UPDATE: OFWs, balikbayans, foreigners can fly out PH during lockdown

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The government said it would now allow OFWs, balikbayans, and foreigners to fly out of Luzon for the entire lockdown period, as of late Tuesday evening, March 17.

“OFWs, balikbayans, and foreigners 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 scheduled within 24 hours must be presented,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a briefing held past 11 pm on Tuesday, March 17.

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However, “departing passengers may only be accompanied by not more than one person to any international port.” They could not also travel to countries where the Philippines has set restrictions.

Concerning transportation to the airports, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration “may provide transportation services to OFWs intending to leave for abroad,” the Cabinet secretary said.

Department of Transportation said Monday night all foreigners who wished to fly out the Philippines are given 72 hours, after which all Luzon airports from the mainland will be closed by March 20.

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The action was part of the government’s declaration of putting the entire Luzon under total lockdown or enhanced community quarantine.

Also read: Guide to Luzon COVID-19 Enhanced Community Quarantine

UPDATE: OFWs, balikbayans, foreigners can fly out PH during lockdown

However, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) released a different memorandum from the Department of Transportation. The BI said any nationality, including Filipinos, will be allowed to fly out Luzon within 72 hours or before March 20.

The agencies had discussions but later came up with a single decision. And that is to allow OFWs, balikbayans, and foreigners to leave Luzon during the lockdown period.

“Dahil ayaw natin bigyan ng pressure silang lahat, dahil mas mahirap para sa kanila, ay inopen up na po natin, wala na pong 72 hours,” Nograles said.

(Since we don’t want to pressure them since it would be harder for them, we opened up the foreign travel, there’s no longer a 72-hour period.)

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