The government will implement new testing and quarantine protocols to monitor people arriving in the country starting February, Malacanang said on Wednesday.

Arriving passengers, regardless of origin, will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

Passengers will then undergo an RT-PCR test on the fifth day from their arrival date in the country unless one exhibits symptoms at an earlier date while on quarantine.

Passengers who will test negative will be endorsed to the local government unit (LGU) in charge of his/her destination, where he/she will continue the remainder of the fourteen-day quarantine under the strict monitoring of the LGU.

Appropriate patient management will be observed as outlined in the guidelines of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Health Omnibus Guidelines on Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment and Reintegration Strategies for Covid-19, Roque said.

The measure was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday.

The country has recorded 518,407 Covid-19 cases as of Jan. 27.

Czech Republic included in travel ban

To prevent the spread of the UK variant of the coronavirus in the country, the government has included in its travel ban passengers coming from or who have been to the Czech Republic within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines.

The ban will take effect on Jan. 28 and last until Jan. 31.