MANILA—The Philippines has imposed travel restrictions on Hungary and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), part of a move meant to arrest the spread of a new, more contagious COVID-19 variant, Malacañang said on Friday.
President Rodrigo Duterte's office banned the entry into the country of foreign travelers coming from or who have been to the 2 countries 14 days before arriving in the Philippines, effective January 17, 2021, 12:01 a.m., Manila time until Jan. 31, 2021, said his spokesman Harry Roque.
The Philippines this week confirmed its first case of the new COVID-19 variant in a Filipino who had returned from Dubai.
The government has banned until the end of the month the entry of foreign travelers from 32 other countries that reported the variant first detected in the United Kingdom
Filipinos from areas with travel restrictions are still allowed to return to the Philippines.
"However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute, facility-based, 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result," Roque said in a statement.
All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens coming from countries or jurisdictions where travel restrictions are in place "shall not be allowed boarding by the airlines until Jan. 31, 2021, except minors returning through the repatriation program of the national government," he added.
"These repatriated minors shall be turned over to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration house parent who, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), shall ensure the minors’ safety and their observance of quarantine protocols," he said.