Confirmed COVID-19 B1117 countries added to Travel Restriction list

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued an advisory pursuant to the Memorandum from the Executive Secretary dated 31 December 2020 regarding the inclusion of Portugal, India, Norway, Jordan and Brazil in the current travel restrictions for countries with confirmed COVID-19 B117 strain effective 8 January 2021.

Who will be affected?

a. Travelers coming from or transiting through the additional countries listed below within 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines:
1. Portugal
2. India
3. Norway
4. Jordan
5. Brazil

Background

As indicated in our previous alert, on 31 December 2020, the Office of the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum that lays out the additional measures that will be observed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 B117 strain in the Philippines. Foreign travellers coming from or transiting through the 27 countries listed below will not be allowed to enter the Philippines until 15 January 2021.

1. United Kingdom
2. Denmark
3. Ireland
4. Japan
5. Australia
6. Israel
7. The Netherlands
8. Hong Kong SAR
9. Switzerland
10. France
11. Germany
12. Iceland
13. Italy
14. Lebanon
15. Singapore
16. Finland
17. Sweden
18. South Korea
19. South Africa
20. Canada
21. Spain
22. USA
23. Portugal
24. India
25. Norway
26. Jordan
27. Brazil

Impact

For Arriving Filipino Citizens

1. Effective 8 January 2021, unaccompanied minor Filipino Citizens coming from countries included in the travel restrictions will not be allowed to enter the Philippines until 15 January 2021, except for those returning under the repatriation program of the Philippine government.

2. All unaccompanied minor Filipino Citizens from countries not included in the travel restrictions will be allowed entry into the Philippines shall be subject to quarantine protocols set by the Department of Health.

3. Filipino Citizens coming from or transiting through (left the airport or were cleared for entry) the countries covered by the travel restrictions will not be restricted from entering the Philippines. However, they are required to undergo the 14-day quarantine period at the facility-based quarantine regardless of a negative COVID-19 test result.

4. Filipino Citizens transiting through any of the restricted countries may not be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine and may be allowed to home quarantine provided that they tested negative on the RT-PCR and they have stayed at the airport the whole time and were not cleared to enter the restricted country by its immigration authorities prior to arrival in the Philippines.

For Arriving Foreign Nationals

1. Foreign travellers merely transiting through any of the countries covered by the restrictions may be allowed entry provided:

+ They are holders of visas allowed to enter the Philippines pursuant to the relevant IATF-MEID resolutions and BI’s advisories
+ They have stayed at the airport the whole time and were not cleared to enter the restricted country by its immigration authorities prior to arrival to the Philippines
+ Comply with the existing quarantine and immigration protocols and regulations set by the Philippine government for arriving passengers
+ They have secured an approval from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the travel ban exemption and holders of a valid visa issued by any of the Philippine Embassy or Consulate

2. Those coming from or who have been to countries included in the restriction within 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines will not be allowed to enter the country. This restriction will apply to all visa categories, special privileges such as the Balkbayan program under RA 6768, and previously issued endorsement or exemption from the DFA during the duration of the travel restrictions.

3. Pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 92, the following categories are exempted from the travel restriction:

+ Accredited foreign diplomats including those under international organizations such as the World Health Organization and United Nations, provided that they are holders of valid 9(e) visa or diplomatic/official/regular passport with valid 9(a) visa and authorization from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
+ Foreign dignitaries with DFA authorization
+ Those who have medical or emergency cases, including their medical escorts, provided that they have been authorized by the DFA to enter the Philippines

Implementation

Effective immediately until 15 January 2021.

Santa Fe Analysis

We are monitoring any new updates closely and will provide additional information once available.

Ma. Emmariza Ola
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation
Philippines
Tel.: +63 917 848 6830
Email: Emmariza.Ola@santaferelo.com

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +44 7990 021125
Email: Robert.Day@santaferelo.com


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