Hongkong lift travel ban as 3,000 OFW set to leave the country


On Monday, the Hong Kong government will suspend the Philippines' travel ban, allowing almost 3,000 stranded Filipino workers to return to their employers.

As the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) continued to process job orders, Labor Attaché Melchor Dizon said in a news release from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Sunday that the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will be allowed to travel to Hong Kong could exceed those stranded during the travel ban.

According to DOLE, even fully vaccinated personnel must undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Hong Kong. Dizon also encouraged OFWs in Hong Kong to take advantage of the option of picking their own brand of Covid-19 vaccinations, as well as the possibility of receiving cash and other benefits once they get immunized.

"We encourage our fellow Filipinos here in Hong Kong and those stranded in the Philippines to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19. Otherwise, you will not be allowed entry into Hong Kong. This is also for your protection,” Dizon said.

Despite the government's incentive package, he remarked that less than half of the 220,000 OFWs in Hong Kong have received the vaccine of their choice.

“There are lots of vaccine brands here (HK). You can choose your brand. There are also incentives if you are vaccinated,” Dizon said.

The Hong Kong government is offering foreign workers monetary incentives as well as a house and car to citizens who get immunized. The legitimacy of a Covid-19 immunization card or document of an OFW from the host country must be verified by POLOs.

According to a Bloomberg story published on August 3, Hong Kong has fully vaccinated 2.5 million people, or roughly 33% of its projected 7.5 million population. Only schools with a 70 percent vaccination rate among pupils can completely resume face-to-face classes by September, according to the Hong Kong government.

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