PAL, Cebu Pacific: Only essential travel allowed during 'hard lockdown'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 30) — Local airlines announced on Friday that only essential travels are allowed until August 20 after Metro Manila was placed under strict COVID-19 restrictions due to the threat of the Delta coronavirus variant.

In an advisory, Philippine Airlines (PAL) said "domestic travel to and from Manila will be limited only to essential travelers, including NCR Plus residents returning to Manila, in compliance with the air travel restrictions imposed by the authorities."

This is in line with the government's decision to place the National Capital Region under general community quarantine (GCQ) with "heightened and additional restrictions" from July 30 to August 5, then under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, to control the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

PAL said international and domestic flights to and from Manila will continue during this period, subject to travel protocols and restrictions. Flights may also be reduced or canceled due to the restrictions.

The flag carrier added that passengers may opt to rebook their flights to a later date, convert tickets to travel vouchers, or refund tickets without penalties.

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific made the same announcement Friday, while also listing flights from July 31 to August 5 that have been canceled. Details for the remaining ones scheduled from August 6 to 20 will soon be provided.

Affected passengers are also given the option to rebook within 60 days at no additional cost, store the amount in a virtual wallet for two years or use it to book another flight or for add-ons, or refund that may be completed in two months.