Covid-19: Special Philippine flight brings home expats from UAE
The Philippines has extended its travel restrictions until June 30.
Some 325 Filipinos from Dubai and Abu Dhabi were able to fly home on a government-chartered flight on Wednesday, as the Philippine restrictions on travellers from the UAE remain in place.
The Philippine government on Monday announced the extension of the ban on travellers coming from the UAE and six other countries until June 30. The restriction, imposed as part Covid safety measures, was supposed to end on June 15.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, however, continue to assist expats who need to go home because of emergencies and other pressing concerns. Passengers on the government’s repatriation flights are exempted from the travel ban.
Among those who flew home on Wednesday’s special Philippine Airlines flight were medical patients, including those in wheelchairs, as well as expats who met difficulties during the pandemic, according to a statement from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. A number of children were also on board.
Of the total 325 Filipino expats on the flight, 129 came from Abu Dhabi and 196 from Dubai. Officials from the Philippine missions in the UAE, including the embassy and consulate, oversaw the expats’ departure from Dubai International Airport.
The Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai has set up an online system for expats who wish to request repatriation. It clarified that the assistance would only be for the air ticket, and those who had incurred overstaying penalties would need to settle them first with the UAE immigration authorities.
“The request for repatriation is subject to approval and funding,” the mission noted. “For updates on the ticket request, the consulate will directly get in touch with the applicant.”
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