BI announces travel ban on 9 other countries

Published September 12, 2021, 11:22 AM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced the implementation of the temporary travel ban of passengers coming from nine countries starting Sunday, Sept. 12.

They are Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said that based on instructions from Malacañang, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), passengers coming from said countries, or who have been there within the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines are not allowed to enter.

The BI chief said, however, that passengers already in transit from the said countries, who will arrive before the implementation of the travel ban, will be allowed to enter but subject to existing policies of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

BI port operations chief Carlos Capulong said that Filipinos arriving from same countries under government repatriation program, or bayanihan flights, may be allowed entry but shall undergo a strict 14-day facility based quarantine, and be required a Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test monitored by the BOQ.

Capulong said that those who had a mere layover at the nine countries are not covered by the travel ban.

The travel ban took effect at 12:00 a.m. of Sept. 12 until 11:59 p.m. of Sept. 18. 2021

Meanwhile, Capulong released the names countries under the low risk (green list) category which do not qualify for automatic entry based on a resolution issued by the IATF.

He said they will still be subject to seven-day quarantine and eventually be release once they tested negative on swab test.

These are American Samoa, Anguilla, Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gabon, Grenada, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), Hungary, Mali, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Saba, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Slovakia and Taiwan.

“The general travel restrictions is still in effect. Only Filipinos, balikbayans, and foreigners with valid and existing visas are allowed to enter the Philippines,” said Capulong, adding that “those holding tourists visas remain restricted from entering.”