DFA urges Filipino travelers to postpone trips

Published December 31, 2020, 8:01 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

It is better to postpone your trips to the Philippines until January 15 or after the end of the travel restrictions to avoid personal hassle and not to incur additional expenses.

This was the call made by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to the Filipinos who intend to travel to the country. 

In its latest advisory, the DFA informed and reminded all overseas Filipinos “of the limited quarantine facilities in place and are thus strongly urged to reconsider travel plans to the Philippines for the duration of the travel restrictions, which is set to end on 15 January 2021.”

It also reminded those entering the country from affected countries and jurisdiction that they will be required to undergo a complete and strictly mandatory 14-day quarantine at a Department of Health (DOH)-approved facility, regardless of negative RT-PCR result.

The advisory was issued in response to the memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Dec. 29 on the regulation of entry for travelers from or transiting through countries that have reported incidence of the new COVID-19 strain.

“As such the DFA strongly advises that all travelers to the country to carefully reconsider their travel plans, including postponing their trips until after the end of the travel restrictions to avoid personal inconvenience and possible additional expenses as well as help prevent the incidence of the new COVID-19 strain in the country,” the DFA said. 

In the Dec. 29 memorandum, President Duterte approved the extension of the temporary suspension of flights from 19 countries effective 12:01 a.m. of Dec. 30, 2020 until Jan. 15, 2021. These are Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

During the 17-day flight ban period, non-Filipino nationals, regardless of previous visa status, exemptions granted, or relation to Filipino citizens, will temporarily be restricted from entering the Philippines, the DFA said. 

“As always, the DFA reminds travelers to always check ahead of travel dates with their airlines before departure or before booking a ticket as information published could change at any time.”