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January 12, 2021

LIST: Countries Included In Phl Travel Ban Due To New COVID-19 Variants

LIST: Countries Included In Phl Travel Ban Due To New COVID-19 Variants

The government has included foreign travelers coming from China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman among those barred from entering Philippines after cases of the new coronavirus strain were reported in these countries, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

“Prohibition on entry to stake effect Jan. 13, 2021 at noon (12:01 p.m.) until Jan. 15, 2021 subject to the recommendation of the IATF,” Roque said, referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This brings to 33 the total number of countries and territories where the Philippine government has imposed a ban until Jan. 15.

Filipinos coming from these countries may still return to the Philippines provided that they will subject themselves to swab tests and the mandatory 14-day  quarantine even if they test negative for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to Roque.

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health and its National Health Laboratory said a first case of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 found in the United Kingdom had been confirmed following sequencing of samples from Dec. 19 to 29.

 Jamaica has also recorded new cases of the new strain from four travelers from the UK, reports said.

The highly contagious new COVID-19 strain was also reported infecting people in China, Pakistan and Oman.

The government earlier banned foreign travelers coming from the following countries due to new COVID-19 variants:

 From Jan. 10 to 15, 2021

• Austria

From Jan. 8 to Jan. 15, 2021

• Portugal

• India

• Finland

• Norway

• Jordan

• Brazil

From Jan. 3 to Jan. 15, 2021

• United States

From Dec. 31, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021

• Denmark

• Ireland

•  Japan

• Australia

• Israel

• The Netherlands

•  Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

• Switzerland

• France

• Germany

• Iceland

• Italy

• Lebanon

• Singapore

• Sweden

• South Korea

• South Africa

• Canada

•  Spain

From Dec. 24, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021

• United Kingdom

South African variant

The government prohibited entry of foreign travelers from Austria to the Philippines after a COVID-19 variant found in South Africa was found there.

 The ban covers foreign passengers coming from or who have been to Austria within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines effective Jan. 10 to Jan. 15.

 Those who arrived before Jan. 10, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, were allowed to enter the Philippines.  However, they were required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine, even if they obtain a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test result.

 Filipino citizens who came from, or who have been to Austria, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, including those who arrived after Jan. 10, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, were allowed to enter the Philippines.  However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.

 Review to be conducted

 On Saturday, Jan. 9, Malacañang said it will be reviewing the threat of the UK and South African variants of COVID-19 to determine if the travel restrictions imposed on foreigners from the 33 countries will be extended to prevent the spread of the disease.

 In a Jan. 8 memorandum, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also said all health protocols should be enforced, especially the ban on foreigners coming countries with the new coronavirus strains.

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