Philippines to reopen to vaccinated tourists on December 1, including from the UAE

The news comes 20 months after the country closed its borders because of the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Philippines will reopen to vaccinated travellers on December 1, it was announced on Friday.

This comes 20 months after the Asian country closed its borders, as part of efforts to rebuild the economy, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman Karlo Nograles said.

Visitors from select countries designated low-risk by the Philippines will be able to enter initially for 15 days, although that two-week window could be extended.

Among the more than 100 countries on the list are the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

"This is something we are doing step by step," Nograles told a press conference.

The news that travellers from some "green list" countries would be able to re-enter the country was first announced on November 19, although a date was not finalised.

The green list allows people to travel to the Philippines without having to undergo supervised quarantine.

Currently, travellers who are approved to fly to the Philippines and are fully vaccinated with a negative PCR result taken with 72 hours prior to departure from a country on the green list can skip managed quarantine. However, travellers must isolate at home.

Known for its idyllic beaches, marine life and tropical islands, the Philippines relies heavily on tourism and the South-East Asian country's economy has suffered under strict Covid-19 related lockdowns.

Last year, only 1.48 million tourists visited the Philippines, down from more than eight million in 2019, AFP reported.

Updated: November 26, 2021, 10:40 AM