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Philippines Plans Reopening to Vaccinated Foreign Tourists

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Philippines Plans Reopening to Vaccinated Foreign Tourists

On Friday, the Philippines announced that foreign tourists vaccinated against COVID-19 would soon be allowed entry, following moves by other Southeast Asian countries to ease travel restrictions.

According to the ministry, the coronavirus task force has “approved in principle the entry of fully vaccinated tourists” from countries with low COVID-19 cases, adding that guidelines must be finalized.

In the Philippines, which is known for its diving and thousands of tropical islands, foreign arrivals dropped 83% last year. Compared with nearly 8.2 million visitors in 2019, nearly 1.4 million visitors visited in 2018. China, Japan, and South Korea are its top three travel markets.

During the pandemic, it had some of Asia’s strictest entry requirements and has been one of Asia’s worst-hit nations in terms of cases, deaths, and economic losses. Its population has only been vaccinated to a limited extent.

Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia have all announced various degrees of reopening in recent weeks, after progress in vaccinating their local populations.

We will greatly benefit from allowing tourists from green countries or territories with a low infection rate and a majority of their population vaccinated,” Tourism Minister Bernadette Romulo-Puyat noted in a statement.

Among the countries on the Philippines’ “green” list of approved countries are Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and also India.

Source: Reuters


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