US issues ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory to PH; business leaders say warning temporary

·2 min read

WHILE the “Do Not Travel” advisory issued by the US to the Philippines will not badly hit the country as border controls remain effective, such move may affect the country’s image in its Covid-19 response.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said the advisory will have negative implications on the country in the sense that the Philippines will be viewed as a Covid-19 hotspot.

The US Department of State issued on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a “Do Not Travel” Order to the Philippines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Philippines due to Covid-19, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country. There are restrictions in place affecting US citizen entry into the Philippines.

The advisory also warned US citizens not to travel to the Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping and to Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said he hoped the advisory is only for a short period of time.

“Our local travel has been steadily improving without many foreign guests. Though it may affect foreign investors from coming to the Philippines, let’s hope this will be for a temporary time frame only,” he said.

Taguiam said Cebu has improved so much in addressing the Covid-19 vases. He said both the public and the private sectors are working together for the rollout of the vaccination program.

“Our cases are going down but we should not let our guard down. We should continue exercising minimum health standards and increase vaccination efforts,” Yu warned.

Yu said he hoped the cases in the “National Capital Region Plus bubble” will stabilize soon so the country can reopen more businesses in Luzon.

“I believe this travel advisory will only be short-lived as we manage our Covid-19 cases, with the cooperation of everyone as far as minimum health standards and vaccination is concerned,” he said.

Moreover, Taguiam enjoined everyone to be vigilant and get themselves vaccinated.

“That’s the only way to move forward to the new norm we are all experiencing now,” he said. (JOB)