A passenger wearing a face mask and face shield for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks towards a counter in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines, on Jan 14, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

MANILA — The Philippines will relax its ban on travelers, starting next month, from over 30 countries and regions that have confirmed cases of more transmissible COVID-19 variants, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Friday.

The ban on foreign travelers from 36 countries and regions, including Britain, China and the United States, ends on Jan 31. “The restriction remains until January 31, 2021, and would lapse after the aforesaid date,” Roque said in a statement.

The government clarified that foreign nationals who are not allowed entry to the Philippines as stated by previous orders, including those holding tourist visas, are still prohibited to enter the country.

Roque reiterated that travelers allowed entry still need to complete the 14-day quarantine.

On the same day, Roque announced that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has retained the general community quarantine for the capital city of Manila until the end of February to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Aside from Manila, Roque said Duterte also placed a number of provinces across the country under the same restrictions. Many provinces in other parts of the country are put under more relaxed restrictions, he added.

The Philippines has been put under varying degrees of lockdowns since mid-March last year.

The Philippines has tallied 519,575 coronavirus infections, including 10,552 deaths.