Philippines to reopen to some foreign tourists from next week

Vaccinated foreigners from countries designated low risk by the Philippines will be allowed entry over an initial 15-day period.
Vaccinated foreigners from countries designated low risk by the Philippines will be allowed entry over an initial 15-day period.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines will reopen its borders to tourists from some countries on a trial basis from Dec 1, its government said on Friday (Nov 26), as part of efforts to rebuild an economy hit hard by the pandemic.

Foreigners vaccinated against Covid-19 from countries designated low risk by the Philippines will be allowed entry over an initial 15-day period, Mr Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesman, told a regular news conference.

"This is something we are doing step by step," Mr Nograles said, adding that the two-week window could be extended.

Countries designated low risk include Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Philippines, popular for its white sand beaches and rich marine life, shut its doors to foreign tourists at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

Its tourism arrivals from top markets Japan, South Korea and China slumped 83 per cent, dropping to 1.4 million last year.

In South-east Asia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have reopened borders to foreign tourists.