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Philippines opening for Asian travelers

Vancouver, Wa.
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Philippines opening for Asian travelers
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(CNN) — The Philippines is looking to open its borders to fully vaccinated tourists coming from "green list" countries "soon," the country's Department of Tourism announced on Friday, November 19.

"Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts -- increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

"This move will likewise aid in bolstering consumer confidence, which is a large contributor to our gross domestic product or GDP growth," Romulo- Puyat added.

Only tourists who have received vaccines recognized by the Philippines Food and Drug Administration or authorized by the World Health Organization will be allowed entry into the country.

A Special Technical Working Group on Travel is currently finalizing the guidelines for approval from the country's Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

There are currently 44 countries and territories on the Philippines coronavirus "green list," including China, Japan and India; however, the United States is not on the list.

Tourism contributed 17.8% of the Philippines' GDP in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. The majority of those tourists came from around Asia, with South Korea leading the pack.

Tourism to the Philippines fell more than 80% due to the pandemic.

Overall, Asia's reopening plan has been cautious.

Thailand has been a leader thanks to its 'Phuket Sandbox' pilot program for tourism, and now some other countries in the region -- including Cambodia, South Korea and Singapore -- are also taking conservative approaches to welcoming back vaccinated tourists from specified countries.

There have been more than 2.8 million confirmed cases and 46,422 deaths from the coronavirus in the Philippines since the start of the pandemic.

17 replies to this topic
Romblon Island...
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1. Re: Philippines opening for Asian travelers
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Firstly, i would dare say that the Case and Death numbers quoted are not the real figures, there is no way that anyone could possibly know the real numbers in a country like this.

Secondly, i don't see why anyone who is double vaxed should not be allowed into the country, like where is the threat to the Philippines ? and what is the difference between USA and Australia (not in the green zone) over those from China or India, those 2 countries still have cases, yet Australia has very little cases, and some states have already hit 90% double vaxed, other states are at 80%, so there is no way that Australia and USA should be left off the green list.

The whole world has gone bonkers over all this, and i think that it is time to open tourism in this country to any person who is double vaxed and can prove it before leaving thei own country, as well as to also provide a negative test before departure as well, just as a precaution.

If they do this, then what difference does it make what country they come from ?

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2. Re: Philippines opening for Asian travelers
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There have been a few 'false dawns' with this before. I remember reading a similar story in February. I'm more optimistic this time but I think "soon" is still months away. Certainly not this year.

South Korea and China makes sense given they are the 1st and 2nd largest tourist markets.

I doubt it'll provide a huge economic boost in the short term. The Phuket Sandbox has brought in 44,000 visitors, less than half of their 100,000 target. The problem is going home. China has strict rules and a 3-week mandatory quarantine which is the reason they haven't turned up in Thailand.

Edited: 20 November 2021, 10:36
Palawan Island...
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Greg Bridges, i , too believe the figures for the country are false. Recently the new cases quoted have been 2 or 3000 and the new deaths are 2 or 300. No other country has figures with the same proportions.

Pomeroy, Washington
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Greg;

The numbers are a huge shell game. There are factions twisting those numbers either up or down for their own benefits, world wide. I have not heard of any deaths in our home barrio and the surrounding area that are attributable to covid, but I suspect there have been some deaths. People there are keeping very quiet because of the police that constantly patrol the streets. A confirmed covid diagnosis might be very unpleasant.

Until this situation calms down, there is really no reason to visit the Philippines as a tourist, imo.

If a person has documented proof of a covid positive test and/or a complete course of vaccine, there is no need for harsh quarantines. A test and waiting period should be enough. The technology for this is out there. The traveler could pay for it, taking that pressure off the local governments. If the person tests positive, THEN a quarantine.

I posted on another thread that until countries, health officials, and ordinary people resign themselves to the fact that covid is here to stay (forever), the sooner we can try to return to a normal life. We are still struggling with this in some parts of the USA. In my home town, we are more or less back to normal.

Farmington Hills...
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I disagree with your comment about no reason to visit ad a tourist. Because of these rules I (along with countless others) haven't been able to visit my fiance for over a year and a half. If you're fully vaccinated and test negative there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to see loved ones

Pomeroy, Washington
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@5 Well, I guess if you don't mind the risk of lenghty quarantines and lock downs, go for it. Later, of course, when US citizens are allowed to enter. Not happening yet, that I know of.

