THE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has included France in the list of countries under red list amid the threat of the Omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2, which causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

Resolution 152-A issued by the IATF on December 7 stated that travelers from France, or those who have been in the territory over the past 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines will not be allowed entry in the country from December 13 until December 15.

Passengers who have been to France within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines and who arrive on or after 12:01 a.m. of December 10, but before 12:01 a.m. of December 13 will still be allowed entry but they are required to undergo 14-day mandatory facility-based quarantine with a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on the seventh day, with day one being the date of their arrival.

Travelers with negative RT-PCR results are still required to complete the 14-day facility-based quarantine.

Travelers who merely transited France and did not go out from the airport are not covered by the ban but are still required to undergo quarantine protocols.

Only Filipinos returning to the country from countries under red list via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriations and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry, subject to existing testing and quarantine protocols for red list countries/territories/jurisdictions.

France joined Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique among the countries under red-list or with travel restrictions in the Philippines due to the Omicron variant.

The highly mutated Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was first detected in Botswana, then in South Africa.

For all international inbound travel, testing and quarantine protocols also cover minors, regardless of their vaccination status.

Unless symptomatic, only children aged three and below will not be required to present negative RT-PCR test results before boarding the flight. (SunStar Philippines)