Philippines reimposes ban on non-essential overseas travel

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2020 12:45 PM | Updated as of Jul 23 2020 01:02 PM

Filipino passengers bound for Japan fill up contact tracing forms at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Parañaque City. Danny Pata, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — An inter-agency task force on the coronavirus pandemic has banned anew non-essential travel abroad, Malacañang said Thursday. 

The Philippines earlier this month lifted its ban on outbound leisure travel provided that holiday-makers have travel and health insurance to cover re-booking and accommodation expenses if their trips are canceled, or if they need hospitalization. 

However, only one insurance company in the Philippines agreed to provide this coverage, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque. 

"Kaya, sinuspinde muna ng IATF ang non-essential outbound travel," he said in a press briefing.

(This is why the IATF temporarily suspended non-essential outbound travel.)

Travelers with confirmed flight bookings as of July 20, 2020 will be exempted from the travel ban, he said. 

The government in March banned Filipino tourists from flying out of the country due to the coronavirus threat. Only overseas Filipino workers, permanent resident abroad, and holders of a student visa were allowed to leave.