Thu. May 26th, 2022

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has released resolutions expanding the list of accepted and recognized Covid-19 vaccination certificates for purposes of arrival quarantine protocols as well as for interzonal/intrazonal movement.

Arriving pasengers are also required to present the following: proof of complete vaccination; negative RT-PCR test result taken within two days before leaving their country of origin; passport valid for six months; outbound or return airplane ticket and travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment with minimum coverage of $35,000.

So far there are a total of 64 countries, territories and jurisdictions included.

Twelve countries were added as reported on February 19. These are: Argentina, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, and Spain,

Eight more countries were named on February 22. These are Albania, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Maldives, Malta, Palau and Uruguay.

Approved in the previous resolutions of the task force were: Armenia, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Georgia, Hongkong SAR, India, Italy, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Macau SAR, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, South Korea, Ireland, Qatar, Samoa, Slovenia, Switzerland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, The Netherlands, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, USA and Vietnam.

The same resolution also directed the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) One Stop Shop (OSS) to only accept vaccination certificates recognized by the IATF-EID.

Tourism chief Berna Romulo-Puyat welcomed the resolution and committed to working with other member agencies of the interagency task force in making the travel process and requirements to the country easier for balikbayans and foreign tourists alike.

“This move will greatly help in restoring jobs under the heavily impacted tourism industry,” she said on Saturday, “We look forward to opening our doors to guests from all over the world, but of course, with all the necessary health and safety protocols in place.”

Meanwhile, Puyat noted that the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme that has been agreed by the governments of the Philippines and Singapore will further boost arrivals from the latter.

The full list of countries whose national vaccination certificates are recognized are found in the DOT website: https://visitor.tourism.gov.ph/vaxcert/

Senator Christopher Lawrence Bong Go backed up Secretary Puyat expressing optimism in the recovery of the country’s tourism sector.

Senator Go said “the Philippines has already welcomed 21,974 inbound foreign tourists over a week since the country reopened its borders to international leisure travel broken down by the One Health Pass online health declaration system, to arrivals were composed of 10,074 balikbayans, or returning Filipinos who carry foreign passports, while 11,900 are foreign travelers.”

He said that the majority of the tourists came from the United States (5,516), followed by Canada (1,366), United Kingdom (918), Australia (891), South Korea (859), Vietnam (572), Japan (459) and Germany (459).

The Philippines reopened its doors to foreign tourists last February 10, following the drop in Covid-19 infections. The Department of Health case bulletin reported only 1,712 new cases on the Sunday preceding showing signs of further decreasing forward.

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