MANILA — The Philippines will lift this weekend its entry ban on foreign nationals except those coming from India, Malacañang said on Friday, as the country continued to battle a surge in COVID-19 infections.
The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response, in a meeting on Thursday, approved the entry of foreigners who satisfy several requirements from May 1, 2021, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
These are the following:
- They must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under the Balikbayan Program
- They must have a pre-booked accommodation for at least 7 nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility
- They should be tested for the novel coronavirus in their quarantine facility on the sixth day from the date of their arrival
- They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry
- They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers (1,500 per day) at the port and date of entry
"Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India," Roque said in a statement.
The Philippines suspended the entry of travelers from India from April 29 to May 14. India is fighting a surge in coronavirus cases that has pushed the health care system close to collapse in major cities.
"The Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on the waiver or recall of exclusion orders of foreign nationals, subject to regular reporting to the IATF Secretariat," Roque said.
The Philippines has tallied 1,028,738 coronavirus infections, of which 69,354 remain active as of Thursday.