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Philippines lifts travel ban in China except virus-stricken Hubei province

People wearing face masks walk inside a subway station, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Shanghai, China February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

The Philippines has lifted the travel ban on mainland China except for Hubei province — where the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) believed to have originated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the lifting of the ban was adopted in a March 12, 2020 resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases (IATF).

The agency clarified that returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who will be able to present valid visas and/or work permits, OEC, notarized declaration of their knowledge and understanding of the risks, and other relevant documents that will prove their current employment in mainland China will be covered by the lifting of the travel ban.

Meanwhile, Filipinos with permanent resident visas and Filipino government officials who will travel on official duty will also be covered by the lifting of the travel ban.

The DFA said the following are excluded from the lifting of travel ban:

  • OFWs on the first-time deployment to mainland China
  • Students
  • Dependents of OFWs
  • Tourists

The travel ban was imposed by the government in February to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As of Monday, the Philippines has recorded 140 COVID-19 cases.

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