Philippines bans arrivals from all countries with local COVID-19 transmission

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 10:45 AM

MANILA -- The Philippines will deny entry to foreign nationals coming from all countries with confirmed local transmissions of the 2019 coronavirus disease, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as Metro Manila braced for a 1-month long community quarantine.

In a televised address to the nation late Thursday, Duterte said Manila’s travel ban would also include countries that imposed travel restrictions on the Philippines for having local transmissions of COVID-19.

Exempted from the travel ban, however, are Filipino citizens including their foreign spouses and children, holders of permanent resident visas, and holders of diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine government, he said.

“‘Yung travel dito ang gustong pumunta hindi na tatanggapin lalo na kung ‘yung bayan nila has ordered a restriction sa travel,” Duterte said.

(Those who want to come to the Philippines, they will not be allowed if if their country ordered travel restrictions on our country.)

The Philippines has an ongoing travel ban on China—where the virus originated—and its territories Macau, and Hong Kong.

A partial travel ban on the South Korean province of North Gyeongsang is also in effect.

Several countries have restricted their citizens from traveling to the Philippines, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Nepal.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 52 cases of the disease, including 5 fatalities since the virus was first reported back in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2020.