MANILA – Malacañang on Friday clarified that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City can still accommodate international flights during the month-long community quarantine in Metro Manila.
“Regarding international flights, flights from Metro Manila going to and coming from abroad will be allowed, subject to travel restrictions,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said during the “Laging Handa” press briefing at Malacañan.
Nograles made the clarification, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila beginning March 15 until April 14.
Imposing a travel ban is part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Metro Manila.
Nograles said Filipino citizens, their foreign spouse, and children, as well as holders of permanent resident visas and diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine government, are “welcome to the Philippines.”
He, however, said they would be subject to “strict” quarantine guidelines.
He added that foreigners would be allowed to return home by taking international flights through NAIA.
Nograles, meanwhile, said “very strict and stringent” travel restrictions would be imposed on travelers from countries with localized Covid-19 transmissions.
“Again, strict quarantine restrictions will be imposed on foreign nationals coming from countries with localized Covid-19 transmissions,” he said.
Nograles said details of the government’s policy for foreign travelers would be ironed out during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease.
He also advised travelers to take domestic flights in other airports like Clark International Airport in Pampanga and Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu.
“If the ultimate destination is in the provinces, we suggest you fly in via Clark, Cebu and other airports not under quarantine so you can proceed to your ultimate destination in the provinces,” Nograles said.
Nograles said the travel ban in Metro Manila would be reviewed on a daily basis and “maybe lifted earlier if the situation allows it or extended further if the situation requires it.”
Duterte on Thursday announced the imposition of Metro Manila-wide community quarantine to combat the threat of infectious disease after the Covid-19 code alert system was raised to Code Red (Sub-level 2).
The Philippines has 52 confirmed cases of Covid-19. (PNA)