The Philippine government raised Code Red Sublevel 2 over Metro Manila placing it under a “community quarantine” or lockdown. It has expanded the travel ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic to all countries which have localized transmission of the viral disease.
Metro Manila will be closed to land, air, and sea travel from 15 March 2020. The suspension of travel in and out of the National Capital Region will be until 14 April 2020. Further measures announced by the President are:
- Classes on ALL LEVELS remain suspended until 12 April 2020;
- Planned or spontaneous mass gatherings are suspended. Skeletal workforce and flexi-work arrangements shall be put in place in both public and private sector;
- Health and emergency frontline services remain operational;
- All manufacturing, retail, and service establishments, including public transportation within Metro Manila are advised to remain in operation during said period provided they observe strict social distancing measures.
Impact on all foreign nationals
- The expanded travel ban bars entry of ALL foreign nationals coming from China and its SAR, as well as countries reporting localized transmission of COVID-19, including those who will have layovers (even short stops) therein.
- Filipino citizens who uses a foreign passport when entering the Philippines will likewise be included in the ban.
- Philippine immigration officers may thoroughly inspect passports and ask questions to determine one’s travel history.
- Only those who were already issued a permanent resident visa (approved 9G, 47A2, EO 226, etc.) will be allowed to return. Those whose applications are pending are not covered by the exception.
Impact on Filipino citizens and foreign permanent residents
- Only Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visas and Philippine diplomatic visas will be allowed entry.
- The Philippine Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine continues to impose a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days on Philippine Citizens and permanent foreign residents who have visited China, its SAR, and other countries who have reported localized transmission within 14 days of their attempted entry. Those allowed entry who are suffering any of the symptoms of the COVID-19 such as fever or respiratory infection, or has history of exposure shall be endorsed for admission in a hospital.
- No Filipino passport holder will be allowed to travel to China and its SAR and other countries reporting localized transmission of the virus. The ban includes stop-overs/lay-overs.
Annexus’ Precautionary Measures in Delivering Services
We do understand this will upset the travel and relocation plans of our assignees, but, for the safety of everyone, following are precautionary measures to be observed:
- Assignees are advised/encouraged to remain home, avoid crowded places, and not travel out of town.
- Assignees with upcoming appointments at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) are reminded of BI’s “NO FACE MASK, NO ENTRY POLICY.” Clients are required to wear protective masks and must undergo a body temperature check upon entry to BI premises.
- Face-to-face meetings with Relocation Consultants will be delayed until after at least two (2) weeks from the date they arrived in the Philippines. A self-imposed monitoring / quarantine from date of their arrival should be observed.
The above should be taken into account when they plan their travel or relocation schedules in the country. This way, our clients/assignees could follow their schedules without further delay.
The community lockdown is effective from 15 March until 14 April 2020.