Top News Philippines will “soon” reopen borders to international tourists By TTG Asia / Posted on 19 November, 2021 14:26 The Philippine government has approved a plan to allow entry for fully vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Friday (November 19). Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the coronavirus task force, under DOT’s recommendation, “has approved in principle the entry of fully vaccinated tourists” from countries under the green list, with guidelines to be finalised and approved. Philippines’ borders have been closed to foreigners since March 2020 due to Covid; tourists snorkelling at Crystal Cove Island near Boracay pictured “Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts – increasing tourist arrivals and receipts, among others,” Romulo-Puyat said. “This move will likewise aid in bolstering consumer confidence, which is a large contributor to our gross domestic product or GDP growth.” Romulo-Puyat said that the proposal to open leisure travel from “green countries”, or those classified by the Department of Health as low-risk countries, will be based on strict conditions. Only fully vaccinated individuals with vaccines recognised by the country’s Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization or those authorised by the WHO will be allowed entry to the country. Romulo-Puyat noted that this is a welcome development as other countries have already reopened their borders to international leisure travellers. “Our (South-east Asian) neighbours like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia also did the same. We believe that it is also time for us to reopen our borders for inbound tourism as a way towards full recovery,” she said. An inter-agency Special Technical Working Group on Travel has been tasked to come up with guidelines for the country’s reopening to international tourists, subject to the approval of the coronavirus task force. Separately, the DOT will also be working on another proposal with the Small Technical Working Group on Travel on the possibility of establishing vaccinated travel lanes or bubbles to allow entry for vaccinated tourists from yellow list countries.