The Philippines has imposed a travel restriction on the South Korea’s North Gyeongsang province due to the spread of COVID-19 in that area, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo announced today in a presser.
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) of the Department of Health has banned all travelers coming from the province, effective immediately.
“With respect to other parts of South Korea, the IATF shall conduct a risk assessment of the situation in the aforesaid country within 48 hours to analyze whether it is necessary to expand the travel ban thereto. In the meantime, strict protocols with respect to travelers entering the country from these areas in South Korea will continue to be observed,” Panelo said.
Filipinos are allowed to travel to the province, but only if they are permanent residents, students, or workers there. If so, they need to “execute and sign a declaration, signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved, prior to their travel.”
Early this month, the Philippines imposed a travel ban on China, where the virus originated, as well as on its special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, after a Chinese national died of COVID-19 in the country. After initially prohibiting Filipinos from traveling to the areas, the government relented, making an exception for overseas Filipino workers in the affected areas.
Only three people have been infected with COVID-19 in the Philippines, all of whom were Chinese nationals. Though one succumbed to the illness, the other two recovered and have since gone back to China.