Philippines scraps negative COVID test requirement for inbound travelers

All fully-vaccinated inbound travelers no longer need to present a pre-departure COVID-19 negative test upon their arrival in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Friday.

According to the DOT, the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 response earlier approved the scrapping of the travel requirement.

Under Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution 168, all travelers — ages 18 and above and who are fully-vaccinated or have received booster shot — will be exempted from the required negative test proof.

Also covered by the exemptions are travelers ages 12 to 17 who have received their primary COVID-19 vaccines, and those below 12 who are traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

“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.

Travel insurance, meanwhile, will no longer be required but is highly encouraged.

Latest data from the DOT showed a total 517,516 foreign tourist arrivals have been recorded in the Philippines from February 10 to May 25, 2022.

Of the number, 104,589 came from the United States; 28,474 from South Korea; 24,337 came from Canada; 23,286 from Australia; 20,846 from Britain; and 13,373 from Japan.

Other foreign visitors to the Philippines during the early months of the year also include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French. –LBG, GMA News

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