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PH allows entry of qualified passengers from red list countries

Those with tourist visas still not permitted to enter, says Morente
/ 06:54 PM January 15, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Saturday announced that the country will now allow the entry of qualified travelers from red list countries, following updated guidelines from the national government.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced this after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) lifted the ban on passengers coming from red list countries.

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“This would mean that our kababayan who are in red list countries may now fly back to the Philippines via commercial flights without the need to join repatriation or bayanihan flights,” said Morente.

However, all arriving passengers are required to present a negative RT- PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin. They will also be subject to the testing and quarantine protocols as set by the IATF and implemented by the Bureau of Quarantine.

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RT-PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to departure will be considered until 12:01 a.m. of January 19, 2022.

Morente then clarified that despite the lifting of the travel ban from red list countries, general travel restrictions will still be in place.

“Currently, only Filipinos, balikbayan, and those with long term visas are allowed to enter the country,” said Morente.

“Those holding tourist visas are still not permitted to enter,” he added.

According to the IATF, red list countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Canada, Curacao, French Guiana, Iceland, Malta, Mayotte, Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, and the US Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, under the Green List are Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, China (Mainland), Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong (Chinese Special Administrative Region), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Montserrat, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Saint Barthelemy, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Taiwan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), and Uganda.

All other countries not mentioned are under the yellow list.

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The BI earlier said that it has been experiencing a surge in the number of immigration officers affected by the virus.

“Thankfully most of the cases are either mild or asymptomatic,” said Morente.

“We are hoping this surge passes soon, so that our services remain unhampered,” he added.

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