The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines exempts some foreigners from travel restrictions

January 22, 2021

The Philippine government is allowing some foreign nationals with valid visas from countries or jurisdictions with new variants of coronavirus disease to enter the country subject to conditions, Malacanang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this was approved during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on January 21.

"All foreign travelers coming from, or with travel history within the last 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines in countries/jurisdictions covered by travel restrictions for the COVID-19 variants shall not be permitted entry into the Philippines until January 31, 2021, nothwitstanding any previous IATF resolutions or exemptions, except for the following foreign nationals with valid visas," IATF Resolution No. 95 read.

The exempted foreign nationals include:

Accredited foreign diplomats and personnel of accredited international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the United Naations, provided they will undergo RT-PCR test upon arrival at the airport, execute an undertaking, and observe strict 14-day quarantine pursuant to relevant memorandum circular of the Department of Health;

Foreign dignitaries who shall observe existing testing and quarantine protocols upon arrival;

Those for medical and emergency cases, including their medical escorts, if any, subject to the applicable testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed by the DOH; and

Spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, subject to the same testing and quarantine protocols applicable to Filipino citizens.

The IATF said Filipino citizens coming from countries or jurisdictions where travel restrictions for COVID-19 new variants are in place, or who have been to the same within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines shall be subject to the prescribed testing and quarantine protocols.

"Filipino citizens arriving for highly exceptional and/or medical reasons, and local diplomats, shall be subject to the applicable quarantine protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health," the task force said.

Over 30 countries or jurisdictions, including Japan, China, United States, and United Kingdom with new strain of COVID-19 are covered by travel restrictions until the end of the month. Celerina Monte/DMS