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PHL lifts travel ban over Taiwan

Airport personnel monitor a thermal scanner as passengers arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay, Philippines, January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Philippine government has lifted the travel restrictions imposed over Taiwan amidst the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The lifting of travel restrictions for Taiwan has been agreed by the members of the IATF ( Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease) by reason of the strict measures they are undertaking, as well as the protocols they are implementing to address the COVID-19,” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Friday, Feb. 14.

Panelo also said that the IATF is also looking into the possibility of lifting the travel ban in other jurisdictions, including Macau, ‘after their submission of the protocols being observed by their government which prevent potential carriers of the said virus from entering and deporting their territory and enable others to determine the recent travel history of any traveler exiting their borders.’.

The Office of the President likewise stresses that any resolution relative to travel restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 shall be subjected to regular review by the IATF,” Panelo added.

The Philippines barred the entry of people, except Filipino citizens and Philippine passport holders, from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippines also banned travel to the said countries.

The Philippines later clarified that the travel restrictions also cover Taiwan since the country is considered part of China.

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