Philippines bans travelers from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh to prevent entry of India COVID-19 variant
The Philippines is imposing travel restrictions on travelers from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to prevent the entry of coronavirus disease variant first reported in India.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, in a memorandum issued on Wednesday, May 5, said all passengers coming from or who have been to those four countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country effective 0001H of May 7, 2021, Manila time, until May 14.
"Effective immediately, all passengers coming from or who have been to Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, arriving before 0001H of 07 May 2021 Manila time, shall not be prohibited from entering the Philippines, but shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based fourteen (14)-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) result," he said.
All passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to such country, provided that they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into these countries by their immigration authorities.
"Upon arrival in the Philippines, passengers covered by the immediately preceding paragraph need not complete a full 14-day facility-based quarantine, but shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols of the national government," Medialdea said.
All specimens from travelers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh that turn positive upon testing in the Philippines shall undergo whole genome sequencing.
All close contacts must undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days, and contact tracing shall expand up to the third generation contacts.
Mediadea said the Inter-Agency Task Force may provide rules and regulations to implement the memorandum and related directives, which may include reasonable exceptions to the entry restrictions and protocols imposed by his office in relation to the SARS-COV-2 B.1.617 variant. Celerina Monte/DMS