South Korea requires negative COVID-19 test result for travelers from PH

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2020   •   898

MANILA, Philippines — The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines announced that its government will be requiring all passengers departing from the Philippines bound for South Korea to present a valid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) negative PCR test certificate at the Incheon International Airport upon arrival effective July 20.

The new policy covers all arriving foreign travellers including transfer passengers except for South Korea passport holders.

According to its advisory, the PCR test must be issued within 48-hours prior to departure and must be taken from any of the accredited hospitals designated by the South Korean Embassy in the Philippines.

Passengers without the certificate will not be allowed to check-in for the flight.

The measure came after reports that there have been many cases in which COVID-19 has been confirmed among those who entered South Korea on board a flight from the Philippines.

The Embassy said the negative COVID-19 PCR test result must be shown at the time of check-in at the airport in Manila and upon the time of arrival at the quarantine authority in South Korea.

“The above measures are not related to visa issuance, so even though you have already received a visa, you have to take an additional COVID-19 PCR Test before your flight,” the advisory read.

Please refer to the list below for testing centers accredited by the South Korean Embassy:

Important Notification of Foreign Nationals' Entry into Korea and Suspension of Visa Issuance(Add-Cebu hospital…

Posted by Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines on Wednesday, 15 July 2020

4 overseas Filipinos recover from COVID-19 — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that four overseas Filipinos have recently recovered from coronavirus diseases (COVID-19).

This brings the total number of recoveries across the main geographic regions to 7,248.

The DFA added that no new fatality due to COVID-19 was reported among Filipinos abroad as of Thursday.

The Department vows to continue monitoring the status of overseas Filipinos and stands ready to assist and facilitate repatriations, whenever possible.

FDA confirms Sinovac submitted application for independent clinical trial

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 22, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed Sinovac, a China-based biopharmaceutical company, had submitted its application to conduct independent clinical trials in the country.

FDA Director-General Usec. Eric Domingo, however, said Sinovac has yet to submit other documents for the agency to process its application.

“That is undergoing regulatory evaluation, ganoon din iyong Ethics Board Evaluation niya—tuloy-tuloy po iyon (this also includes its Ethics Board Evaluation, it is ongoing), he said.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said vaccine experts panel also approved Sinovac in their preliminary review.

Kapag na complete na iyong requirements at nabigyan na sila ng approval then maari na pong mag umpisa (Once the requirements are complete and they received an approval, clinical trials can begin), she said.

Sinovac is among the three vaccine manufacturers that submitted their application to vaccine experts. -AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Tourist departures remain low despite lifting of travel restrictions – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The number of departing Filipino tourists has yet to pick up despite the easing of departure restrictions and allowing non-essential outbound travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday.

The BI said only 95 out of a total of 1,172 Filipinos departed the country under a tourist visa as of Wednesday, slightly higher than the 64 who left the same day last week when only essential travel was allowed.

“It could mean that Filipinos still feel hesitant to travel internationally during the pandemic,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Morente, however, expects the number to increase during the holiday season.

The BI chief also stressed that arrival restrictions remain in place.

“We are monitoring any policy change set by the IATF (Inter-Agency Tas Force) and the Office of the President, and we are ready to implement these as they may deem fit,” he said.

The IATF earlier said non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos will be allowed starting Oct. 21 following certain requirements.

These requirements include the submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets, and adequate travel and health insurance. Departing tourists should also execute a declaration acknowledging risks involved in traveling and must present negative antigen test result taken within 24 hours before their departure.

Currently, only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children are allowed to enter the country holding tourist visas. Restrictions likewise allow foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs to enter the country.

Those who are eligible to enter are required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to their arrival.

Apart from said categories, accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas are also allowed.

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