Philippines eases capital’s curbs, allows quarantine-free entry

·1 min read
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - SEPTEMBER 16: Workers and employees continue to do their trade on the streets of Manila's Chinatown as government allows on September 16, 2021 in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines capital is yet again placed under a strict lockdown after a continued spike in Covid-19 cases, but allowing a small percent of customers for dine-ins to restaurants and select establishments . A new lockdown qualification level of 4 out of 5 will put 13.5 million people in Metro Manila in what the government calls a
FILE PHOTO: Workers and employees continue to do their trade on the streets of Manila's Chinatown as government allows on September 16, 2021 in Manila, Philippines. (Photo: Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

By Clarissa Batino and Andreo Calonzo

The Philippines is easing virus restrictions, allowing more businesses in the capital to reopen from Oct. 16 and loosening quarantine rules for vaccinated travelers.

Metro Manila, which accounts for a third of the nation’s economic output, will shift to a looser Alert Level 3 from Oct. 16 to 31, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. Most businesses are allowed to operate at full capacity, while casinos, spas and indoor tourist attractions can reopen at 30% capacity, based on earlier government guidelines. More cities and provinces outside the capital were also placed under a looser form of quarantine.

Fully-vaccinated international travelers from areas classified as “green” or low-risk will no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine, if they provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours from their departure.

The Philippines, which fell to last place in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking late last month, has seen infections drop to below 9,000 in the past days, hitting a two-month low. Travel rules for locals have been eased, as the economy struggles to recover from the pandemic.

The Southeast Asian nation has opened vaccinations to all adults, and will begin inoculating minors this week, as it tries to keep up with its neighbors on vaccine rollout. Nearly 22% of the population is fully vaccinated.

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