MANILA – All Filipino seafarers bound for China are required to take not only one but two coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) tests before they will be allowed to enter the host country, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Friday.
In an advisory, the agency said aside from a nucleic acid test for Covid-19, Filipino sea-based workers entering China are now required to take a Covid-19 IgM antibody test as an additional requirement in compliance with stricter protocols amid the pandemic.
“Starting early November 2020, all Filipino seafarers entering China from Philippine ports are required to take both nucleic acid tests and IgM antibody test for Covid-19 within 48 hours before boarding the vessels,” the agency said.
Filipino seafarers are required to take the Covid-19 tests through designated testing facilities within three days prior to their boarding.
The list of the embassy-designated testing facilities can be downloaded at the official website of the Embassy of China in the Philippines through the link http://ph.china- embassy.org/chn/lsfw/P020201023392666292125.pdf
The POEA added that the cost of the test must be shouldered by their respective agencies and employers.
“All concerned licensed manning agencies must also furnish the embassy of the results of the Covid-19 tests of their respective seafarers prior to their embarkation,” it said. “After taking both Covid-19 tests, Filipino seafarers must undergo strict quarantine measures to further ensure the health and safety of concerned seafarers, as well as to lessen the number of positive cases among Filipino seafarers arriving in the ports of China,” the POEA added.
China-bound foreign passengers may retrieve the detailed procedure for obtaining their certified health declaration form through http://ph.chinaembassy.org/eng/sgdt/t1821811.htm. (PNA)