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Fully vaccinated Filipinos regardless of age can now travel - Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines

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MANILA - The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Friday said fully vaccinated individuals regardless of age from Metro Manila are now allowed to travel on a point-to-point basis.

As the country continues to gradually reopen its economy, the Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases' (IATF-EID) move to ease restrictions allowing interzonal travel for kids and fully vaccinated seniors. 

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force amended Part 1 Section 3 of the guidelines for areas under alert level 4 to allow the following persons to travel in areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ:

- Those below 18 years old;

- Fully vaccinated individuals over 65 years of age;

- Fully vaccinated individuals with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks; and

- Fully vaccinated pregnant women

The Department said the IATF-EID now allows fully-vaccinated individuals with comorbidities and pregnant women to enjoy point-to-point interzonal travel to areas under GCQ and MGCQ, provided that they have received their vaccine shots in full.  

Such a move followed the DOT's proposal to ease age restrictions for interzonal travel, allowing those who are below 18 years old, and those above 65 years of age who are fully vaccinated, to take trips on a point-to-point (P2P) basis in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ (MGCQ), subject to guidelines to be issued by the DOT and the regulations of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of destination.  

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomed this development, citing its significance in the revival of the country's local tourism industry. She expressed her satisfaction with this development, citing its significance in the revival of the country's local tourism industry.  

"Further easing of travel restrictions will allow more of our fully vaccinated individuals to enjoy interzonal travel, especially families who wish to travel together. Traveling is a way of bonding, and with all the precautions and protocols in place, we can still do it safely together. More importantly, this will encourage more Filipinos to secure their jabs as well," she said.

"As restrictions are lifted, more tourism workers and stakeholders will get back the jobs and livelihoods they lost due to the pandemic," she added.

The DOT will be releasing the guidelines for P2P travel to ensure that health and safety protocols are complied with.

Meanwhile, RT-PCR test requirements would depend on the protocols imposed by the destination.

Travelers from Metro Manila can avail of the subsidized PHP750 RT-PCR test from the Philippine Children's Medical Center by visiting should the local government unit require a negative test result.

Bureau of Immigration optimistic in eased travel restrictions soon

After being separated due to travel bans and border closures during the global pandemic, binational couples cry: ‘Love is not tourism’.

Love is Not Tourism is a global social media campaign dedicated to lobbying to ease travel restrictions for foreigners seeking to reunite with their partners.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente recognizes some of the looming effects of the imposed travel restrictions.

"Travel bans have also had a profound impact on unmarried couples and families. Some were forced to weather the pandemic without their loved ones.  We hear you, and we understand your plight," said Morente.

Supporters of the online petition using the hashtag #LoveIsNotTourism assert that the movement is not about looking for ways to take a holiday; it is about love being regarded as essential in the time of pandemic.

At present, in the Philippines, while the ban on non-essential outbound travel has been lifted, only Filipinos, balikbayans, and foreigners holding valid and existing visas from green and yellow list countries are allowed entry into the Philippines.

However, Morente further advised, however, that while their agency recognizes their cause, the decision will still come from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

"We see your comments in our different channels, and we hear you. However, please bear with us as we implement what the IATF deems necessary. We trust their wisdom in deciding policies, and developing guidelines for safe inbound travel," Morente added.

Morente also expressed the hope that the Philippines will eventually open international tourism in the near future.

"With aggressive vaccination campaigns ongoing worldwide, we are optimistic that travel restrictions will ease up soon," he said.

Morente said the Bureau likewise supports the Department of Tourism’s campaign to keep the country's top-of-mind destination for foreign tourists. "Once the IATF sees that it’s safe, we will be more than glad to welcome you again to our shores," he stated.

Less quarantine days for travelers an ‘encouraging development’ for tourism industry - Puyat

“The reduction of the mandatory quarantine period for inbound travelers is an encouraging development for the country’s tourism industry,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo- Puyat said on (Friday, Oct. 8).

The tourism chief made the pronouncement following the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases' (IATF-EID) to reduce the quarantine period for travelers from both green and yellow list countries or those with low and medium infections.

Since May 2021, the DOT has been pushing to shorten the quarantine period for inbound travelers, especially those who are fully vaccinated.

Under the IATF resolution, vaccinated travelers can leave quarantine facilities as early as five days after arrival while unvaccinated persons can go home seven days after arrival. In both cases, the vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must have negative results for the RT-PCR Covid-19 test taken on the fifth and seventh day, respectively, after arrival. After this, travelers can complete their remaining quarantine at home.

“The easing of travel restrictions, particularly quarantine protocols, is a promising development as we inch closer to our goal of making the prospect of travel more appealing to our potential visitors. The faster we are able to adjust to this situation, the faster we can bounce back better and regain our position in the global tourism market,” said the tourism chief.

The Department of Tourism, however, clarified that general inbound tourism is still not allowed. Eligible inbound passengers are limited to returning Filipinos and balikbayans, their families, and foreigners with valid visas.

The easing of restrictions covers arrivals from all countries and territories on the government’s green and yellow list, or areas with low or medium infections. Bermuda is the only one on the government’s red list of high risk countries, from where inbound travel is prohibited.

“This move to shorten the period in quarantine facilities will be a relief to our kababayans this coming holiday season, This means less expenses for them and more time spent with their loved ones,” said Puyat.


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