Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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PH travel ban extended to China, 4 other countries

  • China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman included in Philippine travel ban
  • Ban on foreign passengers from these countries to start January 13, 12:01 p.m. and to last until January 15
  • This is to prevent the entry of a new, more infectious COVID-19 variant that has been detected in several countries

The Philippines has imposed a temporary travel ban on passengers from five more countries as a preventive measure against the entry of a new, more infectious variant of COVID-19 that has been detected in several countries.

Foreign travelers from China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman are barred from entering the Philippines from January 13, 12:01 p.m., to January 15, 2021, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced on January 12.

Filipino citizens coming from these countries will still be allowed entry but must undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period. This is despite a negative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing result.

The Philippines first started to impose flight suspensions to and from the UK last December 24, the ban lasting until December 31, 2020, after reports of the emergence in the European country of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, last month.

READ: PH applies travel curbs vs 6 more countries over new COVID strain

The ban has since been expanded to cover other countries, namely, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Austria, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, United States, and Spain.

Moreover, the travel ban has been extended until January 15, and its possible extension is still going to be discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Aside from flight suspensions, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Cebu Port Authority (CPA) have also announced a temporary prohibition for vessels coming from the 20 countries from changing their crews at PPA- and CPA-designated crew change hubs from December 30, 2020 to January 15, 2021.

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