Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, on 2 February 2020, imposed a temporary travel ban on any foreign traveller of any nationality coming from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau amid the coronavirus outbreak.

This has made the participation of China and Hong Kong in the upcoming Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) unclear. The tournament starts 11 Feb in Manila, Philippines.

Hong Kong badminton head coach He Yiming said, “We originally planned to travel to the Philippines on 7 February (Sunday). But now some affairs have suddenly appeared. We will have to wait for the Hong Kong Badminton Association to communicate with Badminton Asia Confederation and Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Monday (3 February).”

BWF is helpless

BWF however has limited powers in these matters as the travel bans in different countries concern the national security of the country.

BWF released a public statement today (Feb 4) regarding the matter.

We have asked all Member Associations and (tournament) hosts to contact their national health authorities to make them aware that international players will be arriving in their country and to seek advice on prevention and necessary courses of action should an incidence occur.

The BWF would like to make it clear, however, that it will not be restricting participation of Chinese players and officials, or any other players or officials, at international badminton and Para badminton tournaments.

Chinese athletes are free to enter events and we trust tournament hosts will provide full assistance and treat all athletes from all Member Associations (MAs) equally.

Coronavirus Travel Ban Map, Source: Quartz, dated 3 February 2020

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