Philippines no longer requires pre-departure testing for fully-vaxxed travellers

TD Editor

Fully-vaccinated travellers arriving in the Philippines are no longer required to present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or rapid antigen test upon entry starting May 30.

In an online press briefing, acting Deputy Presidential Spokesperson and Communications Undersecretary Michel Kristian Ablan said the new protocol was contained in the resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on May 26.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 168, inbound passengers need not present an RT-PCR test, on conditions that they are 18 years old and above, and have at least one booster shot against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Also exempted from the pre-departure RT-PCR requirement are those aged 12 to 17 who have received two Covid-19 vaccine shots, as well as those aged below 12 who are accompanied by fully vaccinated or boosted parents or guardians.

The latest resolution further eased current travel requirements. Travel insurance is no longer mandatory for incoming passengers, but is encouraged.

However, fully-vaccinated travellers must present acceptable proof of vaccination and passports valid for a period of at least six months at the time of their arrival.

For temporary visitors, they must have valid tickets for their return journey to the port of origin or next port of destination not later than 30 days from date of arrival.

The acceptable proofs of Covid-19 vaccination include the World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis, VaxCertPH, national or state digital certificate of foreign country accepting VaxCertPH, and other proof of vaccination permitted by the IATF-EID.

Meanwhile, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers are mandated to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours or a negative laboratory-based rapid antigen negative test result administered and certified by a healthcare professional taken within 24 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin or first port of embarkation in a continuous travel to the Philippines.

They are also required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth day from the date of their arrival in the Philippines. They must also undergo home quarantine until their 14th day in the country.

The ease on travel requirements is welcomed by the country’s Department of Tourism. The department is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements into the country.
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