CEBU'S air traffic to and from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau has shut off, as airlines have canceled flights following President Rodrigo Duterte's temporary travel ban order as a precaution against the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD).

Steve Dicdican, general manager of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, said the ban is suspending at least 306 aircraft movements — both departure and arrival — to and from China and the two Chinese-ruled city states as the ban takes effect.

Dicdican warned that the number could still escalate as more cancellations are still expected.

Airlines flying to China from Cebu have halted their services from February 2, 2020, extending through the end of March for some routes.

Cebu is now restricting arrivals from Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese cities of Chongqing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Jinjiang, Xiamen, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, based on the list of canceled flights as of February 3, 2020.

With the travel ban, Dicdican expected air and passenger traffic at MCIA to plunge, with China being a strong contributor to international arrivals to Cebu.

“It’s affecting travel,” he told a media briefing Monday, citing the potential economic losses from the ban, which might have “drastic effect” on various sectors. (CSL)