Philippines announces last-minute restrictions on incoming international flights (update)


The Philippines on Saturday (May 9) announced new restrictions on international flights landing at its main airport in the capital, where most of the country’s coronavirus infections have been reported. - AFP

MANILA: The Philippines on Saturday (May 9) announced new restrictions on international flights landing at its main airport in the capital, where most of the country’s coronavirus infections have been reported.

"Starting on May 11, inbound international charter and commercial flights landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will have assigned days,” the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said in an advisory.

Chartered flights will only be allowed on Mondays and Thursdays, while commercial flights will be allowed to land on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All will have to secure prior clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the CAAP, the advisory said.

The restrictions, which will be in effect until June 10, aim to ensure that the airport will handle no more than 400 passengers per day, which is its capacity, the CAAP added.

Last Sunday, the CAAP temporarily barred entry to all incoming international passenger flights for one week to free up quarantine facilities amid a surge in Filipino workers returning home from overseas.

More than 24,000 overseas Filipino workers have returned to the country since the global pandemic began, and more are awaiting repatriation flights.

The Department of Health reported on Saturday 147 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Philippines, bringing the national tally to 10,610, with the death toll reaching 704.

More than 60 per cent of the cases were recorded in the capital Manila, which has been on lockdown since the middle of March. Authorities were discussing if the lockdown will be lifted, eased or modified after May 15. - dpa
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