Philippines bans travel from India from April 29 to May 14
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will bar the entry of travelers from India starting April 29 to May 14 amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in the South Asian nation due to a double-mutant variant, the Malacañang said Tuesday.
Those covered by the travel ban are those coming from India and those with travel history to India within the last 14 days, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
“Inaprubahan ng ating Presidente ang rekomendasyon ng ating IATF na i-ban ang lahat ng pasahero, kasama ang mga Pilipino, na galing sa India,” Roque said in a recorded message sent to reporters.
Travelers who are already in transit from India and those who have travel history to the said country within 14 days but arrive before 1 a.m. of April 29 will still be allowed to enter the Philippines but will be subjected to stricter quarantine and testing protocols, he added.
This includes the “absolute facility-based” 14-day quarantine period even with a negative COVID-19 Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
The President may further expand the travel ban from other countries that have reported cases of the new variant upon the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Roque said.
The Department of Transportation should make sure that airlines will not allow the boarding of passengers entering the country covered by the travel restrictions, except if they are part of the repatriation efforts of the national government, the Palace official added.
India has been seeing aggressive virus resurgence amid the discovery of the so-called double-mutant variant in the South Asian nation.
The double-mutant variant — formally named B.1.617 — has so far reached six countries but is yet to be detected in the Philippines, according to DOH.
The new SARS-CoV-2 variant was first detected in October 2020.
To date, the variants detected in the Philippines are those that were first discovered in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil.