Philippines to accept int’l tourists soon, says DOT
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will soon accept international tourists, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Friday.
Tourism chief Berna Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) “has approved in principle the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions.”
“Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts —increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others. This move will likewise aid in bolstering consumer confidence, which is a large contributor to our gross domestic product or GDP growth,” Puyat said in a statement.
“Our Asean neighbors like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia also did the same. We believe that it is also time for us to reopen our borders for inbound tourism as a way towards full recovery,” she added.
An inter-agency Special Technical Working Group on Travel has been tasked to come up with guidelines for the country’s reopening of tourism for international travelers subject to the final approval of the IATF.
The proposal to open leisure travel to those coming from “green” countries was based on strict conditions, Puyat noted.
The “green’ countries were classified by the Department of Health as low-risk for COVID-19.
According to Puyat, only foreign tourists fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with jabs recognized by the country’s Food and Drug Administration under an emergency use authorization (EUA) would be allowed to enter the Philippines for tourism.
She added that the DOT will also be working on another proposal with the Small Technical Working Group on Travel to discuss the possibility of having “vaccinated travel lanes or bubbles” – a special program for fully-vaccinated individuals from “yellow” countries.
The Philippines closed its doors to tourism for almost two years since the pandemic hit the country in 2020.
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