MANILA - China's flag carrier Air China on Thursday will mount special flights from Beijing to Manila and vice versa to evacuate stranded passengers due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
The aircraft will depart Beijing at 10:55 a.m. and is set to arrive in Manila at 4:05 p.m., the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a tweet.
It will return to Beijing at 5:40 p.m. and is expected to arrive at 10:35 p.m.
Asked about the flights, the embassy said "there are still many people from both countries stranded in the other country and they need to return to their homes."
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in an advisory published on Feb. 19, said some commercial flights in some parts of China were available for Filipinos who wished to return home.
These areas are Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Guiyang in Guizhou Province, Hong Kong, Kunming in Yunnan Province, Macau, Shanghai and Xiamen.
"Returning Filipinos are reminded of the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival regulation implemented by the Bureau of Quarantine per guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH)," the DFA said.
To stem the spread of the fast-spreading disease, the Philippine government in February imposed travel restrictions to China and its special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong. The ban on the two Chinese territories was eventually relaxed in favor of migrant workers and some specific visa holders.