The Philippine president has banned Canadians from entering the country until at least mid – January in a bid to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced a travel ban In a note Dated December 29. A total of 19 countries, including Canada, Ireland, Japan and Australia, have been named in the ban.
Foreign travelers from any of the 19 countries listed in the memorandum will be barred from entering the Philippines within 14 days of their arrival. The ban will remain in effect until at least January 15.
Philippine citizens returning from any of the identified countries will still be given entry, but will have to undergo 14 days of “complete facility-based” isolation.
Travel bans are intended to “address the risks posed by the new variation” and are imposed “in the interest of protecting the health and safety of the Philippine people”.
On December 23, the Philippine government imposed a “no entry” on all travelers from the United Kingdom and suspended flights from the country.
Both orders have been extended to January 15 as per the December 29 memorandum.
The Philippine government has said it may impose further restrictions if the new COVID-19 variant is detected in other countries.
Data suggest that the new variant, first detected in the UK in December, could spread faster than the initial strain of the virus.
However, there is no evidence that the mutation causes a more serious disease, or that vaccines are less effective against it.
Canada has banned flights from the UK until at least January 6.