Foreign tourists still barred from entering PH

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 | Philstar.com photo

Country lifts some entry restrictions 

FOREIGN tourists are still prohibited from entering the Philippines, despite the country easing restrictions on certain foreign nationals.

“Said restriction remains effective until it is lifted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Sunday, May 2.

This clarification comes after Malacañang on Friday, April 30, announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) issued Resolution No. 113, which allowed the entry of foreigners in the country.

“The recent easing of travel restrictions applies only to those aliens who were allowed to come here before March 22 and they should have valid and existing visas at the time of their arrival in our ports of entry,” Morente added.

Foreigners entering the Philippines must meet the following requirements:

• They must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under the Balikbayan Program;

• They must have a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility;

• They must be subject to COVID-19 testing in their quarantine facility on the sixth day of their arrival;

• They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers (1,500 per day) at the port and date of entry.

Foreign nationals who hold valid and existing immigrant and non-immigrant visas such as students, workers, and residents are also allowed to enter the country.

In March, the Philippines temporarily barred the entry of foreigners from March 22 to April 21. The travel restriction was later extended until April 30 in an attempt to control the surge in daily infections in the country.

Exempted from the ban are diplomats; members of international organizations and their dependents; foreigners involved in medical repatriation; foreign seafarers under ‘Green Lanes’ program for crew change; foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them; and emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the chairperson of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19).

“Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India,” maintained Presidential Spokesperson Roque.

On April 27, the Philippines prohibited the entry of travelers from India or with a travel history to India in the past 14 days from April 29 to May 14 amid the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases in the said country due to a “double-mutant” variant.

“All these are without prejudice to immigrations, rules, and regulations. The Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on the waiver or recall of exclusion orders of foreign nationals, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat,” Roque said.

To date, there are a total of 1,067,892 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, with 17,622 fatalities and 984,210 recoveries.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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