FOREIGNERS from five more countries, including China, are now banned from entering the Philippines due to the new Covid-19 variants.
In his press briefing on Jan. 12, 2021, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said aside from China, foreign nationals from Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman are also included in the ban.
The travel ban will take effect at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, Jan.13, 2021, and end on Friday, Jan. 15.
But Roque said the travel ban is still subject to “further recommendations” of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Roque, who serves as concurrent IATF spokesperson, said the travel restriction was jointly recommended by the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Filipinos coming from these territories can still come home. But they are subject to the absolute 14-day quarantine, no matter what the result of their PCR test is,” Roque said.
The five countries are in addition to 27 countries and areas earlier announced by the IATF in an effort to prevent the entry of travelers infected with the new Covid-19 strains.
The Philippine government has imposed a travel ban on foreign travelers coming from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Austria and the United States.
Foreign passengers from China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman who arrive in the Philippines before 12:01 p.m. of Jan. 13 or had been to these jurisdictions within 14 days prior to their arrival in the country, will be allowed to enter the Philippines. However, these foreign nationals will be required to undergo an absolute 14-day facility-based quarantine period even if they had negative RT-PCR test results.
Transiting passengers from the aforementioned countries will be covered by the existing rules on passengers transiting in jurisdictions with travel restrictions.
On the matter of vaccine procurement by local government units (LGUs), Roque said LGUs will be able to do so through a multilateral agreement for the advance purchase of vaccines.
This multilateral agreement is entered into by the Department of Health, AstraZeneca and the LGUs, said Roque.
Roque explained that under this agreement, and with the offer of LGUs to secure vaccines for their constituents, the LGUs will be the ones to pay for the vaccines from AstraZeneca.
Aside from LGUs paying for the vaccines, Roque said it will also be the responsibility of the LGUs to send the payment to the manufacturer, including the cost associated with the delivery, distribution and storage, among others.
Roque said LGUs must also ensure that they have their own development and implementation of a local vaccination plan aligned with the National Development and Vaccination Plan. (JKV, PR)