PHL SCRAPS COVID PRE-DEPARTURE TEST FOR FULLY VACCINATED, BOOSTERED TOURISTS
Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – The Philippine government will no longer require a pre-departure COVID-19 test for incoming fully vaccinated passengers as part of its measures to revive the pandemic-hit economy starting May 30, 2022.
Following the recommendations made by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as a means to further ease the travel requirements and encourage more tourists to visit the country, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved Resolution 168 exempting all fully vaccinated and boostered foreign nationals from the RT-PCR test requirement. Based on the resolution, the visitor must be at least 18 years old and must have received the primary series of Covid-19 vaccines and at least one booster shot.
Also exempted from the pre-departure RT-PCR requirement are foreign nationals aged 12 to 17 who have received their primary Covid-19 vaccine/s, and those aged below 12 and traveling with fully vaccinated or boostered parents or guardians.
The same exemption guidelines apply to Filipinos traveling to the Philippines.
“We are glad that the propositions we have worked on have been approved by the IATF-EID and are now up for implementation. As we make it more convenient for tourists to visit the country, the public’s health and safety will remain the DOT’s priority.”, Tourism Secretary Berna-Romulo Puyat said.
“The DOT sees this development as a win for the local tourism industry as welcoming more tourists in the country will yield more revenues for our MSMEs and restore more jobs and livelihoods in the sector,” she added.
Meanwhile, travel insurance is no longer required, but is still highly encouraged, for arriving passengers. Regardless of country of origin, all types of vaccination certificates will also be accepted.
Based on recent data, a total of 517,516 foreign tourist arrivals have been recorded in the Philippines from 10 February to 25 May 2022.
A bulk of foreign tourists, totaling 104,589 came from the United States, followed by South Korea with 28,474, and Canada with 24,337.
Australian nationals, British/English, and Japanese tourists came next on the list with 23,286; 20,846; and 13,373 respectively.
Other foreign visitors to the Philippines during the early months of the year include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French.
Puyat said the Department is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements into the country.