The Philippines has included Czech Republic on the coverage of the temporary travel ban on foreign travelers due to the new coronavirus variant, Malacañang said.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said foreign passengers arriving directly from Czech Republic, and those who have been there within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, will be restricted from entering the country starting today until Jan. 31.
Foreign passengers coming from, or who have been to the Czech Republic within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, arriving before 12:01 a.m. today, Manila time, will be allowed to enter the Philippines.
Filipino citizens coming from, or who have been to the Czech Republic, will be allowed entry but they need to undergo quarantine until the result of a subsequent reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, that will be administered on the fifth day of the quarantine is released.
Those who tested negative from both RT-PCR tests will be endorsed to their respective local government units, which will strictly monitor the remainder of their 14-day quarantine.
Filipino and foreign passengers merely transiting through the Czech Republic will be covered by the rules as provided in the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Dec. 31, 2020.
Currently, foreign travelers from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, the United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Austria, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman are prohibited from going to the Philippines.
Studies found that the new variant that emerged from UK is nearly 70 percent more transmissible than the original Covid-19 variant. However, there is no evidence yet that it is deadlier than the previous variant.
On Monday, the Department of Health confirmed local transmission of the new variant in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
DOH said that it identified linkages of the 12 cases of the new variant through genome sequencing.
However, the agency said that there was “no strong evidence of community transmission” of the new variant yet. Earlier, the DOH reported 12 cases of the new variant in Mountain Province, saying these cases were among the 16 new cases of the UK variant in the country.*PNA