Coronavirus Crackdown: The Extreme Way The Philippines Is Handling Travel

Starting this afternoon foreigners who have visited China within the last 14 days are banned from entering the U.S. although immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in China will be allowed to enter and monitored under quarantine.

This is contrary to World Health Organization recommendations, but not nearly as extreme as what we’re seeing elsewhere. The Philippines is:

  • Banning entry by non-citizens or permanent residents coming from China as well as from Macau and Hong Kong or who have been to those places within the last 14 days.

  • Requiring mandatory quarantine for people arriving from China as well as from Macau and Hong Kong.

  • Banning Filipinos from traveling to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

This means an end to flights between the Philippines and Hong Kong, and far greater restrictions on that country’s citizens than are being placed on those elsewhere.

The regime of President Duterte, of course, is considerably more autocratic than predecessors. Among other things he’s well known for stating that his presidency would be “bloody” and that he’d pardon police and soliders accused of human rights abuses, and pardon himself for mass murder.

(HT: @JournoDannyAero)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I believe the US and all Countrys should follow what The Philippines has put in place. Citizens are quarantined and non-citizens arent allowed in. Seems the smartest way to prevent the virus from spreading. As for the 3rd pt, I dont think they should forbid any citizen from traveling to China or Countrys with the virus, but instead say after 2/1 any citizen who does travel will be looked upon as a non-citizen and not allowed back into the Country till such time that virus is no longer a threat

  2. Gary I believe you need to change the title , it seems New Zeland the land of Liberals has followed The Philippines and wont allow non-citizens in who have been in Mainland China recently

  3. Not a fan of Duterte but what he has done in the past has nothing to with the decision for this lock down. Actually the Vice Presidant of the Philippines who is a member of the opposition party was begging Duterte to lock down the Philippines a couple days before.

    From article “Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday urged the government to immediately impose a China-wide travel ban amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.”

  4. The opposite of what Duterte is what Obama did, which is to give amnesty to Ebola victims.

    Given how badly the Chinese govt is lying about the Coronavirus death rates, I’m surprised all countries havent locked down travel to/from China in a similar fashion.

    At least Duterte, as ruthless as he can be, does what he can to protect his own country. Cant say that for a lot of politicans (esp those that lean left) in the US.

  5. John L
    What crack are you smoking?
    Where and when did Obama give amnesty to Ebola victims?
    What planet are you on

  6. Philippines is a densely populated third world country with barely any health infrastructure that can handle a pandemic. It’s already handling the aftermath of the Taal volcano eruption and a few typhoons the past few months.
    A country has to do what it can to protect itself with the given information. Better safe than sorry.

  7. Duterte is “considerably more autocratic than predecessors”
    Have you not heard of Ferdinand and Imelda, who presided over 20 years of the most brutal martial law imaginable? Of course Duterte is a total arsehole but he’s far from being a standout in that regard.

  8. So the Philippines is quarantining its citizens if they come from China and not letting anyone else in. I wonder how that works. If air crew are not allowed in, then no flights. If air crew are allowed in, then that breaks the shield against the disease. And if no flights I guess you’d have to take a slow boat to China.

  9. Sorry, Gary, but this is not a good assessment of the case in the Philippines, where I am right now:
    First of, the only difference to the US policy (which was a factor in this decision here), is the inclusion of Hong Kong and Macao, part of China under the 1-Country-2-Systen policy and major air transport gateways between China and the Philippines.
    Sefond, while Duterte is more autocratic than recent presidents, he was a holdout in this ban: The administration was considering to ban only travel from Hubei and any city with more than 100 cases – an uninforceable concept. Health authorities, opposition and local leaders were pushing for the broader ban.
    And the reason for that is the lack of resources to handle an outbreak here: there are a handful of top notch hospitals in Manila that put US ones to shame, but not nearly enough for the country.
    An important factor also are an estimated 250,000 Chinese online gambling workers in the Philippines, many scheduled to return after the Chinese New Year. There is just no way the local authorities could have checked, processed and possibly quarantined or treated a large number of people….
    Neither your headline nor post are a good reflection of the facts…

  10. It’s ridiculous people are ok with these sensible policies for a virus yet decry immigration controls that keep out dangerous groups of people who commit a disproportionately higher amount of violence and threaten the genetic fabric of a country.

    As for these controls, people who don’t have signs of illness should be self quarantined at home with provisions made to supply them with groceries ala instacart. No need for quarantining them to a base.

  11. Joey have you been to Philippines hospitals??? They are better than most US hospitals! In fact medical tourism is insanely high there with many Americans even going for surgeries.Terribly ignorant comment

  12. My question: I will be traveling to MNL from USA via TPE end of FEB. Is PH considering Taiwan as china or did they specifically state “Mainland China” and Taiwan is exempt?

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