Travel ban on India extended to May 31; Oman, UAE added

The Philippine government extended until the end of May the rule barring travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from entering the country. The rule also applied to persons who had traveled to those countries within 14 days from arriving to the Philippines.

The government also added Oman and United Arab Emirates to the travel prohibition, starting May 15 to May 31, after finding the B1617 variant of concern in two overseas Filipino workers who came from those countries.

Persons who are set to arrive from these two countries before May 15 will still be allowed to enter the country but must complete a 14-day quarantine in an accredited isolation facility, whether or not they test positive for COVID-19.

The travel ban on India had been in place since April 29 and was set to end on Friday, May 14. The restrictions for travelers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal was imposed May 7 and were to lapse also on May 14.

The travel prohibitions are part of measures to stem the entry of the B1617 variant first reported in India and which has been declared by the World Health Organization as a variant of concern.

The Philippines has so far reported only two cases of the variant. The two completed quarantine and have recovered. –

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at