The Palace confirms that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has convened today, March 3, at the Department of Health – Central Office to further discuss the circumstances occasioned by the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The IATF has approved to allow Filipinos to travel to South Korea except to the whole of North Gyeongsang Province, including Daegu City and Cheongdo County, where the virus outbreak is concentrated. All Filipinos who intend to visit other parts of South Korea shall execute and sign a declaration, signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved in their trip. A health advisory pamphlet shall likewise be handed out to them upon their departure.
The ban on the entry of foreign nationals travelling from North Gyeongsang Province, including Daegu City and Cheongdo County, into Philippine territory remains effective.
Guided by the Health Security Risk Assessment Matrix, which evaluates the hazard, exposure and context relative to the risks involved, the IATF has also agreed that there are to be no new imposition of travel restrictions or lifting of the same as regards other countries or jurisdictions. The IATF assures that the review concerning travel restrictions and protocols to and from the Philippines shall be regularly conducted by it.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs is now preparing for the repatriation of 148 Filipinos from Macau via chartered flight, while the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is arranging to repatriate 48 of its active members therefrom via one (1) commercial flight.
The IATF, composed of its member agencies, is on top of the situation apropos the COVID-19 and the Office of the President recognizes its concrete efforts in battling the said virus as we aim to protect the safety and health of our people.
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson