The Philippines will close its borders to travelers from the United Kingdom and other countries that have recorded cases of the new and more infectious strain of the coronavirus starting midnight of Dec. 30, 2020, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte included 19 more countries aside from the UK in the travel ban.

These countries are as follows:

1. Denmark
2. Ireland
3. Japan
4. Australia’
5. Israel
6. The Netherlands
7. Hong Kong, SAR
8. Switzerland
9. France
10. Germany
11. Iceland
12. Italy
13. Lebanon
14. Singapore
15. Sweden
16. South Korea
17. South Africa
18. Canada
19. Spain

The ban will take effect up to Jan. 15, 2021.

Roque said it would cover “all foreign travelers coming from, or transiting through” the abovelisted countries or those “who have been to the same places within 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines.”

Passengers who were already in transit and scheduled to arrive before 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 30, 2020 from the countries listed above, including those who have been to the areas within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, would not be prohibited from entering the country, Roque explained.

However, they will be required to undergo an absolute, facility-based 14-day quarantine period and yield a negative RT-PCR test result.

Filipino citizens coming from the 19 countries will be subject to the same protocols.

Meanwhile, outbound travel to countries with reported new variants will be subject to the exit protocols of the Philippines and the entry protocols of the respective countries.

The Philippines has 471,526 Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 29. John Ezekiel J. Hirro