PH travel ban now covers 36 areas

Published January 26, 2021, 10:22 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus Geducos

All arriving passengers required to undergo facility-based quarantine effective Feb. 1

The Philippine government has included the Czech Republic in the list of areas subject to travel restrictions relative to the new coronavirus variants, bringing to 36 the number of jurisdictions included in the travel ban. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

As this developed, Malacañang said that all passengers arriving in the Philippines will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine and testing effective February 1 as the government steps up its efforts in addressing the new and more contagious COVID-19 strain. 

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Office of the President has prohibited the entry to the Philippines of foreign passengers coming from or who have been to the Czech Republic effective January 28, 2021, 12:01 a.m. (Manila time) until January 31, 2021. 

Roque said Filipino citizens coming from the Czech Republic shall be allowed to enter the Philippines subject to testing and quarantine protocols. 

“It is underscored that passengers who are allowed entry to the Philippines (Paragraphs 2 and 3) need to undergo RT-PCR test upon their arrival. They have to be quarantined until the result of a subsequent RT-PCR test, which is administered on the fifth day of the quarantine is released,” he said. 

“Those who tested negative from both RT-PCR tests will be endorsed to their respective local government units, which will strictly monitor the remainder of their 14-day quarantine,” he added. 

He said Filipino and foreign passengers merely transiting through the Czech Republic shall be covered by the rules as provided for in the memorandum from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated December 31, 2020. 

Apart from the Czech Republic, the government has already imposed travel restrictions on select foreigners coming from 35 other jurisdictions with confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants until the end of January. 

These areas are: the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Austria, China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Hungary. 

Exempted from the travel ban are foreign diplomats and dignitaries, personnel of accredited international organizations, those with medical and emergency cases, and spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them. 

The travel restrictions have been imposed to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variant in the country. 

Meanwhile, effective February 1 all arriving passengers, regardless of their origin, shall be required to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival. 

They shall also undergo an RT-PCR test on the fifth day unless the passenger shows symptoms at an earlier date while on quarantine. 

Once a passenger tested negative, the passenger shall be endorsed to the local government unit (LGU) of destination where the passenger shall continue the remainder of the 14-day quarantine under the strict monitoring of the LGU. 

Roque said appropriate patient management shall be observed.