Upon the recommendation of the Department of Tourism, vaccinated returning overseas Filipinos and foreign tourists will undergo a 7-day quarantine as they establish “green lanes” at airports.
Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the agency will imitate quarantine requirements in Hong Kong and Thailand, where green lanes are reserved for vaccinated travelers arriving at international gateways.
“Currently, whether you are fully vaccinated or not, it’s 10 days in a hotel and another four days at home,” said Puyat. “For our balikbayans, for our OFWs, that’s too costly.”
In Hong Kong, vaccinated foreigners are allowed, provided that they are coming from low-risk countries determined by the authorities. Meanwhile in Thailand, vaccinated foreigners are allowed regardless of whether their country of origin is low-risk or not. However, their quarantine requirements reverted back to 14 days to slow a recent surge in infections.
“We were thinking that if other countries are doing it, then it should be discussed with the Department of Health and health experts,” said the tourism head.
She also reported that the tourism department is also urging the resumption of commercial flights by next month to broaden options to go around the country. Currently, Metro Manila tourists need to book point-to-point flights to reach a destination outside the region.
However, Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jose Clemente III cautioned the DOT to avoid ending up like island destinations abroad which resumed international travel but suffered new waves of infection.