Filipino commuters take the metro train as they rush home after President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon on a lockdown Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Diana Mendoza.
With thousands of passengers rushing to flee Manila before the Philippine government shuts down the country's main terminal on Friday, the Guam airport is on alert for an influx of arrivals to the island.
All travelers arriving from Manila will be placed on a mandatory quarantine for 14 days unless they get a clean bill of health, the Office of the Governor said.
The government of Guam has revised its travel guidance and quarantine protocols in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 on island, which now has five confirmed cases. At least three of the infected patients previously traveled to the Philippines.
The Guam Department of Health and Social Services is requiring all travelers from the Philippines to secure a Covid -19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival on Guam and present negative results for entry into Guam. Any and all travelers arriving without these credentials will be subject to mandatory quarantine, the department said.
Passengers with health certificates will be released and allowed entry provided the Customs and Quarantine Agency determined the validity of their documents.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a monthlong “enhanced community quarantine” on the main island of Luzon, mandating millions of Filipinos to stay home. The Philippines has reported 187 cases of coronavirus infections and 14 deaths.
The Philippine government advised foreign tourists and travelers to leave Luzon, where Manila is located, by Friday to avoid being stranded because all flights from the region will be suspended.
Following new protocol, DPHSS will “physically observe” and operate a thermal scan on all arriving passengers and any passenger showing obvious signs of illness will be asked to stay on the airplane for further assessment.
The Wyndham Garden Hotel and Days Inn in Tamuning have been designated as quarantine sites. Wyndham management has moved its guests to a sister hote, The Grand Plaza, Hotel, to accommodate the quarantined passengers.
The travel guidelines are as follow:
Prior to an airplane landing at Guam International Airport, Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency shall review the airplane manifest and coordinate with DPHSS and the Department of Public Works (“DPW”) in preparation for the arrivals.
1 Several countries are requiring certified documentation similar to Guam's local law as a condition of entry. At the least, the certificate must include results from a lab accredited by the World Health Organization (“WHO") or the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC"). While DPHSS is aware that countries are developing a uniform certificate to satisfy the legal requirements, No certificate has been pre-approved by DPHSS.
While onboard the aircraft, passengers will be asked to fill out a health form and provide information on potential symptoms. These forms will be gathered before passengers deplane.
Any passenger that has displayed obvious signs of illness will be asked to stay on the airplane and will be further assessed by DPHSS officials.
DPHSS shall physically observe and operate a thermal scan on all arriving passengers for signs of illness.
. Isolation and Quarantine
A. For persons exhibiting signs of illness, DPHSS shall initiate procedures for isolation and treatment.
B. For persons with a health certificate, CQA shall determine validity of the certificate. If determined to be valid, CQA shall allow release without quarantine after gathering the person’s contact information while on Guam. They will be
subject to monitoring by DPHSS.
C. Persons without a certificate will be quarantined at DPHSS approved sites.
Initial Contact with Quarantine Site
For quarantines at approved sites:
a. DPHSS shall contact the receiving site with the names of the persons to be quarantined.
b. DPHSS shall provide estimated time of arrival to the approved site.
c. DPHSS shall provide escorted transportation to the quarantine sites.
d. The Guam Police Department (“GPD”)/DPHSS shall ensure that no hotel staff or
guests will have incidental contact with those who are quarantined.
At Quarantine Site
If the quarantine site is a hotel, GPD/DPHSS shall work with hotel staff to provide for quarantined individuals. This can include but is not limited to changing of towels and linens, delivering of food services, and arranging for maintenance needs.
In the event a quarantined individual exhibits symptoms of illness, DPHSS will follow the necessary protocols to isolate and provide treatment.
Release from Quarantine
Once a quarantine period has expired without incident, DPHSS will follow procedures to quickly release individuals from quarantine. If a quarantined person is able to obtain a return flight before the expiration of a quarantine period, DPHSS shall arrange for transportation to the Guam International Airport. At the airport, CQA will receive the individual and ensure there is no incidental contact with other individuals not subject to quarantine screening.