Philippines lifts ban on entry of foreigners starting May 1
Airline ground staff (L) wearing protective gear work at the counter at the airport in Manila on August 4, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Philippines lifts ban on entry of foreigners starting May 1

(Philstar.com) - April 30, 2021 - 2:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s task force against coronavirus has lifted its travel ban on foreign nationals starting May 1.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday that the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued Resolution No. 113 allowing the entry of foreign nationals starting this weekend.

Roque however said the following conditions should be met:

  • With valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under the Balikbayan program under Republic Act 6768 or the Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program
  • With pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility
  • Subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth day from date of arrival
  • Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente “shall have exclusive prerogative to decide on the waiver or recall of exclusion orders of foreign nationals, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat,” Roque added in a separate statement.”

The immigration bureau meanwhile is directed to formulate necessary guidelines.

The travel restriction on travelers from India, which covers all nationalities including Filipinos, however, stays until May 14.

The government on April 27 imposed a two-week ban on those with travel history to India in the last 14 days prior to day of arrival as New Delhi struggles to contain an alarming surge of COVID-19 cases being blamed on a “double mutant” coronavirus variant and superspreader events.

The B.1.617 variant of COVID-19 first found in India has been categorized as a “variant of interest” and has been detected in at least 17 countries.  

As of April 29, health authorities recorded 1,028,738 total COVID-19 infections in the country. Of these, 69,354 classified are active cases. 942,239 have so far recovered while death toll is at 17,145.  — Kristine Joy Patag

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 18, 2021 - 10:22am

Find the latest travel and tourism news from around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. Main image by AFP/Romeo Gacad

June 18, 2021 - 10:22am

The pandemic task force's directives on quarantine and testig supercede those of local government units, it says in a press statement through the Presidential Communications Operations Office. 

"[T]he IATF reiterates the strict enforcement of current testing and quarantine protocols duly approved and issued by the IATF for inbound international travelers in all ports of the country regardless of any specific protocols that may be issued the local government units on the contrary," it says.

It adds national government agencies have been instructed "to ensure strict adherence to the abovementioned directive."

June 17, 2021 - 1:04pm

Japan says it will make a vaccine passport available from next month for Japanese travellers, as governments around the world experiment with ways to relaunch tourism and business trips.

"We are preparing to issue a certificate of vaccination for those who need one... when they visit foreign countries," top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato tells reporters.

The certificate will be paper-based rather than digital and will be issued by local governments from sometime next month, he says. — AFP

June 17, 2021 - 11:41am

The Department of Tourism says there has been a 61.2% decrease in the contribution of the tourism industry to the Philippine economy in 2020. 

The Tourism Direct Gross Value Added, based on the data of the Philippine Statistics Authority, dropped to P973.31 billion last year compared with the P2.51 trillion in 2019.

"This is only 5.4% of  the industry’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, a steep decline from the 12.8 percent in 2019," the DOT says in a statement.

June 11, 2021 - 7:53am

Two guests on one of the first cruise ships to sail from North America since the COVID-19 pandemic hit tested positive Thursday, the cruise company said, adding all passengers and crew had been vaccinated.

The Celebrity Millennium, carrying about 600 passengers and 650 crew, set sail from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten on Saturday for a seven-day including stops in Barbados, Aruba and Curacao.

"Two guests sharing a stateroom onboard Celebrity Millennium tested positive for COVID-19 while conducting the required end-of-cruise testing," Royal Caribbean said in a statement.

"The individuals are asymptomatic and currently in isolation."

It said that the ship exceeded US COVID-19 guidelines, and all guests were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test before sailing. — AFP

June 9, 2021 - 10:04am

The US State Department urges Americans to reconsider travel to the Philippines because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Philippines due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country," it says in a travel advisory, saying also that there are restrictions on the entry of US citizens into the country.

"Additionally, exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping," it also says.

The US State Department says US citizens should not travel to the Sulu Archipelago and Marawi City because of security risks, which include "crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping." Travel to other areas of Mindanao should also be reconsidered for the same reasons.

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