The Philippine Government has decided to halt the entry of foreign nationals and returning Filipinos, who are not overseas workers, in the country starting March 20.

The announcement was made Tuesday night through a memorandum circular from the Inter-Agency Task Force for Managing Infectious Diseases (IATF), a move that aims to put a stop to the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, which is chaired by the Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana, the temporary ban will be effective at midnight on March 20 and will last until April 19. 

In addition to this, the number of inbound international passenger arrivals to the Philippines will be capped at 1,500 per day. 

In a statement, the Department of Health says the action is in response to the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases being identified in the country, which they’ve labeled as “alarming.”

Exempted from the current memorandum circular are the following:

  • Holders of 9(e) visas
  • Those under medical repatriation and their escorts as endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
  • Distressed returning OFWs as endorsed by the DFA-OUMWA
  • Those coming with under emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases as approved by the NTF

Currently, the country has been seeing a steady increase in new COVID-19 cases, which started this month.

According to the DOH’s latest statistics, there are 4,437 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, 111 had recovered from the affliction, and 11 added to the death toll. 

At the moment, the total number of active cases in the Philippines is 57,736 and the total number of those who have recovered from the virus is 560,736. Meanwhile, the overall death toll is 12,848. 

You can view the IATF’s memorandum circular below. 

Due to the increasing number of new cases of COVID-19 here in the Philippines, the National Task Force against COVID-19…

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Tuesday, March 16, 2021


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