MANILA - The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 pandemic response has allowed non-essential overseas travel of Filipinos starting next week, Malacañang said Friday, potentially increasing customers for Philippine carriers that have suffered amid the pandemic.
The IATF, which met Thursday, "lifted the restriction of non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos effective October 21, 2020," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Travelers should submit the following, he said:
- Confirmed roundtrip tickets
- Travel and health insurance for those traveling with tourist visas
- Immigration declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling
- Negative Antigen result taken within 24 hours before departure
"Outbound Filipino travelers shall likewise follow the Guidelines of the National Task Force (NTF) for returning overseas Filipinos," said Roque.
The IATF decision ends an outbound travel restriction in effect since July.
The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic contraction this year, the World Bank has said, the biggest since the 1980s and worse than the government's projected 5.5 percent decline.
Its recovery has been constrained by an unrelenting first wave of infections since March, with more than 340,000 cases, Southeast Asia's second highest number, limiting its ability to fully reopen businesses, and restart domestic and international tourism.
— With a report from Reuters