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DOT: Philippines open to all countries starting April 1, 2022

The Philippines will reopen its borders to travelers from all countries, including from visa countries, starting April 1, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Thursday.

In a radio interview, Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has approved the further scaling up of the tourism industry to all foreigners.

“Starting April 1, pumayag na ang IATF na all countries na ang papayagan dito. Noong February 10, nagbukas tayo for visa-free countries. Starting April 1, for all countries,” she said.

[The IATF has agreed to reopen to all countries starting April 1. On February 10, we opened our doors to visitors from visa-free countries. Starting April 1 it will be for all countries.]

The Philippines has started accepting business and leisure travelers from 157 visa-free countries on February 10, for the first time in two years since the pandemic began.

Only fully vaccinated foreign tourists from visa-free countries are allowed entry. They should also present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours prior to their trip.

For visa countries, Puyat noted that the requirements set by the IATF remain, with an additional option of presenting a negative laboratory-based antigen result taken 24 hours before departure.

“Ang importante dito sa (what's important is) lab-based antigen [as] it captures those that continue to test positive [but] recovered already," she said.

Normally, for RT-PCR, you test positive for the next three months when you get COVID-19. Now, with the negative lab-based antigen, that captures those who have recovered, she added in a mix of Tagalog and English.

Puyat further pointed out that the country has recorded 96,000 tourists since the country eased up its borders to foreign tourists amid the pandemic.

“From February 10 to March 15, we’ve received already 96,096 tourists. So close to 100,000 na tayo na tourists. We’re pleasantly surprised, at least tuloy-tuloy na [it's continuous]. And this is only from visa-free countries,” she added.  —LBG, GMA News