By VIANCA GAMBOA

photo 1 - Travel Ban Extends to China, Hong Kong, and Macau

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

After Department of Health’s precautionary advice over the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV or Novel Coronavirus, President Rodrigo Duterte has expanded the temporary travel ban initially imposed on travelers coming from Wuhan City and Hubei province, to mainland China and all other Special Administrative Regions including  Hong Kong and Macau.

As discussed by Department of Health and Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the temporary order was among the recommended preventive measures to combat an outbreak case in the country. “With the safety of the country and all persons within our territory as prime considerations, and upon further advice from the Department of Health that the virus has affected all regions of China, the president has immediately approved, temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions,” Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea said in a statement.

The Civil Aeronautics Board has also issued an order to establish a repatriation and quarantine facility to be implemented among all airlines. It covers every nationality departing from China and these regions except Filipino citizens and repatriates. They have to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine, however, under the DOH’s guidelines, according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo as announced on Feb. 2. According to Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal, doctors and epidemiology experts will monitor and assess their status at least twice a day through phone calls. Filipinos are also banned from traveling to the said countries. The order from CAB, to take effect “immediately,” imposes the following:

  1. Temporary ban on entry into the Philippines of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visas (PRV) issued by the Philippine government, directly coming from China or its special administrative regions (SAR);
  2. Temporary ban on entry into the Philippines of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and PRV holders, who within 14 days immediately before arrival in the Philippines, has been to China or any SAR;
  3. Temporary ban on Filipinos from travel to China or any SAR.

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