PCG reverts guidelines: All returning Filipinos must undergo quarantine in accredited facilities

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — The Philippine Coast Guard said all Filipinos returning to the country will have to undergo mandatory quarantine in government-accredited facilities, taking back an earlier announcement that said home quarantine was enough.

In an advisory posted on Facebook Monday, the PCG said "all repatriated OFWs and non-OFWs are required to undergo mandatory quarantine in any government quarantine facility or hotel accredited by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), until they receive their RT-PCR test results proving them to be negative for COVID-19."

They will be brought to the facilities by government authorities as per previously set rules.

The PCG earlier said that according to the Sub-Task Group for the Repatriation of OFWs, all Filipinos arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport — including seafarers and non-OFWs — will have to undergo home quarantine right after a swab test if they live in Metro Manila.

The latest advisory said "all previous announcements regarding home quarantine for returning OFWs and non-OFWs" should be disregarded.

President Rodrigo Duterte on May 25 gave government officials a one-week ultimatum to rush the release of COVID-19 test results of over 24,000 returning OFWs languishing in quarantine facilities. A total of 23,472 returning workers had been sent back to their respective provinces, while hundreds more await clearance, the Labor Department said on Sunday.

More OFWs are expected to arrive in the next few months, with the COVID-19 crisis still hounding the globe. The government said it expects around 60,000 returning workers in the next two months, with some 300,000 more returning for the rest of 2020.

The President has also instructed the Department of Health to ramp up PCR testing in other regions so the OFWs can be sent to their hometowns, and they can undergo COVID-19 testing closer to their homes, his spokesman said.