The Philippines on Friday night has expanded its travel curbs for foreigners entering the country, adding on the list two countries — the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary — due to the new coronavirus variant.
Filipinos are exempt from this travel ban, but they will have to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement sent to reporters: “Foreign passengers coming from or who have been to the UAE and Hungary within fourteen (14) days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country effective January 17, 2021, 12:01 AM, Manila time until January 31, 2021.”
Those who will arrive before this date shall be allowed to enter the country, but they shall be required to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine, in addition to obtaining a negative RT-PCR test result.
Meanwhile, Roque added: “Filipino citizens coming from, or who have been to these two countries, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, including those arriving after January 17, 2021, 12:01AM (Manila time), 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.”
For unaccompanied minor Filipino passengers coming from countries where travel restrictions are in place due to the new variants of COVID-19, shall not be allowed boarding by the airlines until January 31, 2021, except minors returning through the repatriation program of the national government.
The announcement came a day after the Department of Health (DOH) said they will be recommending travellers from the UAE to be part of the list following the discovery of the Philippines ‘patient zero’ of the UK COVID-19 variant.
The patient is a 29-year-old male traveller, who arrived from Dubai last January 7 from Dubai.
The ban applies to foreign travellers from the following countries:
The People’s Republic of China, including Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
United States of America
Two new additional effective January 17: UAE and Hungary