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12月30日のまにら新聞から

Philippines imposes travel ban vs foreigners from Japan, other territories with new variant of COVID-19

[ 561 words|2020.12.30|英字 (English) ]

By Celerina Monte

The Philippine government is imposing a travel ban on foreigners coming from or transiting through the 19 countries, including Japan, where a new variant of coronavirus disease has been found for about two weeks starting December 30, Malacanang said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the additional measures to address the COVID-19 new variant, which was initially detected in the United Kingdom.

He said there is "prohibition from entering the Philippines effective December 30, 2020, 12:01 am until January 15, 2021, of all foreign travelers coming from, or transiting through, the following countries / areas listed below or who have been to the same places mentioned below within 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines."

Apart from travelers from UK, the other territories covered by the travel ban are Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and Spain.

"Effective immediately, passengers who are already in transit and arrive before December 30, 2020, 12:01 am, from the 19 countries / areas listed above, including those who have been to the same places mentioned...within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall not be prohibited from entering the country," Roque said, quoting the Memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

"However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR test result," he said.

The government has prohibited flights coming from UK starting December 24 until January 15, and initially designated New Clark City as the isolation area for travelers who came from Britain.

Roque, also the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, may impose restrictions to travelers coming from other countries that report the presence of the new variant of COVID-19.

For outbound travel to countries with reported new variants, he said it shall be subject to the exiting protocols of the Philippines and the entry protocols of the respective countries.

Roque said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has directed laboratories at points of entry to submit the specimens of travelers coming from countries with reported cases of the new strain of COVID-19 to the Philippine Genome Center, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health.

He said the RITM is ordered to develop a Standard Operating Procedure/Response Protocol for reports of new variants and strains of COVID-19.

The Bureau of Quarantine and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration are also ordered to ensure the strict adherence to quarantine and testing protocols for returning Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers and provide line list to the local government units to ensure that the 14-day quarantine is completed and monitored.

The DOH COVID-19 Surveillance and Quick Action Team must likewise be provided a copy for their case profile and trend analysis, Roque said.

He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government is directed to ensure that all other inbound international travelers from countries not included in the list strictly finish their 14-day quarantine following the existing quarantine protocols, which allow home quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test result at the point of entry. DMS