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Philippines eases travel curbs, lifts ban on travellers from India, 9 other countries

Philippines eases travel curbs, lifts ban on travellers from India, 9 other countries

Manila: Despite the rising Covid-19 cases fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant, the Philippines has decided to lift the travel ban for all inbound travellers from India and nine other countries starting from September 6, said the presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the inter-agency Covid-19 task force to lift the current travel restrictions on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, reports Xinhua news agency.

"International travellers coming from the above-mentioned countries shall, however, comply with the appropriate entry, testing, and quarantine protocols," Roque said in a statement.

However, foreign tourists are still banned from entering the country except for holders of special visas such as diplomats and foreign spouses of Filipino citizens.

Meanwhile, the local transmission of the Delta variant has spread to communities in the Philippines. The country has detected 1,789 Delta cases and 33 deaths so far.

The World Health Organization confirmed the community transmission of the Delta variant, saying it is now the dominant Covid-19 strain spreading in the Philippines.

In April, the Philippines imposed a ban on India and later expanded to include the nine other countries with Delta cases.

The Southeast Asian country is now grappling with soaring Covid-19 infections. As of Friday, it reported a total of 2,040,568 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 33,873 deaths.

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