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Philippines temporarily bans flights from UK over new COVID-19 variant

Aviation Updates Philippines – The Philippines has ordered the temporary suspension of all flights to and from the United Kingdom amid growing concerns over a new, more infectious COVID-19 variant that was discovered in the UK.

According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the proposal by the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 90  to temporarily ban all flights to and from the UK from December 24 to 31.

"All passengers who have been in the UK within fourteen (14) days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, including those merely in transit, are also temporarily restricted from entering the country for the same period," Roque said on Wednesday morning.

Passengers who are already in transit from the UK and are expected to arrive in the Philippines before the ban takes effect are exempted from entry restrictions but will have to undergo stricter testing protocols. They will also be required to complete 14 days of quarantine at the Athlete's Village in New Clark City in Tarlac.

"Outbound travel to the UK shall likewise be subject to the existing exit protocols of the Philippines and the UK," Roque added.

On December 19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that London and large parts of South East England will be placed under stricter lockdown measures following the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant that is believed to be "up to 70% more transmissible."

As of December 23, more than 40 countries have imposed a ban on all travel from the UK, including France, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Argentina, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, and Israel.

Photo from Pixabay

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