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no more 72-hour window

DOTr eases policy on outbound international flights

/ 08:08 AM March 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Backtracking from its earlier pronouncement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said all passengers, regardless of nationality, will now be allowed to fly out of the Philippines at any given time.

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In an advisory on Wednesday, the DOTr said the 72-hour travel window it earlier granted to all international passengers to leave the country has been lifted.

“All persons, regardless of nationality, except for Filipino tourists, may now fly out of the country at any time,” it said.

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This, according to the department, was the result of Tuesday’s  Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infections Disease meeting.

Strict protocols

The DOTr said inbound international passengers will be allowed entry, subject to strict immigration and quarantine protocols.

The DOTr said that the IATF had agreed that passengers coming from Italy and Iran, where cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have soared, should provide a medical certificates of good health and should be validated by their respective embassies.

“Sweeper flights for foreign nationals to bring them to airports will be allowed to continue operations,” the DOTr added.

The DOTr, meanwhile, reminded that only one person will be allowed to bring a passenger to the airport and he/she must leave immediately after dropping off the passenger.

“The driver should carry with him/her a copy of the airline ticket of the passenger as proof of conveyance,” DOTr said.

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President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the Philippines under a state of calamity amid the rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country.

As of Tuesday, 187 confirmed cases have been recorded, with  a death toll of 14.  Six patients were allowed to go on home quarantine, while four have recovered from the ailment.

The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in December last year.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

Worldwide, over 168,000 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19, with at least 6,506 dead.

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

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