DFA to stranded Pinoys: Contact PH embassies for flight home

Filipinos stranded abroad due to travel restrictions amid the threats of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, may contact the Philippine Embassy or Consulates nearest them to join the earliest flight to Manila.

The Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) said its latest monitoring report indicate there are some 50 Filipinos in Europe and 49 others in South Africa who were stranded since the inclusion of their host countries in the red list.

“This is a little bit complicated so we need the cooperation of our kababayans because they have to transfer from one country to another to be able to join the repatriation flight,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said in a Laging Handa briefing.

“Most of these are Bayanihan special repatriation flights. Because the  number of Bayanihan flights is small, they would have to board a commercial flight to be termed as Bayanihan.” She added.

Arriola said two of its posts in Europe are in talks with a Dutch airline company to facilitate a “Bayanihan flight” for December 13 with the Netherlands as the possible transit point.

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy have been placed under the country’s red list.

Red listed countries are deemed Covid-19 high-risk areas and travelers from them are temporarily barred from entering the Philippines.

Except for Filipinos returning via special repatriation and “Bayanihan flights,” all inbound international travelers from these nations are barred from entering the Philippines.