The Philippines will ban foreign travelers from the US starting midnight of Sunday, Jan. 3, over the threat of the more infectious coronavirus strain.

Malacañang on Friday said the Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, had included the US as among the countries subject to travel restrictions.

“In this regard, foreign passengers coming from the US, or who have been to the US within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall be prohibited from entering the country effective Jan. 3, 2021, 12:01 a.m., Manila time, until Jan. 15, 2021,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque declared in a statement.

Foreign passengers coming from the US or who have been to the US within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, who will arive before midnight of Jan. 3 will be allowed to enter the Philippines. “However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result,” Roque said.

Filipino citizens coming from the US will be allowed to enter the Philippines throughout the duration of the ban but will be subject to an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.

The Office of the President has also released the following rules to Filipino and foreign passengers merely transiting through a country covered by travel restrictions:

  1. All passengers, Filipinos or foreigners alike, merely transiting through any of the countries covered by the Memorandum of the Executive Secretary, dated 29 December 2020, and other succeeding memos, shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to that country, provided the passengers stayed in the airport the whole time and they were not cleared for entry by the immigration authorities of the said country covered by our travel restrictions.
  2. The abovementioned passengers (in A) who arrive in the Philippines are not required to complete a 14-day facility-based quarantine and may be allowed home quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test result at point of entry.
  3. Transiting foreign passengers who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by our travel restrictions shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines.
  4. Transiting Filipino citizens who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by our travel restrictions shall be allowed to enter the Philippines. However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.

The Philippines has imposed a travel ban on flights from the United Kingdom and other countries where the virus strain was detected, up to Jan. 15, 2020.

The Philippines’ travel ban also covers the following countries:

UK
Denmark
Ireland
Japan
Australia
Israel
The Netherlands
Hong Kong, SAR
Switzerland
France
Germany
Iceland
Italy
Lebanon
Singapore
Sweden
South Korea
South Africa
Canada
Spain

The Philippines has recorded 475,820 Covid-19 cases as of Jan. 1. John Ezekiel J. Hirro