South Korea travel ban still partial pending guidelines
MANILA, Philippines – The travel ban to South Korea is pending full implementation while authorities are still ironing out the guidelines on the matter, the Bureau of Immigration said Thursday.
“The travel ban to Korea is pending full implementation as we are waiting for the copy of the EID resolution (referring to the Inter-Agency Task Force-Emerging Infectious Disease), as well as clarification on how to target arriving passengers coming from Daegu and North Gyeongsang,” Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.
For now, Sandoval said the country is implementing the travel ban for departing Filipinos for South Korea.
“Temporarily, only OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), permanent residents and student visa holders are allowed to depart,” Sandoval said.
Currently, South Korea has the most number of COVID-19 cases outside China with 1,146, most of which came from Daegu and its nearby areas.
Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will meet with officials from the Korean Embassy to discuss on how the Bureau of Immigration can effectively implement the partial ban to and from South Korea. DOJ is the mother agency of the BI.
“The Bureau of Immigration will strictly enforce the ban in accordance with the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force. The leadership of the bureau has likewise been directed to closely monitor its enforcement by Immigration officers,” said Perete.
To gain more information on how best they would implement the travel ban, the DOJ official said they have made arrangements to meet with officials from the Korean Embassy.
“We are coordinating with the Korean Embassy to help the BI effectively enforce the ban. Their Consul General has likewise offered their assistance,” said Perete.
“We will discuss among others, means to identify and track travelers from the area covered by the ban, and establish coordinating mechanisms to make enforcement effective,” he added.
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