MANILA, Philippines —As part of the measures to counter the spread of COVID-19, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Saturday travelers coming from Italy and Iran will not be allowed entry into the country for the time being.
The travel restriction takes effect on Monday, 16 March 2020 BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
The travel restriction is part of a health protocol under the guidelines of government’s Code Red Sub-Level 2 alert.
Travelers from Iran and Italy who are already in the country since the past 14 days are required to present a medical certificate by competent health authorities within the last 48 hours prior to their arrival in the Philippines and will be referred to the Bureau of Quarantine.
“Passengers coming from, or has transited through Iran and Italy in the last fourteen days, shall be required to present a medical certificate issued by competent medical authorities within the last 48 hours prior to arrival in the country certifying that they are COVID-2019 free,” Morente said in a statement.
However, “Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, holders of permanent resident visas, and members of the diplomatic corps” are accordingly exempted from the travel ban.
Morente further explained that those excluded will still undergo a health protocol of 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Meanwhile, the BI has lifted travel restrictions for Balik-Manggagawa Overseas Filipino Workers going to China.
“Balik-Manggagawa OFWs deployed in China will be allowed to return there, except to those deployed in Hubei Province. They will be required to execute a declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved,” he said.
At present, PH also has standing travel ban for travelers going to and from China, Hong Kong, Macau and North Gyeongsang including Daegu and Cheongdo.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China in late December 2019.
It has now killed more than 5,000 people, with cases around the world topping 134,000. Fatalities continue to increase in Italy and Iran newswire Agence France Press said. (ia/sovereignph.com)