MANILA, Philippines – Starting April 1, The Philippines will start to ease tourist requirements as it fully reopens its doors to foreign visitors by resuming visa issuances by Philippine embassies and consulates.
“Starting April 1, there will be no limit to the number of international passengers arriving in all ports of entry in the country,” a statement from the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.
Among the new policies of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) are:
- Lifting of quota on unvaccinated arriving passengers
- A negative laboratory-based antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure from point of origin is now recognized valid as an alternative to the previously-required negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure.
- Entry of passport holders from Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR for a maximum period of 14 days is allowed.
- Reciprocal recognition of Covid-19 vaccination certificates of Croatia, Cyprus, and Nepal which are among the 157 visa-free countries.
On a positive note,Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “This latest development opens the country to all fully vaccinated tourists from all countries and means the country’s tourism industry is well on its way to recovery,”
“We at the DOT thank our colleagues in the IATF for approving such measures that will help sustain the recovery of the sector in the coming months. We have high hopes that all of these will result in an uptick in international travelers visiting the country during the summer season,” Puyat added.
Slowly easing the country’s tourism’s road to recovery, the Philippines earlier reopened its doors to foreign leisure travelers from visa-free countries on February 10.
Based on DOT’s data as of March 9, the number of arrivals has reached 76,736, 43,249 of which are foreigners, and the other 33,487 are balikbayans.
Puyat also mentioned that Boracay, Baguio City, Palawan and Batangas remained among the popular destinations in the country.