Pinoys from red list countries allowed to fly home to PH sans 'Bayanihan' flights

Published January 14, 2022, 1:22 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force has placed 14 countries under its red list from Jan. 16 to 31, 2022, but unlike before, Filipinos from these territories will now be allowed to enter the Philippines subject to quarantine without the need for a “Bayanihan” flight.

PIXABAY / MANILA BULLETIN

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made this announcement as the government addresses the spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country.

In his press briefing on Friday, Jan. 14, Nograles said the following territories will be under the red list from January 16 until the end of the month:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Aruba
  3. Canada
  4. Curacao
  5. French Guiana
  6. Iceland
  7. Malta
  8. Mayotte
  9. Mozambique
  10. Puerto Rico
  11. Saudi Arabia
  12. Somalia
  13. Spain
  14. US Virgin Islands

Meanwhile, the following will be under the green list during the same period:

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Benin
  3. Bhutan
  4. British Virgin Islands
  5. China
  6. Côte d’Ivoire
  7. Djibouti
  8. Equatorial Guinea
  9. Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  10. The Gambia
  11. Ghana
  12. Guinea
  13. Hong Kong
  14. India
  15. Indonesia
  16. Japan
  17. Kosovo
  18. Kyrgyzstan
  19. Montserrat
  20. Morocco
  21. Niger
  22. Oman
  23. Pakistan
  24. Paraguay
  25. Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  26. Saint Barthélemy
  27. Senegal
  28. Sierra Leone
  29. Sint Eustatius
  30. Taiwan
  31. Timor-Leste
  32. Uganda

All other countries and territories not listed in other colored lists are under the yellow list.

New arrival protocols

Aside from this, Nograles announced that the government’s pandemic task force has decided to allow Filipinos from red list countries to return to the Philippines without the need for Bayanihan flights but subject to quarantine.

Travelers will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before their departure, and to undergo facility-based quarantine with an RT-PCR test taken on the seventh day.

Before this policy change, Filipinos from red list countries can only return home via government and non-government initiated repatriation efforts and Bayanihan flights.

He explained that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases decided to this change considering that the country already has cases of Omicron and in consideration of Filipinos who want to return home.

Another reason was with new protocols in place, the government can now be more assured that no COVID-positive individual will be able to come in.

“We are assured naman na mas mababantayan natin na kung positive man sila, if ever, then we can make sure na before we let them out of isolation or quarantine, then we’re sure na wala na silang COVID (We are assured that we can monitor them and make sure that before we let them out of isolation or quarantine, they no longer have COVID),” Nograles said.

He stressed that foreign tourists from red list countries are still not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated foreign travelers from green list countries and territories no longer have to undergo mandatory facility-based quarantine, but will have to self-monitor for symptoms for seven days. They must also present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before their flight to the Philippines.

In addition, starting February 16, foreign nationals will be required to present proof of full vaccination before being allowed to enter the country. The following, however, are exempted from this requirement:

  • Children below 18 years old
  • People who are medically unable to receive the vaccine, as certified by a competent public health authority in their country of origin
  • Foreign diplomats and their qualified dependents or 9(e) visa holders
 
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