Guam has been included in the “red” list of places where travel restrictions will be implemented, the Philippine government announced.
Aside from Guam, the countries included in the red list are Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland.
All passengers who are coming from or who have been to the countries under the red list within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines would be prohibited from entering the Philippines beginning noon on September 12 until 11:59 p.m. on September 18 (Manila time).
In light of these new travel restrictions, the Philippine Consulate is advising passengers from Guam who are scheduled to travel to the Philippines between Sept. 12 to Sept. 18, 2021, to immediately contact their respective airlines.
No reason was given as to why Guam was included in the list although the island is currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control also recently placed Guam in its “high risk” travel category and placed Guam in fourth place with regard to the most number of cases in the U.S.
The Guam Visitors Bureau is already aware of the situation and is trying to lobby for Guam’s removal from the red list and inclusion into the green list of approved destinations.
Guam has much to lose from the restrictions because there are many travelers between Guam and the Philippines for tourism and medical purposes.
GVB’s vaccine tourism program has also been getting a steady stream of visitors from the Philippines from American expatriates and Filipinos with dual Philippine and American citizenship.
According to the Philippine News Agency, the travel restrictions do not cover returning Filipinos who will fly back to the country through government-initiated or non-government repatriation programs, as well as through special commercial flights allowed under existing resolutions issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
All passengers who have been to the red-listed countries within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines and are arriving before noon on September 12 will be allowed to enter the country.
They, however, shall be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period and passengers allowed to enter the country would be required to stay at a quarantine facility in the first 10 days and observe home quarantine in the last four days.
In addition, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing must be conducted seven days after arrival.
“Arriving passengers shall complete a 10-day facility-based quarantine, notwithstanding a negative test result,” PNA quoted Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque as saying.
Filipino or foreign passengers who merely transited through any of the countries included in the red list would not be considered as “having come or having been to the said country, provided they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities.”