Taiwanese need to provide travel history to enter the Philippines

02/04/2020 09:43 PM

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) From Saturday, Taiwanese wishing to visit the Philippines will be asked to provide a recent travel history when applying for a visa following the extension of a travel ban on foreign travelers who have been to China or its special administrative regions within the last three weeks, according to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO).

All foreign travelers - - regardless of nationality -- who have visited China, Hong Kong or Macau with the last 21 days will be barred from entering the Philippines, MECO said.

On Sunday, Filipino authorities banned all travelers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, one day after a Chinese national from Wuhan -- ground zero of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak -- died in the Philippines, becoming the first fatality outside China.

Due to the bans, Taiwanese wishing to enter the Philippines will have to provide an Entry and Exit Record issued by Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA), which will need to include the complete name of the Taiwan national, his or her national identification number, dates of entry to and exit from Taiwan, and countries visited 21 days preceding the last entry to Taiwan, the MECO statement said.

"Failure to secure and submit the Entry and Exit Record may result in the outright disapproval or denial of the application for visa without refund of the processing fee," the MECO statement said.

The Entry and Exit Record will be returned to Taiwanese travelers with an official stamp and will need to be presented to Filipino immigration officials along with their visa to enter the Philippines, MECO said.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines said the Entry and Exit Record is necessary as Philippine officials are unable to determine whether Taiwanese have entered China, Hong Kong or Macau from Taiwan passports because Taiwanese uses a special document known as the "mainland travel permit for Taiwan residents" to enter those areas.

The Entry and Exit Record will provide proof of inbound and outbound dates to check if Taiwanese recently traveled to the banned areas, TECO said.

The acute respiratory disease was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization on Friday.

Taiwan has confirmed 11 people infected while China has already recorded 20,511 infections and 426 deaths since the virus was first identified, according to official statistics as of Tuesday.

(By William Yen)

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