Philippines to allow foreign visitors
Secretary for Tourism Berna Romulo-Puyat has said the country will reopen its doors to foreign travellers from February 10. Visitors from over 150 countries that already enjoy visa free entry will no longer be required to quarantine in government-designated accommodation on arrival providing they have been fully vaccinated and tested negative not more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Unvaccinated visitors will be banned completely from February 16.
Quarantine requirements for returning Filipinos will also be lifted from February 1. The government originally planned to lift the bans in December but abandoned the idea and tightened restrictions after the arrival of the highly contagious omicron variant.
Visitors will still be expected to wear masks in public and practice social distancing.
Like elsewhere in Southeast Asia tourism is an important contributor the Philippines economy. In 2019 the country welcomed over eight million visitors who contributed about 13 percent of gross domestic product. During the first year of the pandemic over a million Filipinos working in the tourist related industries lost their jobs.