Airline passengers from Europe rush to US to beat looming travel restrictions

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2020   •   533

Dozens of travelers from Europe arrived at Dulles International Airport near Washington on Thursday (March 12), a day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced sweeping restrictions on travel from the continent as he responded to mounting pressure to take action against the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump restricted certain travel from Europe for 30 days to the United States in a televised address on Wednesday (March 11), and on Thursday, weary and confused travelers rushed to airports to board the last flights back to the U.S.

Arriving from Amsterdam after cutting short their spring break trip, Virginia Tech students Havisha Annamreddy and Kayleigh Stevenson said they rushed to the airport as soon as they heard of the new travel restrictions.

“We panicked and half of us went to the airport trying to stand on the American Airlines line, our friend’s dad immediately started trying to look for tickets. Everyone’s parents were really panicking. We didn’t even like check out of the hotel, we have wet clothes in some of our bags,” Annamreddy said.

Stevenson said she was adapting to a new normal of trying to avoid catching coronavirus.

“I think just being kind of aware of the situation around me, like if people are coughing a little bit more like not covering their mouths, maybe like standing somewhere else,” Stevenson said.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning from Europe will be screened for the virus and asked to go into “self-quarantine” for 14 days as part of new travel restrictions that affect 26 nations but exempt Britain and Ireland, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with CNN.

Trump on Thursday defended his decision to impose the measures, which go into effect at midnight on Friday and last for 30 days. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he said the ban could be lengthened or shortened.

The travel restrictions will heap more pressure on airlines already reeling from the pandemic, hitting European carriers the hardest, analysts said. (Reuters)

(Production: Kevin Fogarty, Liza Feria and Njuwa Maina)

BOC intercepts illegal shipment of waste from United States

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 22, 2020

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday (October 21)  intercepted an illegal shipment of potential waste materials exiting the Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation.

The two container vans arrived from the United States and were consigned to Bataan 2020 Incorporated. They were declared as American old corrugated cartons for repulping.

However, further examination by the BOC revealed that the containers were filled with prohibited waste materials which were illegally imported.

Authorities said the consignee and other individuals involved will face charges for violating Republic Act no. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. AAC

Afghanistan, Laos lift border restrictions on Filipino travelers – DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   October 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Two Asian countries Laos and Afghanistan have lifted their restrictions on inbound Filipino travelers, says the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The new ruling, however, is subject to flight availability and medical protocols.

The DFA on Monday (Oct. 19) noted that Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Hong Kong have imposed stricter medical protocols and visa regulations for those who are exempt from entry restrictions.

Mongolia’s borders remain open but inbound travelers in the country are now required to present negative COVID-19 test results and must have all applicable documents to support their visa status.

Japan, on the other hand, has gradually opened up inbound entry for students, dependents and technical interns but still prohibits entry of short-stay travelers, including tourists, the DFA said.

Also, previous information on travel restrictions for other countries and regions remain the same.

“In view of these updates, the DFA reminds the public that information contained in the infographics is subject to change without prior and sufficient public notice,” the agency said.

The DFA reminds travelers that it is always best to check ahead of travel dates with airlines, as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before booking a ticket and before departure.

BI to ease departure travel restrictions starting October 21

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that it will be implementing eased departure restrictions for Filipino citizens following the resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

“Starting October 21, the BI will be allowing the departure of Filipinos with non-essential travel,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

“Outbound tourism is now allowed for Filipinos, subject to compliance with protocols set by the IATF,” he added.

Initially, only foreign nationals, overseas Filipino workers, permanent visa holders, students enrolled abroad, participants accepted in exchange visitor programs, as well as those who had essential travel, were allowed to depart.

Recently, the IATF through Resolution no. 79 further relaxed restrictions now including non-essential travels.

However, the IATF requires outbound Filipino tourists to present a round trip ticket, health and travel insurance, and a negative antigen result at least 24 hours before departure. 

Also, according to the ruling, if the country of destination requires an RT-PCR test, then the same must be presented instead.

Departing Filipinos shall also be required to sign a declaration acknowledging the risks of their travel, to be provided by airline check-in counters. 

Commissioner Morente stressed that after the said process, passengers will still undergo regular immigration assessment.

He clarified, however, that inbound restrictions are still in place. 

“We are on standby for any changes in policy, as directed by the IATF and the President,” he stated.

Currently, only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children are allowed to enter the country holding tourist visas. 

Restrictions allow foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, the foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and the foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs to enter the country.

Those who are eligible to enter are required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to their arrival.

Apart from said categories, accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas are also allowed.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.