300 Chinese tourists stranded in PH as gov't bans travel on virus fears

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2020 12:36 PM

Passengers arriving at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Parañaque City wear face masks as a precaution on Jan. 23, 2020, as the country raises the alert to prevent the spread of an undetermined strain of the coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Around 300 Chinese nationals were left stranded in the Philippines as the government suspended travel to China and its territories, the Bureau of Immigration said Monday.

The Chinese nationals, most of whom are stuck in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, await the assistance of Beijing's embassy, Bureau of Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval told reporters.

"Most of the airlines have canceled their flights already to and from the different parts of China," Sandoval said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

The Chinese Embassy, according to the immigration official, promised to send an aircraft to fetch its stranded nationals.

A number of other foreign nationals were also stranded for a while due to the travel ban but were able to depart Manila already, Sandoval added.

The Philippines on Sunday implemented a travel ban covering all foreigners arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, including those who visited these areas within 14 days.

Filipino citizens and those who hold a permanent resident visa issued by the Philippine government however are allowed to enter the country provided that they undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Sandoval clarified on Monday that the travel ban covers even passengers transiting through China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Several airlines have suspended flights to China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.