PH to ban travelers from countries with cases of new COVID-19 variant
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will ban the entry of travelers from countries with reported cases of the new COVID-19 variant starting Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.
Duque said President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Monday night the recommendation to impose a travel ban on 20 countries with the COVID-19 variant found in the United Kingdom.
“Mayroon pong inaprubahan si Pangulong Duterte kahapon doon sa recommendation natin ng IATF, ng DOH na simula 12:01 ng Dec. 30 hanggang Jan. 15 ay hindi na tayo magpapapasok ng mga manggagaling sa 20 bansa na nakapag-ulat o nakapagtala ng bagong variant, ‘yung UK variant,” he said in an interview over DZRH.
(President Duterte approved the recommendation yesterday to ban the entry of travelers from 20 countries that have reported cases of the new COVID-19 variant, starting 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 30 until Jan. 15.)
Overseas Filipino workers from the said countries, however, will still be allowed to enter the country provided that they will undergo strict 14-day quarantine.
“Kung anuman ang maging resulta [ng swab test], positive o negative ay ika-quarantine sila for 14 days,” Duque said.
The Philippines earlier already imposed a travel ban on flights from the UK to prevent possible transmission.
However, Malacañang said there is no expansion of the travel ban yet but it was “highly recommended” to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Antayin po natin ang desisyon ng Presidente. Magpapalabas po ng something in writing ang Office of the President. Ang alam ko po, highly recommended ng IATF at ng DOH ‘yung travel bans sa mga bansa na meron nang new [COVID] variants,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(Let’s wait for the decision of the President. The Office of the President will come out with something in writing. As far as I know, the IATF and DOH are highly recommending the travel ban among countries with reported new variant of COVID-19.)
“Pero sabi po ng Presidente, kinakailangan kahit sinong Pilipino na nais makauwi, dapat makauwi. Imposible po yan kung magkakaroon tayo ng travel ban.”
(But the President has said that it is necessary for any Filipino to go home if they want to go home. But that would be impossible if we have a travel ban.)
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