THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the expansion of entry travel restrictions starting midnight of January 3.
Following an order from Malacañang, foreign passengers coming from the United States have been included in the list of those restricted entry in the country.
The USA adds to the list of 21 countries with temporary travel restrictions imposed due to the reported new strain of Covid-19 that has plagued the United Kingdom.
The BI said that aside from the US, foreigners coming from the following countries are temporarily prohibited from entering the Philippines: United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany,Iceland, Italy, Lebanon,Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada and Spain.
Filipinos who will be arriving from said regions will be allowed to enter, but will likewise be referred for a strict 14-day quarantine.
Under the new ruling, starting January 3, passengers who are merely transiting through any of the countries covered by the ban will be allowed to enter, provided that they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry in the covered country by its immigration authorities.
Aliens with connecting flights and merely had a layover in the 21 countries may now be allowed to enter if eligible for entry, but if they left the airport or were cleared for arrival in the 21 countries, then they are prohibited from entering the Philippines.
Those who traveled to the 21 countries 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines will also be disallowed entry. Aliens not coming from the 21 restricted countries are subject to the existing Inter-Agency Task Force Against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Candy Tan shared that they are on standby to implement any changes in travel policies as set by the IATF and the Office of the President.
“International travel has dropped 79% in 2020, and you could really feel the effects especially during this holiday season. What used to be a bustling airport during Christmas and new year is now silent and somber. There are still a number of traveling passengers, but not as robust as the numbers that we saw in the past years,” Tan noted.
She also appealed to the public to bear with the government for implementing the travel restrictions.
“These are temporary measures that the government needs to take to prevent the entry of the new strain of Covid-19,” said Tan. “While we are hoping for the revival of confidence in international travel, we are constrained to take these measures for everyone’s safety,” Tan said.Publication Source : People's Tonight