Filipino seafarers and tourists, who were stranded in Spain when the country was included in the Philippines’ red list, recently returned home, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday, Jan. 19.
Through a chartered flight from Barcelona-El Prat Airport, a total of 59 Filipinos, 49 of whom are seafarers, arrived in the country on Jan. 13, 2022.
According to the DFA, the seafarers and tourists were stranded in Spain following the latter’s inclusion in the red list countries on Dec. 31.
Countries included in the red list are considered high-risk from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), thus barring inbound passengers from those countries to enter the Philippines. It was aimed at preventing the entry of the Omicron variant in the country.
The passengers, the DFA said, will observe the quarantine protocols in place pursuant to the latest resolution of the country’s pandemic task force.
It was disclosed that the chartered flight was arranged by Travel Cue company in response to the call of their client shipping companies to bring home their stranded Filipino seafarers and crewmembers.
The Philippine Consulate General in Barcelona requested Travel Cue to accommodate stranded Filipino tourists who approached the Consulate General and the Philippine Embassy in Madrid for assistance, the department said.
“Philippine Team Spain worked closely with Travel Cue and concerned authorities in Spain and the Philippines to give clearance for the chartered flight to fly from Barcelona and enter the Philippines,” it added.