14 countries now in PH's red list until Dec. 15 due to COVID-19 Omicron variant

Fourteen countries are now under the country's red list from November 28 to December 15 following reports of cases of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang announced Sunday afternoon.


In a statement, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the following countries are now under the red list:

  1. South Africa
  2. Botswana
  3. Namibia
  4. Zimbabwe
  5. Lesotho
  6. Eswatini
  7. Mozambique
  8. Austria
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Hungary
  11. The Netherlands
  12. Switzerland
  13. Belgium
  14. Italy

The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases defined red list territories as "high risk" based on the following metrics:

  • For populations greater than 100,000 the incidence rate shall be more than 500
  • For populations less than 100,000, the COVID-19 case counts shall be more than 500, and the testing rate of tests over the past 28 days per 100,000 population

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, despite logging three cases of the said variant, was placed under the yellow list, and travelers from the said territory will have to comply with testing and quarantine protocols for yellow list countries.

According to the acting Palace spokesman, inbound travel of all persons from the red list territories, including those who have been there over the past 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines, will not be allowed.

Meanwhile, passengers already in transit and all those who have been to red list countries within 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines and will arrive before 12:01 a.m. of November 30, 2021, shall not be subject to this restriction from entry. They, however, will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days with testing on the seventh day regardless of their RT-PCR result.

On the other hand, passengers who have already arrived prior to November 28, 2021, and are currently undergoing quarantine shall complete their respective testing and quarantine protocols.

Passengers merely transiting through red list countries shall not be deemed as having been to the said country if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by its immigration authorities. They shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols.

In addition, passengers from green list territories will have to comply with the testing and quarantine protocols for yellow list countries. This will be the case until December 15, 2021.

Passengers who arrived in the countries before November 28, 2021, may still follow existing protocols for green list countries.

On Friday afternoon, November 26, Nograles said the Department of Health (DOH) and the IATF are “actively monitoring” the developments.

He added that the government is in constant communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the matter.