Philippines lifts PCR testing requirement for unvaccinated travelers

Philippines lifts PCR testing requirement for unvaccinated travelers

The Philippines has announced plans to remove remaining PCR testing requirements for incoming travelers.

At a palace briefing on Tuesday, Tourism Minister Cristina Frasco announced that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his cabinet discussed removing the pre-entry PCR Covid-19 test requirement.

In May, the Philippines dropped the requirement for pre-departure PCR testing for vaccinated tourists, but still requires it for unvaccinated passengers. In addition to testing no more than 48 hours before departure, unvaccinated travelers must undergo facility-based quarantine until they receive a negative PCR result on their fifth day of arrival in the Philippines, and then undergo home quarantine on their 14th day of travel. isolation.

Under the new plan, unvaccinated tourists who test negative for rapid antigens will be allowed entry.

“In the case of unvaccinated foreigners, going forward they will be allowed to enter the Philippines simply by taking an antigen test 24 hours before departure or choosing to have an antigen test upon arrival in the Philippines,” Frasco said.

“The overall direction of the Marcos administration is for our country to communicate to the world that it is open and ready for tourists and investment so that we can give our fellow Filipinos a chance to regain all the livelihoods and losses they have suffered during the pandemic ,” she says.

Frasco added that the move will benefit millions of Filipinos and the tourism industry.

Visitors from various destinations such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, South Africa and many countries in Europe can enter the Philippines visa-free.

A full list of these destinations can be found on the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs website. Travelers can generally stay in the country visa-free for up to 30 days, with some exceptions.

Known for its idyllic beaches, marine life and tropical islands, the Philippines relies heavily on tourism and its economy has been impacted by a strict coronavirus-related lockdown.

Fewer than 1.48 million tourists visited the Philippines in 2020, down from more than 8 million in 2019, AFP reported.

Updated: Oct 25, 2022, 7:39am

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