By Azer Parrocha
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – The Philippines has added six more countries to the list of nations covered by temporary travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the new strain of coronavirus discovered in the United Kingdom, Malacañang announced on Wednesday night.
“The Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, included Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil as among the countries / jurisdictions subject to travel restrictions,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
The countries join the list of travel restrictions earlier imposed on travelers from the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and Spain.
Foreign passengers coming from or who have been to Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, will be prohibited from entering the country from Jan. 8, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, to Jan. 15.
On the other hand, foreign passengers coming from, or who have been to the abovementioned countries/jurisdictions within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, arriving before Jan. 8, 2021, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, will be allowed to enter the Philippines.
However, they will be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
Filipino citizens coming from, or who have been to the abovementioned countries/jurisdictions, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, including those arriving after Jan. 8, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, will be allowed to enter the Philippines.
They will be required though to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.
Filipino and foreign passengers transiting through the abovementioned/jurisdictions countries woll be covered by the rules as provided in the memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Dec. 31, 2020.
As for incoming unaccompanied minor Filipino passengers from countries/jurisdictions where travel restrictions are in place on account of the new variant of Covid-19, they will not be allowed entry from Jan. 8 until Jan.15 except minors returning through the repatriation program of the national government.
These repatriated minors will be turned over to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration house parent who, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will ensure the minors’ safety and their observance of quarantine protocols.
All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens who are not part of the repatriation program of the national government, arriving before Jan. 8, 12:01 a.m., will be turned over to an authorized DSWD officer who can ensure the minors’ safety and their observance to quarantine protocols.
Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) established a technical working group (TWG) on Covid-19 variants in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive.
The TWG will monitor and identify the occurrence of new variants of Covid-19 in the country and will provide policy recommendations to the IATF on the appropriate response regarding these variants. (PNA)