Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Filipinos stranded in Cayman can finally go home

Filipinos who have been stranded in Cayman will now have the opportunity to go home. This is after extended discussions between the governor's office in Cayman and the Philippine Embassy in Washington.

According to the Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Philippine government has been accepting COVID repatriates at a rate of 2,000 per day.

Filipino nationals have been facing a number of logistical hurdles to getting home. Between May 3 and May 9, all inbound international passenger flights to the Philippines were temporarily suspended after government quarantine facilities reached their capacity of 20,000 people.

DOTr said the airport closure was made by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) to ramp up the capacity of airports “to properly process the growing number of Filipino repatriates going back to the Philippines daily.”

“This measure to temporarily suspend international passenger arrivals will enable the (Philippine) government to decongest the processing of this number to a more manageable level, given the need to observe strict health protocols, and the fact that existing quarantine facilities are at full capacity,” the DOTr said.

The British Airways flight will depart from Grand Cayman to Manila, Philippines via London Heathrow ‪on Saturday May 23.‬

The cost of a ticket will be $1,850 USD.

Seats will be on sale ‪from Saturday May 16. Those who have registered with the travel helpline will be sent details of how to book. This is an emergency evacuation flight which is predicted to be full and passengers are encouraged to wear masks.

This flight will not bring anyone back to Cayman on this occasion, largely because the isolation facilities are at capacity. Passengers will be unable to travel to London Heathrow only. All passengers must have a final destination of the Philippines. This flight is for Philippine nationals or residents only.

As of two weeks ago, 1,604 Filipinos abroad have contracted the latest coronavirus strain, with 189 patients dead and 419 recoveries.

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