Airlines to clarify quarantine rules for Hong Kong, Macau flights: rep

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2020 03:23 PM

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Airlines will clarify with authorities the quarantine rules for crew members on flights to Hong Kong and Macau, where the Philippines relaxed a travel ban aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, a representative said Wednesday. 

The government did not say whether airline crew are exempted from a 14-day quarantine ban when Malacañang announced Tuesday that it would allow migrant workers to travel to the 2 Chinese special administrative regions, said Airline Operators Council President Allan Nepomuceno. 

"Ang ibig pong sabihin noon, kung ang local carriers po natin na mayroong mga Pilipiong crew ay bibiyahe ng Hong Kong at babalik sa atin, kailangan pa rin po nilang mag-undergo ng 14-day quarantine. Darating po ang panahon na itong mga local airlines natin, mauubos ang kanilang crew," he told DZMM. 

(That means that if local carriers have Filipino crew members going to and returning from Hong Kong, they will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. There will come a time that our local airlines will run out of crew.) 

"Pag-uusapan po nila kung ano ang magiging directives po nila tungkol dito para maging normal ang operasyon ng ating mga local airlines," he added. 

(They will talk about directives about this so the operation of our local airlines can return to normal.) 

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) wearing protective masks walk towards the departure entrance of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Feb. 18, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

The Philippines lifted the travel ban before Hong Kong reported that a Filipina domestic helper became its 61st case of coronavirus. 

There was no immediate comment from officials on how the latest development in Hong Kong would affect its decision to relax its travel restriction. 

There are more than 180,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong, many working as helpers, according to the Philippine labor department. In 2019, Filipino workers in Hong Kong sent home about P4.1 billion in foreign exchange remittances, central bank data showed. With a report from Reuters 

DZMM, Feb. 19, 2020