No plans yet to bar entry of Filipinos to US; PH situation ‘very far’ from India, Brazil — envoy
MANILA, Philippines — There are no plans yet to ban Filipinos from entering the United States due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, and such restriction would depend on how the Philippines manages the pandemic, according to Manila’s top diplomat in Washington.
“It depends on how we manage and control the situation in the Philippines right now. For now, there is no plan. That is the latest [information] that we received, but it can change of course,” Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday.
He was asked whether there would be restrictions enforced on the entry of Filipino citizens to the US.
“The way I see it is that our situation is very far from where India for instance, and Brazil [is]. They (the US) have already banned citizens from those countries from coming to the United States as of now,” he added.
Romualdez said that if the Philippines will be able to retain the downward trend of COVID-19 infections in the country, there would likely be no ban on the entry of Filipinos into the US.
“The latest report we have that I’ve received is we’ve been able to bring down—because of the lockdown, especially in Metro Manila,—the level of the infection rate, so that’s a good sign,” he said.
“If we continue along that path, most likely there would be no requirement or there would be no ban for Filipino citizens coming to the United States,” he added.
The US recently cautioned its citizens from traveling to the Philippines due to the “high level” of COVID-19 in the country.
“It’s normal for them to do that to warn its citizens not to travel to these countries because of the pandemic…The fact is, they’re still trying to control their borders in a way by not having any Americans get infected especially with the new variant that we have,” Romualdez said.
“So that’s the reason why they would like to keep their citizens from traveling to areas where they think would be able to get new variants, which they could bring back home,” he added.
On Sunday, the Philippines logged 8,162 additional COVID-19 infections. Despite the still high daily count, active COVID-19 cases are steadily going down due to the high recovery rate.
As of Sunday, active cases were at 77,075, while 20,509 new recoveries brought the total recovery count to 903,665.
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