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Passengers of all nationalities may leave Philippines within 72 hours of Luzon quarantine — BI, DOTr


Passengers of all nationalities may leave the Philippines through any international airports in Luzon within 72 hours of the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine over the island unless their flights have been canceled, authorities said Tuesday.

“We confirmed with the Secretary of Justice that Filipinos are indeed allowed to depart the country within the next 72 hours, except those covered by the recently-imposed travel restrictions (China, HK, Macau, etc)., unless their flights have been canceled by the airlines or the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board),” Bureau of Immigration (BI)spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran made a similar advisory, saying this was decided during a meeting of the inter-agency task force in charge of government measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Tuesday afternoon.

“It was decided that all passengers, regardless of nationality, may depart from the country within the 72-hour period, unless their flights have been canceled by the airlines or the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB),” she said.

Earlier, Libiran told reporters only foreigners will be allowed to leave within the 72-hour window.

The BI on Tuesday announced Tuesday afternoon that it is already implementing Malacañang's directive, issued Monday, on the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon.

“Outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any international airport in Luzon shall be allowed only until 12 midnight of March 20,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

“Inbound passengers who are already in transit upon effectivity of the quarantine shall be allowed to enter, but will be referred to the Bureau of Quarantine if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions,” he said.

Morente said all passengers, regardless of nationality, will "temporarily not be allowed to enter the country," apart from “those in transit already.”

“Only inbound Filipino citizens, their foreign spouse or children, holders of permanent resident visas, and holders of 9(e) diplomat visas issued by the Philippine government shall be allowed entry,” the bureau said.

“Also exempted from the ban are arriving and departing uniformed personnel on official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance,” it added.

Meanwhile, Morente advised foreigners intending to leave within 72 hours to go to the BI's field offices if they need to settle immigration obligations before leaving. — RSJ, GMA News