Philippines stops issuance of visas on arrival of Chinese nationals

The Philippine Immigration Bureau has temporarily stopped issuing "visa upon arrival" or VUA issuance to Chinese nationals amid the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus worldwide, Report informs citing the RIA Novosti.

According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Chinese tourists have the right to get visas at the airport on arrival since 2017 and often use this method.

"We are now temporarily suspending the issuance of VUA for Chinese nationals to slow down the influx of group tours," he said, recalling that the Philippine aviation authorities had previously suspended all flights from Wuhan.

He added that the Philippines does not ban Chinese tourists from entering the country, but "is taking this pre-emptive measure to slow the flow of travelers and possibly help prevent the entry of a new coronavirus into the country."

He said that there is no order stopping Chinese nationals from entering the country, adding there is no directive from the national government.

According to the latest data by the State Health Committee of China, the virus has claimed106 lives and infected over 4,500 in mainland China. It continues to spread worldwide, with over 50 cases in 14 countries.

Outside of mainland China, cases have been reported in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Canada, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, and Germany.