The Philippines has now placed Taiwan on the red list of countries where air travel is restricted and flights between the two countries will come to a halt effective immediately.
Considering Taiwan is an island nation and has very few cases of nCov this appears to be yet another political decision rather than one that makes a lot of scientific sense. Flights to all other countries, even those that have more cases of the nCov virus than Taiwan continue as usual.
This will affect a range of airlines including:
Philippine Airlines published the following statement in their travel advisory:
In compliance with the Philippine government order expanding the travel ban to include Taiwan along with other areas in Greater China, we are constrained to cancel all our flights between Manila and Taipei effective IMMEDIATELY, until further notice.
These cancelled flights are PR890/891 Manila-Taipei-Manila and PR894/895 Manila-Taipei-Manila.
The expanded directive temporarily bans the entry of any person, regardless of nationality — – except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government — who come directly from Greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, or who had been to China including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines.
The government directive also temporarily bans Filipinos from traveling to points in greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
These restrictions are in relation to the coronavirus situation, in the interest of public health and safety.
We advise passengers with flights to and from Taiwan from February 11 onwards to await the lifting of the ban. If your flight was cancelled, you may refund your ticket at any time, with refund fees waived. Once the travel ban is lifted and we reinstate our flights, you may rebook, reroute, or refund your ticket within your ticket’s validity period, with rebooking, rerouting or refund fees waived.
Again, this makes very little sense as the data proves:
What is going on here? The answer is easy, once again it’s a political decision.
Channel News Asia reports in relation to this
… The World Health Organization has included Taiwan as part of China in its assessment that China is a “high risk” area for the virus, despite Taiwan’s complaints that they have a totally separate government and health system and should not be included under China.
This has already prompted Italy to include Taiwan as part of its flight ban from China, to Taiwan’s anger. …
The WHO has proven to be
completely useless and corrupt in slow to react and not critical enough in this entire Coronavirus affair. They have consistently towed China’s political line and even distributed the propaganda coming from Beijing so pretty much all credibility this agency had is now gone causing many to question WHO’s deferential treatment of the country despite emerging evidence contradicting official Chinese reports.
Then there are countries like Italy or in this case the Philippines that follow this policy and try to please China. Of course it’s up to each countries government how and on what grounds they set their immigration policy but still trying to appease the CCP government after they have allowed this disease to get out of control as it evidently has is pretty rich.
Passengers with connections booked between Taiwan and the Philippines should contact their airline or travel agent and find a different route to travel between these two points.
This could include flying through pretty much any other airport such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. If your airline will actually offer a rebooking or simply a full refund depends on their waiver policy. Most airlines just return the money and it’s up to the passenger to find a new way to their destination.
Editor’s Note: The author’s original post has been edited for content.