MANILA – Isabela province and Iloilo City have been downgraded to least stringent modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Malacañang said on Friday.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said only National Capital Region (NCR); provinces of Batangas, Lanao del Sur, and Davao del Norte; and cities of Santiago, Tacloban, Iligan, and Davao will remain under stricter general community quarantine (GCQ). He said all other areas are placed under MGCQ.
“The abovementioned risk-level classifications take effect today, January 1 until January 31, 2021,” Roque said.
Isabela and Iloilo City were initially included in the list of areas under a GCQ that was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in his talk to the people on Dec. 28, 2020.
Roque, meanwhile, said the Office of the President, upon the joint recommendation of the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs, included the United States of America (US) as among the countries subject to travel restrictions to address the Covid-19 new variant found in the United Kingdom.
“In this regard, foreign passengers coming from the US, or who have been to the US within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, shall be prohibited from entering the country effective January 3, 2021, 12:01AM, Manila time, until January 15, 2021,” he said.
On the other hand, he said that effective immediately, foreign passengers coming from the US, or who have been to the US within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, arriving before Jan. 3, 2021, 12:01 a.m. (Manila time) shall be allowed to enter the Philippines.
“However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test result,” he added.
Roque said the Office of the President also provided the following rules to Filipino and foreign passengers merely transiting through a country covered by travel restrictions:
--All passengers, Filipinos or foreigners alike, merely transiting through any of the countries covered by the Memorandum of the Executive Secretary, Dec. 29, 2020, and other succeeding memos, shall not be deemed as having come from or having been to that country, provided the passengers stayed in the airport the whole time and they were not cleared for entry by the immigration authorities of the said country covered by our travel restrictions;
--The abovementioned passengers (in A) who arrive in the Philippines are not required to complete a 14-day facility-based quarantine and may be allowed home quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test result at point of entry;
--Transiting foreign passengers who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by our travel restrictions shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines; and,
--Transiting Filipino citizens who left the airport or were cleared for entry into the country covered by our travel restrictions shall be allowed to enter the Philippines. However, they shall be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, even if they obtain a negative RT-PCR test result.
On December 29, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum banning “all foreign travelers” from UK and 19 other countries and areas from entering the country until Jan. 15, 2021 following reports of a new Covid-19 strain.
The 19 other countries and areas include Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, and Spain. (PNA)