PH includes US in travel ban due to new COVID-19 variant

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 1) — The Philippines is also temporarily banning foreign travelers from the United States starting Sunday due to the threat of the new coronavirus variant, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday.

The travel ban will be from 12:01 am of Jan. 3 to Jan. 15. The US is the 20th area to be included in the list.

Passengers coming from the US or passed through the US who will arrive before Sunday are allowed to enter the country, but they are required to complete the 14-day facility-based quarantine regardless of their RT-PCR test result.

The US confirmed its first known case of the UK coronavirus variant on Dec. 30. The patient, a man in his 20s, was found to have the new COVID-19 variant even if he did not travel abroad.

This variant is said to be more contagious and is linked to the recent surge of coronavirus cases in England.

The Philippine government will keep expanding the list as more countries confirm the presence of the new variant in their areas.