FOREIGN travelers who were given entry exemption documents prior to the implementation of the travel ban in March may now enter the Philippines, according to the country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente updated the advisory that non-Filipino citizens with entry exemption documents issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) before March 22, 2021 are now allowed to enter the country during the implementation of the entry ban, which was extended until April 30.
The revised rule, released Friday, April 16, is the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
However, other foreign nationals are still prohibited from entering the country.
The balikbayan privilege for former Filipinos also remains suspended.
“The foreign parent, spouse, and children of Filipinos may enter the country, provided they are traveling with the Filipino principal, and have a valid entry visa,” said Morente.
Under IATF-MEID’s policy, foreigners exempted from the ban are diplomats; members of international organizations with valid 9(e) or 47(a) (2) visas; those involved in medical repatriation; foreign seafarers under ‘Green Lanes’ program for crew change; foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them; and emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) or his authorized representative.
Morente stressed that travel exemptions are without prejudice to the mandate of the BI to conduct strict screening and formalities on all arriving foreigners.
Last month, the NTF released a memorandum announcing that the country is temporarily barring the entry of foreign nationals from March 22 to April 21 in an attempt to control the surge in daily infections in the country.
The Philippines on Friday, April 16 extended its entry ban on foreign nationals until the end of April.
To date, there are a total of 945,745 COVID-19 cases in the country, with 16,048 fatalities and 788,322 recoveries.