours before their departure.
If they are still unvaccinated, have a vaccination status which cannot be independently verified, and failed to comply with the test-before-travel requirement, they shall undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test taken on the fifth day.
For travelers coming from yellow countries, facility-based quarantine will remain mandatory.