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  • Philippine Government Bans Filipinos From Traveling To South Korea Due To COVID-19

    Over 1,500 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in South Korea.
    by Kate Borbon .
Philippine Government Bans Filipinos From Traveling To South Korea Due To COVID-19
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The Philippine government has imposed a temporary ban on travel to all parts of South Korea due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 there, GMA News Online reports.

    During a press conference on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said, “Any travel to South Korea will be temporarily suspended.”

    Duque added, “Only permanent residents of South Korea, Filipinos leaving for study and OFWs returning for work will be allowed provided they signed a written declaration acknowledging the risks involved which will be complemented with health advisory pamphlets.”

    According to a separate GMA News Online report, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has also approved an entry ban on travelers from North Gyeongsang province, South Korea, effective immediately.

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    “With respect to other parts of South Korea, the IATF shall conduct a risk assessment of the situation in the aforesaid country within 48 hours to analyze whether it is necessary to expand the travel ban thereto,” added Panelo. “In the meantime, strict protocols with respect to travelers entering the country from these areas in South Korea will continue to be observed.”

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    CNN Philippines also reports that according to the IATF-EID, Filipinos and their foreign spouses or children as well as holders of permanent resident and diplomatic visas, will be allowed entry and be subject to existing screening and quarantine procedures.

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    Panelo said that travelers coming from other parts of South Korea will be permitted to enter the Philippines, PhilStar Global reports.

    As of February 27, 2020, CBS News reports that there are now a total of 1,595 cases of COVID-19 in South Korea. Over 300 of these came from Daegu, the center of the country’s outbreak. Daegu is a city located in North Gyeongsang province.

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    Flights from the Philippines to South Korea canceled?

    Following the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in South Korea and the announcement of the travel ban, Filipinos are inquiring about whether flights to South Korea have been canceled or if they can be rebooked or refunded.

    In a Facebook Messenger interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Philippine Airlines stated, “We currently do not have an advisory on South Korea flights. In this case, flights are still expected to operate as scheduled and [requests] for rebooking/refund will be considered voluntary and will incur charges.”

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    Meanwhile, on Twitter, customers have been reaching out to Cebu Pacific to inquire about the status of its flights to South Korea. One user shared a screenshot of her conversation with the airline. Cebu Pacific wrote, “We are still waiting for the official statement and memo from the government entity CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines). As of now, we cannot give a definite [advice] regarding this and fare rules will apply.”

    Cebu Pacific added, “As of now there are no mandated flight cancellations and flights to and from Korea will still operate.”

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    At the moment, other airlines have yet to announce the cancellations of their flights to South Korea.

    Keep posted for future updates and statements from government agencies and other airlines regarding flights to South Korea in light of the travel ban.

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