BI to public: Stop fake news about airline flights

Published March 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has appealed to the public to stop spreading fake news about airline flights amidst COVID-2019 pandemic.

Bureau of Immigration (MANILA BULLETIN)
Bureau of Immigration (MANILA BULLETIN)

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente made the call after fake social media posts claimed of unabated arrival of flights from China despite the travel ban.

“We are not banning flights, but are rather restricting people coming from areas of concern,” said Morente.

He clarified that some flights to and from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea still continue to operate as they carry exempted classes of passengers.

In recent travel restriction, the BI announced that passengers from China, Macau, Hong Kong and North Gyeongsang in South Korea are not allowed to enter the country.

However, Filipinos and their spouse and children as well as foreigners with Philippine permanent resident visas, and members of the diplomatic corps are exempted from the travel ban.

The BI chief said Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) bound for Mainland China except Hubei province and Wuhan City are now allowed to fly out of the country as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

The passengers are, however, obliged to sign an undertaking stating that they are aware of the risks involved in their travel.

OFWs, permanent residents and their dependents, and student visa holders may fly out to Hong Kong, Macau, and North Gyeongsang.

The BI also announced the implementation of the expanded travel restriction to Iran and Italy starting yesterday.

Arriving passengers from both countries will be required to present a medical certificate issued within the last 48 hours stating that they are COVID-2019-free, otherwise they will not be allowed entry.

“We are not after certain nationalities. This virus does not pick races. We are after travel patterns. Hence, Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau nationals, South Koreans, Iranians, and Italians who have not been to the areas of concern in the last 14 days are not part of the restrictions,” Morente said.

“But any foreigner, regardless of nationality, who come from areas of concern will not be allowed to enter,” he added.

In one such viral post, netizens questioned the arrival of a Xiamen Air flight that arrived last March 10.

Morente stated the airliner carried only a Filipino citizen, and three permanent residents, who are exempted from the ban.

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