Philippines to impose travel ban on Malaysia, Thailand to prevent Delta variant
Roque said travelers coming directly from the two Southeast Asian countries or with a history of travel to any of the two countries within the last 14 days would be barred from entering.
"This action is undertaken to prevent the further spread and community transmission of COVID-19 variants in the Philippines," Roque said in a statement.
Malaysia and Thailand are experiencing a surge believed to be driven by the Delta variant cases.
Roque said that returning overseas Filipino workers under the government repatriation program are exempted from the ban but will be isolated for 14 days upon arrival.
The inclusion of Malaysia and Thailand brings to 10 the list of countries banned by the Philippines. Travelers from Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are not allowed to enter the country until July 31.
The Philippines has detected 47 Delta cases in the country so far. The Department of Health confirmed the local transmission of the Delta variant first detected in India.
Aside from the Delta variant, the Philippines has also detected three other coronavirus variants of concern. The Philippines has reported a total of 1,530,266 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Friday, including 26,891 deaths. ■