DOT supports UK travel ban
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to impose a temporary ban on all flights from the United Kingdom (UK) starting on Thursday until December 31 due to reports of a new coronavirus strain.
“Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reiterated that ensuring public health and safety takes precedence, even as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) carefully reviews the restriction on the entry of foreign nationals into the country,” DOT said in a statement.
“With this temporary suspension, the DOT empathizes with the affected families who would not be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones from the UK,” DOT added.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte approved the proposed travel ban Tuesday night.
Passengers who have been in the UK within the past 14 days, as well as those merely in transit, will be barred from entering the country.
Meanwhile, those already in transit from the UK, who will arrive in the country before 12 midnight on December 24, will not be subject to entry restriction. However, they still have to comply with strict 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 explained.
Among the countries that have imposed the said travel ban are the UK, including Canada, Italy, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, and Hong Kong.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier stated that the new strain of coronavirus might be more infectious and could be “up to 70 percent more transmissible than the earlier strain.”
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