New hires can go to Hong Kong

February 19, 2020

NEWLY hired Filipino workers for Hong Kong and Macau are now exempted from the travel ban imposed by the Philippine government as long as they sign a declaration stating they are aware of the risks involved in proceeding to their respective destinations amid concerns on corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19).

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the form (declaration)  can be obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Aside from the newly hired overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), those who are returning to Hong Kong and Macau are also exempted from the travel ban.

The travel ban exemption for OFWs working in Hong Kong and Macau was one of the decisions adopted at the 6th Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

At the IATF-EID meeting, exemptions from the travel restrictions were redefined, following a thorough risk assessment of the current situation.

Aside from the travel ban exemption for OFWs, the recent resolution also allowed permanent residents of the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions (SARs) and Filipinos leaving to study abroad, to travel to Hong Kong and Macau.

The recent resolution also authorized Filipinos and their foreign spouses or children, as well as holders of diplomatic visas entry into the Philippines, subject to the required 14-day quarantine.

On February 2, the travel ban was imposed by the IATF-EID on Filipino nationals and holders of permanent resident visas traveling to China and its SARs, Hong Kong and Macau, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is no travel ban on Filipino nationals and permanent residents returning from China and its SARs, however, returning travelers must undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon their return.