COVID-19 test no longer required for fully vaccinated travelers to PH

Overseas Filipino workers arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City covid-19 test vaccinated travelers

EASED REQUIREMENT Overseas Filipino workers arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City. They will no longer be required to present a predeparture COVID-19 negative test result. —FILE PHOTO

The Philippines will no longer require a predeparture COVID-19 negative test result for inbound fully vaccinated travelers with at least one booster shot starting May 30, according to Malacañang.

Acting deputy presidential spokesperson Kris Ablan said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has adopted the recommendation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to scrap the requirement to revive the country’s tourism industry.

Based on the IATF Resolution No. 168, the predeparture testing requirement will also exempt children ages 12 to 17 who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those 12 years old and younger “regardless of vaccination status” as long as they are accompanied by their fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

The IATF also said that travel insurance would also no longer be required for inbound passengers but it would still be highly encouraged.

“It makes it easier for travelers to come to our shores,” Ablan said.

A win for tourism industry

The DOT thanked the IATF for approving its recommendation to further ease the government’s travel requirements.

“The DOT sees this development as a win for the local tourism industry,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

Job opportunities

Puyat said tourism-related businesses would definitely benefit from the more relaxed travel policy, which was also expected to result in additional job opportunities for Filipinos.

“We are glad that the propositions we have worked on have been approved by the IATF and are now up for implementation,” she said.

“As we make it more convenient for tourists to visit the country, the public’s health and safety will remain the DOT’s priority,” she said.

“All types of vaccination certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted,” the DOT said.

From Feb. 10 to May 25, the tourism department said nearly 518,00 foreigners arrived in the country, with most of them flying in from the United States, South Korea and Canada.

READ: More than 50 percent of tourism workers vaccinated vs COVID-19 — DOT

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