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Pinoy Abroad

Pinoys arriving from UK to spend Christmas in quarantine facility

Filipinos arriving from the United Kingdom were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine as part of government's stricter measures amid concerns on the new SARS-CoV-2 variant that has been spreading in Britain.

According to Lei Alviz’s report on “24 Oras” on Thursday, balikbayans who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were brought to Pampanga as they have to undergo isolation due to the new policy by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

The government earlier ordered a suspension of all flights from the UK to the Philippines amid concerns of the new coronavirus variant.

The suspension started on December 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will end on December 31, 2020.

Under the new policy, passengers who were already in transit from the UK and all those who have been to the UK within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 12:01 a.m. of December 24, 2020, shall not be subject to entry restriction but they would be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols.

These protocols include the observation of an absolute 14-day quarantine period at the Athlete’s Village in New Clark City and securing a negative RT-PCR test result.

“They still have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, wala pong tawaran. Ang mga nakuha natin na pasahero, sila ‘yong inabutan na nasa ere na noong in-announce ‘yong travel ban kaya binigyan pa rin sila ng pagkakataon na makauwi,” Lipad Corp. media relations officer Terri Flores said.

A growing number of countries, especially in Europe, are blocking flights from the UK following reports that the new strain could be up to 70% more infectious.

Much is unknown about the strain, but experts said current vaccines should still be effective against it.—Ma. Angelica Garcia/LDF, GMA News