Communication with regards to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19

Position, 13.03.2020

New measures by the Philippine Government / Implications for Swiss community and tourists / Adaption of Embassy activities 

Communication with regards to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
Communication with regards to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 © FDFA

The spread of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 continues globally, leading the World Health Organization WHO to declare it a pandemic. The outbreak has serious consequences worldwide, including Switzerland and the Philippines.

In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Philippine Government on 12 March 2020 raised the alert level and introduced new stringent measures.

Among the measures are the temporary suspension of domestic travel to and from Metro Manila (on land, air and sea), which is placed under “community quarantine”.

Further, entry travel restrictions for individuals coming from countries with reported localized transmission of COVID-19 will be implemented. For the moment, there is no official list of the affected countries available. However and given the situation in Switzerland, we assume that travelers from Switzerland will likewise be affected by this “travel ban”. Please note that there are specific exceptions for Filipino citizens, their foreign spouse or children, as well as holders of Permanent Resident Visas.

These measures take effect on this Sunday morning, 15 March 2020, for 30 days, with regular review of the situation.

This situation has also implications on the Swiss community in the country, tourists and business travelers from Switzerland, as well as the business activity of the Embassy.

For all questions, please follow the information and advice of the Philippine Government, especially the Department of Health DOH as well as the World Health Organization WHO.

For questions in relation to the travel restrictions, please consult with the national authorities, airlines and travel agencies.

For health related questions or needs, please consult with your physician, hospital and the local authorities. For Swiss sources, you may consult information of the Federal Office of Public Health FHPO. The FHPO has a hotline, available 24/7, for your questions: +41 58 463 00 00.

Important information about the business activity of the Embassy: given the governmental measures as well as further precautionary measures taken by Embassy management, be informed that the Embassy adapts its opening hours to Monday to Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Friday closed. These opening hours remain in place until further notice.

For urgent requests, you may contact the Embassy through Tel. +63 (0)2 8845 45 45,; or contact the FDFA Helpline (Tel. +41 800 24-7-365 / +41 58 465 33 33).

Thank you very much for your attention.

With our best wishes for good health and kind regards,

Embassy of Switzerland in Manila