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Hundreds of Filipinos arrive in HK after flight ban lifted

01 April 2022

By The SUN


The 3 flights from Manila carried mostly Filipino migrant workers

Three flights from Manila carrying hundreds of passengers were among the first to arrive in Hong Kong on Friday, following the lifting of a three-month travel ban on nine countries, including the Philippines.

Cebu Pacific flight 5J272 landed a few minutes ahead of its expected time of arrival at 7:55am, bringing with it a horde of Filipino travelers who all expressed joy and relief at being able to enter Hong Kong again.

Most of them were migrant domestic workers who had waited for months to take up their new jobs in Hong Kong. But there were also residents who were stranded by the flight ban after spending the Christmas holidays in the Philippines.


One worker interviewed on arrival by RTHK said she got stuck after her Jan 5 flight was cancelled.

At the time, a flight ban on the Philippines was already effectively in place as all planes flying in from the country had been suspended for two weeks for bringing in a number of infected passengers.

Another passenger was a student who said she had planned to come in December last year but was also caught by the flight suspensions.

"I've been waiting for the entire 2022 so far. I had planned to come here in December last year but it has been delayed until now," she said.

"I feel anxious but really happy that I get to see faces I haven't seen in a long time."

More than 2,000 passengers aboard 26 flights are expected to arrive within today from several countries including the nine who had been banned since Jan. 8.

Apart from the Philippines, the banned countries included Australia, Canada, France, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the United States and Britain.

Pindutin para sa detalye

First to touch down at 5:16am in Hong Kong today was a Cathay Pacific flight from Hanoi, followed by a 5J272 which arrived at 7:48am.

The flight board shows flight 5J272 as the first to land, but airport data show a CX flight from Hanoi arrived first

Two other flights came from the Philippines, Philippine Airlines flight PR300 which arrived at 9:58am, and another Cebu Pacific’s 5J114 which landed at 8:05pm.

Three flights also came from Taiwan, while of three planes that were supposed to fly in from Dubai, only one came.

Before the travel ban took effect, many travelers from the Philippines, especially the migrant workers, had already faced many obstacles in entering Hong Kong.

Apart from the strict boarding requirements which included a negative result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding, they also had to fight for very few quarantine spaces allotted to FDHs.

As Hong Kong requires all inbound travelers to be fully vaccinated, all migrant workers who had their jabs in the Philippines also had to wait interminably for the chance to secure the Yellow Card which documents their vaccination record.


There was a bit of consolation, however, that came with the lifting of the travel bans.

From today, all arriving passengers will only have to serve a one-week hotel quarantine, instead of the previous 14 days. 

Migrant workers get the added bonus of booking their quarantine stay with any of the designated hotels, or at any of the four reserved solely for their use.

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