Foreign tourists still barred from entering PH – BI
MANILA, Philippines — As travel restrictions were recently relaxed, The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded on Sunday that only foreigners holding immigrant and non-immigrant visas may enter the country.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said foreign tourists are still banned from entering the Philippines despite the slight relaxation of travel restrictions which took effect on Saturday, May 1.
“Foreign tourists are still prohibited from entering the country and said restriction remains effective until it is lifted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID)” Morente said in a statement.
“The recent easing of travel restrictions applies only to aliens who were allowed to come here before March 22 and they should have valid and existing visas at the time of their arrival in our ports of entry,” he added.
Morente explained that the country merely reverted to implementing the travel international guidelines that existed prior to March 22 when the government reimposed a ban on the entry of all foreigners due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Exempted from the visa requirement are foreign spouses and children of balikbayans or returning Filipinos and former Filipinos who are traveling with the latter.
Meanwhile, foreigners who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa or temporary visitors’ visas may be allowed entry, provided they present an entry exemption document from the Department of Foreign Affairs on arrival.
All foreign travelers — except for foreign diplomats and members of international organizations — are also required to present a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility where they will be tested for COVID-19 on the sixth day from the date of their arrival.
The Philippines earlier suspended the entry of foreign nationals starting March 22 amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
As of May 2, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the country has reached 1,054,983, according to the Department of Health (DOH), while 966,080 are recovered patients and the death toll stands at 17,431.
The DOH said there are now 71,472 active COVID-19 cases as of May 2.
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