Worth the risk? Malacañang now allows non-essential travel for Filipinos

A plane at airport grounds <i>Logan Weaver / Unsplash</i>
A plane at airport grounds Logan Weaver / Unsplash

The Philippines has lifted its ban on non-essential travel, allowing Filipinos to travel outside the country, Malacañang Palace announced today.

“All restrictions on outbound travel among Filipinos has been lifted,” Palace Spokesman Harry Roque said in English and Filipino in today’s virtual presser.

However, there are certain conditions that travelers need to fulfill, including presenting confirmed round-trip tickets from those possessing tourist visas. Passengers will also need to purchase travel and health insurance to cover the possible cancellation of flights and accommodations in case they are stranded in another country.

Roque added that travelers should ensure that their destination does not ban the entry of Filipinos. Travelers should also comply with health guidelines such as mandatory swab testing and undergoing 14-day quarantine upon their return to the country.

Read: Someone’s Having Fun: Spokesman Roque swims with Subic dolphins despite quarantine

Roque — who was recently seen doing some traveling himself, believed by many Filipinos to be non-essential — said that further guidelines on non-essential outbound travel will be released shortly by the Department of Tourism and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The Duterte government has issued a restriction on traveling outside the country since March 19. With the exception of overseas Filipino workers and uniformed personnel conducting official businesses, no Filipino tourists were previously allowed to fly out of the country at any time.

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