International leisure travelers can now enter PH starting Feb. 10; no more quarantine for the fully-vaccinated - DOT

International leisure travelers can now enter PH starting Feb. 10; no more quarantine for the fully-vaccinated - DOT

Good news for the tourism industry in the Philippines, starting Feb. 10, fully-vaccinated international leisure travelers from visa-free countries are now permitted to enter the country, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat announced.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) finally approved the  Department of Tourism's proposal (DOT) to allow the entry of international travelers.

"The Department sees this as a welcome development that will contribute significantly to job restoration, primarily in tourism-dependent communities, and in the reopening of businesses that have earlier shut down during the pandemic," Puyat said.

Puyat clarified that the recent IATF decision would cover only leisure travelers from countries whose nationals are allowed visa-free entry to the Philippines.

Last year, the IATF permitted fully vaccinated tourists from Green List countries/territories/jurisdictions to enter the Philippines on Dec. 1, 2021; however, they temporarily suspended it due to the Omicron variant.

Earlier today, the IATF announced the suspension of the country classification system starting Feb. 1, 2022.

The removal of the red, yellow, green list classification means there will be no distinction regardless if a traveler arrived from a country that is high, moderate, or low risk for COVID-19 transmission.

No more quarantine for the fully vaccinated

Furthermore, on Feb. 1, fully-vaccinated returning overseas Filipinos will no longer be required to undergo quarantine as long as they can present a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before departure from their point of origin.

Likewise, starting Feb. 10 and upon consultation with health experts, qualified leisure travelers will also no longer be required to undergo quarantine as long as they are able to present a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure from point of origin.

"We are also aware that there is no room for complacency given the unpredictability of the virus. We will closely monitor the situation and ensure that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in all tourism establishments," Puyat noted.

Requirements for international leisure travelers based on the IATF guidelines:

  • Must be from visa-free countries.
  • Passports must be valid for at least six months at the time of arrival.
  • Possess outbound tickets to their country of origin or next country of destination.
  • Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 recognized by the IATF. This includes:
    -certificates of vaccination issued by the (WHO)
    -VaxCertPH of the DOH (available at https://vaxcert.doh.gov.ph)
    -a national/ state digital certificate of a foreign government that has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF.

For unvaccinated, whose status could not be independently validated, and partially vaccinated Filipinos and Foreigners:

  • RT-PCR test within 48 hours before departure.
  • Need to go through facility-based quarantine for five days.
  • After that, they need to undergo home quarantine until the 14th day from arrival.

Meanwhile, children below 12 years old who cannot be vaccinated will follow quarantine protocols of the accompanying adult traveling with them.

"With years of coordination between national agencies, industry stakeholders, and the various local government units (LGUs) to prepare our destinations for tourism in the new normal, we are confident that we will be able to keep pace with our ASEAN neighbors who have already made similar strides to reopen to foreign tourists,” the tourism chief added.

The list of countries whose nationals are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa can be found in this link: https://dfa.gov.ph/list-of-countries-for-21-day-visa.


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