Philippines To Lift Travel Ban On India And Nine Other Countries For Covid-19

MANILA, Philippines — The travel ban for all inbound travelers from India and nine other countries in the Philippines from Sept. 6 will be lifted. The authorities took the decision despite the rising Covid-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, informed Harry Roque, the presidential spokesperson, on Sept. 4.

The recommendation of the inter-agency Covid-19 task force to lift the travel restrictions has been approved by Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines. The countries that underwent the restrictions were India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

“International travelers coming from the above-mentioned countries shall, however, comply with the appropriate entry, testing, and quarantine protocols,” Roque said in a statement.

However, foreign tourists are still banned from entering the country except for holders of special visas such as diplomats and foreign spouses of Filipino citizens.

The local transmission of the Delta variant has spread to communities in the Philippines. The country has detected 1,789 Delta cases, including 33 deaths. The World Health Organization confirmed the community transmission of the Delta variant, saying it is now the dominant Covid-19 strain spreading in the Philippines.

In April, the Philippines imposed a ban on India and later expanded to include the nine other countries with Delta cases.

The Philippines is now grappling with soaring Covid-19 infections. The Southeast Asian country has reported a total of 2,040,568 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Sept. 3, including 33,873 deaths.

Meanwhile, Turkey has declared that fully vaccinated travelers from India will no longer be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine rule, with effect from Sept. 4, the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi informed on Sept. 4.

The announcement will ease the travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers of 12 years of age and older traveling from India or those who stayed in India in the last 14 days. The vaccines that have been approved by the World Health Organization or the Turkish Government are covered under this exemption.

In addition to the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, the vaccines approved by the Turkish Government are Pfizer Biotech, Sputnik V, and Sinovac.

“A traveler must have taken the second dose (if Johnson&Johnson one dose is sufficient) at least 14 days before the date of travel,” read the statement.

“Indian travelers who are vaccinated with Covishield will also be allowed to travel to Turkey. Once Covaxin gets a nod from the World Health Organization, travelers vaccinated with the same will also be able to visit Turkey.”

The fully vaccinated travelers must submit their negative PCR test report taken 72 hours before departure to be exempt from the quarantine. Non-vaccinated travelers must undergo mandatory quarantine for 10 days in a hotel or a location mentioned in the declaration.

As of Sept. 4, the Turkish government has successfully vaccinated 79 percent of its population above 18 with the first dose and 62 percent of the people above 18 of age with both doses.

The tourist inflow numbers in Turkey between January-July 2021, despite the pandemic, were recorded at 11.9 million. In July 2021, 4.3 million international visitors visited Turkey.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra

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