Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been affected by Hong Kong’s 2 -week ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights, a group of Filipino workers in the said territory said Monday.
On Sunday, 1 day before Hong Kong opens to vaccinated OFWs, the government there banned the reception of PAL passengers for 2 weeks or until September 11th.
This is after seeing 3 out of 7 imported COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong on Sunday from the Philippines on a PAL plane.
According to the BAYAN group in Hong Kong and Macau, this has affected the sending of OFWs to Hong Kong, especially making it difficult to schedule flights.
“‘Yong mawalan ka ng isang airlines that are allowed to bring in passengers, malaki impact,” said BAYAN Hong Kong and Macau Chairperson Eman Villanueva.
“May ka-exchange ako ng message na kababayan natin, parang third time na niya na na-cancel ang flight via PAL so stranded talaga siya diyan,” said Villanueva.
“I hope magawan ng paraan and hopefully ‘yong government can make representation dito sa Hong Kong.”
According to a statement from Philippine Airlines, the COVID-19 test results presented to them by 3 passengers, 2 Filipinos, and 1 Chinese, were negative.
They also make sure they enforce strict health and safety protocols on the flight.
Philippine Airlines flights banned in Hong Kong; OFWs affected
For PAL-affected passengers in the next 2 weeks, they can rebook, refund, or convert their tickets as travel vouchers without penalty.
Philippine Airlines’ cargo flights will continue.
Early this month, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Hong Kong does not accept the vaccination cards issued in the Philippines.
“Our vaccination cards are not accepted in Hong Kong because they are not connected to a single source. Poor OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) going to their jobs in Hong Kong even if jabbed,” Locsin said.
Meanwhile, those traveling out of the country were first notified to obtain a “yellow card” from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) as proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
While the government is still adjusting the digital vaccine card that travelers can use inside and outside the country.