September 25, 2020
The government in March banned Filipino tourists from flying out of the country due to the COVID-19 threat. Only overseas Filipino workers, permanent resident abroad, and holders of a student visa were allowed to leave./PN MANILA – The Philippines restricted anew non-essential overseas travel for Filipinos, Malacañang said. “Sinuspinde muna ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) ang non-essential outbound travel,” Roque said in a virtual press conference on Thursday. Roque announced in the same media briefing that the government allowed the resumption of essential outbound travel for Filipinos. However, travelers with confirmed flight bookings as of July 20, according to Roque, will be exempted from the travel ban. The Philippine government is reimposing its ban on outbound overseas travel less than a month after officials lifted the restriction. DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM To recall, the Philippines lifted its ban on outbound leisure travel earlier this month provided that holiday-makers have travel and health insurance to cover re-booking and accommodation expenses if their trips are canceled, or if they need hospitalization. Included in essential trips are those for business and work, medical, emergency and other humanitarian reasons which cannot be postponed, the task force said. The reimposition came after only one insurance company in the country agreed to provide the coverage for non-essential travels abroad, according to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. The conditions include a declaration signifying knowledge and understanding of the risks involved and compliance with the guidelines for returning Filipinos.