Taiwan included in coronavirus travel ban – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 10)— Taiwan is included in the temporary travel ban imposed by the Philippines, the Department of Health clarified on Monday.

Health spokesperson Eric Domingo said Taiwan is considered by the World Health Organization as part of China. The East Asia giant and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau are included in the travel ban issued by the Philippines to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

He said the Taiwan travel ban was implemented late last week and not part of the initial order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 2. Duterte earlier banned the entry of foreign nationals coming directly from China, Hong Kong, and Macau or those with travel history to those areas in the last 14 days.

The national government also issued a temporary stop to Filipinos wishing to fly to China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The inclusion of Taiwan in the travel ban means travel is also restricted for Filipinos going to the self-administered island that China considers as its province.

"If you look at the WHO map and the number of cases that they have, Taiwan is included in China. Since we have a temporary travel restriction and ban on China, then Taiwan is included... It is enforced now," he said in a media briefing.

The restrictions only apply to incoming foreign travelers, and not Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident-visas issued by the Philippines. He said foreign nationals from Taiwan have been turned away since February 7.

Domingo added Taiwan officials are asking the Philippine government to reconsider its inclusion in the ban. He said the inter-agency task force will meet this week to discuss the issue.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said ₱10,000 financial assistance will be given to Filipinos affected by the travel ban. He said there are 120,000 documented overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan; this excludes undocumented workers.