Philippines to allow entry of foreigners starting Aug. 1

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2020 10:41 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2020 11:45 AM

A scene from the NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE)-- The Philippines will allow the entry of foreign nationals with long-term visas in the country starting Aug. 1, Malacañang said Friday as the government sought to revive the economy.

Foreigners traveling to the Philippines must have valid and existing visas, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said as no new entry visa would be accepted.

The government's pandemic task force, which approved the policy on Thursday, also required foreign nationals to secure a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility and a pre-booked coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing provider in the Philippines.

"They are likewise subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, as returning overseas Filipinos will be given priority," Roque said.

The new policy comes a week after the government eased travel restrictions for Filipinos, allowing them to travel abroad even for tourism-related trips.

The Philippines in mid-March started to deny entry to foreign nationals coming from all countries with confirmed local transmissions of COVID-19 as the country braced for a lockdown.

It was only last month that the government began to largely ease lockdowns across the country, which it said resulted in the increasing number of COVID-19 infections.

On July 16, the country breached the 60,000-mark for its tally of COVID-19 cases with 61,266 recorded infections. 

Of the said number, 38,183 are active cases.