7 countries from Europe added to PHL “Red List” amid Omicron threat, bringing to 14 those recently added to list

Even fully vaccinated passengers coming from these countries not allowed entry to PHL from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15

Courtesy PCOO


(Eagle News) – Seven more countries – all from Europe – have been added in the Philippines’ list of “red” countries and territories bringing to 14 the total number of countries, territories or jurisdictions recently imposed imposed additional restrictions affecting entry of passengers, even those fully vaccinated amid the discovery of more infectious COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy have been placed under the Red List effective November 28, 2021 until December 15, 2021, Malacanang announced on Sunday, November 28.

This is in addition to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique.

Malacanang said that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Sunday placing more countries under the Red List in light of the threat of the newly discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is said to have numerous mutations, is not easily detected by COVID-19 tests, and could possibly “dampen” immunity.

“Inbound international travel of all persons, regardless of vaccination status, coming from or who have been to Red List countries/jurisdictions/territories within the last 14 days prior to arrival to any port of the Philippines shall not be allowed,” the Palace said in a release.

“Only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry subject to the prevailing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for Red List countries/jurisdictions/territories,” it said.

-Passengers already in transit not subject to restriction-

The Palace said, however, that passengers already in transit and all those who have been to the abovementioned Red List countries/territories/jurisdictions within 14 days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, who will arrive before 0001H (12:01AM) of November 30, 2021, “shall not be subject to this restriction from entry.”

“They shall nevertheless be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days with testing on the 7th day, with day 1 being the date of arrival, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR result,” it said.

On the other hand, passengers who have already arrived before November 28, 2021 and are currently undergoing quarantine pursuant to the classifications of their country of origin, as the case may be, shall complete their respective testing and quarantine protocols, the Palace stressed.

“In the case of passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through the abovementioned countries, they 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 their arrival in the Philippines, passengers covered by the immediately preceding paragraph shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols,” the Palace said.

Courtesy Agence France Presse

-Suspension of testing, quarantine protocols of Green countries-

At the same time, the IATF also approved the temporary suspension of testing and quarantine protocols for countries/jurisdictions/territories classified as “Green” effective immediately until December 15, 2021.

Except for countries classified as “Red,” the testing and quarantine protocols for all inbound international travellers in all ports of entry shall comply with the testing and quarantine protocols for “Yellow” list countries.

But Malacanang said that “arriving passengers coming from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions who arrived prior to November 28, 2021 may still follow quarantine protocols assigned to their country of origin upon the date of their arrival.”

The IATF also approved the temporary suspension of IATF Resolution No. 150-A (s.2021) providing for the entry of fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries under Executive Order No. 408 (s.1960), as amended, from Green List countries/jurisdictions/territories.

(Eagle News Service)