MANILA—The Philippines is extending its ban on the entry of foreign nationals until the end of April, Malacañang said on Friday, as the country battled a surge in coronavirus infections.
The travel ban, which took effect on March 22, was initially set to end on April 21.
But the inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response approved "the extension of the temporary suspension of foreign nationals until April 30, 2021," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"Foreign nationals with valid entry exemption documents duly issued by the DFA prior to March 22, 2021 will be allowed entry to the Philippines," he said in a statement.
Roque earlier said that exceptions include:
- members of international organizations and their dependents,
- foreigners involved in medical repatriation,
- foreign seafarers under green lane programs for crew change,
- foreign spouses and children of Filipinos traveling with them,
- and emergency or humanitarian cases,
All Filipinos are allowed to return to the Philippines, Malacañang has said.
The Civil Aeronautics Board capped passenger arrivals at Manila's international airport to a maximum of 1,500 per day until April 19 to help arrest the spread of COVID-19.
The country has logged a total of 904,285 coronavirus infections, of which 183,527 or 20.3 percent were active cases as of Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin
The agency also reported 148 new COVID-related deaths, pushing the country's coronavirus death toll to 15,594.