The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines lifts travel ban vs Taiwan

February 14, 2020

The Philippine government lifted on Friday the travel ban imposed against Taiwan.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the decision was reached during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).

During the meeting, he said the IATF "resolved to lift the travel restrictions imposed upon Taiwan, effective immediately."

"Accordingly, travel may now be made by any national to Taiwan from the Philippines and vice versa," said Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel.

"The lifting of travel restrictions for Taiwan has been agreed by the members of the IATF by reason of the strict measures they are undertaking, as well as the protocols they are implementing to address the COVID-19," he added.

Taiwan, which was only added in the travel ban this week, threatened to retaliate, prompting the Philippine government to review the policy.

Initially, the government only imposed the travel restrictions in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Panelo said the IATF will also evaluate other jurisdictions, including Macau, for the "possible lifting" of the imposed travel ban 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," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS