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Still no entry for love tourists â Palace
“Love Is Not Tourism is still covered by a tourist visa. So let’s just wait a little longer. (Eventually) all those with long-term visas will be allowed to enter. So, let’s just wait when the tourists will be allowed to come in,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.
Presidential Photo/Yancy Lim

Still no entry for love tourists – Palace

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government continued to decline the appeal of the group Love is Not Tourism Philippines to allow entry for foreigners seeking to meet or reunite with their partners and pursue marriage plans that were hindered by the pandemic.

“Love Is Not Tourism is still covered by a tourist visa. So let’s just wait a little longer. (Eventually) all those with long-term visas will be allowed to enter. So, let’s just wait when the tourists will be allowed to come in,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

In an online petition, the group said Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, Lithuania and Singapore already lifted their bans for unmarried couples.

The petitioners argued love is essential in the time of the pandemic and that love knows no borders and political boundaries.

Recovering tourism industry

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is confident local travelers will drive the recovery of the country’s tourism industry that sustained massive losses due to the pandemic.

“We are leaning on the proven strength of domestic tourism to lead recovery and growth,” DOT Undersecretary and spokesman Benito Bengzon Jr. said yesterday.

The DOT has allowed the reopening of tourist spots Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Siargao, the Ilocos provinces and recently Intramuros to local travelers.

The department also plans to establish “green corridors” in Laguna – San Pablo, Liliw, Rizal and Nagcarlan – that Metro Manila residents could visit.

Bengzon reminded those who plan to go places “to be conscious about public health and safety” as the threat of the coronavirus remains.

US requiring negative test

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that travelers going to the United States must submit negative COVID-19 test results – either a nucleic acid amplification test (RT-PCR) or an antigen test.

Test results must be taken from a licensed Department of Health (DOH) laboratory within three calendar days from the date of departure.

In an advisory, Philippine Airlines spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said PAL passengers may avail themselves of RT-PCR testing at the PAL Learning Center along Padre Faura in Manila.

It costs P3,300, with results released in 24 hours. Testing will be done in partnership with Detoxicare Diagnostics Molecular Laboratory, which is accredited by the Department of Health. – Ghio Ong, Rudy Santos

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