MANILA, Nov 29 (Mabuhay) –The Philippines has temporarily suspended the implementation of a resolution allowing the entry of fully vaccinated foreigners with visa-free privileges due to concerns involving the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Malacañang announced Monday.

In a virtual briefing, presidential spokesperson Karlo Alexei Nograles announced the suspension of the implementation of Resolution 150-A issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID).

The resolution provides for the entry of fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa-required countries from Green List countries, jurisdictions, and territories which was initially scheduled to take effect December 1.

“We are temporarily suspending it po, abangan na lang natin (just look out for it). Kami rin sa (Us in the) IATF, we continue to consult with our health experts, we continue to actively monitor developments with regard to the Omicron variant,” said Nograles.

As agreed upon by the IATF, Nograles said the Philippines will place territories under the Red List or those banned from entering the country once a local transmission of the variant is reported.

He also explained that while countries may have reported cases of the Omicron variant, they may still remain under the green or yellow lists if the cases are imported and are not locally transmitted.

“We will take it one step at a time, day to day monitoring ng [of] any and all developments happening around the world,” he said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated Omicron as a variant of concern, and many countries are racing to try and contain it. The origin of the variant is currently unclear, but South African scientists were the first to announce the discovery on November 25.

The Philippines has so far placed several countries under the Red List until December 15, in efforts to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. (MNS)

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