Philippines lifts COVID-19 travel ban with Taiwan

Passengers wait for their flight at the departure area of the international airport in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. A temporary ban on all travelers, except Filipinos, from China and its autonomous regions has been recently approved by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines has reported one death from the new virus and precautionary measures remain tight. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA (Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN) — The Philippine government has decided to lift the travel restrictions imposed against Taiwan due to the COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the name given by the World Health Organization to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in China.

In a statement Friday, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo confirmed the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) to lift the travel ban imposed upon Taiwan, effective immediately.

“Accordingly, travel may now be made by any national to Taiwan from the Philippines and vice versa,” Panelo said.

According to the Palace official, 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.”

The Philippines banned all travel to and from China and its two administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, on Feb. 2 to stem the spread of then-novel coronavirus.

However, the Department of Health (DOH) clarified on Feb. 4 that the travel ban also covered Taiwan.