Philippines to lift coronavirus travel ban on 10 countries including India, Thailand and Indonesia


MANILA, Sept 4 (Reuters/Xinhua): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is lifting a coronavirus ban on travelers from 10 countries including India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the presidential spokesperson said on Saturday.

The ban, introduced in April then expanded to more countries in July to prevent the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, will be lifted on Monday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

Travellers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival, Roque said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the inter-agency Covid-19 task force to lift the current travel restrictions to the 10 countries.

"International travelers coming from the above mentioned countries shall, however, comply with the appropriate entry, testing, and quarantine protocols," Roque said in a statement.

However, foreign tourists are still banned from entering the country except for holders of special visas such as diplomats and foreign spouses of Filipino citizens.

The local transmission of the Delta variant has spread to communities in the Philippines. The country has detected 1,789 Delta cases, including 33 deaths.

The World Health Organisation confirmed the community transmission of the Delta variant, saying it is now the dominant Covid-19 strain spreading in the Philippines.

In April, the Philippines imposed a ban on India and later expanded to include the nine other countries with Delta cases.

The Philippines is now grappling with soaring Covid-19 infections.

The South-East Asian country has reported a total of 2,040,568 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Friday, including 33,873 deaths. - Reuters/Xinhua
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