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SBMA bans foreign travelers from coronavirus-hit countries

This pier inside the Subic Bay Freeport is where luxury cruise ships dock. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will not allow all foreign travelers from coronavirus-hit countries to enter the free port amid the global outbreak of the disease. (Photo by Joanna Rose Aglibot)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT –– As part of its precautionary measures, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) temporarily banned cruise ships, airplanes, and travelers, who have visited countries affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, SBMA Chair Wilma Eisma on Friday said the decision was made earlier this week to ensure the health and safety of workers, residents, locators, and visitors in this free port.

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“While Subic is a global trade gateway, we have to enforce this ban on persons and ships from affected countries, and other safety precautions to protect the stakeholders of Subic Bay,” she said.

SBMA will also prevent the entry of people who will directly come here from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, or had traveled to these places within 14 days before arrival in the country.

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Eisma said the entry ban does not cover Filipinos and holders of permanent residency visas issued by the Philippine government, but it temporarily bars the travel of Filipinos from Subic to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Besides the temporary ban, the SBMA board also ordered the mandatory physical inspection of all foreign nationals entering the free port gates to check them for body temperature, cough, colds, and other symptoms associated with COVID-19.

The SBMA has also directed business locators to carry out thermal scanning of personnel in their offices and facilities and to observe disinfection practices.

Schools inside the free port were also asked to suspend their off-campus activities, while hotel operators were requested to report any guest who has traveled from China or any other affected countries in the past 14 days before check-in for monitoring purposes./lzb

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TAGS: airplanes, China, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, cruise ships, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippine news updates, precautionary measures, Regions, SBMA, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, temporary ban, travelers
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