THE BUREAU of Immigration announced the strict implementation of the temporary ban of travelers from Indonesia amid the increasing COVID-19 cases.
“We have received an order from Malacañang announcing the imposition of travel restrictions for all travelers coming from Indonesia, including those with a travel history to Indonesia within the last 14 days before arriving in the Philippines,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
The travel ban takes effect from 12:01 a.m. of July 16 until 11:59 p.m. of July 31.
According to Morente, passengers already in transit from Indonesia who arrive before the implementation of the travel ban may be allowed to enter but will be subjected to a full 14-day facility-based quarantine by the appropriate government agency.
The recent travel ban was due to the surge of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, reportedly caused by the highly-contagious Delta variant.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Law and Human Rights issued travel ban to Indonesia for foreigners in response to the COVID outbreak that has developed into a pandemic spread across more than 150 countries
Prof. Yasonna H. Laoly, of the MLHR, said the ban applies to all foreigners, with the exception of foreigner holders of Temporary Stay Permit (ITAS) or Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP) in Indonesia; foreigner holders of Indonesian Diplomatic Visa or Indonesian Service Visa; foreigner holders of Diplomatic Stay Permit or Service Stay Permit in Indonesia; medical aid workers or food sustenance workers for humanitarian purposes; air, sea or land transport crew; and foreigners/expatriates working on strategic national projects.
DOH EYES TRAVEL BAN ON MALAYSIA, THAILAND OVER DELTA VARIANT
Meanwhile, the Department of Health is studying a possible ban on travelers from Malaysia and Thailand due to the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant .
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III made the announcement as he assured the public that the DOH Epidemiology Bureau is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in other countries.
“Tinitingnan natin Malaysia, isa-isahin natin. Tinitingnan din natin ang Thailand kung saan merong parang hindi na mapigilan ang pag-angat ng Delta variant cases. ‘Yan ang ating binabantayan. Pinag-aaralan na rin po ‘yan ng Epidemiology Bureau ng DOH at posible na magbigay ng rekomendasyon para sa IATF kung hahabaan ba ang listahan ng mga travel ban sa mga bansa,” he said.
For her part, Dr. Alethea De Guzman, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director, said Malaysia logged a record-high 11,618 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with the Delta variant present in each of its states.
She said the variant has spread to at least 98 countries since it was first identified in December 2020.
De Guzman stressed, however, that two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine remain effective against the Delta variant.
The IATF earlier included Indonesia in the list of countries covered by a temporary travel ban.
The ban on travelers from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman will be in effect until July 31.
As of July 4, the Philippines has only detected 19 Delta variant cases, all of whom are from returning overseas Filipinos.
With Lee Ann P. Ducusin