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Philippines bans entry of travelers from US
The ban on US travelers came days after the Philippines imposed similar restrictions on travelers from 20 other countries and territories where cases of the new variant were reported. The ban is in effect until Jan. 15.
Mark Ralston/AFP

Philippines bans entry of travelers from US

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Starting tomorrow, the Philippines will temporarily ban the entry of travelers from the United States where confirmed cases of a variant strain of COVID-19 have been reported.

The ban on US travelers came days after the Philippines imposed similar restrictions on travelers from 20 other countries and territories where cases of the new variant were reported. The ban is in effect until Jan. 15.

“The Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, included the United States of America as among the countries subject to travel restrictions,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

In this regard, Roque said foreign passengers coming from the US, or who have been to the US within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall be prohibited from entering the country effective Jan. 3 at 12:01 a.m., Manila time. Those who arrive before Jan. 3 shall be allowed entry but shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain negative RT-PCR test result.

Earlier, the President ordered travel restrictions on foreign travelers coming from Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada and Spain until Jan. 15.

The government imposed similar restriction on travelers from the United Kingdom initially from Dec. 24 to 31. It was extended until Jan.15.

While Filipinos coming from the US are exempted from the latest ban, they would be subjected to mandatory 14-day quarantine even if they had tested negative in swab test.

Roque added that foreign passengers merely transiting through a country in the Philippines’ travel ban list “shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to that country, provided the passengers stayed in the airport the whole time and they were not cleared for entry by the immigration authorities of the said country covered by our travel restrictions.”

Such passengers “are not required to complete a 14-day facility-based quarantine and may be allowed home quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test result at point of entry.”

Transiting foreign passengers who left the airport or were cleared for entry to the country covered by Manila’s travel restrictions shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines. Filipinos in the same situation shall be allowed to disembark but would be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain negative RT-PCR test result.

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