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Philippines bars foreign travelers from China, 4 other countries over new coronavirus variant

Foreign travelers from China and four other countries will not be allowed to enter the Philippines starting noon of January 13 as a precautionary measure against the new coronavirus variant,  Malacañang announced Tuesday.

Aside from China, also covered by the travel restrictions are Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, citing information from the Office of the Executive Secretary. 

Filipino citizens will be allowed to enter the Philippines as long as they undergo screening for COVID-19 and facility-based quarantine for 14 days. 

The travel restrictions list now covers over 30 countries/jurisdictions. This will be enforced until January 15.

The list of countries covered by travel restrictions is as follows:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Denmark
  3. Ireland
  4. Japan
  5. Australia
  6. Israel
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Switzerland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Iceland
  13. Italy
  14. Lebanon
  15. Singapore
  16. Sweden
  17. South Korea
  18. South Africa
  19. Canada
  20. Spain
  21. US
  22. Austria
  23. Portugal
  24. India
  25. Finland
  26. Norway
  27. Jordan
  28. Brazil
  29. China
  30. Pakistan
  31. Jamaica
  32. Luxembourg
  33. Oman


The Philippines first imposed travel restrictions on December 24 following the spread of a more infectious coronavirus variant in the United Kingdom. 

The government also refused entry to foreign travelers from Austria after the European nation reported that a woman had been infected with the South African variant. 

Aside from the coronavirus variant found in the UK (VOC 202012/01 variant), five other variants are being monitored across the globe.

These are the variants from:

  • South Africa: 501Y.V2, found in 10 countries
  • Malaysia: 1701V 
  • Nigeria: P681H
  • Denmark: Cluster 5
  • China: D614G — most widespread and dominant


The UK variant was first detected in Dec. 2020 and is found in 41 countries.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, on Monday said there is no truth to social media posts saying the UK variant has been detected in the country.

"The Department of Health and the Philippine Genome Center, to date, have not detected the UK variant, or any new variant of SARS-COV-2 in any of the positive samples tested. The DOH and PGC are closely working together in order to intensify on-going biosurveillance efforts," the DOH said in a statement.

It then called on the public to refrain from passing on unverified information which "only serve to create panic and confusion."

"Furthermore, whether or not a new variant is detected, the DOH reiterates that strict adherence to Minimum Public Health Standards is the best defense against COVID-19 and strongly urges the public to continue practicing MPHS across all settings to lower the rate of infection and reduce the risk of viral mutation," the DOH said.


This is to clarify circulating reports on social media that the new SARS-COV-2 variant was detected in Metro Manila....

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Monday, January 11, 2021


 —KG, GMA News