Tue. May 11th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

The government is keeping its guard up against the entry of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variant as it assured swift handling of returning overseas Filipinos.

This, after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday began the implementation of entry restrictions approved by Malacañang against travelers from countries with the new variant of the dreaded disease.

The DOTr, through the Civil Aviation Board (CAB), issued an advisory restricting the entry of travelers, except Filipino citizens, from 20 countries based on a memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday.

“The Palace-approved additional measures include the extension of the temporary suspension of flights, and the prohibition of entry of all travelers coming from or transiting through the United Kingdom until 15 January 2021, except for Filipino citizens,” the DOTr said.

Travelers — both in air and maritime transport — coming from or transiting through the 19 other countries with reported cases of the new Covid-19 variant—or those who have been to these countries within 14 days of arrival in the Philippines—are prohibited from entering the country at exactly one-minute past midnight on Wednesday.

The policy, also effective until Jan. 15, 2021, applies to travelers from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Travelers from these 20 countries who were already in transit and arrived in the Philippines before Wednesday midnight—including those who have been to these countries within 14 days of their arrival in the Philippines — are not prohibited from entering the country but are required to undergo an “absolute facility-based” 14-day quarantine even with a negative RT-PCR test result.

The same also applies to Filipinos coming from these countries to help ensure that the new Covid-19 variant does not spread in the Philippines. SOVEREIGNPH

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