PH extends travel restriction on countries with new COVID-19 variant until Jan. 31
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines extended the travel restriction on countries with known cases of the new COVID-19 variant until January 31, 2021, Malacañang said Friday.
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this directive is applicable to the following countries:
a. United Kingdom
g. The Netherlands
h. The People’s Republic of China, including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
q. South Korea
r. South Africa
u. United States of America
Roque noted that contact tracing protocols will be strengthened by expanding to third-generation contacts for known new variant cases.
“All identified close contacts are required to undergo a strict facility-based 14-day quarantine while remaining contacts from the flight manifest shall be advised of the appropriate quarantine protocols,” Roque said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government was directed to ensure the preparedness of quarantine facilities and the usage of StaySafe.ph for contact tracing.
All incoming travellers from any country, if found positive, shall undergo whole genome sequencing conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center, and UP-National Institutes of Health, Roque said.
The extension of the travel restriction comes after a male Quezon City resident who arrived in the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) tested positive for new COVID-19 variant.
Asked why the country has yet to impose a travel restriction on UAE, Roque said it is the “President [who] will be the one to declare that, if ever.”
“List is for extension of restrictions and not for new,” he added.
The DOH earlier said it will recommend adding UAE to the list of countries with travel restrictions to the Philippines.
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