PH bans travel of Filipino tourists to South Korea due to coronavirus outbreak

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Source : CNN

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 26) — The Philippines imposed a travel ban on Filipino tourists going to South Korea due to a spike in coronavirus cases, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Wednesday.

When asked if Filipino tourists are not allowed to travel to any part of South Korea, he answered, “Yes, for their own safety.”South Korea is a popular destination for Filipino travelers, espcially fans of Korean drama and Kpop.

Panelo said there are exceptions to the travel ban to South Korea, which was decided during the meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. South Korea has the second most number of confirmed cases after China, with 1,146 coronavirus cases.

“Any travel to South Korea will be temporarily suspended,” the task force said in a statement. “Only permanent residents of South Korea, Filipinos leaving for study, and (overseas Filipino workers) returing to work will be allowed provided that they sign a written declaraton acknowledging the risks involved which will be complemented with a health advisory pamphlet.”

“The IATF has authorized Filipinos to travel to South Korea, provided that they are permanent residents thereof, leaving for study, or are overseas Filipino workers therein. They are to execute and sign a declaration, signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved, prior to their travel,” he said in a media briefing.

Panelo said those coming from North Gyeongsang Province or Gyeongbuk, including Daegu and Cheongdo County, are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

However, the IATF-EID noted that Filipinos and their foreign spouses or children, and holders of permanent resident and diplomatic visas will be allowed entry subject to existing screening and quarantine protocols.

The inter-agency task force will assess the situation within 48 hours if it’s necessary for the  government to expand the entry ban to other parts of South Korea, he added. The highest number of tourist in the Philippines in 2018 were South Koreans.

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