Philippines travel ban on 10 countries, including UAE, extended until August 31

The move has been made as the country records its second-biggest daily case load since the pandemic began

The Philippines has extended a travel ban on inbound passengers from 10 countries, including the UAE, as part of a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The restrictions also affect India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr confirmed President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the extension of the travel ban, which was set to end on Sunday.

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 of coronavirus. It has then been repeatedly extended every couple of weeks.

“This is a proactive measure amid the implementation of international border control because of Covid-19 Delta variant,” Roque Jr said.

Covid-19 cases in the Philippines have surged in recent months because of Delta variant. On Friday, the country's Department of Health recorded 13,177 new cases, the second biggest single-day tally since the pandemic began.

There have been 1.7 million cases confirmed, with almost 30,000 deaths throughout the pandemic in the South-East Asian country.

Since the ban was instated, Emirates has not been accepted passengers for travel to the Philippines if their journey has originated in the UAE, including Filipino nationals. Flights continue to operate as scheduled and passengers transiting in Dubai and those returning to the Philippines under the government repatriation programme have been allowed to travel, an airline representative confirmed.

Cebu Pacific previously confirmed to The National it 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.

Updated: August 15th 2021, 5:10 AM