THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) said that it is strictly prohibiting walk-in applicants in its main office in Intramuros, Manila.
In an advisory, the BI said that the entry of such walk-in applicants is strictly prohibited in order to limit the number of people and achieve physical distancing inside the building.
New protocols require all persons intending to transact at the BI main office to register and obtain their schedule via the BI’s newly-launched online appointment system.
Those with confirmed online appointments are thus advised to check their new schedule and other related announcements by accessing the BI’s website at immigration.gov.ph.
The BI said it will reopen for business today (Monday) and resume its services to the transacting public, a week after the agency closed its main building for disinfection to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which was contracted by one of its employees.
News that a BI employee tested positive for the virus also prompted the bureau to immediately order the conduct of mass rapid antibody test for all officials and employees assigned at the BI main office, through the help of the Manila city government under Mayor Isko Moreno.
Employees who have yet to undergo the tests are advised to continue to work from home and they have the option to undergo rapid test at any accredited government hospital or facility duly licensed to conduct such test.
The BI earlier directed all the bureau's more than 3,000 employees nationwide to undergo mandatory rapid test, saying the measure is necessary amid the continuing rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Employees of BI offices outside of Metro Manila were instructed to coordinate with their Local Government Units (LGU) for the conduct of said tests free of charge.