PH mulls Indonesia travel ban over surge in Delta variant cases

Published June 28, 2021, 5:44 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government will look into the proposed inclusion of Indonesia on the list of countries with travel restrictions to the country to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain of the coronavirus disease.


According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the proposed travel restrictions on travelers from Indonesia will be discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In recent days, Indonesia has seen an alarming surge of coronavirus cases dominated by the Delta variant. The Asian neighbor has recorded more than 21,000 infections on Sunday.

“I’m sure that will be considered by the IATF,” Roque said during a televised press briefing when asked about the possibility of imposing travel restrictions on Indonesia.

To stem the coronavirus outbreak, Roque also assured the public that the government continues to implement tight border controls, including in the southern backdoor.

“Dati na pong mahigpit iyan ‘no, mula noong nagsimula ang pandemya (It has been tight since the pandemic started),” he said about the government’s health protocols at the ports of entry including those located in Mindanao.

“Lahat po ng repatriation ngayon ng mga Pilipino from that area ‘no, hindi lang Indonesia kasama na rin po sa Sabah, have to be organized repatriation po (All repatriation of Filipinos from that area, not only Indonesia but also Sabah have to be organized repatriation),” he added.

READ: PH extends ban on travelers from India, six other countries until June 30

The government has extended the entry ban on travelers coming from India and six other countries until June 30 as a precaution against the virus spread.

Prior to the extension, the travel restrictions on India were first imposed from April 29 to May 14. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka were later added to the travel ban list from May 7 to May 14. The government also started prohibiting the entry of travelers from Oman and the United Arab Emirates from May 15 to May 31. These restrictions were extended from June 1 to 15.

Exempted from the entry ban are Filipino passengers who are part of the government-approved repatriation efforts.

READ: PH exempts non-gov’t repatriation efforts from travel ban on India, six other countries