The Philippines said Sunday it banned flights from some European countries over the threat of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant that has prompted the reimposition of travel restrictions in many parts of the world.
The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 has placed Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy under the Red List until Dec. 15, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said.
This means individuals, regardless of vaccination status, coming from or who have been in the said areas within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port in the Philippines are not allowed.
The Philippines earlier prohibited flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique from entering the country.
Only Filipinos returning to the country from Red List areas through government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry.
Travelers in transit from the said countries and those who have been to the mentioned areas 14 days before arrival in the Philippines who will arrive not later than 12:01 a.m. of Nov. 30 will be allowed entry subject to strict quarantine and COVID-19 testing.
Passengers who are merely transiting through the Red List areas will also not be covered by the restriction if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry in the said country. However, they should still comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols upon arrival in the Philippines.