Tourism Minister Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has made public the news that the Philippines is beginning to reopen to tourists. For now, a return to this diving paradise will only be available under certain conditions. One of them is to have a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19.
The Department of Tourism is very grateful to the IATF-EID for approving the application to allow the entry of foreign tourists. We see this as a positive development that will go a long way in rebuilding jobs. In the Philippines, many communities depend on tourism. We look forward to the reopening of businesses that were previously closed during the pandemic – Puyat said.
The minister explained that the decision, which was issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), will only apply to tourists from countries whose nationals are eligible for visa-free entry into the Philippines.
With years of coordination between national agencies, tourism industry representatives and various local government units (LGUs) to prepare our destinations for the new normal tourism, we are confident that we will be able to keep pace with our ASEAN neighbours who have already taken similar steps to reopen to foreign tourists – the minister added.
Last year, IATF-EID allowed fully vaccinated tourists from green-listed countries to enter the Philippines. The permit was effective from December 1, 2021, but authorities temporarily suspended it due to the emergence of the omicron variant.
IATF-EID also announced the suspension of the country classification system, effective February 1, 2022. Also from February 1, fully vaccinated Filipinos returning to the country will no longer have to undergo quarantine. That is, of course, as long as they can present a negative RT-PCR test done no more than 48 h before arrival.
On the other hand, from 10 February and after consultation with experts, travellers will also no longer have to go through quarantine. In this case, too, it depends on having a negative RT-PCR test performed a maximum of 48 hours before arrival.
We are aware, given the unpredictability of the virus, that there is no room for complacency. We will closely monitor the situation and make sure that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in all tourist establishments – Puyat stressed.
According to the IATF-EID guidelines, people travelling to the Philippines for tourism will be able to enter if they meet certain conditions. Firstly, tourists’ passports on arrival must be valid for at least six more months. Travellers will also need to have a return ticket to their country of origin or country of destination.
The list of countries whose citizens can enter the Philippines without a visa is in the EO 408 list and can be found under here.
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