Suspension of flights from South Africa, Botswana and other countries

29 Nov 2021 / Philippines

A new COVID-19 variant, denominated as B.1.1.529 and classified as a Variant Under Monitoring as of 24 November 2021, was first detected in Botswana and has since been detected in South Africa. The same variant was detected in Hong Kong traced from a traveler from South Africa…

…The following border control measures to prevent the entry of the B.1.1.529 variant which have the potential for increased transmissibility and effect in vaccine efficacy shall be implemented:

Effective immediately and until 15 December 2021, inbound international flights from South Africa, Botswana, and other countries with local cases or have likelihood to have occurrences of the B.1.1.1529 variant shall be temporarily suspended. The Bureau of Quarantine, in close coordination with the local government units, shall locate travelers from the above-listed countries who may have arrived in the recent seven days prior to the temporary suspension of inbound travel. These travelers shall be required to undergo full fourteen (14) day facility-based quarantine with Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test on the seventh day or upon location of the passenger, whichever is later, with date of arrival as Day 1.

Additionally, inbound international flights from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique, which are adjacent to South Africa and Botswana, shall be temporarily suspended. Passengers coming from or having been to said countries within the last fourteen (14) days prior to arrival shall be temporarily barred from entering the country;

Passengers already in transit from the abovementioned countries and all those who have been to the same within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 0001H of November 28, 2021, shall not be subject to the above restriction, but shall nevertheless be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols i.e. the observation of an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR) result.

All passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through the aforementioned countries shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to said country if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into such country by its immigration authorities;

Upon arrival in the Philippines, passengers covered by the immediately preceding paragraph shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols…

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the Philippines, contact GAC Philippines at [email protected])

Source: Extract from Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No.150-D dated 26 November 2021

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