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Philippines bans entry of foreigners amid COVID-19 threat

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin on Thursday announced that the Philippines is banning the entry of all foreigners to the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"We are stopping the issuance of visas from all posts abroad and here. This goes one imperative step forward: a total ban on incoming foreign visitors of all nationalities no exceptions," Locsin said on Twitter.

Outgoing foreign visitors, he added, "should be given all the help to get out," adding it would be "idiotic to detain them."



GMA News Online has reached out to Locsin for further details but he has yet to respond as of posting time.

The Philippine government early this week announced a ban on incoming and outgoing travel and that all Luzon airports will be closed by March 20 as part of its enhanced community quarantine policy.

However, the restriction was lifted a day after.

The Philippines has recorded 217 infections and 17 deaths across the country.  — Llanesca T. Panti and Michaela del Callar/RSJ, GMA News