Palace updates quarantine classifications, announces US travel ban

AdChoiceTV News — President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila and seven other areas under general quarantine until the end of January, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also announced that the government has finally decided to restrict the entry of travelers from the United States as a measure to keep a new variant of the coronavirus out of the country.

The following areas will be under GCQ from January 1 to 31:null

  • Metro Manila
  • Santiago City
  • Batangas
  • Tacloban City
  • Iligan City
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Davao City
  • Davao del Norte

The rest of the country, meanwhile, will be under the more lenient modified GCQ until end-January.

Health authorities reported 1,765 additional coronavirus infections Friday, pushing the country’s caseload to 475,820. Of the figure, 439,895 have recovered, while 9,248 have died.

US travel ban

Roque said that foreign travelers from the US would be prohibited from entering the Philippines from January 3 to January 15. These include foreign passengers coming from the US or who have been to the US within 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines.

Effective immediately, people coming from the US who will arrive in the Philippines before 12:01 a.m. of January 3 will be allowed to enter the country. However, they are required to undergo an “absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period” regardless of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test results.

“Also, effective immediately, Filipino citizens coming from the US, or who have been to the US, within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, including those arriving January 3, 2021, 12:01AM, Manila time, shall be allowed to enter the Philippines,” Roque also said.

But they are also required to undergo strict quarantine even if they obtain negative RT-PCR test result.

Roque said that the Office of the President, upon the recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, included the US in the list of countries covered by travel restrictions.

The government initially enforced a travel ban on individuals coming from the United Kingdom after a new and more contagious strain of the coronavirus was first detected there. The list was eventually expanded to include:

  1. Denmark
  2. Ireland
  3. Japan
  4. Australia
  5. Israel
  6. The Netherlands
  7. Hong Kong, China
  8. Switzerland
  9. France
  10. Germany
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Lebanon
  14. Singapore
  15. Sweden
  16. South Korea
  17. South Africa
  18. Canada
  19. Spain

Roque on Wednesday announced that the travel ban already included the US after Colorado reported the first case of COVID-19 variant detected in the UK even as the health department said there was nothing final yet at the time. He later on withdrew his statement. — via Irvin Chua / AdChoiceTV News

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