MANILA – International flights leaving Luzon will no longer operate starting on Friday, March 20, as the Philippine government enforces an “enhanced community quarantine,” which, in effect, is a total lockdown of the island.
Under the rules by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), outbound foreigners “shall be allowed travel for a period of 72 hours” from the effectivity of the quarantine. The total lockdown started 12 am on Tuesday, March 17.
But Filipinos are barred from leaving the Philippines through any of the international airports in Luzon beginning Tuesday, or as soon as the quarantine takes effect. (READ: In Luzon quarantine, DOJ says resisting and disobeying basis for arrest)
Are there exceptions? Only uniformed personnel transporting medical supplies, individuals carrying lab specimens, and those on humanitarian missions are allowed to travel by air.
Inbound flight passengers, meanwhile, will be “allowed transit,” subject to quarantine procedures if they come from a country with existing travel restrictions imposed by the IATF.
Only Filipinos, their spouses and children, holders of a permanent resident visa, and foreign diplomats will be allowed entry into the Philippines from an international flight.
The Philippine government earlier barred domestic flights from flying in and out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main gateway, as part of restrictions on land, air, and sea travel.
On Monday, March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the upgraded quarantine protocols in a bid to curb coronavirus cases in the country, as the initial lockdown in Metro Manila did not seem to work.
There are 142 cases of the coronavirus in the Philippines as of Monday, with 12 deaths and 3 recoveries.
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