Thu, Feb 13, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Virus Outbreak: Taiwanese badminton players allowed to return from Manila

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s athletes competing in the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Manila are to return home, despite a travel ban put in place by the Philippine government on Monday night to contain COVID-19, the Chinese Taipei Badminton Association has said.

The Philippine Civil Aviation Authority issued a clarification on Monday night that the ban, which was announced on Feb. 2, includes Taiwan, as Manila has a “one China” policy.

Those who are not citizens of the Philippines, or holders of a permanent resident visa there, and arrive directly from Taiwan, or stayed in Taiwan or transited through there 14 days prior to their arrival, would be rejected entry into the Philippines, the agency said.

The championships began on Tuesday, but the Taiwanese delegation arrived on Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the competition, the association said, adding that the nation’s athletes are able to compete as scheduled.

“The athletes and their coaches have entered the Philippines and do not have any safety concerns. Through assistance from the Sports Administration, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the National Sports Training Center, we were able to keep in close contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Manila Economic and Cultural Office, and communicate with travel agencies so that we could arrange flights to bring our athletes and coaches home,” the association said.

As travelers entering Taiwan via China, Hong Kong and Macau are subject to a 14-day home quarantine, the delegation would avoid transiting through these areas on their return flight, association secretary-general Lee Yu-lung (李侑龍) said, adding that coaches and athletes were asked to only leave their hotels to attend the competitions.

As teams from China and Hong Kong were unable to participate in the championships, both the women’s and men’s teams from Taiwan were able to secure medals in Manila, Lee added.

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