Philippines extends travel ban, steps up safeguards over COVID-19 variant


FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing hazmat suits for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines on Friday extended by two weeks a ban on travellers from more than 30 territories and countries where a more transmissible COVID-19 variant has been detected, with the restriction also now covering Filipinos who want to come home.

The Southeast Asian country, which has recorded its first case of a new variant that was first found in Britain, has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and casualties in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.

The flight ban, which has been expanded from the initial 19 countries and territories and was initially imposed for two weeks until Jan. 15, will now be in effect until Jan. 31, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

The prohibition also now covers travellers from China starting Jan. 13, and the United States beginning Jan. 3.

While the British variant was found to be nearly 70% more transmissible than the original one, there is no evidence yet that it is more dangerous.

The flight ban now covers all travellers coming from or transiting through the flagged countries, which also include Japan, Australia, Israel, Hong Kong, France, Germany and Italy, the statement said.

Previously Filipinos from those areas were allowed to come home on condition that they underwent a 14-day quarantine in a government-designated isolation facility.

Roque said exemptions to the entry restrictions may be issued by the government's coronavirus task force.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Ed Davies)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

Armenians barge into government building to demand PM's exit - RIA
This year's Nobel Peace Prize draws hundreds of nominees
UK demands Myanmar stop killing protesters
U.N. rights experts blame Russia for attempt to kill Navalny
French court finds former President Sarkozy guilty of corruption
First UAE ambassador arrives in Israel, eyes Tel Aviv embassy
Tokyo asks China to stop anal swab tests for Covid-19 on Japanese citizens
Harris favourite to win 2024 U.S. presidential election - UK bookmaker
Europeans get ‘right to repair’ for some electrical goods
Yemenis reel from poverty, hunger as U.N pleads for funds and war's end

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers