OFWs, foreigners allowed to leave PH anytime despite quarantine | Inquirer News
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OFWs, foreigners allowed to leave PH anytime despite quarantine

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 12:20 AM March 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and foreigners may leave the Philippines anytime even if the whoLE of Luzon is under an enhanced community quarantine.

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They would only need to show proof of international travel, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Tuesday night.

Nograles is also the spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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“OFWs, balikbayans and foreign nationals leaving for abroad through any of the ports in Luzon shall be allowed to leave the Philippines at any time for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine provided that proof of international travel itinerary schedule within 24 hours must be presented,” Nograles said in a press briefing.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier said travelers of all nationalities would only be given 72 hours to leave the country.

READ: DOTr allows all airline passengers to leave PH within 72 hours

Despite the change in the guidelines, Nograles noted that travel would still be subjected to restrictions already in place in the country.

“Non-essential travel by Filipinos from any port of Luzon shall be suspended,” he added.

OFWs who are returning to the country, meanwhile, will be given transport services by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Nograles assured.

“Departing passengers may only be accompanied by not more than one person when traveling to any international port,” he said.

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President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole of Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine, which took effect on March 17 and will be in effect until April 13.

This measure means “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”

READ: Luzon now under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ – Palace

Health officials have so far recorded 187 cases, including 14 deaths, related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

READ: DOH: 2 more COVID-19 patients die; total PH death count now 14

The country is currently under a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity due to the virus, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan City in China’s Hubei province in late 2019.

/atm

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