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NEW VIRUS VARIANT

IATF amends reso on travel restrictions to include exemptions, protocol adjustments


Foreign nationals with valid visas, as well as the spouse and underage children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, are now exempted from the travel restrictions imposed by the Philippines in connection with new coronavirus variant.

In a message to reporters on Friday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government's COVID-19 task force amended its resolution on the travel restrictions during its 95th meeting.

"The IATF amended its earlier resolution, IATF Resolution No 92, on all foreign travelers covered by travel restrictions because of the new COVID-19 variants by specifying those exempted, such as foreign nationals with valid visas, which include personnel of accredited international organizations, and spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens traveling with them," Roque said. 

IATF refers to Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

"Those who arrive for medical and emergency cases, including their medical escorts, if any, are now subject to applicable testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH)," Roque said.

Covered by the travel restriction, which will last until January 31, 2021, are travelers from the following countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • China (including Hong Kong)
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Lebanon
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • United States
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Jordan
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Pakistan
  • Jamaica
  • Luxembourg
  • Oman
  • UAE
  • Hungary

Meanwhile, regarding the strict observation of 14-day facility-based quarantine period for Filipino citizens coming from these areas, Roque said the IATF amended this to prescribed testing and quarantine protocols.    

"Further, Filipino citizens arriving for highly exceptional and/or medical reasons and local diplomats are now subject to applicable quarantine protocols as prescribed by the DOH," he added.

Passengers coming from or transiting through countries covered by travel restrictions, meanwhile, shall be tested upon arrival and shall be quarantined until the result of the subsequent test administered on the fifth day is released, Roque further said. 

Persons who tested negative in both COVID-19 tests will be endorsed to the local government units (LGUs) of destination, the IATF said.

The LGUs, in turn, will strictly monitor the remainder of the 14-day quarantine through their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams. — with Virgil Lopez/KBK/RSJ, GMA News

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