MANILA – China and four other countries have been included on the Philippines’ list of countries/jurisdictions covered by a temporary travel restriction to prevent the spread of a new variant of coronavirus, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a regular virtual Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Office of the Executive Secretary released the additional countries that also include Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, and Oman.

He said prohibition on entry of all foreigners will take effect Jan. 13 at 12:01 p.m. until Jan. 15, 2021 subject to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

Roque earlier announced the temporary ban on the entry of foreign travelers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and Austria.

Roque said Filipinos from the above countries can still come home but subject to the government’s strict quarantine measures.

They will be required to undergo an “absolute” facility-based 14-day quarantine, even if they obtain a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result.

Experts said the new strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, is nearly 70 percent more transmissible than the original the Covid-19. (PNA)