The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) announced Friday that the Philippine government will be suspending flights from several African countries following the discovery of new COVID-19 variant, named B.1.1.1529, in South Africa.
The suspension of flights will take effect immediately until December 15.
The IATF suspended inbound international flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique.
“The Bureau of Quarantine, in close coordination with our local government units, has been directed to locate travelers from the abovementioned countries who may have arrived in the recent 7 days prior to the temporary suspension of inbound travel,” Presidential Spokesperson Karlos Nograles said.
“These travelers shall be required to undergo full 14-day facility-based quarantine with RT-PCR test on the 7th day or upon location of the passenger, whichever is later, with the date of arrival as Day 1,” he added.
“Passengers coming from or having been to these abovementioned countries within the last 14 days prior to arrival shall be temporarily barred from entering the country,” Nograles said.
Travelers who are already in transit will not be barred from entry but will undergo a mandator 14-day facility-based quarantine and testing.
“Meanwhile, all passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through the abovementioned countries shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to the said country if they stayed in the airport the entire time and were not cleared for entry into such country by its immigration authorities,” Nograles said.