MANILA: Philippines has imposed travel restrictions on visitors from South Africa, Botswana, and their bordering nations "effective immediately" owing to fears about a new Covid-19 version.
The deployment of "heightened border control procedures is to prevent the introduction of the variation known as B.1.1.529, which is thought to have multiple mutations, ," said Cabinet Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.
Nograles said, the government's inter-agency Covid-19 task team approved the temporary suspension of inbound international flights from countries such as South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia on Friday night. The government has authorised the Bureau of Quarantine to work with local government units "to trace travellers from these countries who may have come in the previous seven days before the temporary suspension of inbound travel." Meanwhile, all travellers simply transiting through these countries will be allowed to enter, but they will be subjected to existing testing and quarantine procedures. Passengers arriving from or departing from these countries during the last 14 days would be temporarily prevented from entering the Philippines, and said that the prohibition will extend until December 15.