Philippines lifts travel ban, welcomes fully vaccinated tourists from 157 countries

Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, Phillippines. Photo/ Sinx.

The Philippines is welcoming fully vaccinated travellers from 157 countries with visa-free agreements as the Southeast Asian country has lifted its nearly two-year ban on foreign tourists. The 157 countries include the US, UK, Canada, Germany, and Russia. (Here’s a full list by Philippines Airlines.)

Visitors are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival as a risk classification system that barred travellers from the worst-affected countries was eased, providing a chance to restore the battered economy as well as revenues from tourism and allied industries. Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat says “We will begin the next chapter in the road to recovery.”

In the first year of the pandemic, more than a million Filipinos lost their jobs and tourist spots were deserted, resembling ghost towns while strict lockdown measures were in place. A volcanic explosion and typhoons last year made the situation worse.

The reopening was initially set for December 1, but it was postponed due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and a surge of Covid-19 infections.

On Wednesday, health officials reported 3,600 infections and 69 deaths. In mid-January, the outbreak peaked at around 39,000 cases in a single day, but it has since subsided. More than 60 million out of a total population of almost 110 million in the Philippines have been properly vaccinated against the coronavirus.

SOURCE: Associated Press

World News

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