The Philippines will stop issuing visas to foreigners worldwide to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Loscin Jr said on Thursday, March 16.
Foreigners from at least 100 countries enjoying visa-free privileges will likewise not be able to travel to the Philippines temporarily.
Locsin said all Philippine visas previously issued to foreigners were likewise deemed canceled.
Only visas already issued to Filipinos’ foreign spouses and children remained valid.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief said the mode effectively goes “one imperative step forward: a total ban on incoming foreign visitors of all nationalities, no exceptions.”
How this will take effect: As the DFA is in charge of issuing visas in its foreign posts abroad, visa applications will not be approved during the Luzon lockdown, which lasts from March 17 until April 12.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has reported 217 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 8 recoveries and 17 deaths.