The Department of Tourism (DOT) proposed setting up a Green Lane for fully vaccinated against COVID-19 foreign visitors when they enter the country.
The DOT made the proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) as part of the national government's effort to reopen the economy.
The Green Lane will make it easier for fully vaccinated travelers to visit the Philippines for leisure as quarantine rules are being relaxed with the progress of the vaccination worldwide.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said she is optimistic about the prospect.
"The Green Lane will pave the way for the reopening of our tourist destinations to leisure travelers who are now fully vaccinated. It will give the jobs back to many of our tourism workers and gradually revive the tourism industry under safe conditions."
The IATF-EID tasked the DOT and several other government agencies to explore protocols for inbound international travel for fully vaccinated individuals.
A Small Working Group (SWG) was established, headed by the DOT and the Department of Foreign Affairs, to evaluate and formulate protocols for the possibility of implementing "green lanes."
The group also includes:
- The Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) under the Department of Health (DOH)
- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) under the Department of Justice (DOJ)
- The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
- The Department of Transportation (DOTr)
- The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
- The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
Several countries have opened up their major destinations to fully vaccinated foreign travellers.
"We must keep pace with our neighbours and the rest of the world in slowly reopening our tourist destinations. We must be ready for the visitors when the whole world is ready to safely travel again," said Secretary Puyat.