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Coronavirus

Philippines to ban foreigners for 1 month, cap entries

Country cautious as virus cases surge and after variant discovered

The Philippines banned the entry of foreigners in principle in March last year to stem the spread of the virus but gradually loosened the restrictions.   © Reuters

MANILA (Kyodo) -- The Philippines will ban foreigners and returning citizens except overseas workers from entering the country for a month from Saturday until April 19 amid increasing coronavirus cases, the government said Tuesday.

The government will limit the number of people permitted to enter the country to 1,500 per day under the ban, which does not apply to diplomats and some medical personnel.

The Southeast Asian country banned the entry of foreigners in principle in March last year to stem the spread of the virus but gradually loosened the restrictions.

Currently foreigners are allowed to enter the country if they already have visas or have visas issued upon the recommendation of a government agency to which their work is related.

Health authorities say virus cases are on an upward trajectory, and there is a growing alarm within the government after a virus variant was discovered recently.

The country has so far reported 631,320 cases, including 12,848 deaths.

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