MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday assured that strict border control measures will remain despite the lifting of travel restrictions on 10 countries.
The Philippine government has lifted its travel restrictions covering India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the travel ban was lifted after the COVID-19 situation in the said areas has improved based on international assessments.
She said the move follows the country’s adoption of the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” of countries or territories.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) earlier said that countries under the Yellow list are classified as moderate risk while the Red list includes those that are high risk for COVID-19.
Vergeire said countries previously covered by the Philippines’ travel ban have been placed on the yellow list.
“Pero hindi naman natin kailangang mag-alala dahil may mga safeguards tayo. Hindi man natin i-restrict ang isang bansa, meron naman tayong strict border control kung saan lahat ng dumadating na travelers ay nire-require nating mag-quarantine. Wala po tayong exemption, kahit humanitarian, hindi natin pinapayagan unless merong emergency medical condition,” she said.
The IATF earlier said that inbound travelers from areas under the “Yellow List,” regardless of their vaccination status, shall undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival. They have to complete the first 10 days in a quarantine facility while the remaining 4 days must be spent under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination.
They are also required to undergo RT-PCR testing on the 7th day, with their day of arrival serving as Day 1.