OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) returning from countries included in the Philippines’ travel ban are ready to go home after finishing their mandatory 14-day quarantine, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) said on Thursday, January 14.
“We now have a total of 5,900 OFWs undergoing 14-day quarantine. They are from the 28 nations with the UK (United Kingdom) variant. Starting today, some are heading home.
They’ve finished the 14 days,” OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said during a radio interview.
According to him, some 1,500 to 2,500 OFWs arrive in the Philippines every day.
“We are seeing that many are here for vacation. It is a good sign. It means that their jobs are starting to normalize. Our estimate is 50% are on vacation,” noted Cacdac.
He added, “There are some, who are here for good, either they lost their jobs or it is their own decision to stay here.”
Filipino nationals coming from countries included in the Philippines’ travel ban are allowed to enter the country, provided that they undergo an “absolute” facility-based 14-day quarantine, even if they obtain a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.
The Philippines on Tuesday further expanded its travel ban list to include China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman.
The five countries joined the list of countries under the Philippines’ travel ban, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, Austria, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil.
The ban on the entry of all foreigners coming from the aforementioned countries took effect on January 13 and will last until January 15 subject to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).