MANILA — Budget airline AirAsia Philippines announced Thursday it was not allowing stranded individuals to fly to destinations in Eastern and Western Visayas for two weeks even as it gradually resumed domestic operations.
In an advisory, AirAsia said so-called "locally stranded individuals" have not been allowed on flights to the two regions since June 28. Flights for other passengers going to Tacloban, Iloilo and Kalibo from Manila, meanwhile, will continue.
"Following the government’s recent announcement, locally stranded individuals (LSIs) will not be allowed on flights going to regions 6 (Western Visayas) and 8 (Eastern Visayas) for two weeks starting 28 June," AirAsia said in a statement.
Government had recently announced the ban on the entry of stranded individuals into the two regions.
AirAsia said flight services will remain in key domestic routes and "will gradually increase to include international destinations in the following months."
The budget carrier resumed flight operations on June 5 as the country eased quarantine measures following almost 3 months of lockdowns to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) as of June 30 showed that Metro Manila remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines with 18,308 cases, followed by Central Visayas with 7,585 cases, Calabarzon with 2,694 cases, Central Luzon with 944, and Eastern Visayas with 342.
Data from the DOH also revealed that community transmission continues to occur, particularly in Cebu, which has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot.
An estimated 4.1 million working-age Filipinos got stranded due to quarantines enforced because of the coronavirus pandemic across the country, a special survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
This came amid continuing reports of people stranded in key areas and employment hubs.