AirAsia cancels PH flights to Taiwan amid novel coronavirus travel ban

Robie de Guzman   •   February 11, 2020   •   745

MANILA, Philippines – AirAsia on Tuesday, February 11, announced the cancellation of its flights between the Philippines and Taiwan in compliance with the Philippine government’s expanded travel restrictions to China and its regions that were affected by the outbreak of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

In an advisory, the AirAsia said that flights going Taiwan (Taipei and Kaohsiung) are now cancelled until further notice.

The airliner previously cancelled flights from the Philippines to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao until March 2020.

AirAsia guests affected by the flight cancellations and travel restrictions may choose from the following options:

  • Move flight: One-time flight change to a new travel date on the same route within 30 calendar days beginning 29 March 2020 from original flight time without additional cost, subject to seat availability. Applicable for guests affected by cancelled flights and travel restrictions imposed.
  • Credit account: Retain the value of your fare in your AirAsia BIG Loyalty account for future travel with AirAsia. The online credit account is to be redeemed for booking within 90 calendar days from the issuance date for your travel with us. The actual travel dates can be after the expiry date as long as our flight schedule is out. This is applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.
  • Full refund: Obtain a full refund to your original payment method for the amount equivalent to your booking. Applicable for affected flights to/from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, and Macao SAR until 28 March 2020.

AirAsia said guests whose flights fall into the above date range can obtain a full refund in the amount equivalent to that booking in the form of original payment. Refund requests can be made with AVA at support.airasia.com. 

For bookings made through travel agents including online travel agents, refund requests are to be made via the respective travel agents.

AirAsia also strongly encourages its guests to update their contact details to ensure that they receive timely notifications.

The airline company’s action follows the Department of Health’s announcement Monday that Taiwan is covered in the expanded travel ban in an effort to curb the spread of novel coronavirus.

LIST: Countries with travel bans and restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 29, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has released an updated list of countries with travel bans and restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In their social media post, the DFA posted the infographics on 10 countries that have updated their status on travel restrictions. The said infographics aim to inform Filipinos who are allowed to leave the Philippines.

The said countries include, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali, and Mauritania.

“It is always best for the traveler to check ahead of travel dates with the airlines that will be used as well as with relevant Embassies or Consulates before departure or before booking a ticket,” the DFA said. AAC

Italy lifts national travel ban as pandemic slows down

UNTV News   •   June 4, 2020

ITALY – People in Italy will be allowed to move freely within the country from Wednesday (June 3) as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic slows down.

From Wednesday, passengers don’t have to provide the “self-declaration” form anymore in which they are required to explain their trans-regional travel purposes in the country.

The travel restrictions are also eased for travelers from other European Union (EU) countries and Britain to enter the country without the 14-day quarantine.

On Wednesday, passenger flows increased apparently in Italy’s major railway stations, airports and ferry terminals, and highway traffic also saw a dramatic rise.

“I’ve been waiting for the reopening of region borders on June 3. I want to see my wife. We’ve not seen each other for three months,” said Giorgio, an Italian traveler.

In order to cope with the increase of passenger flows, the Italian State Railways has launched 80 long-distance high-speed trains and 38 inter-city regular trains nationwide, and requires travelers to take temperature tests before boarding.

“We have used trains with more seats, but people need to keep a safe distance on the trains. Through the striking reminders on the seats, passengers can tell which seats can be taken and which can not,” said Marco Mancini, spokesman for the Italian State Railways.

According to the current regulations of the Italian government, people must wear masks in closed public places or when they cannot maintain a safe distance.

In some Italian regions, people are also required to wear masks in open spaces. Meanwhile, people must take temperature tests in public places. (REUTERS)

Brazilians scramble to board last U.S. flights ahead of travel ban

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2020

Brazilians scrambled Monday (May 25) to make last-minute arrangements to get to the United States ahead of new restrictions on travel from Brazil.

A handful of passengers were seen at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport preparing to board a United Flight to Houston Monday after the U.S. government brought the restrictions forward by two days as the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in the South American nation surpassed the U.S. daily toll.

A White House statement amended the timing of the start of the restrictions to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 26 (0359 GMT on Wednesday, May 27) instead of May 28 as in the original announcement on Sunday (May 24).

Two days earlier, Brazil overtook Russia as the world’s No. 2 coronavirus hotspot after the United States. Washington’s ban applies to foreigners traveling to the United States if they had been in Brazil in the last two weeks.

Brazil’s coronavirus deaths reported in the last 24 hours were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time on Monday, according to the health ministry. Brazil registered 807 deaths and 620 died in the United States.

Brazil has 374,898 cases, behind the U.S. with 1.637 million. Total deaths in the U.S. has reached 97,988, according to Reuters tally, compared with Brazil at 23,473.

The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of U.S. President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs. (Reuters)

(Production: Leonardo Benassatto)

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