IATF revises guidelines, allows all passengers to leave Philippines

SunStar File
SunStar File

THE Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has revised the guidelines for the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to allow all passengers, regardless of nationality, to depart the Philippines within 72 hours.

In its meeting held Tuesday, March 17, the task force decided that all passengers may be allowed to leave unless their flights were cancelled by the airlines or by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

The IATF earlier specified that only foreign nationals will be allowed to leave within 72 hours. Filipinos should stay at home.

Outgoing flights were to carry only foreign nationals while inbound flights were supposed to bring in only repatriates.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines earlier announced that it will operate international flights up to 11:59 p.m. of March 19, 2020. All domestic flights are cancelled from March 17 to April 12, 2020.

Low-cost flag carrier Cebu Pacific also said its last day of operations within the quarantine period will be on March 18, 2020, with flights from Manila to Bangkok, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Ho Chi Minh, Singapore, Taipei, Bali, and Jakarta.

All domestic Cebu Pacific and CebGo flights from March 19 to April 14, 2020 are cancelled.

The Philippine Coast Guard, meanwhile, announced that in areas under community quarantine like Manila Bay, the no sail policy applies to passenger vessels.

Artisanal fishers and commercial fishers may operate, but should obey if told to stop.

“When signaled to stop, please obey immediately. When boarded, present all crew to the boarding team for thermal check-up,” the PCG said in a statement.

The entire Luzon has been placed on total lockdown, or enhanced community quarantine, in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)


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