PH includes Austria in travel ban due to new S. African COVID-19 variant
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will ban the entry of foreign travelers from Austria starting Jan. 10 to 15 due to the outbreak there of the new South African COVID-19 variant.
Foreign passengers arriving directly from Austria, as well as those who have been there within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, will be restricted from entering the country starting 12 midnight of Jan. 10, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement Friday.
Those who will arrive before Jan. 10 will be allowed to enter the country but they will be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result. Filipino travelers from the said country will be allowed to enter the country but they also need to undergo 14-day quarantine and RT-PCR testing.
The Philippines has previously imposed a temporary travel ban on United Kingdom and several other countries due to the coronavirus variant from UK, known as B117, which is believed to be more infectious than the original variant.
Experts said both the South African and UK variants are associated with a higher viral load, meaning that there is a greater concentration of virus particles in patients’ bodies, possibly contributing to increased transmission.
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