The Dubai International Airport.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
MANILA – Philippine health officials on Thursday (January 14) said they will recommend travel restrictions to the UAE after a returning Filipino reportedly tested positive for the new Covid-19 variant.
The Philippines has temporarily banned the entry of foreigners from more than 30 countries starting in January, but has not included the UAE in its list.
Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque said officials are including the UAE in the new travel protocol.
“We have no doubt that this would be approved by the Office of the President. But as early as now, we are already including them [UAE] in the new protocol,” Duque said in Filipino during a media briefing.
Duque said the UAE was not included in the government’s initial list of areas with travel restrictions because it did not report any case of the new Covid-19 variant.
The latest case is a 29-year-old Filipino real estate agent from Kamuning, Quezon City who arrived in the Philippines on January 7 on an Emirates flight from the UAE.
Health officials have launched contact tracing efforts for passengers of the same flight boarded by the Filipino and his partner.
The Quezon City government has said that close contacts of the couple are now in isolation.
Meanwhile, officials said that if the travel restriction on the UAE is enforced, Filipinos coming from the emirates will be allowed to enter the Philippines but will be made to undergo a two-week quarantine.
Foreign tourists from countries not on the travel ban list will also need to undergo a 14-day quarantine on arrival even if they test negative for Covid-19. CAM/Expat Media
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