Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Philippines to allow fully vaccinated tourists from ‘green’ countries

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The Philippines will soon allow the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from countries with high vaccination rates and low numbers of COVID-19 cases, the government said on Friday.

The national inter-agency task force on COVID-19 is finalising the guidelines and will announce when tourists from “green” countries start to visit, presidential spokesman, Karlo Nograles, said.

“There are just a few tweaks that we needed to make on the guidelines,” Nograles added.

Nograles is also the spokesman for the task force.

“We are putting the entire world on advance notice that we will eventually open up our shores to tourists from green list countries,” he said.

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He said the green list currently included 43 countries, territories and jurisdictions including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Falkland Islands.

The Philippines has been closed to tourists since March 2020, when the government closed borders and imposed a lockdown in a bid to curb the spread the coronavirus.

The decision to start allowing tourists would help efforts to boost the local economy, said Tourism Secretary, Berna Romulo Puyat.

“Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts, increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others.

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“This move will likewise aid in bolstering consumer confidence, which is a large contributor to our gross domestic product growth,” Puyat said in a statement.

The Philippines’ COVID-19 caseload totalled 2.82 million on Thursday, with 46,422 deaths.

The number of daily cases has been decreasing, prompting government to further ease restrictions.

dpa/NAN

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