President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved last night, December 26, 2020, the recommendation of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. for an extension of the ban on flights from the United Kingdom (UK) for two more weeks after December 31, 2020.
Also approved by President Duterte are the recommendations of the Department of Health (DOH) for the strict mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from countries/ areas that report the COVID-19 new variant, which include Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, regardless of RT-PCR test results; travel restrictions in countries that have recorded cases of the COVID-19 new variant when transmission of the new variant in these countries have been confirmed at the community level; and all positive RT-PCR specimens of UK travellers must be forwarded to the Philippine Genome Center, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health, for genome sequencing.
The recommendation of Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, to strengthen the genomics surveillance, as part of the biosurveillance, to include target sequencing in high-risk groups, like clusters with increased cases and clusters with increased severity and deaths, was likewise approved by PRRD.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive approved the recommendation of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to shorten the period to come up with the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 122, which strengthens border control through the adoption and implementation of an Advanced Passenger Information System.