(Eagle News)–Travelers from 19 other countries are temporarily banned from entering the country following reports of a more infectious Covid-19 strain.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said apart from the United Kingdom, the following countries are covered by the ban,which starts on December 30:
- The Netherlands
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- South Africa
The ban on inbound flights from the UK–which was supposed to be in effect from December 24 to December 31–has been extended to January 15, 2021, the date the entry ban on travelers from the other countries lapses.
Roque said passengers who are already in transit and are expected to arrive before December 30, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., from the countries will not be prohibited from entering the Philippines but will be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, “notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result.”
Roque said Filipino citizens coming from these areas will be allowed to enter the Philippines.
They, however, will be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, also notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result.
According to Roque, the Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, may also impose restrictions on travelers coming from other countries that report the presence of the new variant.
Reports have said the variant first observed in the UK was up to 70 percent more infectious.
The Philippines has reported over 471,000 COVID-19 cases so far, of which around 5 percent are active.