With the holiday season approaching most of the countries around the world were opening up borders to allow tourists in order to revive tourism. In such a relaxed environment, a new and more contagious variant of the virus was found in the UK which forced many countries to fall back from the plan and close their borders again. One such country to restrict international travel was the Philippines which restricted the entry of foreigners from any country where the new variant was found in order to contain the spread of the virus. This led to ban on entry of foreign nationals from more than 30 countries.
The Philippines announced that the ban on foreign nationals arriving from countries where the new variant has been found will be lifted from this month, but there are certain guidelines to be followed, which include:
- A valid and existing visa at the time of entry. New entry visa won’t be permitted.
- Minimum 7-night stay must be pre-booked at a government certified quarantine hotel/facility.
- A COVID test must be taken at the quarantine facility on 6th day after arriving.
- Entry will be subjected to maximum inbound passenger capacity at the port on the date of arrival
- All expenses incurred at the quarantine hotel/facility including stay and tests will have to be covered by the individuals.
Upon being subjected to these rules, those who can enter the Philippines are:
- A foreign spouse of a Filipino national.
- A minor child of a Filipino.
- Children of Filipino parents with special needs.
- Foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs.
- Foreign parents of minor Filipinos.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement that even foreign nationals with work visas will be permitted but tourists are still banned from entering the country.
Also, from the beginning of this month anybody who enters the Philippines will be subjected to mandatory quarantine regardless of their origin. They will have to take RT-PCR tests 5 days after their arrival or before they show symptoms. Those who test negative will be handed over to the local government of the region they are visiting which will monitor their health condition for 14 days.