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Philippines expands travel ban to Oman, UAE; extends curbs until end-May
This Dec. 24, 2020 photo shows passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The STAR/KJ Rosales

Philippines expands travel ban to Oman, UAE; extends curbs until end-May

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - May 14, 2021 - 9:02am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has expanded the coverage of its travel ban to include Oman and the United Arab Emirates in a bid to arrest the entry of the coronavirus variant first identified in India.

The government also extended its enforcement of existing travel restrictions on passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka until the end of May.

In a statement Thursday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said “all travelers coming from Oman and the UAE or those with travel history to these two countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival” will be prohibited from entering the Philippines beginning May 15 until May 31.

Travelers already in transit from these countries and those who will arrive before 12:01 a.m. of May 15 can enter the Philippines. However, they are required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols including a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Health authorities earlier this week reported its first two cases of B.1.617, or the variant first found in India. The B.1.617 has been classified as being “of concern” by the World Health Organization.

Two seafarers who arrived from Oman and UAE in mid-April tested positive for the variant, which is said to be driving the acceleration of India’s alarming COVID-19 outbreak.

Travel restrictions on travelers from India were imposed only on April 29. The implementation of the travel prohibition covering parts of the Indian subcontinent began on May 7 and was set to lapse on May 14.

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