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Travel ban expanded amid COVID variant threat

THE Department of Health yesterday announced that the travel ban has been expanded to 20 countries in connection with the threat of a new coronavirus variant initially found in the United Kingdom.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III made the announcement during an inspection of Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals, adding that the government will possibly add more countries that will report a COVID-19 case due to the new variant of the coronavirus.

“We expanded the ban to 20 countries. Hahaba po ang listhahan na ‘yan,” he said.

Effective midnight of Dec. 29, 2020 all passengers originating from the following countries will not be allowed to enter the Philippines:

United Kingdom

Switzerland

Denmark

Hong Kong

Singapore

Ireland

Japan

Germany

Australia

Iceland

South Africa

Italy

Israel

Spain

Netherlands

Lebanon

Canada

Sweden

France

South Korea

The ban will last until Jan. 15, 2021.

Passengers already in transit or who had been in any of the flagged countries within 14 days from entry into the Philippines and who arrive before Dec. 30, 2020, will be allowed entry but they shall be subjected to strict quarantine and testing protocols (mandatory 14-day quarantine in OWWA and DOT accredited facilities) despite getting a negative RT-PCR result.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Lee Ann P. Ducusin
B.A. Journalism