President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a temporary ban of entry for persons coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions (SAR). The ban is for all nationalities except for Filipinos and holders of Philippines permanent resident visa.
“On 31 January 2020, immediately after the World Health Organization declared global emergency, the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved and recommended the adoption of guidelines for the management of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease Situation,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in statement released by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Salvador Panelo, February 2.
Medialdea said that “with the safety of the Country and all persons within our territory as prime considerations, and upon further advise from the Department of Health that the virus has affected all regions of China, the President has immediately approved the following recommended guidelines of the Task Force:”
1. Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions;
2. Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, who within fourteen (14) days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, has been to China and its Special Administrative Regions;
3. A mandatory fourteen (14) day quarantine for Filipinos and Permanent Resident Visa holders coming from any place in China and its Special Administrative Regions;
4. Temporary ban on Filipinos from travel to China and its Special Administrative Regions; and
5. Establishment of a repatriation and quarantine facility.
Medialdea noted that the President will be presiding the next meeting of the Task Force on Monday and to be attended by other concerned agencies.
“Accordingly, all heads of departments, agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the government, GOCCs, GFIs, SUCs and LGUs are hereby directed to adopt, coordinate and implement the said guidelines, and such other guidelines which the Task Force may subsequently issue on the matter, consistent with the respective agency mandates and relevant laws, rules and regulations, until the threat is over,” he said.
“The AFP, PNP and law enforcement agencies are all on standby and have been directed to give the necessary assistance to ensure the implementation of this directive to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone,” he added. “The Task Force was also given the authority, if necessary, to ban the entry of travellers from other areas with confirmed widespread 2019-nCOV ARD.”