PH scraps Covid pre-departure test for fully vaccinated, boostered tourists

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The Department of Tourism (DOT) is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements into the country.

The DOT announced Friday, May 27, 2022, that the country will no longer require a pre-departure Covid-19 test for incoming fully vaccinated passengers as part of its measures to revive the pandemic-hit economy starting Monday, May 30.

The DOT said the the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved Resolution 168 exempting all fully vaccinated and boostered foreign nationals from the RT-PCR test requirement as a way to encourage more tourists to visit the country.

Based on the resolution, the visitor must be at least 18-years-old and must have received the primary series of Covid-19 vaccines and at least one booster shot.

Also exempted from the pre-departure RT-PCR requirement are foreign nationals aged 12 to 17 who have received their primary Covid-19 vaccine/s; and those aged below 12 and traveling with fully vaccinated or boostered parents or guardians.

The same exemption guidelines apply to Filipinos traveling to the Philippines.

“We are glad that the propositions we have worked on have been approved by the IATF and are now up for implementation. As we make it more convenient for tourists to visit the country, the public’s health and safety will remain the DOT’s priority,” Tourism Secretary Berna-Romulo Puyat said in a statement.

“The DOT sees this development as a win for the local tourism industry as welcoming more tourists in the country will yield more revenues for our micro, small and medium enterprises and restore more jobs and livelihoods in the sector,” she added.

Travel insurance not required

Meanwhile, travel insurance is no longer required, but still highly encouraged, for arriving passengers.

The DOT added that all types of vaccinations certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted.

Based on recent data, a total 517,516 foreign tourist arrivals have been recorded in the Philippines from Feb. 10 to 25 May 2022.

A bulk of foreign tourists, totaling to 104,589 came from the United States, followed by South Korea with 28,474, and Canada with 24,337.

Arrivals from Australia stood at 23,286; Britain/England at 20,846; and Japan at 13,373.

Other foreign visitors in the Philippines during the early months of the year include Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Italians, Irish and French. (with PR)

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