Sunday, October 24, 2021

Philippines starts travel ban on 9 countries

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) started Sunday, September 12, 2021, the banning of passengers from nine countries included in the "red list."

The countries include Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia and Switzerland.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said this is in adherence to the directive from Malacañang, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Passengers coming from the said countries within the last 14 days will be barred from entering the country.

Morente said passengers in transit from the nine countries who arrived before the implementation of the travel ban were allowed to enter, subject to existing policies of the Bureau of

Quarantine (BOQ).

BI Port Operations Division Chief Carlos Capulong said Filipinos arriving from countries under the red list under government or non-government repatriation programs or bayanihan flights may be allowed entry.

However, they shall undergo a strict 14-day facility-based quarantine, and be required a reverse transcription-polymerase

chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that will be monitored by the BOQ.

Capulong added those who had a mere layover in the nine countries are not covered by the travel ban.

The travel ban takes effect from 12 a.m. September 12 until 11:59 p.m. September 18, 2021.

Capulong said the countries under the green list as provided by the IATF include 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, and Hong Kong.

The others are 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.

Capulong clarified that aliens coming from the green list do not automatically qualify for entry to the Philippines.

“The general travel restrictions are still in effect. Only Filipinos, balikbayans, and foreigners with valid and existing visas are allowed to enter the Philippines,” said Capulong.

“Those holding tourists visas remain restricted from entering,” he added.

Countries not in the red or green list are automatically included in the yellow list.

Those coming from the yellow list are likewise subject to the general travel restrictions and will have to undergo quarantine and testing protocols, as implemented by the BOQ.


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