PH expands travel ban to include UAE, Hungary

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THE Philippines has banned the entry of foreign travelers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hungary to prevent the spread of the new, more contagious COVID-19 variant.

The two countries joined the list of 32 countries with travel restrictions including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, among others.

Malacañang on Friday, January 15, also extended the temporary travel ban to last until January 31.

“Foreign passengers coming from or who have been to the UAE and Hungary within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be prohibited from entering the country effective Jan. 17, 2021, 12:01 a.m., Manila time until Jan. 31, 2021,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Foreign travelers arriving before Jan. 17 are permitted to enter the country, they undergo a 14-day quarantine regardless of a negative RT-PCR test result.

Filipino nationals are likewise subjected to the same safety measures.

“Filipino and foreign passengers merely transiting through these two countries shall be covered by the rules, as provided in the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated Dec. 31, 2020,” added Roque.

Transiting foreign passengers who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by Manila’s travel restrictions are likewise prohibited from entering the Philippines.

Meanwhile, transiting Filipino citizens who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by the travel restrictions are allowed to enter the Philippines provided they undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.

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