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No additional international travel restrictions under Metro Manila quarantine
Published on: Saturday, August 08, 2020
By: GMA News
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Airline ground staff (left) wearing protective gear work at the counter at the airport in Manila.
MANILA: The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said there are no additional restrictions on international travel even though stricter quarantine measures were reimposed in Metro Manila and other nearby areas.

“Unlike domestic flights which are suspended under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), international flights at our airports in Manila, Cebu and Clark continue,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal back to MECQ for 15 days beginning August 4.

Port operations acting chief Grifton Medina said the country remains off limits to foreign tourists. Apart from Filipinos, only holders of permanent immigrant visas, foreign spouses, minor dependants, and foreign parents of Filipino minors can enter the Philippines, he said.

Dependants of Filipinos and children of foreigners who have special needs, regardless of age, may enter the country, he said.

On the other hand, only foreigners, overseas Filipino workers, and Filipinos who are permanent residents or students in their country of destination may leave the country, he said.

Morente said existing travel restrictions remain until they are revised or changed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

The BI chief said he issued the statement after the bureau was swamped with calls and inquiries from the public after the government announced that Metro Manila was reverting to MECQ from the general community quarantine.

He advised the public to monitor international travel guidelines through the BI’s website and social media accounts.

Meanwhile, Medina reported that only 87 foreign permanent resident or immigrant visa holders arrived in the country from August 1 to 5 — a 94 percent drop from the 1,412 permanent residents who arrived during the same time last year.

About 15,000 foreigners who are permanent Philippine residents are still stranded abroad, he said.



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