MANILA — The Philippines will suspend the entry of travelers from 9 countries that belong to the so-called "Red List", the government said on Friday, as it attempts to contain a record-breaking surge in COVID-19 cases.
Travelers from Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland will be prohibited from entering the Philippines from Sept. 12, 12 noon until Sept. 18, 11:59 p.m., Manila time, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
The measure covers all passengers who have been to these countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, Roque said in a statement.
But the restriction approved by President Rodrigo Duterte would exempt "returning Filipinos via government-initiated or non-government repatriation programs and special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions," he said.
Travelers from the red list countries who arrive before the ban shall be required to complete a 14-day quarantine, where the first 10 days shall be at a facility and the remaining days under home quarantine in their respective local government units of destination
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 added.
"In the case of Filipino or foreign passengers who merely transited through any of the abovementioned countries, 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," said the official.
The Philippines has logged some 2.1 million coronavirus infections, including 34,899 deaths.
Government will enforce new restrictions in Metro Manila from Sept. 16 to arrest the uptick in cases and spur business activity.