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PH Government Urget To Impose Hong Kong Travel Ban Over Omicron

TRAVEL BAN – The Philippine government needs to decide if it wants to impose a travel ban on Hong Kong.

Recently, the Philippines already announced its list of countries added to the “red list”. Countries on the list are those deemed “high-risk” of COVID-19 transmissions.

Currently, Hong Kong, where a large population of OFWs works, is not on the list. However, due to the presence of the Omicron variant, former National Task Force Against COVID-19 adviser Dr. Tony Leachon said:

It would be prudent on our part to suspend inbound travelers, particularly from Hong Kong, because of the close proximity of that country to our shores

Hong Kong Travel Ban Urged In PH Due To Omicron Variant

Leachon stressed that the country should immediately include a temporary bar traveling to and from Hong Kong. Furthermore, with the holiday season coming closer, Leachon said the surge in flights may become an issue.

Based on an article from CNN, Hong Kong is currently on the Philippines’ yellow list. As such, fully vaccinated passengers from Hong Kong need only to present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to their flight.

Along with Hong Kong, countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Israel, Germany, and more have detected the new Omicron Variant.

Moreover, Leachon emphasized that there’s nothing wrong with putting up stricter border controls. He stressed that these protocols would delay the inevitability of the Omicron’s entry into the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rontgene Solante, an infectious disease expert, said it is better to be vigilant, especially with the new variant. Based on an article from CNN, Solante stated:

I fully agree na all those countries with Omicron variant should also be part of the travel ban for the meantime that we don’t know yet the extent of the spread of this Omicron variants of concern

READ ALSO: Canada Confirms First Cases of COVID-19 Omicron Cases

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