PH updates COVID-19 travel red list, 8 nations included
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government updated its COVID-19 travel red list and added eight countries where the COVID-19 Omicron variant is prevalent.
According to acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the new country-risk classification that will be effective from December 16 to December 31, 2021.
“Inaprubahan din ng IATF ang panibagong country-risk classification effective December 16 hanggang December 31, 2021. Walo po ang mga lugar na nasa red list,” Nograles said.
The following countries in the red list are:
- Northern Mariana Islands
- San Marino
- South Africa
The following are in the green list:
- British Virgin Islands
- People’s Republic of China
- Ivory Coast
- Democratic Republic of the Kongo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Falkland Islands
- The Gambia
- Hong Kong
- Saint Barthélemy
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sierra Lionne
- Sint Eustatius
- Timor Leste
- United Arab Emirates
Other areas not mentioned are under the yellow list, Nograles said. However, a country classified under the green list will be moved to the yellow list if a local transmission of the Omicron variant is detected.
Aside from this, the temporary suspension of testing and quarantine protocols placed at areas under the green list were also suspended.
“Kaugnay nito, ni-lift ng IATF ang pansamantalang suspensyon ng testing at quarantine protocols sa mga lugar na nasa green list. Ang susundin na testing at quarantine protocols na mga international arriving passengers galing sa green list, ay ang latest testing at quarantine protocols na inaprubahan ng IATF,” he said.
This means fully-vaccinated individuals coming from areas in the green list will now have to present a negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure from their country of origin. Then, they would also have to do facility-based quarantine until the release of another RT-PCR test taken on the third day of their quarantine.
After they are released, they would still be required to do home quarantine until the 10th day, from their arrival in the country.
Similar rules apply to fully-vaccinated individuals coming from areas under the yellow list and the red list, except that their RT-PCR test would be obtained at the 5th and 7th day of the quarantine, respectively.
Also, the home quarantine of those coming from areas under yellow and red-listed country would last until the 14th day, from their arrival. As with the rules before, only returning Filipinos coming from areas in the red list are allowed to enter the Philippines.
Individuals coming from areas in the red-list but only for transit purposes are not considered travelers from those areas.
As of now, the Department of Health (DOH) has announced that they detected the COVID-19-Omicron variant, from two travelers coming from Japan and Nigeria.
Previously, DOH said that it would be a matter of when, not if — implying that the country has to be prepared for the variant entering the Philippines.
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