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MOFA issues yellow travel alert for Portugal over swine flu

MOFA issues yellow travel alert for Portugal over swine flu

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has issued a yellow travel alert for Portugal, one of 21 countries and areas that Taiwan has tagged with a yellow advisory since swine flu began to spread around the globe.
“In light of the fact that Portugal has confirmed its first human infection of H1N1 swine flu, the MOFA has issued a yellow travel alert for the country and advised citizens to take precaution measures for health concerns, ”said Lo Yu-chung, director-general of the MOFA's Bureau of Consular Affairs, at a regular press briefing Tuesday.
All travel advisories are issued in accordance with the Department of Health's latest information on the disease's situation and in coordination with the Central Epidemics Command Center, he added.
On the ministry's three-color travel advisory scale, a yellow alert serves as a reminder for travelers to exercise caution when traveling to those countries, an orange travel alert advises travelers to postpone their trips, and a red alert warns travelers not to enter the area in question under any circumstances.
At present, Mexico is the only country for which the MOFA has issued a red travel alert as an outbreak of swine flu, known officially as influenza A (H1N1), has been confirmed there.
Meanwhile, Taiwan has already issued 21 yellow alerts for countries and areas including the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Holland, South Korea and Hong Kong, according to Lo.
Rebutting criticisms that the ministry has been slow to issue travel advisories, undermining people's rights when trying to cancel their trips to countries and areas in question, Lo said such travel advisories are only“for reference and have no force of constraint” on travel.
“Individual groups should be responsible themselves for any consequences resulting from the use of these travel advisories as clauses in contracts detailing travelers rights and obligations, " Lo said.
The Cabinet-level Consumer Protection Commission has confirmed that the travel alerts issued by the Foreign Ministry do not necessarily relate to the application of standard contracts for foreign travel, he added.
(By Rachel Chan)




Updated : 2021-03-08 15:40 GMT+08:00