Philippines Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat made an announcement today, January 28, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the proposal of her department (DOT) to open the country to foreign travelers.
“We at the DOT are very thankful to our partners in the IATF-EID for approving our proposal to allow the entry of foreign leisure travelers,” said Puyat in her statement. “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.”
Secretary Puyat clarified that the recent IATF-EID decision would cover only travelers from countries whose nationals are allowed visa-free entry to the Philippines.
Late last year, the Inter-Agency Task Force had already approved the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from Green List countries as of December 1, 2021, but that was suspended due to the omicron variant.
Earlier today, the Inter-Agency Task Force announced the suspension of the country classification system, starting February 1, so fully vaccinated returning Filipinos will no longer be required to quarantine themselves, as long as they are able to present a negative result of a PCR test taken 48 hours before their flight.
Likewise, starting February 10, and upon consultation with health experts, qualified travelers will no longer be required to enter quarantine as long as they can present a negative result of a PCR test taken 48 hours before departure.
“We are also aware that there is no room for complacency given the unpredictability of the virus. Therefore, we will closely monitor the situation and ensure that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in all tourism establishments,” noted Puyat.
Based on IATF-EID guidelines, foreign travelers from visa-free countries will be allowed to enter the country, as long as their passports are valid for at least six months at the time of arrival, they possess outbound tickets back to their country of origin or next destination. In addition, they carry proof of vaccination against COVID-19, recognized by the IATF-EID.
Israelis are included in the visa-free agreements; for the complete list of countries whose nationals can enter the Philippines without a visa, click here.