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UK bans Pinoys indefinitely

Republika

The Philippines is now in “elite company” after it was included recently in the United Kingdom’s so-called Red List of Covid-afflicted countries.


This is no reason to rejoice. Because what this means is that all travellers originating from Manila (starting April 9) will be banned from setting foot in the UK, unless they are British or Irish or third country nationals who have residence rights.


British ambassador Daniel Pruce said the “red-listing” of the Philippines was an offshoot its deteriorating Covid situation which incumbent health authorities cannot seem to arrest.


Although he said the travel ban would only be temporary, and will be lifted once a drastic improvement in the Philippines’ level of infections is seen.
“These measures have been put in place to protect public health (of Britons), in particular by helping reduce the risk of new variants entering the UK,” he was quoted as saying.


There was no mention made whether the indefinite ban would adversely affect the emergency hiring of thousands of Filipino nurses being sought by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).


Ambassador Pruce said that there are currently over 30 countries on the Red List prepared by the Foreign Office, of which the latest additions are Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines.


Qualified passengers coming from the Philippines, the UK embassy said, would have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days at their own expense until such time they are formally declared virus-free. They would be required to submit to coronavirus testing on the second day of quarantine and also on the eighth.


Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay, who handles Civilian Security and Consular Concerns, said the UK’s travel advisory is quite understandable considering the recent spike of Covid cases locally.
(As of April 2, the country’s Covid tally stood at 771,497, with 153,809 active cases, which is the worst in the Southeast Asian region.)


Per the advisory, travellers who have departed or transited from Red List countries will be “refused entry into England” starting at 4 a.m. (UK time) on April 9.


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