20 May Update.
(Updated 20 May 2020)
I’m Still Locked Down
But the rules have been loosened a little. Most of Central Luzon has been placed into a GCQ status. General Community Quarantine. This means following pretty much normal anti-disease rules … wearing masks in public, social distance spacing between people, etc. Most cites are resuming public transportation a bit at a time, with much-reduced capacity loading. Most malls and other businesses are now open or in the process of opening.
Much of The Metro And a Few Other Towns (Like Mine) Are Under a MECQ
Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine is still pretty restrictive, checkpoints, barangay quarantine passes required, etc. But yesterday on a “legal” trip to the grocery store (in our local mall, which has otherwise been closed … I saw that a number of food establishments are opening up (for take-out or delivery only) including Burger King. I immediately fell in line (maintaining my social distancing (as marked on the floor)) and order way too many Whoppers and Xtra Long Chicken sandwiches to take home for lunch.
Life might return to normal someday, yet.
Air Transport Is Still Quite Limited
No Domestic (Inter-Island) Flights, Period.
All International Flights Only From and To NAIA (Manila).
Here’s Today’s Inbounds and Otbounds From NAIA
The US Embassy and Philippine Airlines Continue To Operate “Sweeper” Flights
These are a combination of chartered domestic flights from various cites to Manila, and then follow-on flights from Manila to several US cites.
Here’s the info for the latest round of “Sweepers”. Information on how to find out more is in the quoted message.
LAST DAY to Register Interest in Special Philippine Airlines Flights (Two Sweeper Flights Added):
U.S. Citizens in the Philippines: The deadline to register your interest in the special Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco and/or sweeper flights is today, Monday, May 18 at 11:59 p.m. (Manila time). Click here to register NOW.
NOTE: PAL has added sweeper flights on May 26 for Legaspi and Tacloban.
May 21 from Manila to Los Angeles with two domestic sweeper flights – one from Cebu and one from Davao.
May 26 from Manila to San Francisco with ten domestic sweeper flights from Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Siargao, Tagbilaran, Legaspi and Tacloban.
All flight arrangements will be made by PAL, not the Embassy. You must submit a working phone number and include all local or international area codes. PAL will contact you to arrange payment and ticketing after you have registered for the flights, so check your contact details carefully before submitting the survey and keep your phone on and handy. Do not call the Embassy for booking or ticketing.
For the PAL sweeper flights, you MUST have proof of an onward international flight. If that flight is NOT within 24 hours, you also MUST have proof of a confirmed hotel reservation in Manila until your international flight departs. You CANNOT take a sweeper flight without an onward international flight confirmation.
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
1201 Roxas Boulevard
+63(2) 5301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63)(2) 5301-2000.
State Department–Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444.
State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
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There is no reason any US citizen (who can pay for his or her flight) should be “stuck” in the Philippines.
More as it happens.
20 May Update