MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Saturday that the country will now allow entry of qualified travelers from Red List countries, in accordance with updated guidelines from the national government.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced it after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) lifted the ban on passengers arriving from Red List countries.
“This would mean that our kababayan who are in red list countries can now return to the Philippines via commercial flights without the need to join repatriation or bayanihan flights,” Morente said.
However, all arriving passengers are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin. They will also be subject to testing and quarantine protocols defined by the IATF and implemented by the Office of Quarantine.
RT-PCR tests carried out 72 hours before departure will be taken into account until 00:01 on January 19, 2022.
Morente then clarified that despite the lifting of the travel ban on countries on the red list, the general travel restrictions will still be in place.
“Currently, only Filipinos, Balikbayans and long-term visa holders are allowed to enter the country,” Morente said.
“Those holding tourist visas are still not allowed entry,” he added.
According to the IATF, red list countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Canada, Curacao, French Guiana, Iceland, Malta, Mayotte, Mozambique, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Somalia , Spain and the US Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, under the green list are Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, China (Mainland), Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong (Chinese Special Administrative Region), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Montserrat, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Saint-Barthélemy, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Saint-Eustache, Taiwan, Timor-Leste (East Timor) and Uganda.
All other countries not mentioned are on the yellow list.
The BI said earlier that it had seen an increase in the number of immigration officers affected by the virus.
“Fortunately, most cases are mild or asymptomatic,” Morente said.
“We hope this wave will pass soon, so that our services remain unhindered,” he added.
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