Philippine government bans Taiwanese, forces plane to return to Taiwan

Taiwanese tourists only learned of ban due to coronavirus fears on arrival at Boracay Airport

Passenger photo of Taiwan tourists sent back home from Philippines.  

Passenger photo of Taiwan tourists sent back home from Philippines.   (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 100 Taiwanese on a flight to the Philippines spent the night at Boracay Airport on Monday and were sent back to Taiwan around noon on Tuesday (Feb. 11) after the Philippine government unexpectedly banned Taiwanese from entering the country due to fears over the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), UDN reported.

The Philippines AirAsia flight was forced to return to Taiwan. According to the report, the passengers appeared tired when they arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The report cited passengers as saying they were unaware of the entry ban imposed on Taiwanese by the Philippine government until after they landed at Boracay Airport. The passengers were also prevented from leaving the airport.

A tourist surnamed Chen and three family members spent more than NT$100,000 on their holiday to Boracay, according to the report. The travel company that arranged the tour has not said how or if they will compensate the loss, according to the report.

Also on Monday night there were several hundred passengers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, waiting to board planes for the Philippines. They were reportedly forced to cancel their travel plans at the last minute.