Philippines to welcome international tourists soon

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo- Puyat announced today November 19, 2021 (Friday) that upon the DOT’s request, 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,” following the guidelines as may be finalized and approved by the IATF-EID.

The Special Technical Working Group on Travel has been tasked to promptly come up with said guidelines for final approval of the IATF.

Puyat said that the proposal to open leisure travel from “green countries,” or those classified by the Department of Health (DOH) (https://mirror.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2021/11nov/20211111-IATF-Resolution-148A.pdf) as low-risk countries, will be based on strict conditions.

Only fully vaccinated individuals with vaccines recognized by the country’s Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or those authorized by the World Health Organization will be allowed entry to the country.

“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.

Puyat noted that this is a welcome development as other countries have already reopened their borders to international leisure travelers.

“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,” enthused Puyat.

Separately, the DOT will also be working on another proposal with the Small Technical Working Group on Travel: “Vaccinated Travel Lanes or Bubbles” as a special program for vaccinated tourists coming from yellow list countries, who may be able to enter country under certain restrictions and strict conditions.

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