PH suspends nonessential overseas travel anew

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — The Philippine government reimposed its ban on outbound overseas travel less than a month after officials lifted the restriction, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases came up with Resolution No. 57 to temporarily suspend the initial directive after travel insurance companies did not agree to the conditions laid out by the task force.

The task force on July 7 said the travelers must have adequate travel health insurance to cover possible rebooking and extended accommodation expenses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roque said only one travel insurance company agreed to the government's terms. He clarified that those with bookings for nonessential travel as of July 20 will still be allowed to leave.

"Suspendido muna ang nonessential travel hanggang makahanap tayo ng mas maraming insurance companies. Siguro ipapadala ito sa insurance commissioner para sila na ang humingi na kinakailangan magbigay ng ganitong insurance coverage," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: Nonessential travel will be suspended until we can find more insurance companies that will agree. Maybe we will forward this to the insurance commissioner so they can convince the companies.]

Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the government has gradually relaxed travel restrictions and lockdown measures in a bid to restart the country's economy.