Malacañang said Monday the Philippines would keep its borders closed to international tourists, including foreign fiancés of Filipinos, even as the country gradually eased inbound travel restrictions.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque argued that a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet widely available.
“Tapatan po para walang umaasa. Hanggang banned pa po ang tourist visas, I don’t think there can be a way for them to come in. Ang pag-asa na lang po natin, may bakuna na,” Roque said at a press briefing.
“Kapag may bakuna na, eh baka pupuwede na po tayong magbukas ng ating teritoryo muli sa mga turista. Antay na lang po tayo. Sandali na lang po iyan dahil narito na po ang bakuna.”
The Philippines again allowed the entry of foreign spouses and children of Filipino or former Filipino citizens as long as they are traveling with them.
The new policy took effect on Monday with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) projecting a rise in international passenger arrivals as the holiday season approaches.
The BI has beefed up its manpower at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) this December.
"This is a temporary measure that we are taking proactively," said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente last week. -NB, GMA News