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Philippines extends travel ban to 34 countries until end of the month amid new strain of COVID-19

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 15, 2021 2:49 pm Updated Jan 15, 2021 8:38 pm

Starting Jan. 17 passengers coming from, or who have been to any of the countries listed below within fourteen (14) days preceding their arrival in the Philippines will not be allowed to enter the country.

Those who will arrive before Jan. 17 will be permitted to enter the Philippines, but must isolate for fourteen (14) days in a quarantine facility regardless of their RT-PCR result.

Filipino citizens who came from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary, however, are allowed to enter the country provided that they isolate for fourteen (14) days in a quarantine facility.

Due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, more countries have been added to the list on which a temporary travel restriction is imposed. The ban on these 34 countries is effective until the end of January 2021.

On Friday, Jan. 15, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has approved the recommendation to extend the travel ban. This will prohibit travelers arriving from countries with reported cases of the new COVID-19 strain called B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 to enter the country.

The IATF-EID Resolution issued yesterday states that the temporary travel ban is applicable to “all travelers coming from or transiting”—which may mean both foreigners and Filipino citizens—through the banned countries.

The list consists of the following countries:

  1. The United Kingdom
  2. Denmark
  3. Ireland
  4. Japan
  5. Australia
  6. Israel
  7. The Netherlands
  8. The People's Republic of China including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  9. Switzerland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Iceland
  13. Italy
  14. Lebanon
  15. Singapore
  16. Sweden
  17. South Korea
  18. South Africa
  19. Canaa
  20. Spain
  21. United States of America
  22. Portugal
  23. India
  24. Finland
  25. Norway
  26. Jordan
  27. Brazil
  28. Austria
  29. Pakistan
  30. Jamaica
  31. Luxembourg
  32. Oman
  33. United Arab Emirates
  34. Hungary

The travel ban extension comes after a male Filipino, who arrived from the United Arab Emirates, was confirmed to be positive for the more infectious variant of COVID-19 last Jan. 13. The following day, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he would recommend for UAE to be added on the list.