MANILA, Philippines – The government has suspended its decision to allow non-essential outbound travel for Filipinos amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang announced on Thursday.
It can be recalled that the task force lifted the restriction on non-essential foreign travel last July 6 subject to conditions, including having a travel and health insurance to cover rebooking, accommodation if they got stranded or their trip got delayed, and hospitalization expenses in case they contracted the viral respiratory disease.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases made the decision as only one company agreed to provide this coverage.
“Iisang insurance company lamang sa Pilipinas ang pumayag sa ganitong travel at health insurance kaya sinuspinde muna ng IATF ang non-essential outbound travel,” he said.
The guidelines also state that a traveler must have confirmed roundtrip tickets if traveling on tourist visas.
Their country of destination should also have no entry ban for Filipinos, the traveler must sign a declaration form acknowledging the risks in traveling, and returning travelers should also follow the COVID-19 protocols including the mandatory quarantine and RT-PCR testing.
Roque, however, said that travelers with confirmed bookings as of July 20 will still be allowed to leave the country subject to the conditions stated by the government.
The government in March imposed the outbound travel restriction due to the threat of infection. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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