MANILA – Despite the threat posed by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, foreigners who have existing visas can visit the Philippines beginning next month, Malacañang announced on Friday.
This came after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) agreed Thursday to allow the entry of foreigners with long-term visas in the country starting August 1, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
“The IATF, however, set conditions prior to the entry of these foreign nationals,” Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a press statement.
Roque said foreign travelers who wish to fly to the Philippines must first have valid and existing visas at the time of the entry.
“This means no new entry visa shall be accepted,” he said.
Roque said foreign nationals traveling to the country are also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry because returning overseas Filipinos will be given priority.
He added that foreign travelers must also secure a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility and a pre-booked Covid-19 testing provider.
The latest IATF-EID’s decision effectively lifts travel restrictions imposed on foreigners.
In March, the Philippine government suspended visa-free privileges of foreigners to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Only accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, as well as foreign spouses and children of Filipinos, are allowed to enter the Philippines amid the pandemic.
In June, a sub-technical working group of the IATF-EID studied the possibility of allowing foreigners to visit the Philippines for “specific purposes.” (PNA)