Taking the COVID-19 seriously is one of the best things our government did. We took it to the next level by establishing quarantines countrywide.
And although we thought of it as slow – it was a fast response, in comparison to other countries.
As the year ended, we saw minimal traction of the virus and everyone was happy that the cases that flourished suddenly came to slow down. 2021 came and news filled in about the United Kingdom (U.K.) contracting another strand of the coronavirus.
Fast Act of the National Government
Days after the news broke out, our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte made the decision to lock our country down.
In fact, our country imposed strict travel bans because of the new COVID-19 variant that rooted from the U.K.
We started to close our doors to several countries to somehow control the flow of people that has the possibility to be infected; a mistake we made in the first wave of the COVID-19 (which was a few weeks).
So, if you are an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and you’re looking to go home to your families this 2021, you might want to reconsider traveling on or before Jan. 15th, 2021.
Why Traveling to the PH is NOT ADVISABLE
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made the advise to travelers to the PH to carefully reconsider their travel plans.
This includes cancelling the trip and/or postponing the planned trip until the end of the restrictions on our country’s travel.
But why? Here are a couple of reasons why the government is advising all Filipino travelers to stray from traveling to the country until the ban is closed.
In a regular day, people from other countries can freely enter the country.
But with the most recent travel ban, airports and facilities of the like would most likely ask you for a lot of requirements such as a medical certificate and/or report, a swab test, etc.
These things might seem easy, but in reality, they’re expensive and costly.
So if you’re trying to save up, traveling to the PH is not advisable – as of this moment.
According to the DFA, all Filipinos who are overseas are given the reminder that there are quarantine facilities in place.
These limited facilities are there to help in the accommodation of people who are going to travel.
It’s time consuming because everyone entering will be strictly required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a facility, in which the Department of Health (DOH) has approval of.
Imagine if your trip is just for a month and you’ll be held at a facility for 14 days – wouldn’t that just be a waste of time, and most importantly, money?
Risk of Infecting Others
Last but definitely not the least would be the risk that you might infect others.
Yes, you’ll be required to undergo testing first, and let’s say you get through the ropes of being quarantined and you’re allowed – you might have caught the virus AFTER the test, which is still deemed unsafe.
The strongest reason why you traveling to the PH is not advisable is because of this.
When Is It Safe To Travel?
The travel ban is set to last until the 15th of January, 2021.
And if you’re wondering about any extensions, no mentions of it has been made yet.
As per the DFA, the strict 14-day quarantine will be under no exemptions. Everyone who wants to enter the country must be held at any of the DOH-approved and facilitated centers.
Those entering the country from affected countries and jurisdiction” will be required to undergo and complete a strict mandatory 14-day quarantine at a facility approved by the Department of Health (DOH), regardless of negative RT-PCR result.”
Higher Number of Cases and Deaths
Dr. John Wong, an Epidemiologist, who is also the founder of EpiMetrics, said that if the new strand or variant of the COVID-19 successfully enters the country, it can result to worse cases, and eventually – death.
The government’s call to prohibit traveling to the Philippines is a good call.
If the variant takes over, the 20,000 cases can become almost 300,000 cases by the end of the month. This is what we want to avoid.”
As a matter of fact, Wong said that the cases can increase by 15-fold in just after a month.
So, if you know someone who is planning to visit the Philippines, it would be worth noting to tell them that traveling to the PH is not advisable as of the moment.
During these dire times, we need to make sacrifices – but we should never take risks with it.