All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens coming from countries where travel restrictions are in place will not be allowed entry into the Philippines starting January 8 until January 15, except if such minors are returning through the repatriation program.
This was based on the recent advisory issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) related to the expansion of travel bans against six more countries with confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 variant -- Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil.
“All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens who are not part of the repatriation program arriving prior to January 8, 2021 shall be turned over to an authorized DSWD officer (Department of Social Welfare Development) who can similarly ensure the minors’ safety and observance of quarantine protocols,” the DFA said.
The agency is also urging overseas travelers to the country to carefully reconsider their travel plans, including postponing their trips until after the end of the travel restrictions to avoid personal inconvenience and possible additional expenses, as well as help prevent the entry of the new COVID-19 variant into the country.
The Department of Health (DOH) had earlier clarified that the new COVID-19 variant has not yet been detected in the country.
Meanwhile, those entering the Philippines from the affected countries and jurisdictions are also reminded to undergo and complete a strict mandatory 14-day quarantine at a DOH-approved facility, regardless of negative swab test results through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
The DFA said foreign nationals who have directly come from or who have entered the concerned countries and jurisdiction within the last 14 days from the date of arrival in the Philippines will temporarily be restricted from entering the Philippines. This applies notwithstanding previous visa status, past Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approval of exemptions, and relation to Filipino citizens.
The DFA reminds travelers to always check ahead with their airlines before departure or before booking a ticket as information published could change at any time.