Bangkok Desk, Dec 23 (EFE).- The Philippines announced on Wednesday the suspension of all flights into the country from the United Kingdom, which has identified a new strain of Covid-19 circulating, the government reported.
The measure will take effect from Thursday and will last until Dec. 31, said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“All passengers who have been in the UK within fourteen days immediately preceding arrival to the Philippines, including those merely in transit, are also temporarily restricted from entering the country for the same period,” the Philippine official said in a statement.
Those passengers due to arrive before Thursday will be able to enter the Philippines, but are required to observe stricter quarantine measures and testing protocols.
On Dec. 14, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that a “new variant” of SARS-CoV-2 had been identified in the European country, and which spreads very quickly.
The new variant is 70 percent more contagious than other more common ones and has been responsible for a surge in cases in the United Kingdom, according to experts, although for now it is not considered more virulent or immune to the vaccines that are being distributed.
Confirmed cases with the new variant have already been detected in other countries such as Denmark, Australia, South Africa and Italy, among others.
This situation has led to suspensions of flights to and from the UK by various nations, such as France, Germany, Spain, India and Canada, while the British government has imposed hard restrictions on movement within its territory.
The Philippines is the country hardest hit by the pandemic in Southeast Asia, with more than 462,000 confirmed infections and 8,957 deaths attributed to Covid-19. EFE