The government has laid down requirements for Filipinos planning to go abroad amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Grifton Medina, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations acting chief, said the travel requirements were as follows:

  • a confirmed return ticket for tourists;
  • proper travel and health insurance to cover for possible future flight rebooking; and
  • enough financial resources for accommodation expenses (in case the traveler is stranded) and hospitalization when infected by Covid-19.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said: “We will be very strict in seeing to it that these requirements are fully complied with, otherwise we will not allow them to leave.”

Strict compliance will be required unless the travelers are permanent residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and holders of study visas in their country of destination, he said.

“Unless your purpose in going abroad is really very important that you cannot forego, we advise you to stay until this pandemic is over as the risk of you getting infected by the virus is still very serious,” Morente added.

Medina said travelers would also be required by airlines to sign a declaration acknowledging the risks involved in travel.

Upon the travelers’ return to the country, they will be swab-tested for Covid-19 and subjected to hotel quarantine.

Medina also called those who intend to travel to find out whether or not the destination country was implementing restrictions on the entry of Filipinos so as not to suffer any inconvenience of being sent back to the Philippines. Jojo Mangahis