The Department of Tourism (DOT) supports President Rodrigo Duterte's call to reduce the current quarantine period for fully vaccinated travelers.
"This is a welcome development that brings us closer to safely reopening our country to international travelers," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat expressed.
She said that shortening the number of quarantine days is a "crucial step towards the eventual resumption of international travel," especially when borders reopen, which will lead to the recovery of the hard-hit tourism sector.
The DOT has been pushing for this move since May 2021, thus setting up green lane circuits with countries with zero to low COVID-19 transmission, Puyat added.
Based on the current guidelines of Task-Force, fully vaccinated international travelers staying exclusively in jurisdictions or countries classified under the "green list" for 14 days immediately before their arrival in the Philippines qualify for a seven-day facility-based quarantine.
Meanwhile, whether fully vaccinated or not, those coming from the "yellow list" countries have to undergo a ten-day facility-based quarantine and four-day home quarantine.
"This move to ease quarantine restrictions is also important to our kababayans who have been longing to be reunited with their families as the holiday season approaches. We also recognize the financial burden of isolating in hotels for a long period of time," Puyat said.
Puyat also reiterated that the strict implementation of the minimum health and safety protocols, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing measures, must remain in place.
"Again, we must emphasize that reopening our tourist destinations should not be at the expense of the health and safety of everyone concerned," Puyat reminded.