People wearing facemasks as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, line up to purchase face masks from a makeshift stall after queueing for hours following a registration process during which they were given a pre-sales ticket, in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020.
AFP/Anthony Wallace
Migrant workers now allowed to return to Hong Kong, Macau
( - February 18, 2020 - 3:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino migrant workers are now allowed to return to their jobs in Hong Kong and Macau, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases decided to exempt OFWs returning to Hong Kong and Macau from the outward travel ban imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease in the country.

“Those OFWs going back would have to make written declaration that they know the risk of going back to their place of work,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

In a tweet, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay said the Filipino workers bound for Hong Kong and Macau will be “subject to certain procedural formalities.”

Thousands of migrant workers have been stranded in the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed travel restrictions on mainland China, including its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.

The coronavirus disease that emerged in central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year has spread to nearly 30 locations. It has infected more than 72,000 people and killed over 1,800.

Fifty-eight people have been infected in Hong Kong, including one death—the second fatality outside mainland China. In Macau, 10 people tested positive for the illness. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with report from The STAR


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