The Department of Health (DOH) has released a memorandum on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, stating that the National Task Force (NTF) has temporarily suspended travel into the Philippines for Foreigners and Returning Overseas Filipino (ROFs) who are non-Overseas Filipino Workers (non-OFWs).
Furthermore, the said travel was temporarily suspended due to the increasing number of new cases of coronavirus in the country.
In addition, 5,404 new cases, the highest report of positive cases in the last six months, were recorded in the Philippines on March 15, 2021. And, according to the Department of Health’s (DOH) update yesterday, March 16, 2021, 4,437 new cases were logged.
Limitations and exemptions of the travel suspension
In the memorandum, it was stated that to prevent the entry of variants from the other countries and the further rise of cases, all concerned agencies are directed to:
- Limit the number of inbound international passengers/arrivals to only 1,500 a day
- Temporarily suspend the entry of Foreign Nationals and Returning Overseas Filipinos who are non-OFWs from March 20 to April 19, 2021, except for the following:
- Holder of 9(c) visas
- Medical repatriation and their escort/s duly encored by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
- Distressed ROFs duly endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA)
- Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF COVID-19.
Also, the Department of Transporation and Communications – Civil Aeronautics Board issued an advisory that the international inbound passenger capacity at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been reduced.
With that, the international inbound arrivals at the NAIA will be limited to a maximum of 1,500 passengers per day starting March 18 until April 18, 2021.
It was mentioned in the advisory that airlines are advised to comply with the directives of the Bureau of Immigration on the kind of essential inbound travelers that will be allowed entry into PH.
Memorandum Circular No. 5, Series of 2021
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