Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke, traveling has become quite a hassle. Even just going to the grocery or paying bills require quarantine passes and personal protective gear, and there were age limits imposed as well.
But what has been affected most is travel to and from different provinces and countries— many more documents are required and a swab test result is necessary. And there was also a ban on entries and exits in our airports and piers to control the spread of the virus.
However, in recent months, travel restrictions have started to ease up in the country. This is to help the tourism sector and Philippine economy— in hopes that both can bounce back after the huge hit last year. (Read: Popes Francis, Benedict XVI Receive First Dose of COVID Vaccine)
And just today, January 29, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has announced that foreigners may start to enter the country again on February 1. However, there will still be some guidelines that they will have to follow.
Guidelines for Foreign Entry
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the guidelines will help regulate the entry of foreign nationals into the country. It will allow the government to easily trace and contact these individuals should there be a need.
Below are the specific guidelines listed by the task force:
- Tourists and foreigners must all have valid and existing visas prior to entry. This excludes, however, those who are qualified for the Balikbayan Program under Republic Act 6768, which states that former Filipino nationals and their families may be able to visit and stay in the country for more than 21 days even without visas.
- Visitors must have confirmed pre-bookings for at least seven days in a registered quarantine hotel or facility in the country. Swab tests must also be done in the said facility on the sixth day from their day of arrival. (Read: Exclusive: Elijah Canlas Recounts His Best Travels in the PH, Abroad)
- Re-entry of foreigners and tourists will be regulated— this means that the ports will be implementing a maximum capacity at any given day in all of its terminals to avoid overcrowding.
As of writing, there are over 518,000 confirmed cases in the Philippines already.