By PR | 11:25 PM November 30, 2021
MANILA, Philippines—Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that they will be implementing the latest directive from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Directive on the updated Red List.
According to Morente, in addition to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique, the IATF-MEID expanded the list to include Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy effective November 28 until December 15.
“Those coming from red list countries within the last 14 days prior to arrival shall not be allowed to enter the Philippines,” said Morente.
He added that the IATF-MEID ruling allowed the entry of Filipinos, who may be assisted in their return via government and non-government repatriation and Bayanihan flights, but will be subject to the health protocols as set by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).
Morente clarified that those already in transit from Red List countries who arrive before November 30, if part of the allowable classes, may enter the country and will also be subjected to BOQ protocols.
Morente added that in the same resolution, the IATF-MEID suspended the reopening of the country’s borders to foreign tourists.
“The IATF-MEID deemed it necessary to suspend the entry of foreign tourists, given worldwide concerns over the Omicron variant,” said Morente. “For now, the current general travel restrictions stand. Only Filipinos, balikbayan, and those with long term visas from green and yellow list countries may be allowed entry,” he clarified.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong, for his part, reminded airline companies to carefully inspect the document of travelers prior to boarding, to ensure that only those allowed entry may fly to the country.
“We are conducting 100% passport inspection to ensure that we see the complete travel history of the arriving passengers,” said Capulong. He warned that aliens who are inadmissible but were allowed to board will be denied entry, and will warrant a penalty to the erring airline.