The Philippines will reopen its border to tourists from some countries on a trial basis from December 1 as a part of its efforts to rebuild an economy battered by the pandemic.
KarloNograles, the acting presidential spokesperson, said that foreigners vaccinated against COVID-19 from countries designated low risk by the Philippines government would be allowed entry over an initial 15-day period.
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 added that the guidelines still need to be finalized.
The Philippines archipelago is known for its diving and thousands of tropical islands. Last year the country saw an 83 percent drop in the number of foreign tourists. Only about 1.4 million foreign tourists visited the country in 2020 compared to 8.2 million in 2019.
The Philippines has authorized vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Sinovac, Janssen, Moderna, Covaxin, Sinopharm, and Covovax.
The Philippines is among the countries that introduced some of the most stringent entry requirements during the pandemic. At the same time, the nation is among the worst affected countries in the region measured in the number of deaths, infections, and economic losses. Just over a quarter of the Filipino population is vaccinated.
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