Philippines bans foreigners from coronavirus-hit countries

JC Gotinga
Only Filipino citizens, their dependents, permanent Philippine residents, and diplomats will be allowed into the Philippines as it grapples with the global pandemic

TRAVELERS. Passengers arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City on February 29, 2020. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will enforce a ban on travelers from countries with confirmed localized transmissions of the novel coronavirus, except for Filipino citizens and their dependents, foreigners who are permanent residents of the Philippines, and holders of Philippine diplomatic visas.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced this on Thursday evening, March 12, based on a recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to virtually ban foreigners from countries with local epidemics of the coronavirus.

This came as Duterte raised Code Red Sublevel 2 over Metro Manila, placing it on “community quarantine” or lockdown after localized transmissions of the virus spiked in recent days.

Duterte said he would issue an executive order to formalize the directive.

The government had already enforced a similar ban on China, Chinese special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, and South Korea.

According to the World Health Organization, countries with confirmed locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday, March 10, are:

Western Pacific Region

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • New Zealand
  • Cambodia

European Region

  • Italy
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • San Marino
  • Finland
  • Israel
  • Czechia
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
  • North Macedonia
  • Slovakia
  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

Southeast Asia Region

  • Thailand
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Maldives
  • Bangladesh

Eastern Mediterranean Region

  • Iran
  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Egypt
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Lebanon
  • Pakistan
  • Occupied Palestinian Territory

Region of the Americas

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Peru

African Region

  • Algeria
  • Cameroon

As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 52 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The virus has infected more than 125,000 people and killed 4,600 across 115 countries. More than 62,000 people have recovered from the virus. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.