The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomed Friday, Oct. 8, the decision of the government’s pandemic task force to ease quarantine restrictions for inbound travelers, calling the move an “encouraging development” for the tourism industry.
“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,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“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,” she added.
Puyat made the statement shortly after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued the updated testing and quarantine protocols for individuals coming from countries, territories, and jurisdictions placed under the green and yellow lists or those with low and medium infections.
Under the latest IATF resolution, vaccinated travelers can leave quarantine facilities as early as five days after their arrival while those unvaccinated can go home seven days after arrival.
In both cases, the vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must have negative COVID-19 test results taken on the fifth and seventh day, respectively, after arrival. After this, travelers can complete their remaining quarantine at home.
The previous protocol required travelers to undego a 10 to 14-day quarantine period.
“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,” Puyat said.
However, the DOT clarified that eligible inbound passengers are only limited to returning Filipinos and balikbayans, their families, and foreigners with valid visas, while general inbound tourism is still not allowed.
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.
As of October 1, Bermuda is the only country placed on the government’s red list of high-risk countries from where inbound travel is prohibited.