9,000 OFWs remain in isolation facilities despite shortened quarantine period

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A total of 9,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) still currently remain in isolation despite the new policy of the government to shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated inbound travelers, according to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The figures remain similar to the average 9,000 quarantined arriving OFWs, when the government started implementing its 10-day quarantine protocol for inbound travelers earlier this year.

Prior to the said 10-day quarantine policy, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said the number of quarantined OFWs only numbered to around 6,000.

Last June, Presiden Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) policy to reduce the quarantine period for people, who completed their Covid-19 shots to just seven days.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III welcomed the policy since it will allow vaccinated OFWs to spend more time with their families.

“Some returning OFWs only spend 30 days in the country and that it should not be spent mostly in quarantine,” Bello said.

Since the onset of the pandemic last year, the government already repatriated 641,717 OFWs.

These OFWs were provided free accommodation, food, and transportation services by OWWA.

Image courtesy of Nonie Reyes

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