COVID-19 task force allows more foreigners to enter Philippines by mid-February

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 05 2021 11:47 AM

COVID-19 task force allows more foreigners to enter Philippines by mid-February 1
Passengers wearing hazmat suits for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque, Jan. 14, 2021. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters/File

MANILA — An inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response has expanded its list of foreigners who will be allowed to enter the Philippines in the middle of February, Malacañang said on Friday. 

Effective Feb. 16, the following foreign nationals will be allowed entry to the country, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque. 

 

  • Those with visas issued as of March 20, 2020, and still valid and existing at the time of entry, and who were not permitted to enter the country under previous IATF resolutions
  • Holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa and Section 9 (A) visas as long as they present an entry exemption document to the Bureau of Immigration upon arrival. 
     
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These travelers should have a pre-booked accommodation for at least 6 nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility. They should also get tested for the novel coronavirus on the 6th day from date of their arrival, he said in a statement.

This expanded list "is without prejudice to existing immigration laws, rules and regulations." The Commissioner of Immigration has the exclusive prerogative to waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals allowed to enter the country, Roque said. 

The Philippines had banned the entry of foreign travelers from several countries from December 2020 to Jan. 31 to stop the spread of a new, more contagious COVID-19 variant. 

Last month, the health department detected the country's first patient with the new variant, who is a Filipino who had traveled back from Dubai.

Foreigners allowed to enter the Philippines starting Feb. 1 are listed in the immigration bureau's advisory below. 

The Philippines has tallied over 531,000 coronavirus infections. Authorities hope to start the inoculation drive against COVID-19 this month, and cover up to 70 million people or two-thirds of the population this year.