THOUSANDS of incoming passengers, regardless of their nationality, who came from China, Hong Kong and Macau were prevented from entering the country by Bureau of Immigration authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals after Malacañang issued a directive banning all passengers coming from China to contain the spread of the killer Novel Corona Virus (nCoV).
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said they informed the different airline representatives that effective Monday, they will no longer entertain passenger with route to China, Hong Kong and Macau and vice versa to prevent the entry of deadly virus.
Arriving passengers mostly Chinese, Indian, Dutch and French, and other nationalities were dismayed after they were stopped from disembarking and brought to holding bay to await return trips to their port of origin.
Incoming passengers on China Southern Airlines CZ 3091 from Guangzhou, China made up of 90 passengers mostly Chinese and a few Canadian, Dutch and French citizens were denied entry to the country. They were instructed to proceed to boarding gate 10 to board the same plane back to Guangzhou.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has advised its foreign offices in China to relay to all stakeholders the latest directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to temporarily ban “the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions,” Hong Kong and Macau, in order to contain the spread of the novel corona virus (NCov).
The directive includes the following travel guidelines:
• Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, who within fourteen (14) days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China and its Special Administrative Regions;
• A mandatory fourteen (14) day quarantine for Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa holders coming from any place in China and its Special Administrative Regions;
• Temporary ban on Filipinos from travel to China and its Special Administrative Regions
The DOT is coordinating with the travel trade sector in the Philippines to ensure the full implementation of this directive. As support to calls for precautionary measures, the Department earlier released Guidelines on Handling Guests in Tourism Enterprises in the Advent of nCOV Global Health Emergency.
The DOT is in close coordination with all concerned government agencies and assures that precautionary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of Filipinos and travelers from other countries who are visiting the Philippines.
“The safety and protection of our citizens thriving in our tourist spots, the employees of the tourism sector, and domestic and foreign tourists alike remain the Department of Tourism’s priority.”
With Cristina Lee-Pisco