PH allows entry of foreigners from visa-required countries | Global News

PH allows entry of foreigners from visa-required countries

Restricted foreign nationals and those from visa-required countries may enter the Philippines through an entry exemption document beginning Feb. 10, according to the latest rules of the government’s pandemic task force.

But they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin in a continuous travel to the Philippines, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) said.

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Self-monitor

The IATF said these foreign nationals would no longer have to undergo facility-based quarantine upon arrival in the Philippines, but they must self-monitor for symptoms for seven days.

If they manifest any symptoms, they are required to report this to the local government of their destination.

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If they fail to present proof of vaccination, they would be required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day. After this, they would be required to undergo home quarantine until the 14th day, it said.

The IATF also said foreigners with valid and existing visas other than tourist visas may be allowed entry as long as they were fully vaccinated, and would no longer be required to undergo facility-based quarantine.

They would just be required to self-monitor for symptoms.

Foreigners under this category who are not fully vaccinated would be denied admission.

In its updated protocols, the task force also said fully vaccinated foreign nationals may enter the Philippines visa-free if they qualify as former Filipino citizens with balikbayan privilege—including their spouse or children who are not balikbayans and are traveling with them—as long as they are not restricted nationals.

Foreign nationals could also enjoy visa-free entry if they are citizens of 157 countries entitled to a stay not exceeding 30 days.

Meanwhile, the IATF also said the Filipinos returning to the Philippines have to register with the OneHealth Pass prior to their arrival in the country.

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Negative RT-PCR test

Fully vaccinated Filipinos arriving from overseas are no longer required to undergo facility-based quarantine, but must present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers, or those whose vaccination status cannot be verified, are required to present a negative RT-PCR test and undergo facility quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is projecting a steady increase in the number of tourists as the country reopens for international tourism following almost two years of imposed restrictions.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau’s airport operations division reported a massive drop of arrivals in 2021 as compared to the year 2020.

He said the BI only saw 1.4 million arrivals last year, a significant decline from the 3.6 million in 2020.

“The numbers were dismal because prepandemic we were hitting 16.9 million arrivals,” Morente said.

“We remain optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for international travel, especially now that we will reopen our borders. Hopefully, little by little, international tourism regains momentum,” Morente said.

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TAGS: COVID-19, entry, Foreigners, IATF
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