Foreign governments to pick up stranded citizens in Luzon: DFA chief


Posted at Mar 18 2020 06:46 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2020 03:22 PM

Foreign governments to pick up stranded citizens in Luzon: DFA chief 1
Foreigners stranded at the Clark International Airport. Trisha Mostoles, ABS-CBN News

Foreigners can stay in PH without visa extension during quarantine

MANILA - Other countries will have flights to the Philippines to fetch their stranded citizens amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday.

“Foreign governments sending flights to pick up stranded nationals, DFA making sure no hitches. But if they miss the flights we lifted ban on travel to get (out) of our country," Locsin tweeted.

Locsin added foreigners who want to stay during the quarantine are welcome, and shouldn't worry about visa extension.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said Filipino migrant workers and foreigners can travel abroad from Luzon during the quarantine in the northern island "provided that proof of international travel itinerary scheduled within 24 hours must be presented."

There are conditions for the policy.

Only one person is allowed to accompany a traveler bound for abroad, Nograles said. Filipino migrant workers also should be ferried to their respective airports and seaports by transport vehicles provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), according to Nograles.

Non-essential travel from any port of Luzon is suspended. Outbound movement to countries, where travel restrictions are imposed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is also prohibited during the quarantine.

Hotels, hostels and similar establishments meanwhile are not allowed to operate during the quarantine, except those accomodating existing bookings as of Tuesday, March 17.

"No new booking accomodations shall be permitted," Nograles said. "Hotel operations shall be limited to the provision of basic lodging to guests."

Outbound passengers were previously given until March 19 to leave the Philippines after Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has infected 202 people in the country, and killed at least 14 as of Wednesday.

Strict home quarantine and suspension of public transport were among the policies implemented during the lockdown.

All forms of travel to and from Luzon were also restricted except for those with official business, including transporters of basic goods and necessities, patrol of military and police personnel, commute of medical staff, and delivery of public health and humanitarian services.