The Philippines is going to grant entry to visitors vaccinated against COVID-19 from Feb. 10, its government announced on Friday.
The government has taken this decision in an effort to boost a tourism sector decimated by the pandemic. It had planned to reopen in December, but that was aborted over concerns about the Omicron variant.
“(This) will contribute significantly to job restoration, primarily in tourism-dependent communities, and in the reopening of businesses that have earlier shut down,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
Puyat also affirmed that the government will remove quarantine requirements for returning Filipinos from Feb. 1, and for foreign tourists from Feb. 10, but they must be vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19.
The Philippines joins other Southeast Asian countries in reopening to tourists to boost jobs and help their economies recover.
On January 12, the Philippines banned unvaccinated individuals from public transport in the capital to restrict their movement as Covid-19 infections surge.
The measure followed President Rodrigo Duterte’s order amid the spread of the new Omicron variant.
Commuters are required to show proofs of vaccination before riding buses, jeepneys, trains and other public transport in Metro Manila, the transportation department revealed.
The “no vaccination, no ride” policy will be in effect while the capital is under Alert Level 3, the third-highest in a five-step scale.