DOH assures strict border control despite lifting of travel ban in 10 countries
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday assured that the government has safeguards, including strict border control for inbound international travelers, amid the lifting of travel restrictions in 10 countries.
Travel restrictions over India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will be lifted starting September 6. The government earlier implemented travel bans due to the alarming rise of infections in the said countries amid the presence of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that travel restrictions were lifted after seeing an improvement in the COVID-19 situations in the countries, which were previously placed under high risk level based on US CDC guidelines.
“Nag-improve na ang kanilang sitwasyon base sa kanilang assessment internationally at ito ay napunta na sa mga moderate risk level na mga countries kaya na-lift ang mga restrictions,” she said in an online media forum.
(Their situations have improved based on the assessments and they were placed under moderate risk level therefore the restrictions were lifted.)
Vergeire said the lifting of travel bans should not be a cause for worry since the Philippines is still implementing safeguards such as strict border controls to avoid the entry of COVID-infected travelers.
“Hindi naman natin kailangan mag-alala dahil may mga safeguards tayo. Hindi man natin i-restrict ang mga bansa, mayroon tayong strict border control kung saan lahat ng dumadating na travelers ay nire-require natin mag-quarantine,” she said.
(We need not worry because there are safeguards in place. Even though there are no restrictions in countries, we still implement strict border control where all inbound travelers are required to undergo quarantine.)
All inbound travelers should undergo a 14-day quarantine, composed of a 10-day facility-based quarantine and four-day home quarantine, upon arrival.
They will undergo RT-PCR testing on the seventh day of isolation, Vergeire said.
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