Philippines lifts travel ban on Taiwan as of Feb. 14. Other travel bans, precautionary restrictions remain in place.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 14 Feb 2020 17:49 GMT and is scheduled to expire 03 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport restrictions, likely heightened security; enhanced health screenings; possible localized business disruptions

Summary
The government of the Philippines has lifted its ban on entry into the country by foreign nationals with recent travel to Taiwan as of Feb. 14. The measure was part of the government's attempt to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A travel ban for foreign nationals who have visited mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau within the previous 14 days, which went into effect Feb. 3, remains in force. Authorities have also barred Philippine nationals from traveling to these locations until further notice. A two-week quarantine period continues to be required for Philippine citizens and permanent residents with recent trips to the affected areas. Several airlines have suspended or reduced service between the Philippines and mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Local officials have also limited transport in some of the nation's cities. Authorities in Atok and Kibungan, Benguet Province, and Balbalan and Tinglayan, Kalinga Province, have restricted tourist entry into the cities as of Feb. 14 due to COVID-19 concerns; it is unclear whether the measures apply to Philippine nationals. Officials in other areas are restricting the entrance of foreign nationals with recent travel history to China. The central government also maintains 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. Movement restrictions and increased screenings may prompt localized business disruptions in some areas. Residents could also stage demonstrations due to concerns over the travel restrictions and quarantine measures.

Advice
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 nonessential travel to areas with movement restrictions until authorities lift precautionary measures. 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.

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