Cebu Pacific cancels flights to, from China, HK, Macau

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 3, 2020   •   950

Cebu Pacific has announced the cancellation of its flights between the Philippines and China, Hong Kong and Macau effective immediately.

In their Facebook post, the airline company said this is in support of the Philippine government’s efforts to manage the risks of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Flights between the Philippines and Macau and Hong Kong will remain canceled until February 29, while flights between the Philippines and China will remain canceled until March 29.

Cebu Pacific passengers traveling from the Philippines to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau until March 31, 2020, may avail of the following options through the Manage Booking portal in the Cebu Pacific website https://book.cebupacificair.com/Manage/Retrieve:

  • Rebook the flight (new flight date within 30 days of original travel date)
  • Refund the tickets in full
  • Store the value of the ticket in a Travel Fund for future use

Meanwhile, all foreign nationals (except those with valid permanent resident visas to the Philippines) who have visited mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau 14 days before traveling to the Philippines will not be allowed to check-in for their flight.

All Filipinos and permanent residents of the Philippines, arriving from international flights who have been to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the last 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines will be required by the Bureau of Quarantine to undergo a home quarantine process upon arrival.—AAC

Philippines gets another 3M doses of Sinovac vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Another three million doses of CoronaVac from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (September 19) bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country to 62,359,810 since February.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Police Major Marvin Oloab witnessed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) past 6:00 p.m. via a commercial Philippine Airlines flight.

Galvez said the newest vaccine shipment will be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A, 7, 11 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Galvez admitted that the national government is facing challenges in vaccinating the senior citizens due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso,” he said.

“Palagay ko, kapag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on [at] iyong mga nabakunahan na mga senior [ay] lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out,” Galvez added.

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HK closely monitors COVID situation in PH; to accept vax records starting Sept. 1

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2021

The government of Hong Kong announced on Monday that it will accept vaccination records of inbound travelers coming from the Philippines effective September 1.

In a press release, the Hong Kong government said it has updated its list of places with recognized vaccination records adding the Philippines and Indonesia.

“Hong Kong residents who hold vaccination records affirmed by the relevant authorities of these two countries can board a flight for Hong Kong from Group A specified places,” it said.

As for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs), they need to go through standard health procedures upon arrival.

“Foreign domestic helpers holding vaccination records that have been affirmed by the relevant authorities of Indonesia or the Philippines must follow the quarantine arrangements as announced by the Government on August 26, including undergoing 21-day compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine facility. As for other Hong Kong residents, they can undergo compulsory quarantine in regular designated quarantine hotels,” said Hong Kong’s Secretary of Labor and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong.

The updated policy applies to countries considered as ‘Group A’ places in Hong Kong’s travel list.

Hong Kong labels countries/territories with ‘high risks’ of COVID-19 infection as Group A places.

These are Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Dr Law Chi-kwong added that while the Hong Kong government recognizes the high demand for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in the country, they have to impose strict measures because of the COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta that has been spreading very rapidly.

“We have to ensure that we will not be allowing the virus to infiltrate into our community. Thus, we on one hand have to strike the balance between the demand of the families needing to employ FDHs and, on the other hand, we have to reduce the risk of having the virus coming into our community. Thus, we have to do it steadily and step by step,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, in case the number of COVID positive cases spikes, they have existing mechanism to stop flights coming to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has recently issued a two-week temporary ban on flights from Philippine Airlines after three of its passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport.

“We have to monitor it closely,” Dr Law added.

“It depends on the progress, the risk we are facing and the whole situation at these places of origin for FDHs. You would probably be aware that in the Philippines, the number of cases has been increasing very rapidly recently. So, we have to basically monitor the situation day after day,” he said.

Hong Kong imposes two-week ban on PAL flights

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Hong Kong government has imposed a temporary ban on flights from Philippine Airlines (PAL) until September 11 after three of its passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival to the territory.

PAL confirmed the suspension in a statement adding that passenger flights from Hong Kong to Manila will remain operational during the said period.

“Philippine Airlines passenger flights from Hong Kong to Manila continue to operate every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to our planned schedules. In the other direction, while PAL will not be able to carry passengers from Manila to Hong Kong up to Sept. 11 to comply with the restriction, we will continue to operate all-cargo flights into Hong Kong,” the airline said.

PAL stressed that it is consistently complying with industry protocols both in the Philippines and abroad as it considers the health and safety of passengers its top priority.

“Please note that all our three passengers (2 Filipinos and 1 Chinese national) presented negative Covid-19 test results when they checked in for their PR300 flights,” it said.

On Sunday (August 29), the Hong Kong government reported the detection of COVID-19 positive travelers from PAL flight PR300 during the arrival testing which prompted the two-week ban on PAL flights.

“Separately, as two passenger flights arrived in Hong Kong on August 27, namely PR300 operated by Philippine Airlines arriving from Manila, the Philippines to Hong Kong, and TK083 operated by Turkish Airlines arriving from Istanbul, Turkey to Hong Kong, each had three passengers confirmed to have COVID-19 by arrival testing,” Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said in a press release.

“[This] invoked the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation of Cross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H) to prohibit the landing of passenger flights from Manila and Istanbul respectively operated by the above airlines in Hong Kong from August 29 to September 11,” it added.

PAL said all passengers affected by the ban may rebook, refund or convert their tickets into a travel voucher with rebooking and refund service fees waived.

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