The Philippines included Malaysia and Thailand in its travel ban until July 31, 2021, Malacañang said Friday as the country sought to dodge a surge in COVID-19 infections due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved the travel ban, which would begin on July 25, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, noting that repatriates are exempted from the rule.
"Kasama na po sa mga bansang may travel ban ang bansang Malaysia at Thailand," he said.
Individuals with travel history to Malaysia and Thailand within the 14 days preceding arrival in the Philippines are covered by the travel ban while those who are already in transit to Manila may be allowed to enter before 12:01 a.m. of July 25.
Those who will be allowed to enter the Philippines will be required to undergo a 14-day facility based quarantine and an RT-PCR test.
"This action is undertaken to prevent the further spread and community transmission of COVID-19 variants in the Philippines," Roque said,
The travel ban also includes Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
The new restrictions came a day after the Philippines confirmed local transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus.
A JPMorgan analysis has found the Philippines to be among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 Delta variant within emerging markets, mostly due to low vaccination rates.