MANILA, Philippines — The government’s pandemic task force has allowed quarantine hotels to also serve as isolation facilities for people who test positive for COVID-19.

Acting presidential spokesperson and task force co-chair Karlo Nograles announced Friday that they have approved the recommendation of the Department of Tourism for quarantine hotels to also function as isolation sites.

“We have a new resolution that allows quarantine hotels to also have isolation floors so that returning overseas Filipinos or overseas Filipino workers who are quarantined do not need to be transferred from one quarantine facility to an isolation facility,” Nograles said in Filipino in a press briefing.

Previously, people quarantining in hotels — usually Filipinos returning from abroad who are waiting for the results of their COVID-19 tests — would have to be transferred to an isolation facility if they test positive for the virus.

WIth the new policy, people can stay in the same hotel they were quarantining at if they have to isolate.

“If the Department of Tourism and the Bureau of Quarantine will allow it, some quarantine hotel facilities can have isolation floors exclusive for COVID-positive individuals so they don’t have to transfer from one building to another,” Nograles said. — Xave Gregorio