Travelers from Philippines, 3 other countries barred from entering UK

Travelers from Philippines, 3 other countries barred from entering UK
This Dec. 24, 2020 photo shows passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Travelers from the Philippines will no longer be allowed to enter the United Kingdom starting next week. 

UK envoy to the Philippines Daniel Pruce in a video posted to social media said the new restrictions will take effect at 4:00 UK time —11:00 a.m. Philippine time — on April 9, Friday.

Pruce said only British nationals, Irish nationals, or third-country nationals, including Filipinos, with residence rights in the UK will be exempt from the ban.  

Travelers from the Philippines, or who transited through the Philippines in the preceding 10 days, but are exempt from the ban will have to undergo hotel quarantine. 

Pruce added that the British embassy is still awaiting confirmation from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on whether they will also adopt the same measures. 

On its website, the UK government said the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh were added to England's red list "to protect the country against new variants of coronavirus." 

On March 13, Philippine health authorities reported the detection of a new COVID-19 variant first seen in the country. However, authorities insist that it is not a variant of concern, even if it carries two mutations that have shown to increase transmissibility and dodge some antibodies.

Variants first seen in the UK and South Africa -- both classified as variants of concern -- have also been detected in the Philippines. 

"These are temporary measures that will be kept under review and will only be maintained in place while the level of risk justifies them," Pruce said. 

Earlier Friday, Ireland added the Philippines, along with 25 other countries, to the list of states subject to mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival due to COVID-19.

— Bella Perez-Rubio 





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