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Passengers stranded at NAIA due to Taiwan travel ban


The announcement on Monday extending the travel ban to Taiwan due to the 2019-novel coronavirus  has left several passengers stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Authorities on Monday clarified that foreigners from Taiwan will also be prohibited from entering the country together with passengers from Hong Kong, Macau, and China.

"[W]hile we were in the air, the news broke out that foreigners coming from Taiwan would be unable to enter through immigration," Kirk Long, a coach in a Taiwan Christan School, said in an interview on GMA News' Balitanghali.

Long, with 24 high school students, were supposed to compete in a basketball tournament in Antipolo.

"Definitely it's a hard situation that we're in. You know, three days ago we knew that Macau, Hong Kong, China, had been banned to enter the Philippines already. So we took extra precautions, knowing we're coming from Taiwan," Long said.

Despite the situation, the coach said the students maintained their high spirits.

"[T]hey're high school kids so they're young and they're attitudes were positive. They did their best to keep their spirits high and to try to look at the situation in a positive way," he said.

"We're just praying that the two Immigration officers, both here in the Philippines and Taiwan, can communicate and maybe let us know. Because the airlines are still wanting to get confirmation from Taiwan, that the Taiwan government will also allow us to come in," Long added.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Maki Pulido, some overseas Filipino workers with outbound flights to Taiwan also did not receive an advisory on the extended ban.

Though this was the case, the OFWs said they understood that the travel ban was for their protection.

A couple on an inbound flight from Canada, which made a stop-over at Taiwan, is meanwhile on hold due to the ban.

According to the couple's child, they received the advisory on the extended travel ban while already in flight. —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News