Phl extends travel ban; allows aliens with travel exemption

Marje Pelayo   •   April 19, 2021   •   847

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that foreigners who were given entry documents prior to the implementation of last month’s travel ban may now enter the country.

In an advisory issued by the Bureau, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said foreigners with entry exemption documents issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) before March 22 are now allowed to enter the country amid an extension of travel restrictions to April 30.

The revised rule is pursuant to the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Morente said other foreign nationals are still prohibited from entering the Philippines and that the Balikbayan privilege for former Filipinos remains suspended.

“The foreign parents, spouse, and children of Filipinos may enter the country, provided they are traveling with the Filipino principal, and have a valid entry visa,” he said on Sunday (April 18).

Based on the IATF’s policy, aliens with valid entry visas currently allowed to enter the country include:

* Diplomats and members of international organizations with valid 9(e) or 47(a) (2) visas;
* Those involved in medical repatriation endorsed by the DFA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA); and
* Seafarers with 9(c) visa for crew change; and (4) those with emergency, humanitarian and analogous cases approved by the chairperson of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) or his authorized representative.

Morente said travel exemptions are without prejudice to the mandate of the BI to conduct strict screening and formalities on all arriving foreigners.

BI includes 9 countries in Philippines’ travel ban list

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced a travel ban on nine more countries which  took effect on Sunday (September 12).

These countries are Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in an advisory said that passengers coming from, or who have been in the said countries within the last 14 days prior to their arrival to the Philippines, shall temporarily be barred entry.

This directive is in compliance with the recent directive from Malacañang, as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Morente clarified that passengers already in transit from the 9 countries who will arrive before the implementation of the travel ban may be allowed to enter, subject to existing policies of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

Also, Filipinos arriving from countries under the “red list” via government or non-government repatriation programs or bayanihan flights, may be allowed entry.

However, they shall undergo a strict 14-day facility based quarantine, and be required to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that will be monitored by the BOQ.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong added that those who had a mere layover at the nine countries are not covered by the travel ban.

The travel ban remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. of September 18, 2021.

PH bars travelers from nine countries under ‘red list’

UNTV News   •   September 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Friday, September 10, the imposition of travel restrictions on 9 countries that fall under the “red list” in an effort to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque in a statement.

These countries include Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.

Roque said, all passengers coming from or who have been to the said “red list” countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall be prohibited from entering the country effective September 12, 2021, 12:00 noon until September 18, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (Manila time).

He said the restrictions exempt returning Filipinos who are flying back via government-initiated or non-government repatriation programs and special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions.

Roque further said that all passengers who have been to the red-listed countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines and arriving before September 12 at 12:00 noon (Manila time), shall be allowed to enter the country.

“They, however, shall be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, where the first 10 days shall be at a quarantine facility and the remaining days under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination,” the Palace official said.

Roque added that RT-PCR testing shall be conducted on the 7th day with the day of arrival as Day 1.

” Arriving passengers shall complete a 10-day facility-based quarantine, notwithstanding a negative test result.” he said.

In the case of Filipino or foreign passengers who merely transited through any of the abovementioned countries, Roque said they shall not be considered as having come or having been to the said country, provided they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities.

PH gov’t assures safeguards remain despite lifting of travel restrictions on 10 countries

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2021

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.

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