Philippines to allow entry of unvaccinated travelers

Recommended Posts

Posted

The Philippines is set to ease COVID-19 protocols, including allowing unvaccinated foreigners into the country, in an effort to boost tourism and investment and reverse a pandemic-fueled economic slowdown, the government said Tuesday.  

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco announced the plan after a cabinet meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Unvaccinated foreigners would be allowed into the country provided they presented documentation showing a negative result for an antigen test taken 24 hours before departure, she said.

“The overarching direction of the Marcos administration is to allow our country to convey an openness and readiness to the world to receive tourists and investments so that we would give our fellow Filipinos an opportunity to regain all the livelihood and losses that were incurred during the pandemic,” Frasco said during a press briefing at the Malacañang presidential palace in Manila.

The move, which comes as the country has detected cases of the more transmissible Omicron variant XBB, is meant to put the Philippines on “par with our ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] neighbors who have long liberalized their mask mandates,” she added.

Frasco said the government was “optimistic” that lifting restrictions would invigorate the tourism industry.

From February to September, the Department of Tourism recorded more than 1.6 million visitor arrivals, much lower than the 5.4 million visitor arrivals recorded in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit.

‘More layers of protection’

Frasco also said the president would soon issue an order making the wearing of masks indoors optional. Marcos allowed the voluntary use of masks outdoors over a month ago, in a move that was criticized by some doctors and medical experts.

“As a result of the meeting this morning, it was agreed that the president would be issuing an executive order ... to make indoor mask wearing also voluntary all over the Philippines with a few exceptions,” Frasco said.

“Mask wearing would also be highly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals, persons with comorbidities as well as senior citizens,” Frasco said. And masks would still be required in public transportation and medical facilities, she added.

For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) said it “has illustrated all potential scenarios” involving mask mandates, but it accepts the decision of the inter-agency task force on COVID-19 protocols.

The department however urged the public to take precautions against COVID-19, especially with the upcoming All Souls’ Day and Christmas, holidays that are widely marked in the country.

“[T]he DOH reminds the public that the more layers of protection we employ, the more protected we are against COVID-19. These include vaccination, masking, distancing, ventilation, and sanitation, as well as taking care of one's health,” the DOH said on Tuesday.

“With this freedom to choose, it is therefore important for us to assess our individual risk thoroughly before deciding if it is safe and wise to remove our masks, especially now that the Undas and Christmas seasons are approaching and we expect increased COVID-19 transmission brought about by greater mobility.”

The DOH reported 1,334 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with 22,850 cases nationwide, the lowest since Sept. 1. More than 63,000 Filipinos have died due to COVID-19, and more than 3.9 million have recovered.

https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/philippine/philippines-allows-unvaccinated-travelers-10252022113826.html

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

It's a crazy world! The Chinese will lock down entire towns, cities, etc. if even just one one person is tested positive with COVID, but the Philippines has taken the opposite approach. Well, afterall, if Marcos wants this, we all know that it's all about the money, and not the well-being of the population.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Support
Posted
1 minute ago, Walanapera said:

It's a crazy world! The Chinese will lock down entire towns, cities, etc. if even just one one person is tested positive with COVID, but the Philippines has taken the opposite approach. Well, afterall, if Marcos wants this, we all know that it's all about the money, and not the well-being of the population.

Not calling you out but I don't understand what your point is about Marcos money and well being of Filipinos? 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted
36 minutes ago, Walanapera said:

It's a crazy world! The Chinese will lock down entire towns, cities, etc. if even just one one person is tested positive with COVID, but the Philippines has taken the opposite approach. Well, afterall, if Marcos wants this, we all know that it's all about the money, and not the well-being of the population.

If you mean money in the sense of tourism and the income it generates I would agree with you.  If you mean personal gain on his part I don't know one way or the other.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Support
Posted
3 hours ago, Walanapera said:

The Chinese will lock down entire towns, cities, etc. if even just one one person is tested positive with COVID, but the Philippines has taken the opposite approach.

For two years the entire Philippines was locked down.  No one got in.  Then they were allowing people in for six months with extreme precautions.  Only now are they starting to lighten up.  While this is not exactly as tight as the Chinese lockdowns, I fail to see how it is the opposite.  Would you care to explain?

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Hmm thinking 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted

China's lockdowns have been incessant, unpredictable and hellish by most accounts. They have sparked food shortages, crippled healthcare access, hit the economy hard and even spurred rare signs of protest.

But Beijing has clung to zero-Covid, which has come to define Mr Xi's rule and the authoritarian bureaucracy at his disposal like almost no other policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted
19 hours ago, Walanapera said:

It's a crazy world! The Chinese will lock down entire towns, cities, etc. if even just one one person is tested positive with COVID, but the Philippines has taken the opposite approach. Well, afterall, if Marcos wants this, we all know that it's all about the money, and not the well-being of the population.

The Chinese have a different strategy for coping with covid. Here in the Philippines, like most countries, restrictions have relaxed as case numbers have fallen and the pandemic transions to endemic.  I have no input or interest in Philippine politics. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted
3 hours ago, Colsie said:

I have no input or interest in Philippine politics. 

I have in interest only insofar as it effects expats.  I do have opinions but I keep them to myself other than discussions with my wife. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Support
Posted
1 hour ago, BrettGC said:

I have in interest only insofar as it effects expats.  I do have opinions but I keep them to myself other than discussions with my wife. 

Agree completely.  :thumbsup:

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...