Ban on non-essential travel enforced anew, says Immigration

Published July 24, 2020, 3:01 PM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is enforcing anew the ban on non-essential travel of outbound Filipinos following the government’s decision to re-impose the restriction.


“Again, only essential travel of outbound Filipinos will be allowed.  Non-essential travel for leisure and tourism purposes will not be permitted,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Immigration officers in different international ports have been instructed to implement the travel ban as ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 57.

Nonetheless, the BI chief said that as previously directed by the IATF-EID, the bureau will continue to allow the departure of foreigners and Filipinos who are overseas workers, holders of study visas, and permanent residents in their country of destination.

BI port operations chief Grifton Medina explained that essential travel will be permitted for those who are going abroad for medical and humanitarian reasons, and for business and work-related purposes.

Medina said outbound Filipino travelers must present to immigration officers documents and other proof about the purpose of their travel in order to prove that their trip is truly essential.

“However, passengers with bookings until July 20 would still be allowed to leave for non-essential trips abroad,” he added.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced that IATF decided to re-impose the ban on non-essential travel due to lack of companies that were willing to extend travel health insurance on COVID-19 for outbound Filipino travelers.

Roque said that so far only one company has agreed to provide the said insurance coverage.