This whole situation is awful.

Edited: 20 November 2021, 23:03
Romblon Island...
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There should be absolutely no need nor reason for anyone who is double vaccinated to be barred from entering any country, be it as a tourist or otherwise, they pose no threat to the country they are entering, and they pose no threat to themselves, so i still can't understand why all this stupid irrational way of thinking.

If you are double vaxed and test negative when you depart your own country, and produce evidence of this upon entry to your destination country, then where is the problem ?

You are not taking the virus into that country, the negative test will prove this, and in most cases you will not get the virus yourself while you are there, but in some cases fully vaxed people have been known to get a "vaccine breakthrough infection" and could spread COVID-19 to others around them, but how many fully vaccinated people are likely to be carriers, well i don't know the answer to this, and nor would many others out there either, so this would be one valid reason for mandating the wearing of masks, especially in more populated areas.

As already mentioned, COVID is here to stay, so everyone needs to accept this and do whatever they believe is the best thing for themselves, but opening the Philippines back up to fully vaccinated and negative tested tourists should begin now, regardless of which country you come from, and allow the country to get back to some form of normality.

Apparent Cases as of this past week = 2,821,753

Apparent Deaths as of this past week = 46,422

Puerto Galera...
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Statistics from Thailand show 9 out of 4000 arrivals tested 72 hours before departure when tested on arrival gave positive results.

The Philippines like many Asian countries in 2017 were aware of an epidemic of swine flu in South America and took extra precautions on top of the ban on importation of meat . Early in 2019 it arrived in Luzon. Transportation of pigs for slaughter into Manila was banned and in Mindoro pigs could only be killed in their local municipality.The price of wholesale pork went down to 50 pesos a kilo putting pig farmers having to slaughter piglets at birth.

The same logic has spread worldwide in respect of covid. The delta variant is now the worldwide dominant strain and twice as infectious as the first strains that came out of Wuhan.

Were it not for vaccination countries in the west (where a small portion of the population who chose not to be vaccinated plus a handful of vaccinated people are now dying) delta could have killed many more millions.

The concern in the Philippines is a new variant arriving.

Tourism is not the main source of income for the country, - exporting its people , the 7 million OFW's who man the ships, scottish trawlers, hospitals m care homes and just about every gas station in Dubai is.

The Philippines is already on many red lists and a ban on more filipinos travelling abroad is the last thing the country wants.

There are a few people like me who left on Feb 12th 2019 unable to return home but at least I am not an old person in a care home unable to see my families which was the reality for hundreds of thousands or millions of people in the west.

The vaccination situation is improving and some relaxation in the quarantine rules for the overseas workers is welcome.

If the current relaxation in Thailand allowing just one night quarantine and release if negative is found to be safe I expect the Philippines will follow suit but there is a lot of procedures to replicate this , ensuring segregation on arrival, isolate drivers in vehicles to the hotels and finding hotels willing to participate

Edited: 21 November 2021, 05:36
Vancouver, Wa.
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Current countries on the Green List:The green list includes: Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Curacao, Dominica, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liechtenstein, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Romania, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Singapore, Saint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), Vietnam. (AW)

Romblon Island...
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I had no idea that Australia was now on the Green list, last time i read it, Australia was not listed.

Things have stabilized in the Romblon region, people moving about more easily, but i don't get too involved in the politics of COVID, i just take whatever precautions i need to stay safe, even though i am fully vaxed, unfortunately not everyone around me has had their vaccinations yet, but slowly getting there.

I believe (have not confirmed as yet) that many of the popular tourist spot around the country are beginning to relax their entry rules, so i am still hopeful of taking my long awaited trip to Malapascua and Siargao islands very soon, been trying to get there for several months now, and i may also add Siquijor island to that trip as well.

Hoping to get to Palawan sometime as well, as i have a couple of business ventures over there that are currently on hold due to COVID, but i need to check with the authorities about any existing entry restrictions into Puerto Princesa, maybe someone here might be able to inform me about that.

Edited: 21 November 2021, 18:36
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