Philippines adds France to entry restriction list due to Covid-19 variant Omicron

MANILA, Dec 12 (dpa): The Philippines this week temporarily banned entry for travellers from France, part of efforts to keep the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus out of the country, a government spokesperson said.

France was the 15th country added to the "red list,” which is effective until December 15, presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said.

Travellers who are already in transit and would arrive in the Philippines before Monday would be allowed to enter, but will have to undergo a 14-day facility quarantine, even if they test negative for Covid-19 on the seventh day from arrival, he said.

After Monday, only Filipinos returning home from France will be allowed to enter the Philippines, he added.

A national task force on Covid-19 will review the entry restrictions before December 15 to determine if the ban will be extended or lifted, or if countries will be added or removed.

The Philippines reimposed entry restrictions on November 26 due to the threat of the Omicron variant.

The other countries on the red list are Austria, Belgium, Botswana, the Czech Republic, Eswatini, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Mozazmbique, Namibia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

The Department of Health said that, so far, Omicron has not been detected in the Philippines, but authorities were still tracking down seven travellers from South Africa who arrived shortly before the temporary ban was imposed.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 402 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 2,836,592.

The DOH also reported 184 more deaths from the Covid-19 complications in the South-East Asian country, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 50,280. Of the newly recorded deaths six occurred this month, it added.

The DOH has reported below 1,000 daily cases since Nov 24. It recorded the highest daily Covid-19 caseload on Sept 11, at 26,303 cases. - dpa

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Philippines , Covid-19 , Omicran , Temporary Ban , France


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