The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) respectfully conveys to all travelers who will enter the Philippines, the airline companies, other aviation sector stakeholders, and respective airport units the clarification on the interpretation of the resolutions of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which require international arriving passengers to undergo a Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test which should be taken within forty-eight (48) hours prior to departure from the country of origin. Consistent with the wording of the IATF-EID’s resolutions, the DFA respectfully emphasizes the following:
1. The 48 hours should be counted based on the time of departure, i.e., boarding the plane from the first port of departure from the country of origin. It does not refer to the period prior to the passenger’s arrival to the Philippines. In this regard, the 48 hours does not cover the flight duration prior to the passenger’s arrival to the Philippines.
2. For passengers arriving via connecting flights, the 48 hours should be counted based on their time of departure, i.e., boarding time on the plane from their first port of departure from the country of origin. Under the IATF-EID Resolutions, “country of origin” refers to the first country of embarkation and does not refer to other intermediate points immediately preceding their arrival to the Philippines.
To illustrate, a passenger initially boarded a plane from City/Port X of Country XX which has a connecting flight from Country YY en route to the Philippines. In this case, the RT-PCR test must be taken 48 hours prior to time the passenger boarded the plane at City/Port X of Country XX and not Country YY.