Philippines to lift COVID travel ban on 10 countries including UAE

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is lifting a coronavirus ban on travelers from 10 countries including India, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the presidential spokesperson said on Saturday.

The ban, introduced in April then expanded to more countries in July to prevent the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, will be lifted on Monday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

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Travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia will have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival, Roque said.

The Philippines, which has among the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, is battling a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases driven by community transmission of the more infectious Delta variant.

The Philippines has so far secured a total of 194.89 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to inoculate about 100.5 million Filipinos or more than 100 percent of the country's adult population, the finance ministry said.

Nearly 49 million doses have been delivered, while another 42 million will arrive in a month, said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, adding that the government could inoculate everyone by January.

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