Philippines gears up to welcome all foreign tourists with lifting of arrival requirements

Starting April 1, there will be no limit to the number of international passengers arriving in all ports of entry in the country.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday (March 11) made this announcement following the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to lift the arrival quota for unvaccinated passengers in all ports of entry.

The IATF, under Resolution 164-A, made the submission of a negative laboratory-based antigen test result taken within 24 hours from departure an alternate option for arriving passengers, in place of the initial requirement of a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure from point of origin.

The resumption of visa issuances by Philippine embassies and consulates will also start on April 1 to coincide with total removal of arrival quotas.

“This latest development opens the country to all fully vaccinated tourists from all countries, and means the country’s tourism industry is well on its way to recovery”, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

“We at the DOT thank our colleagues in the IATF for approving such measures that will help sustain the recovery of the sector in the coming months. We have high hopes that all of these will result in an uptick in international travelers visiting the country during the summer season,” Puyat added.

The IATF Resolution 164-A also allows the entry of passport holders from Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for a period not exceeding 14 days.

IATF Resolution 164, on the other hand, approves the reciprocal recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates from Croatia, Cyprus, and Nepal which are among of the 157 countries whose citizens can enter the Philippines without a visa under EO 408.

“While our domestic tourists have been the pillar of our recovery, we are also excited to welcome more foreign visitors in the weeks ahead. Such a move to further ease our borders and recognize the vaccination certificates of other countries is very important, noting that our top foreign markets were part of the visa-free countries,” she added.

To recall, the Philippines reopened its doors to foreign leisure travelers from visa-free countries on February 10.

Based on the DOT’s data as of 09 March 2022, the number of arrivals to the country’s main airports have reached 76,736. Of this number, 43,249 are foreign tourists, while 33,487 are balikbayans.

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