China suspends entry of non-Chinese travelers from PH to prevent imported cases of COVID-19
Marje Pelayo • November 6, 2020 • 2007
MANILA, Philippines — China announced it is temporarily closing its borders to non-Chinese nationals from the Philippines in a move to prevent entry of fresh cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The announcement was made by the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Thursday (November 6) through its official social media platforms to notify Filipinos and foreign nationals in the country who intend to travel to China.
“The suspension is a temporary response necessitated by the current situation of Covid-19,” the statement said.
Similar entry ban was also imposed on British and Belgian nationals.
The entry restriction applies to all non-Chinese nationals in the Philippines regardless of whether their visas or residence permits are still valid.
It added that all Chinese embassies and consulates in the Philippines would no longer issue certified health declaration forms to those affected by the entry ban.
“The above-mentioned measures will be assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly,” the embassy said.
Meanwhile, members of the diplomatic service or holders of C-visas are not covered by the ban including international transport workers such as airline crews. Those who were given a visa after November 3 will also not be affected.
However, foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for a visa in Chinese embassy and consulates.
MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.
Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.
Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.
“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.
Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.
The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.
During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
The unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7%, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
From April 2020, with a 17.6% unemployment rate, the number of unemployed Filipinos continued to drop to 10% in July and 8.7% in October. This is equivalent to 3.8 million Filipinos, 15 years old and above, who are unemployed.
With several establishments reopening after strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), several Filipinos were able to find jobs during the last quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also droppedd to 14.4% this October, compared to 17.3%t last July.
The PSA said the economy is gradually recovering as lockdowns continue to ease. -AAC
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