Philippines Expands ‘Red List’ Countries Count Amid Omicron; Details Here

by Shrestha Purkayastha
Philippines Expands ‘Red List’ Countries Count Amid Omicron; Details Here

In response to the threat of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) announced new travel restrictions for inbound travellers from seven more nations on Sunday, November 28. The government added the following nations to the red list’ in addition to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique:

  1. Austria
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Hungary
  4. The Netherlands
  5. Switzerland
  6. Belgium
  7. Italy

Travellers Who Arrived In A ‘Red List’ Country Within 14 Days Of November 30 At 12:01 A.M Are Safe

The prohibition is in place from November 28 through December 15. It’s possible that only Filipinos returning to the nation on restoration flights will be permitted to enter. Subject to current protocols for countries on the red list.’ The administration underlined that travellers in transit and those who visited one of the red list’ nations within 14 days of November 30 will not be subject to the entrance restriction. They will, however, be subjected to a 14-day facility-based quarantine, including testing on the seventh day. The interim ban of inbound international flights from South Africa, Botswana, and other locations where local instances of the variation are likely to arise will take effect immediately.

Picture Credits: Nikkei Asia

Border Controls Have Been Tightened By The Government

The declaration came just hours after the government stated that starting December 1, it will reopen to fully-vaccinated tourists from most countries, in order to assist the economy recover from the pandemic. Since then, the government has tightened border controls to prevent the new coronavirus strain from entering the country. Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique are among the countries affected by the flying ban, which will remain until December 15. Passengers who visited these nations in the previous two weeks are also barred from entering the Philippines. The government even instructed immigration agents to track down travellers who flew between these countries in the previous week and quarantine them for 14 days.

Picture Credits: Reuters

Tourism Is A Major Economic Driver In This South Asian Country

The economy of this South Asian country is mostly driven by tourism. In 2019, it accounted for about 13% of the country’s gross domestic GDP. Last year, however, that fell to 5.4 per cent as arrivals plummeted by more than 80 per cent to 1.48 million as the government imposed travel restrictions on the country’s white-sand beaches and other tourist attractions.