Inter-Agency Task Force to review travel ban expansion amid COVID-19 threat

Aileen Cerrudo

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) will review if there is a need to expand the travel ban restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the lead agency of the IATF-EID, the government is always conducting regular risk assessments.

DOH Asec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are looking into several criteria in order to determine if the government should implement a travel ban to a certain country.

Among the criteria include the number of COVID-19 cases in a certain country, the number of passengers flying to and from the Philippines, as well as the evidence of local transmission in the area.

“There are these criteria that are being used for us to ascertain if countries should be restricted or not,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration is not encouraging Filipinos to travel outside the county especially if it’s not needed.

“If your travel is non-essential, it’s best to delay it, while everything is being sorted out,” according to Immigration Bureau Spokesperson Dana Sandoval.

“Rest assured that the government is implementing this travel bans to protect us,” she added.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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