After revealing her new flame on social media, a netizen asked Bela Padilla how she was able to travel abroad given the country’s travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actress recently revealed that she travelled to Cappadocia, Turkey with her foreigner boyfriend Norman Bay.
In her recent Instagram post, she said she waited for her swab test to come back negative before posting photos from her trip.
“And I didn’t think I’d leave the country at all this year, but life really has to start moving again,” she said.
On the same post, a netizen asked the On Vodka, Beers and Regrets star how she was able to travel to Turkey given the government’s suspension of non-essential outbound travel.
“Wow! Are filipino citizen allowed to travel abroad na? Or immigration/govt only allowed if its work related? Thank you,” the netizen asked.
Bela, whose father is British, explained that she was able to leave the country despite the ban because she is a dual citizen.
In July, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) once again suspended non-essential trips abroad.
Their decision came after only one insurance company was willing to offer a package for travel risks related to COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded the public that only foreign nationals, overseas Filipino workers, permanent visa holders, students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs, and those who are traveling for essential reasons are permitted to leave the country.
Covered by essential travel are immediate business, medical emergency and other humanitarian reasons.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement: “Visiting relatives abroad for a vacation is still not considered under essential travel. These restrictions were set by the IATF to protect everyone from the threat of COVID-19. If your travel is non-essential, it is best to defer it when the pandemic has subsided.”
The “reminder” was issued after the petition of the #Loveisnottourism movement made waves on social media. The movement has urged governments, including the Philippines, to “amend travel restrictions” and “allow un-bureaucratic and safe reunion of partners in long-distance relationships as well as family members.”