COVID-19

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

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

Filipinos at Dubai airport, awaiting repatriation. Photo courtesy of Philippine Consulate General staff

Photo courtesy of Philippine Consulate General staff

The Philippines includes Oman and the United Arab Emirates to countries covered by its travel ban related to the Indian COVID-19 variant

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. – Rappler.com

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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.