Philippines lifts travel ban

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Part of the walkthrough was the launching of the Clean Plus Program, which includes cleaning, safety, and social distancing protocols that include touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in,

In a media briefing last week, Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles announced that effective Thursday, February 10th, international travelers can now enter the country if they are fully vaccinated. He stressed, however, that international travelers will have to show proof.

The Philippine government closed its borders to international travel to reduce the number of COVID cases within the country. The ban has lasted 2 years, leading up to their decision to reopen.

This comes as a way to hopefully jumpstart the Philippines tourism economy, which like many other countries was affected by the pandemic.

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“They [travelers] must have the following proofs of vaccination against COVID-19 recognized under existing IATF regulations,” said Nograles. Those documents are:

  • WHO International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis;
  • VAXCertPH; or
  • National/state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF.

Those below the age of 18 are exempt from the full vaccination requirement and the proof of vaccination status prior to boarding.

Furthermore, according to Nograles, “In the case of children below 12 years of age who cannot be vaccinated, they shall follow the quarantine protocol of the parent or the accompanying adult or guardian traveling with them.”

International travelers

Effective today February 1st, both Filipino citizens arriving internationally and foreign nationals, regardless of their country of origin, will no longer be required to do a facility-based quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.

Similar to policy in Guam, travelers must self-monitor for any sign or symptoms for 7 days and must report to the local government unit of destination if there are any symptoms. The first day of self-monitoring begins on their date of arrival.

Moreover, fully vaccinated international travelers who stop in the Philippines must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to departure from their country of origin.

Unvaccinated travelers

Similarly, those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or those whose vaccination status cannot be validated are required to present a negative RT-PCR Test that was taken 48 hours before leaving their country of origin.

However, these types of travelers are also required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR Test which will be taken on day 5. Afterwards, they will be required to do home quarantine until 14 days have passed – with the date of their arrival being the first day.

It is up to the Local Government Unit of their destination and their respective Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams to monitor those who are home quarantined.

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Born and raised on the island of Saipan, Don moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. Prior to joining PNC Don gained professional and life experience through a variety of odd jobs ranging from an administrative assistant to a bouncer to a luxury retail salesman. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team not only to broaden his writing skill but also to challenge himself to get in front of the camera, ultimately furthering his passion to promote an informed and politically engaged Mariånas. Don's beat is Court, Crime, and Regional and is also PNC's Lead Reporter.