MANILA, July 16 (Mabuhay) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said the temporary travel ban on eight countries as a precautionary measure against the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant does not include transiting passengers.

Considered transiting are passengers who are there only for a layover and not admitted by immigration authorities in the country covered by the travel curbs, the agency said.

Entry restrictions on passengers coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia will last until July 31 unless further extended by the government.

“Because of this temporary travel restriction, anyone coming from said countries will be excluded, meaning they will be denied entry and returned to their port of origin immediately on the next available flight,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

BI port operations division chief Carlos Capulong said the agency appreciated the assistance of the airlines in not boarding anyone coming from the eight countries.

“Lest they be turned back which would be an added expense for the airlines,” he said.

The Philippines on Friday reported its first local cases of the Delta variant.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 16 new Delta variant cases were detected in the latest genome sequencing run, composed of five returning overseas Filipinos and 11 local cases, bringing the total to 35.  (MNS)

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