Travel restrictions to the Philippines now includes more than 30 countries

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the recommendation to extend until January 31, 2021 the entry travel restrictions and the rules applicable to all travelers coming from or transiting through the following countries:

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

The IATF directed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to strictly implement issuances against airlines that allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the Philippines, pursuant to the travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and the IATF. The IATF, in coordination with other agencies, may issue implementing guidelines on the exemptions to these entry restrictions.

Contact tracing protocols will be strengthened by expanding to third-generation contacts for known new variant cases. All identified close contacts are required to undergo a strict facility-based 14-day quarantine while remaining contacts from the flight manifest shall be advised of the appropriate quarantine protocols. In this connection, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is directed to issue advisories to local government units (LGUs) to prepare and strengthen the maintenance of their quarantine facilities.

The DILG is also directed to ensure the proper enforcement of the system use by LGUs for ease of contact tracing.

Those who are found to be positive, apart from the prescribed testing and quarantine protocols, shall undergo whole genome sequencing to be conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), University of the Philippines Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the UP National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH). Related to this, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the DOTr One-Stop Shop shall ensure that appropriate protocols are implemented for all those found to be positive of the new COVID-19 variants.

In addition, the IATF approved the continuation of weekly genomic biosurveillance activities of the DOH, UP-PGC, UP-NIH among incoming passengers and local cases, prioritizing hospitalized patients, re-infected patients, and those in clusters.

The IATF further directed the convening of a small working group as soon as possible to resolve issues on funding, availability and use of quarantine facilities, and eventual handling over LGUs of arriving overseas Filipinos. The DOH shall be the lead in this working group.

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