PH’s inclusion in UK’s ‘Red List’ is understandable, says DFA

Published April 3, 2021, 12:55 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) respects the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to include the Philippines in its Red List, saying the alarming rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country made the monarchy’s move understandable.

Department of Foreign Affairs (MANILA BULLETIN) 
Department of Foreign Affairs (MANILA BULLETIN) 

DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay made the statement after England moved to add the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh in its Red List starting 11 a.m. of April 9, Philippine time.

In a tweet, Dulay acknowledged the decision of the UK and advised Filipinos who had plans to go to the said country to call their airlines.

“PH has just been added to the UK Red List (i.e. travel ban to the UK) together with Kenya, Bangladesh & Pakistan. Understandable, with our current surge,” he said.

“Filipinos going to the UK should reach out to their airline/travel agent,” he added.

In a video announcement, British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce explained that due to the Red List, Filipinos, or anyone traveling from the Philippines will not be allowed to enter the UK starting April 9 unless they are British or Irish nationals.

Third-country nationals, including Filipinos, who have residence rights in the UK will also be allowed to enter the UK but will have to undergo quarantine.

“Even in these cases you will be required, in England, to undergo hotel quarantine after your arrival, if you have departed from or transited through the Philippines in the preceding 10 days,” he said.

Pruce said they are awaiting confirmation from the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, on whether they will also adopt these measures. The UK Embassy in Manila will provide further details in due course.

The British envoy said the UK made the decision to include the Philippines in the Red List to reduce the risk of new variants entering their country. He likewise advised affected by the travel ban to monitor the Embassy’s social media accounts for future announcements.

“These measures have been put in place to protect public health in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, in particular by helping to reduce the risk of new variants entering the UK,” Pruce said.

“I’d encourage everyone who might be affected by this decision and who wants to learn more to consult the guidance on and to continue to monitor our travel advice and social media channels,” he added.

As of writing, there are over 30 countries on the Red List. Pruce said the decisions of the UK have been taken after careful assessment.

“These are temporary measures that will be kept under review and will only be maintained in place while the level of risk justifies them,” he said.

“Meanwhile, please do stay safe and take care,” he added.

The Philippines on Friday reported a record-breaking 15,310 new COVID-19 cases; 3,709 of which were backlog cases not included in the report last March 31.