The Philippines will soon open up to international vaccinated tourists from countries with low infection rates, the Ministry of Tourism informs.
The Philippines has approved a plan that allows entry for foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against covid-19, the Philippine Ministry of Tourism said last week.
The announcement comes after other Southeast Asian countries have also eased their travel restrictions for foreigners. The Philippines’ covid-19 task force has “in principle approved entry for pre-vaccinated tourists” from countries with a low number of infected, the ministry said. It adds that the guidelines still need to be finalized.
The Philippines, known for its diving and thousands of tropical islands, last year saw an 83 percent drop in the number of foreign tourists. Only 1.4 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2020 compared to 8.2 million in 2019.
The Philippines is among the Asian countries that introduced some of the strictest entry requirements during the pandemic. At the same time, the country is among the worst affected countries in the region measured in the number of infections, deaths, and economic losses. Just over a quarter of the Filipino population is vaccinated.
Neighboring countries Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia have also announced in recent weeks that they are reopening to varying degrees. This is happening as the countries’ own populations are being vaccinated.
“Opening to tourists from so-called green countries and territories, where the majority of the population is vaccinated and where the infection rate is low, will greatly help us in our efforts to restore the country,” Minister of Tourism Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.