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Travel ban on HK, Macau partially lifted

The Philippine government has authorized a partial lifting of the travel ban on Hong Kong and Macau it earlier imposed as a precaution against the coronavirus threat.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Filipino workers will be allowed to travel back to their places of work in these territories based on a decision by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).

Panelo made the announcement following his phone conversation with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“Secretary of Health Duque confirmed that the inter-agency task for emerging infectious disease has decided to lift the travel ban of the overseas workers going to Macau and Hong Kong. And according to him, those OFWs going back would have to make a written declaration that they know the risk of going back to their places of work,” he said in an interview with reporters at the Palace.

“For those coming back from Macau and Hong Kong, the families of Filipinos who are there can come back as well as those having permanent resident holders as well as the members of diplomatic corps and families,” he added.

He admitted that the lifting of the travel restrictions was reached following the appeals concerning the welfare of Filipino workers. Some groups earlier appealed for the removal of the travel ban so the Filipinos could return to their places of work in Hong Kong who were unable to return to these territories due to the coronavirus threat. (Genalyn Kabiling)