Well, for some people, it was good while it lasted.
Filipinos are once again prohibited from traveling overseas for non-essential reasons, Malacañang Palace announced today.
Earlier this month, Pinoys were allowed to visit other countries, provided they present confirmed round-trip tickets and purchase health and travel insurance that would cover rebooked flights and accommodations in case they’re stranded abroad.
However, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual briefing that only one insurer was able to provide the coverage, leading the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to prohibit non-essential travel.
“The sad news is only one insurance company in the Philippines is able to provide this travel and health insurance, which is why the IATF is for now suspending non-essential outbound travel,” Roque said in English and Filipino.
The spokesman said the resolution will take effect immediately, and only Filipinos who have booked flights as of July 20 will be exempted from the said travel ban.
Those who secured tickets as of said date should also sign a declaration acknowledging the risks of traveling during a pandemic, and they must take mandatory swab tests and undergo 14-day quarantine upon returning. Passengers also have a responsibility to ensure that the country they’re traveling to does not ban Filipinos.
Traveling overseas has been restricted by the government since mid-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Only overseas Filipino workers and uniformed personnel conducting official businesses are allowed to fly out of the country.
To date, the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases stand at 72,269, with 1,843 deaths, and 23,623 recoveries.