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Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries from Sept.6

The Philippines will lift the travel ban for all inbound travelers from 10 countries starting from Sept.6, the presidential spokesperson said on Saturday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that the ban, put in place in April then expanded to more countries in July to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, will be lifted on Monday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the inter-agency COVID-19 task force to lift the current travel restrictions on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the UAE, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Roque said that travelers from these 10 countries will have to spend 14 days in quarantine upon arrival.

"International travelers coming from the above-mentioned countries shall, however, comply with the appropriate entry, testing, and quarantine protocols," Roque said in a statement.

However, foreign tourists are still banned from entering the country except for holders of special visas such as diplomats and foreign spouses of Filipino citizens.

The Philippines is grappling with soaring COVID-19 infections and has reported 2,040,568 cases, including 33,873 deaths, as of Friday.

According to the Philippines' department of health, there were 20,310 new COVID-19 infections on Friday.Data shows that the caseload is the second-highest single-day tally since the coronavirus pandemic began in January last year.

The country has detected 1,789 Delta cases, including 33 deaths, as the local transmission of the variant has spread to communities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the community transmission of the Delta variant, saying it is now the dominant COVID-19 strain spreading in the Philippines.

The Philippines has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Surging COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant have been overwhelming hospitals even as healthcare workers have protested to end to what they called government neglect and unpaid benefits.

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