No Hong Kong travel ban yet amid COVID-19 Omicron variant threat — NTF
MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Sunday clarified that inbound Hong Kong flights are still allowed since it is not yet included in the travel ban list amid the threat of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
“The NTF wishes to clarify that the inclusion of Hong Kong flights as part of inbound international flights temporarily suspended due to the emergence of the Omicron variant is not yet final,” the NTF said in a statement.
The agency said that it is waiting for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ final recommendation on the matter.
“We await the formal announcement from the IATF following a final recommendation from the Technical Working Group on COVID-19 Variants and other agencies,” it said.
“The government, through favorable recommendations of the Department of Health (DOH) will work to ensure timely adoption of preemptive measures to prevent or delay the entry of new variants which have the potential for undermining public health,” the NTF added.
“Until a formal announcement from the IATF is made, HK flights will still be allowed. We apologize for any inconvenience an earlier pronouncement may have caused,” the agency added.
The DOH on Saturday said that the government is discussing the expansion of the travel ban to other nations to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Currently, flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique are suspended until December 15.
Hong Kong has reported cases of the new COVID-19 variant, which mutations were first discovered detected in South Africa.
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