Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – The current list of “green” countries and jurisdictions whose Covid-19 vaccinations will qualify travelers for a shorter quarantine period may be updated to include even more areas, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said more areas could be listed as green countries and jurisdictions should data show that they have a low incidence rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Well, depende po sa kaso ng Covid dun sa mga lugar na ‘yun, magbabago po ‘yan. Pero ang tinitignan po natin hindi lang po percentage ng mga nabakunahan sa mga areas classified as green countries kung hindi, yung prevalence rate din po (It can change depending on the Covid cases in a specific area. But we’re not just looking at the percentage of people vaccinated in areas classified as green countries, but the prevalence rate as well),” Roque said in a press briefing in Iloilo City.

He also raised the possibility of lifting quarantine periods in the future, noting that current protocols remain in place due to the discovery of new coronavirus strains.

“There is always a possibility, pero sa ngayon po, from what I know, wala pa rin pong bansang hahayaang pumasok ang kahit sino na wala pa pong quarantine. Lalong-lalo na po dahil mayroon nga po tayong Delta variant (There is always a possibility, but for now, from what I know, there are no countries that allow passengers to enter without having to undergo quarantine, especially now that we have this Delta variant),” he added.

Meanwhile, Roque also defended the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to exclude the United States from the list of green countries and jurisdictions.

“Alam ko po marami nagtatanong na ang Estados Unidos hindi pa po kasama diyan sa tinatawag nating green countries kasi mataas nga po ang mga kaso ng Covid sa Estados Unidos ngayon (I know many are asking why the United States is not included in the list of green countries. It’s because of the current high number of cases of Covid in the US),” he said.

On Wednesday, Roque named 57 countries and jurisdictions that will be covered by the green lane policy for arriving passengers.

These are Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Benin, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Arriving travelers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in green countries and jurisdictions will only have to spend seven days in a quarantine facility upon their arrival in the Philippines.

Fully vaccinated travelers in green countries and jurisdictions must carry their official documentation of full vaccination validated through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office or present their international certificates of vaccination (ICVs), whichever is applicable. (PNA)