COVID-19

Philippines bars travelers from France due to Omicron fears

Pia Ranada
Philippines bars travelers from France due to Omicron fears

ARRIVALS. Travelers arrive at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City on October 14, 2021.

Rappler

The entry prohibition is effective from December 13 to 15, but stricter quarantine rules already apply from December 10 to 12

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines announced it would prohibit the entry of travelers who have been to France in the past two weeks from December 13 to 15. But a 14-day quarantine will be imposed on such travelers from December 10 to 12.

The new rules, which place France under the Philippines’ “Red List” countries, were announced by Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles on Wednesday, December 8.

It comes after France reported over 20 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“Beginning 12:01 am of December 13, 2021 until the end of December 15, 2021, entry in any port of the Philippines shall not be allowed for passengers coming from or who have been to France within the last 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines, regardless of vaccination status,” said Nograles in a statement sent to media.

As for Filipinos returning from France during these days, they can only reenter the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation, and Bayanihan Flights, subject to existing testing and quarantine protocols for Red List countries, said Nograles.

Rules from December 10 to 12

Meanwhile, for allowed travelers who will arrive on or after 12:01 am of December 10 but before 12:01 am of December 13, they can still enter but must observe 14 days of quarantine in a government-approved facility. They will then have to take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of quarantine, with their date of arrival counting as day one.

Regardless of the result of that RT-PCR test, they must still complete the two-week quarantine.

The Philippines currently does not allow entry of foreigners for tourism purposes. The only foreigners that have so far been allowed in the country are diplomats, permanent resident visas, temporary resident visas, and those with special business visas.

Minors will follow the testing and quarantine protocols applicable to their parent or guardian, save for children 3 years old and below who are exempt from the pre-boarding RT-PCR test requirement. The test is only required if the child has COVID-19 symptoms. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.