Australia extends international travel ban to December 17

Marje Pelayo   •   September 8, 2020   •   1465

The Australian government has extended the implementation of international border restrictions for at least three more months until December 17. 

This was the decision of the country’s Health Protection Principal Committee given the prevailing global health risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Australia closed its borders in March to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in the country. 

In July, the Australian government allowed the return of around 4,000 of its citizens and permanent residents. 

To date, only those covered by travel exemptions are allowed to leave or enter the country. 

Travel exemptions can be processed online through the Australian Border Force but only qualified individuals will be granted.

These included those working in essential industries and businesses, those needing immediate medical treatment outside Australia, unavoidable personal circumstance, compassionate or humanitarian grounds or anything related to national security. 

Meanwhile, temporary visa holders need not acquire travel exemptions from authorities as they may leave anytime to be able to return to their home country.

They have to make sure, however, that their country of destination will accept them once they leave Australia.

For list of exempted individuals, travelers may check on the official webpage of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. MNP (with inputs from Danny Delleva)

PH extends ban on travelers from India to May 31; adds Oman, UAE in travel restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has extended its existing ban on travelers from India until May 31 to prevent the spread of a coronavirus variant first detected in the South Asian nation, Malacañang said.

In a statement on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said passengers coming from India are still not allowed to enter the Philippines until 2359H of May 31, 2021.

The Philippines also extended its travel ban for passengers coming from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka in the same period.

Roque also announced the expansion of the country’s travel restrictions to include travelers coming from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or those with travel history to these countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival.

The entry ban on travelers from Oman and the UAE will take effect on May 15 until May 31.

Roque said the ban was recommended by the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers who are already in transit from the said countries or have been to the same areas within 14 days and arrived in the Philippines before May 15 will be allowed entry.

They will, however, be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols, notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) result.

“The Department of Transportation should ensure that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the country pursuant to travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and IATF resolutions except if they are part of the repatriation efforts of the national government,” Roque said.

Only foreigners with valid visas allowed entry to PH, tourists still banned — BI

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Only foreign nationals with valid and existing visas will be allowed to enter the Philippines, and tourists are still prohibited despite the lifting of certain travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

The BI issued the clarification after the Philippine government lifted the travel ban on some foreign nationals starting May 1.

“Foreign tourists are still prohibited from entering the country and said restriction remains effective until it is lifted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement on Sunday.

Morente explained that the country only reverted to implementing the travel international guidelines that existed prior to March 22 when the government re-imposed a ban on the entry of all foreigners due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

“The recent easing of travel restrictions applies only to those aliens who were allowed to come here before March 22 and they should have valid and existing visas at the time of their arrival in our ports of entry,” the BI chief added.

The BI earlier announced that starting May 1, foreigners with existing immigrant and non-immigrant visas may again enter the country.

Exempted from the visa requirement are the foreign spouse and children of Balikbayans or returning Filipinos and former Filipinos who are traveling with the latter.

Foreigners who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) or Section 9(a) temporary visitors’ visas may be allowed entry, provided they present an entry exemption document from the Department of Foreign Affairs upon arrival.

Except for foreign diplomats and members of international organizations, all foreign travelers are required to present a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel facility where they will be tested for COVID-19 on the sixth day from the date of their arrival, the BI said.

The BI also emphasized that following the IATF-MEID, travelers who came from India or have a travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding their arrival are not allowed to enter the country until May 14.

PH to allow entry of more foreigners starting May 1 — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, on May 1,  will lift its ban on the entry of some foreign nationals except for those coming from India or those with travel history to the said country, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed the entry of foreign nationals permitted under previous IATF resolutions but will be subject to the following conditions:

  • They must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under Balikbayan Program
  • They must have pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility
  • They must subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth (6th) day from the date of arrival
  • They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and the date of entry

“Simula a-uno po ng Mayo, puwede pong makapasok at pinapayagang pumasok base sa mga nakaraang IATF resolution ang ilang mga dayuhan… Pero karamihan po ito ay iyong mga nangangalakal, iyong mga investors, visa holders at long-term visa holders,” Roque said during a Laging Handa briefing.

The entry ban on most foreigners was imposed on March 22 until April 30 due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

Under previous IATF resolutions, the following foreign nationals allowed entry to the Philippines:

  • Diplomats
  • Members of international organization and their dependents holding valid 9(e) visa of 47(a)(2), as the case may be, at the time of entry
  • Foreigners involved in medical repatriation endorsed by the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration provided that they have a valid visa at the time of entry
  • Foreign seafarers under the “green lanes” program for a crew change, provided that they hold a 9(c) crew list visa at the time of entry
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry
  • Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF vs COVID-19 chairperson or his duly authorized representative, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry

“Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India, as imposed by IATF Resolution No. 112,” Roque said in a separate statement.

The Philippines has barred the entry of travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge of COVID-19 infections attributed to a “double-mutant” coronavirus variant.

“All these are without prejudice to immigration rules and regulations. The Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on the waiver or recall of exclusion orders of foreign nationals, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat,” Roque said.

The Bureau of Immigration has also been directed to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure its smooth implementation, the Palace said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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