Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) – The Philippine government has included the Czech Republic in the list of countries under travel ban due to new COVID variants, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
The move was made after the Czech Republic’s National Institute of Public Health confirmed the detection of the more transmissible B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom.
Starting Jan. 28 until Jan. 31, foreign travelers coming from or who have been to the Czech Republic within 14 days before arriving in the Philippines will be barred from entering the country, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Filipino citizens coming from or who have been to the Czech Republic within 14 days before arriving in the Philippines are allowed to enter, subject to a swab test upon arrival and quarantine thereafter. If they tested negative for COVID-19 on the fifth day in a quarantine facility, they will be allowed to return to their homes and complete the mandated 14-day quarantine there.
The ban on foreign travelers now covers 36 jurisdictions, including Czech Republic, after they confirmed the presence of new COVID-19 variants in their areas, namely: United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Austria, China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Hungary.
The travel ban in these countries will also end on Jan. 31.
The UK and South Africa COVID-19 variants are believed to be more contagious, prompting travel bans and widespread concern across the world. The Philippines now has a total of 17 infections from the UK COVID-19 variant.