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PAL extends flight cancellations to China, HK, Macau to March 28

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Monday announced the extension of the cancellation of flights to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

In an advisory, PAL said flight cancellations to the three destinations have been extended to March 28 from the earlier announced February 29.

Covered flights are those from Manila to Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xiamen, Quanzhou (Jinjiang) and Macau.

"We are compelled to cancel these flights until March 28 in view of the continuing travel restrictions imposed by the Philippine Government as a public health and safety measure, related to the novel coronavirus situation," said PAL.

The restrictions cover the following:

- ban the entry into the Philippines of any persons, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, who come directly from mainland China and its Special Administrative Regions (SARs), or who had been to China and its SARs within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines.

- ban Filipinos from traveling to mainland China and its SARs.

PAL said it will be unable to operate such flights, as the ban also covers its Filipino flight and cabin crew members.

"As there is no definite end date to the travel ban and thus no certainty that we may resume flying after March 28, we are unable to carry out automatic flight re-accommodations for passengers of canceled flights," it said.

"Once the travel ban is lifted and we reinstate our flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, you may rebook, reroute, or refund your ticket within your ticket's validity period, with rebooking, rerouting or refund serve fees waived," it added.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier on Monday reported that the number of persons under investigation (PUI) has risen to 314.

As many as 908 people have so far died in China's central Hubei province as of Sunday, with most deaths recorded in the provincial capital of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. —LDF, GMA News