Updated: Sep 14
The Philippine president issued a directive on TEMPORARY Travel Restrictions, effective Feb 2, 2020. In a nutshell: A. All Travelers (any nationality) that have been to China, HK, Macau, Taiwan in the last 14 days are not allowed in the Philippines, except for... B. Philippine passport holders AND foreigners with Philippine Permanent Resident Visas are welcome, BUT must go through the MANDATORY 14 day Quarantine. C. Temporary Travel Ban to China, HK, Macau, Taiwan for ALL Filipino passport holders Q. Where can stranded OFW Balik Manggagawa get monetary assistance ? A. PHP10,000 one-time OWWA CARE relief assistance can be claimed. See if you're eligible at https://www.philcham.org/post/extended-to-feb-2-15-air-tickets-php10-000-for-stranded-ofws Q. When will this temporary travel ban be lifted? A. No info yet as of press time. But various airlines have cancelled flights up to end of March, from the Philippines to China, HK, Macau. Info change daily during these uncertain times, best to double check legitimate sources for updates. Q. Can Filipinos fly abroad (other than China, HK, Macau, Taiwan)? A. Filipinos are free to travel as TOURISTS to other countries without PH travel restrictions. Being a Tourist mean you are not going there for work, you have a return ticket to the Philippines, and you have proof on where you'll stay abroad. Q. Can Filipinos abroad fly to China, HK, Macau, Taiwan? A. There are reports that some were able to fly to China, from countries without travel restrictions. Although air tickets could be limited. But before you get any ideas, do weigh risks vs reward: 1. Do you have an awesome Health Insurance in China? 2. Does coverage include both expat and local hospitals? Most health insurance cover only one or the other. 3. Do you have cold cash for medical or evacuation emergencies? A local China hospital required a deposit of CNY30,000 (PHP220,000 approximately) for foreigners years ago, no tests can be done prior to admission. Deposit rates may vary per case and per hospital. 4. Are you willing to put yourself at risk? 5. Are you willing to put your housemates and community at risk? Q. Must you wear masks? A. In China, there are reports that people are required to wear masks whenever they're outside. In the Philippines and other countries, it is recommended to wear masks only when you are sick. Or when you're out in crowded areas or enclosed spaces. Reserve your masks when really needed, as it is uncertain how long this pandemic will last. Q. What can we do to protect ourselves A. Stay away from crowded areas or enclosed spaces. Stay away from sick people. Frequent hand washing and disinfecting. Disinfect phones, keyboards, door knobs, jackets, shoes regularly. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose. Strengthen your immune system by eating healthy, exercise, and taking vitamins. Q. How to dispose of used masks? A. Cut the mask in 2 so no one will reuse it. Put in a plastic bag and disinfect with alcohol Segregate trash as medical waste. Stay Safe, everyone! Let's find ways to be productive wherever we are. Do your due diligence in fact-checking, as info changes daily.