PH orders temporary ban on UK travellers amid new COVID-19 variant
MANILA, Philippines — All flights from the United Kingdom to the Philippines are suspended starting Dec. 24 amid reports of a new coronavirus variant believed to be a more infectious variant of the coronavirus disease, Malacañang announced Wednesday morning.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte approved the proposal by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Tuesday night.
The temporary travel ban will last until Dec. 31, Roque said.
“All passengers who have been in the UK within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, including those merely in transit, are also temporarily restricted from entering the country for the same period,” the Palace official said.
Passengers already in transit from the UK and all those who have been to the European country within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 12:01 AM of December 24, 2020, will not be subject to entry restriction but they would be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols.
“Outbound travel to the UK shall likewise be subject to the existing exit protocols of the Philippines and the UK,” Roque said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced stricter restrictions in his country after experts found a more infectious variant of coronavirus, which, he said, “may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the earlier variant.”
Almost immediately, several countries imposed a travel ban on the United Kingdom, including Canada, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland, and Germany.
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