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The suspension of international inbound flights from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe replaces the previous classification of the three countries on the green list.

Cabinet Secretary and Acting Speaker of the President Karlo Nograles made this clarification on Saturday November 27th as the Philippines take precautions against the new variant B.1.1.1529 of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). “This is to clarify that the temporary suspension of incoming international flights from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) contained in IATF resolution 150, the earlier classification of the three above-mentioned countries in the IATF resolution 148 replaces -A, ”Nograles said in a statement.

According to the IATF definition, countries on the Green List are nations and legal systems that are classified as low risk based on the COVID-19 incidence rate and the number of cases.

“The temporary suspension of inbound international flights from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique will also take effect immediately and until December 15, 2021,” added Nograles. The government’s Pandemic Task Force has yet to fully update its list of green, yellow and red countries that are risk classifications related to COVID-19. The current lists for the period from November 15th to 30th can be found here. On Friday evening, Nograles announced the temporary suspension of international inbound flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique due to local cases or the likelihood of occurrence of the new variant B.1.1.1529. Originally called the South Africa variant, it has been described as a heavily mutated variant of COVID-19. The Philippines have just beaten the Delta variant, which made local headlines for the first time last August. Of around 20,000 new cases each day in the period August to September, the Philippines now routinely produce fewer than 1,000 new cases per day. Nograles also acts as the IATF spokesperson.