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Philippines Reopening – LATEST UPDATES
November 20 – Philippines prepares to reopen for tourism “soon,” says government.
The Philippines has approved a reopening plan to allow fully vaccinated tourists from “green” countries to visit the nation “soon”, the Tourism Ministry said Friday.
“Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts, increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others,” said the minister in a statement.
For the time being, the Philippines includes on its “green” list of approved countries Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and India, among others.
November 4 – The Philippines might be getting ready to reopen its borders
“More Fun Awaits,” the recent campaign unveiled by the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) promoting new tourism products and packages appears to be strong evidence that the country might be preparing for reopening in the coming months.
But that’s not all; according to the plan, fully vaccinated tourists will be welcomed and transported directly to tourist spots, bypassing hotel quarantines.
“That is why we prioritized the vaccinations of tourism workers so we can start accepting domestic tourists and eventually foreign tourists,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat told reporters recently.
COVID-19 situation in the Philippines
The CDC has ranked the Philippines as a level 3 travel risk.
As of November 20, the country has reported 2,824,499 cases of COVID-19 and 46,903 deaths.
Why Visit the Philippines?
The Philippines is a wonderful place for a tropical escape. It’s warm and, with more than 7,000 islands, has miles of white sand beaches for visitors to relax on.
The waters are crystal clear and provide opportunities for snorkelers, divers, kayakers, and fishermen.
Some of these locations, such as Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao, constantly make it into the top beach destinations in the world.
There are also other natural wonders, such as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the longest navigable underground river in the world. Travelers can take a tour through a cave system filled with impressive formations.
Tourists can also enjoy unique cuisine, vibrant local festivals, and some of the friendliest people in the world. Because the locals usually speak English, visitors find it easy to communicate.
Filipinos are proud of their country and love to answer visitors’ questions.
It’s also an inexpensive travel destination. Travelers can get a day tour for about $20 and decent meals for under $5.
Philippines Reopening: Update Archives
October 21 – the Philippines started to ease domestic COVID-19 restrictions on Oct. 16
The Philippines has started to lift the lockdown restrictions as of Oct. 16, 2021, allowing more businesses to operate in Manila at reduced capacity.
Meetings, conferences, and exhibitions are now permitted, as well as social events such as weddings, and tourist attractions such as museums, parks, and others.
“We are almost out of the tunnel and beginning to see the light,” Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, said it would help create more jobs and accelerate the economic recovery.
October 5 – The Philippines further eases COVID-19 restrictions amidst worst spike of coronavirus in Asia
The Philippines eased its COVID-19 restrictions allowing more business to resume activities as the country struggles with record numbers of daily cases.
With 38,294 total deaths, the country has the second-highest casualties in Southeast Asia.
Regardless of the negative pandemic numbers, the government had to make such a decision due to the economic hardship millions of citizens are facing, said Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr., in a T.V. interview.
Despite the new policy, there are still no signs from the government that it is ready to reopen for foreign tourists this year.
September 13 – The Philippines lifted travel restrictions for other 10 countries including the UAE
Last week, Duterte’s government decided to lift travel restrictions on visitors from the UAE, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The country remains closed for tourism. This step in Vietnam’s international reopening process only includes some categories of travelers.
For now, only Filipino citizens, foreign spouses, and parents or children of Filipino citizens, diplomats, and foreign nationals with valid visas are permitted entry.
July 22 – The Philippines might enforce new additional restrictions this week
The Philippines has garnered a reputation for having one of the toughest and longest lockdowns in the world.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that he will not recommend enforcing any more restrictions at the government’s pandemic task force meeting this week due to concerns related to the economy.
However, President Rodrigo Duterte said it could be necessary “to reimpose stricter measures” as Delta cases rise and according to Lopez, Duterte has the final say.
July 2 – Philippines to allow fully vaccinated visitors from 57 countries from July 1.
First and foremost, the Philippines is not open for tourism just yet. However, this is a major change in the country’s rather strict entry requirements.
Until June 30, only people who were vaccinated – in the Philippines – could visit. Now returning nationals and those visiting for compelling reasons from 57 low- risk countries are also allowed with a reduced 7-day quarantine.
“To those who received full vaccination outside the Philippines, you need to bring the official documents stating you were already vaccinated,” said Harry Roque in an online press conference on Tuesday.
June 4 – The Philippines Bureau of Immigration supports the new reopening proposal
The Philippines has been closed to international tourists and even to their own nationals for most of the pandemic.
But enough is enough. At least, this is what several government sectors have expressed over the last month.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat recently asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow the setting up of “green lanes” to permit fully vaccinated foreing visitors to come back and consequently, being able to reemploy thousands of jobless Filipinos.
Fortunately, she is not alone in her claims. The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has already backed her up.
“The bureau supports this initiative by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as it will not only resuscitate our tourism industry, but also generate employment for millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs due to the pandemic,” […] “opening the country’s borders to international leisure travelers will also hasten the revival of the commercial aviation and shipping industries severely affected by the pandemic,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente in a statement.
May 20 – Lapu-Lapu City in the Philippines has reopened for domestic tourism and returning residents
It’s confirmed. After 6 months of a severe lockdown, Lapu-Lapu city, home to the second busiest airport in the Philippines has reopened its posh resorts and the rest of tourist spots for domestic tourism. The Kawasan Falls in Badian town and resorts in Malapascua, Sumilon and Bantayan, are now open to local visitors and returning residents who had been banned from entering the country some weeks ago.
Cebu police director Col. Engelbert Soriano sent policemen to ensure all health protocols are observed.
As of yet, the country continues to be closed for international tourism. However, Mayor Junard Chan is reportedly lobbying to make it possible to also reopen it to international visitors.
Chan cited Resolution 113 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which states foreigners can enter the country by providing they have a valid visa and pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited hotel or facility.