The Philippines is easing its Covid-19 border restrictions for holidaymakers.
Travellers who are fully vaccinated, and have had a booster shot of an approved Covid-19 jab, will no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test for flying to the tropical archipelago.
New rules come into effect on Monday and apply to both Filipinos and foreigners.
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Unvaccinated travellers, or those who have only had two doses of a vaccine, will need to submit negative PCR results from a test taken no more than 48 hours before travel.
Antigen tests are also accepted for travel, but these need to be taken no more than 24 hours before departure.
Children aged between 12 and 17 are exempt from pre-departure testing if they have taken two doses of a Covid-19 vaccination. Children under 12 do not need to take any tests or show any proof of vaccination to travel to the Philippines, as long as their guardian is fully vaccinated or has a negative test result.
Foreign visitors must also have at least six months validity on passports when they arrive in the country.
Authorities in the Philippines also announced on Friday that Metro Manila, home to the country’s bustling capital, will remain under the lowest alert level from June 1 to 15.
Alert Level 1 is the most lenient level and means that business, restaurants, cafes, shops and gyms can operate at full capacity and without restrictions.
With Manila, 62 other places in the country will be under the lowest alert level in June, including Pangasinan, Cebu City and Batangas. The alert level restrictions are reviewed every two weeks.
Covid-19 infections in the Philippines have been rising again. “Over the past month, there have been three instances of reversals of the decreasing growth rates of cases,” said Dr John Wong, member of the Inter-Agency Task Force-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics, reported CNN.
Around 63 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins, and more than 3.68 million Covid-19 infections have been recorded in the country since the pandemic started in 2020.