BI gears up to impose travel ban on India; clarifies ban not ‘nationality-specific’

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2021   •   377

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is gearing up in preparation for the imposed restrictions for travelers coming from India.

The resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) bars the entry of travelers coming from India or those with a travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding arrival beginning April 29 until May 14.

“We will implement this measure seen by the IATF as our response to the emerging situation in India,” said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The said ban has been imposed following the detection and spread of a new covid variant first detected in India.

“The IATF deems that this proactive restriction must be put in place to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, and allow the health system to prepare, essentially protecting more lives,” he added.

Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong clarified, however, that the travel ban is not specific to any nationality but it applies to any traveler coming from the region.

“We are conducting 100% passport inspection to determine the travel history of an arriving person,” he said.

“If we see that the traveler has been to India within the last 14 days, then he will be excluded and boarded on the next available flight back to his port of origin,” he added.

Capulong added that they are not expecting incoming passengers from India as the IATF resolution clearly stated that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers pursuant to travel restrictions.

Passengers already in transit who will arrive before April 29 may be allowed, but will be referred to the appropriate agencies for stricter quarantine and testing protocols, to be subjected to an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, the official concluded.

Immigration Bureau bars entry of passengers from 10 countries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — After Malacañang’s directive, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced expanding the entry ban of passengers which will include those coming from Malaysia and Thailand starting July 25 until July 31.

The two countries are now added to the eight countries that are temporarily banned entry to the Philippines to prevent the further spread and community transmission of emerging COVID-19 variants.

The other countries covered by the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Indonesia.

“Foreigners arriving from said countries or with a travel history there within the last 14 days will be denied entry and will immediately be sent back to their port of origin,” according to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

However, the BI official said that Filipinos arriving from these countries as part of repatriation efforts will be allowed entry but will be subjected to set protocols by other government agencies.

He also clarified that those who are already in transit and will be arriving before July 25 will be allowed entry, but will be required to undergo a strict 14-day facility-based quarantine. AAC

Repatriated OFWs from countries on travel ban list to undergo stricter screening — DOLE-

Marje Pelayo   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is imposing stricter screening of Filipino repatriates following the surge of COVID-19 cases in neighboring countries.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said, all repatriates are required to undergo RT-PCR testing twice.

“Bago sila makaalis doon ay kailangan meron silang testing na. Pagka negative, pwede na silang umalis doon at pagdating dito, panibagong quarantine at panibagong testing,” he said.

Countries covered by the travel ban are: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.

Bello said they are also looking into including Thailand and Malaysia in the list of countries. The government is closely monitoring the status of transmission in the said countries of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that upon arrival in the Philippines all OFWs — even the vaccinated ones — are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. They will only be allowed to go home when they test negative for COVID-19.

All vaccinated OFWs coming from countries without travel bans will have a shorter quarantine period of seven days upon arrival.

“Sabi naman ng Department of Health, matapos ang ika-10 araw ay napakaliit na ng tsansa na dala pa nila yung virus. So sa tingin namin na ayon sa mga dalubhasa ng DOH, safe na yung 14 days,” explained Cacdac.

The official said, there are about 3,000 Filipinos for repatriation from countries covered by the travel ban. From the said number, three batches have already returned to the Philippines.

Cacdac said they are now discussing the additional amount to be requested from the national government as they are now close to depleting their repatriation funds by September. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOH eyeing travel ban on Malaysia, Thailand due to Delta COVID-19 variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it is looking into the possibility of imposing a ban on inbound travelers from Malaysia and Thailand due to the continuing threat of COVID-19, particularly the more contagious Delta variant.

In a public briefing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the DOH Epidemiology bureau is currently monitoring and evaluating the situation in other countries that reported cases of the variant.

“Tinitingnan natin Malaysia, isa-isahin natin. Tinitingnan din natin ang Thailand kung saan merong parang hindi na mapigilan ang pag-angat ng Delta variant cases. ‘Yan ang ating binabantayan,” he said.

Duque said the Epidemiology bureau is also coordinating with their counterparts for information on the possible inclusion of more countries in the Philippines’ existing list of nations with travel restrictions.

“Pinag-aaralan na rin po yan ng Epidemiology bureau ng DOH at posibleng magbigay ng rekomendasyon para sa IATF kung hahabaan ba ang listahan ng mga travel ban sa mga bansa,” he said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) earlier expanded the country’s list of countries with a travel ban to include Indonesia.

The travel ban on Indonesia, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, and Oman will be in effect until July 31.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.