Entry/Exit: The Philippines expands travel ban to foreign passengers from Taiwan as of Feb. 12. Tourist, transport restrictions in place in some cities.
Severity: Warning Alert
This alert affects Philippines
This alert began 12 Feb 2020 08:04 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Preventative restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport restrictions, heightened security, and enhanced health screenings; possible business disruptions, quarantine measures
Philippine officials expanded an entry ban to include foreign nationals with recent travel to Taiwan as of Feb. 11. The measures are part of the government's attempt to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The government has implemented a travel ban for foreign nationals who visited mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau within 14 days since Feb. 3. Authorities have also barred travel for Philippine nationals to these locations until further notice. Officials will quarantine Philippine citizens and permanent residents with recent trips to the affected areas for two weeks. Several airlines have suspended or reduced service between the Philippines and mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan due to reduced demand.
Local officials have also limited transport in some cities in the country. Authorities in Atok, Benguet Province, and Tinglayan, Kalinga Province, continue to restrict tourist entry into the cities as of Feb. 12 due to COVID-19 concerns; it is unclear whether the measures apply to Philippine nationals. The central government is maintaining entry-exit restrictions in New Clark City, Tarlac Province, due to the quarantine of evacuated citizens from Hubei Province, China. Heightened security - particularly checkpoints - is highly likely in the cities to monitor travel. Officials may also conduct random health screenings in some areas. Residents could also stage demonstrations due to concerns over the travel restrictions and quarantine measures.
Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Consider deferring travel to Atok, New Clark City, Tinglayan, and their surrounding areas until authorities lift travel restrictions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Avoid any demonstrations as a precaution.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.