Gov’t allows resumption of non-essential foreign travels with certain conditions

Published July 7, 2020, 1:41 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has allowed Filipinos to resume non-essential travels abroad but imposed certain conditions to ensure their safety and health.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) has lifted the suspension of non-essential travel by Filipinos as well as all travel restrictions related to outbound travel, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

The outbound travel restrictions on Filipino travelers were imposed by the government last March as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus disease. 

“Lahat ng travel restrictions na may kinalaman sa outbound travel ng mga Pilipino ay inalis na rin po.  Huwag po muna tumalon sa tuwa. Bawal pa rin ang turismo pero ang mangyayari ay pag bibiyahe, mayroon tayong mga requirements na dapat ipakita sa ating Bureau of Immigration (All travel restrictions related to outbound travel of Filipinos have been lifted. Do not jump for joy yet. Tourism is still not allowed. But when traveling, we must present certain requirements to our Bureau of Immigration),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing Tuesday. 

Asked to clarify his comment on the movement of Filipino tourists, Roque noted that outbound tourism is allowed subject to the conditions set by the IATF.

Roque said Filipinos must observe certain conditions for outbound travel, such as the submission of confirmed round-trip tickets for those traveling on tourist visas as well as travel health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses.

He said Filipinos may also travel abroad if the destination country allows the entry in accordance with their travel, health, and quarantine restrictions. “Ibig sabihin walang ban para sa Pilipino ‘yung mga pupuntahan natin (It means that there should be no ban on Filipinos in the places we are going to),” he said.

Filipino travelers must also execute declarations acknowledging the risks involved in traveling such as delays in flights, according to Roque.

Once they return to the country, Roque said Filipino travelers must follow the guidelines implemented by the National Task Force such as undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and quarantine.

The IATF has also reconstituted the sub-technical working group on the entry of foreign nationals into a sub-TWG on travel, he added.

The government prohibited in March Filipino tourists from flying out of the country at any time amid the coronavirus outbreak. Only overseas Filipino workers and balikbayans have been allowed to leave the country subject to the availability of flights.