Covid-19 vaccine for foreign visitors a shot in the arm for Philippines tourism

The Philippines allowed the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the country.

Neil Arwin Mercado

Neil Arwin Mercado

Philippine Daily Inquirer


A stretch of white sand beach in Panglao Island, Bohol, a key tourist destination in the Visayas. (LEO UDTOHAN / INQUIRER file photo)

February 17, 2022

MANILA — COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to inbound foreign visitors in a bid to boost the local tourism industry which was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Francis Tolentino said Wednesday.

Tolentino said many tourist hotspots across the globe have already taken their tourism recovery one step further, by offering foreign visitors the opportunity to get inoculated against COVID-19 upon arrival in a bid to attract more travelers.

“Kung talagang may mga ina-allow (na pumasok) kahit hindi bakunado lalo na yung mga galing sa ‘red-list’ countries, eh palagay ko dito sa ating NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) dapat na i-require na rin magbigay ng bakuna,” Tolentino said in a radio DZRH interview.

(If in other countries they are allowing the entry of unvaccinated tourists even those from red-list countries, I believe we can also require the provision of vaccines here in NAIA.)

Tolentino said one-shot vaccines such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be given to foreign tourists since it no longer requires a second dose.

The Philippines allowed the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the country starting February 10.

Aside from being fully vaccinated, they should also present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 48 hours prior to the date and time of departure from the country of origin.

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