MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, on May 1, will lift its ban on the entry of some foreign nationals except for those coming from India or those with travel history to the said country, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed the entry of foreign nationals permitted under previous IATF resolutions but will be subject to the following conditions:
- They must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under Balikbayan Program
- They must have pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility
- They must subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth (6th) day from the date of arrival
- They are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and the date of entry
“Simula a-uno po ng Mayo, puwede pong makapasok at pinapayagang pumasok base sa mga nakaraang IATF resolution ang ilang mga dayuhan… Pero karamihan po ito ay iyong mga nangangalakal, iyong mga investors, visa holders at long-term visa holders,” Roque said during a Laging Handa briefing.
The entry ban on most foreigners was imposed on March 22 until April 30 due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
Under previous IATF resolutions, the following foreign nationals allowed entry to the Philippines:
- Members of international organization and their dependents holding valid 9(e) visa of 47(a)(2), as the case may be, at the time of entry
- Foreigners involved in medical repatriation endorsed by the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration provided that they have a valid visa at the time of entry
- Foreign seafarers under the “green lanes” program for a crew change, provided that they hold a 9(c) crew list visa at the time of entry
- Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry
- Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF vs COVID-19 chairperson or his duly authorized representative, provided that they have valid visas at the time of entry
“Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India, as imposed by IATF Resolution No. 112,” Roque said in a separate statement.
The Philippines has barred the entry of travelers from India from April 29 to May 14 due to the surge of COVID-19 infections attributed to a “double-mutant” coronavirus variant.
“All these are without prejudice to immigration rules and regulations. 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 Bureau of Immigration has also been directed to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure its smooth implementation, the Palace said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)