Palace lifts ban on non-essential foreign travels

The restriction on non-essential foreign travel by Filipinos is lifted amid the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

The decision was based on recommendations of the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution No. 52 released on July 6.

NON-ESSENTIAL FOREIGN TRAVEL BAN LIFTED

In his daily press briefings, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the prohibition on non-essential foreign travels is now lifted.

“Ang pag-alis sa suspension ng mga non-essential na byahe ng mga Pilipino, kaugnay nito, lahat ng travel restrictions na may kinalaman sa outbound travel ng mga Pilipino ay inalis na rin po,” states Roque.

“Huwag muna po tayo tumalon sa tuwa. Bawal pa rin ang turismo pero ang mangyayari po ay ‘pag bibiyahe mayroon po tayong mga requirements na dapat ipakita sa ating Bureau of Immigration (BI),” Roque said.

The following requirements must be presented to BI prior to foreign travel:

  • Submission of confirmed round-trip 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 their travel, health and quarantine restrictions
  • Execution of a Declaration acknowledging the risks involved in travelling

Upon returning to the country, the traveler must follow the guidelines for returning overseas Filipinos set by the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19. These include undergoing a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and quarantine while awaiting the results.

BUS AUGMENTATION DURING MRT SUSPENSION

In the briefing, Roque also mentioned that upon the recommendation of the IATF Resolution No. 52, additional buses will be deployed at EDSA to serve passengers during the suspension of the MRT 3 that began today.

Under the MRT’s bus augmentation scheme, 90 bus units will be deployed along EDSA with a fixed dispatching interval that lets one bus leave every three minutes. Meanwhile, another 150 bus units will be used for the EDSA Busway service that runs from Monumento to Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx). There will also be a mini loop route where shuttle buses can pick-up and drop off passengers at the curbside from Timog Ave. in Quezon City to Ortigas, Pasig.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) suspended the operations of the MRT 3 after 169 depot staff, 12 station personnel, three train drivers, and two operations control center staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The suspension period is scheduled from July 7 to 11, or “until RT-PCR testing confirms negative a sufficient number of personnel to resume operations.” During the shutdown, all of the railway’s 3,200 employees will undergo RT-PCR testing while the depot, stations and trains are disinfected.

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