The Philippines has extended restrictions on travellers arriving from 10 countries, including the UAE, until August 15 in a bid to stem the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, it was announced on Friday.
The ban was first imposed on May 15, after passengers entering the Philippines from the UAE were found to be infected with the Delta strain. It was then extended until July 15 and then again until July 30.
“This is a proactive measure amid the implementation of international border control because of Covid-19 Delta variant,” the Philippines' presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, said.
More than 27,000 people have died because of Covid-19 in the Asian country and, on Thursday, its positive case rate climbed to 16.2 per cent, its highest in three months, according to the Department of Health in the Philippines.
An Emirates spokesperson has confirmed restrictions will remain in effect until Sunday, August 15.
"Passengers whose journey originates from the UAE, including Filipino nationals, will not be accepted for travel to all points in the Philippines. During this time, flights will continue to operate as scheduled and passengers transiting in Dubai and those returning to the Philippines under the government repatriation programme will be allowed to travel."
Cebu Pacific has cancelled its flights between Dubai and Manila until Tuesday, August 31. Affected passengers have been informed, with refunds being requested, and the airline has also recently changed its policies to allow unlimited rebooking with no change fee.
Health authorities have so far reported four 216 Delta-variant cases in the Philippines.
On Friday, Roque also announced Metro Manila would be placed under the strictest level of quarantine measures to avoid putting more pressure on hospitals.