The Philippine government has decided to temporarily ban the entry of foreigners and limit the entry of returning Filipinos at Manila’s international airport to 1,500 daily as it struggles to contain an alarming surge in coronavirus infections.
A government body dealing with the pandemic said the monthlong travel restrictions would start Saturday and aim to prevent the spread into the country of coronavirus strains from other countries which are believed to be more contagious. Among those to be allowed limited entry are homebound Filipino workers.
Philippine Airlines said it would announce some flight cancellations to comply with the temporary restriction.
Manila and other cities in the capital region reimposed 7-hour night curfews for two weeks starting Monday and locked down dozens of villages amid the surge in infections which some officials attributed to public complacency and critics blamed on the failure of the government’s response to the pandemic.
The Philippines has reported more than 631,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 12,848 deaths, the second-highest totals in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.