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China, 4 countries included in PH travel restriction list

Five more countries, including China, have been included in the Philippines’ list of countries and jurisdictions covered by a temporary travel restriction to prevent the spread of a new variant of coronavirus, Malacañang said yesterday.

In a regular virtual Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Office of the Executive Secretary released the additional countries that also include Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman.

He said prohibition on entry of all foreigners will take effect 12:01 p.m. today until Friday, subject to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease.

Roque had earlier announced the temporary ban on the entry of foreign travelers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and Austria.

Roque said Filipinos from these countries can still come home but subject to the government’s strict quarantine measures.

They will be required to undergo “absolute” facility-based 14-day quarantine, even if they obtain a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result. Experts said the new strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, is nearly 70 percent more transmissible than the original.*PNA

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