Duterte orders suspension of flights from UK for a week
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the temporary suspension of all flights from the United Kingdom where a new variant and more contagious coronavirus disease has been reported.
He made the directive following the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday night.
The moratorium starts on December 24, 12:01am until December 31, 2020, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement on Wednesday.
"All passengers who have been in the UK within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, including those merely in transit, are also temporarily restricted from entering the country for the same period," he said.
For the passengers who are in transit from the UK and all those who have been to the UK within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 12:01am of December 24, shall not be subject to entry restriction but they would be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols, said Roque, who is also the IATF spokesman.
Such protocols include the observation of an absolute 14-day quarantine period at the Athlete’s Village in the New Clark City, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCT test result, he said.
Roque said outbound travel to the UK shall also be subject to the existing exit protocols of the Philippines and the UK.
According to the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since November 2020, the UK has reported a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in London and southeast England.
The rapid increase in cases has been linked to a different version?or variant?of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
Public health professionals in the UK are evaluating the characteristics of this new variant, CDC said. Celerina Monte/DMS