PH lifts restriction on non-essential outbound travels

By: Darryl John Esguerra – Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQ

Malacañang on Tuesday announced that the government task force against COVID-19 has lifted the restrictions on non-essential outbound travel by Filipinos despite the recent surge in confirmed coronavirus infections in the country.

“Lahat ng travel restriction kaugnay ng mga outbound travel ng mga Pilipino ay inalis na rin po,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.

(All travel restrictions on outbound travel of Filipinos are already lifted.)

Roque initially declared that tourism travel remains prohibited but in a text message to reporters after his press briefing, he noted that outbound tourism is “allowed subject to the conditions” set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Roque said travel of Filipinos abroad would now be allowed provided that traveling individuals adhere to certain conditions, which include the following:

-Submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets for those traveling on tourist visas

-Adequate travel health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses

-Allowed entry by the destination country in accordance with travel, health and quarantine restrictions

-Execution of a Declaration acknowledging the risk of the travel

Upon return to the Philippines, guidelines set by the National Task Force against COVID-19 for returning overseas Filipinos should be observed such as the RT-PCR testing and the mandatory quarantine, the Palace official noted

Before the lifting of the restrictions, Filipinos are not allowed to leave the country unless they are overseas Filipino workers or permanent residents or holders of a student visa in their country of destination.

Over 11.6 million people worldwide have already been infected by SARS-CoV-2–the new coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19–since it was first reported in Hubei, China late last year.

In the Philippines, there are currently 46,333 cases of COVID-19, including 12,185 recoveries and 1,303 deaths.

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