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BI OKs entry of Filipino, foreign diplomats from Red List countries

December 07, 2021 - Tuesday 5:12 PM by GDM

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Filipino and foreign diplomats from Red List countries are exempted from the travel ban and are allowed to enter the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said this new policy exempting diplomats from the travel ban was adopted under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolution dated Nov. 25.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had also conveyed the subject of the resolution to different agencies last December 2, the BI added.

Morente also explained that the exemption extends also to the qualified dependents, such as their spouses and children, of diplomats, provided that they are holders of valid diplomatic or official passports.

“We have already instructed our immigration officers in the different ports, as well as foreign airlines, about these travel ban exemptions for immediate implementation,” Morente also said.

The bureau said that Philippine officials and their delegations on official travel abroad, and Philippine diplomats and their dependents returning to the Philippines at the end of their tour of duty are also covered by the exemption.

Philippine foreign service posts personnel arriving for home office consultation or with approved leave of absence, and foreign diplomats and their dependents, will also be allowed to enter the Philippines.

The national government has included more than 10 countries on the Red List, amid fears of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. 

The government has also revised its quarantine and testing protocols for arriving international passengers from countries not on the Red List, to keep out the Omicron variant from the country.

The Department of Health said that they have yet to detect the said variant in the Philippines.