Saturday, August 8, 2020

Spox. Roque: Non-Essential Travel Now Allowed

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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed non-essential travel across the country and abroad, Malacañang on said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s policy-making body on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response issued Resolution No. 52 which states that “the suspension of non-essential travel by Filipinos pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 13 dated 17 March 2020 is hereby lifted.”

The IATF-EID also lifted all travel restrictions relative to the outbound travel of Filipinos.

“All travel restrictions relative to outbound travel of Filipinos pursuant to previous IATF Resolutions are likewise lifted,” the resolution reads.

Before non-essential outbound travel is allowed, individuals will have to submit confirmed round-trip tickets for those traveling on tourist visas.

Individuals should also submit travel and health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses if stranded and hospitalization in case of infection.

They should also show proof of allowed entry by the destination country in accordance with their travel, health, and quarantine restrictions.

A declaration should also be executed acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including the risk of delay in their return trip, to be provided for in the check-in counters by the airlines.

Upon their return, they must follow the guidelines of returning overseas Filipinos of the National Task Force (NTF).

Outbound tourists will be allowed subject to the conditions set by the resolution.

However, Roque said the resolution does not cover healthcare workers with pending contracts abroad.

“Hindi po napa-process pa rin ng POEA ang mga papeles ng mga (The POEA has not yet processed the papers of) nurses intending to work abroad,” he said.

The POEA earlier issued Resolution 09, temporarily suspending the deployment of all health care workers “until the national state of emergency is lifted.”

Criticisms from labor groups, however, prompted the Task Force to review the temporary deployment ban and eventually allow health care workers with perfected and signed overseas employment contracts as of March 8 to work abroad.

Meanwhile, the resolution also stated that the sub-technical working group on the entry of foreign nationals will be reconstituted to a sub-technical working group on travel. (PNA)

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