Filipinos traveling overseas are no longer required to present negative antigen tests, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said today in a virtual briefing.
The new policy amends an earlier one announced by the country’s anti-COVID task force, which required all travelers to present negative antigen tests taken within 24 hours before departure. The Duterte government lifted the ban on non-essential overseas travel on Oct. 21.
“There will be no more antigen requirement for all those leaving the country,” Roque said in English and Filipino.
Roque also announced that foreigners holding investors’ visas would be allowed entry into the Philippines starting Nov. 1. Also, foreign nationals holding visa 4782 from the Department of Justice and visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will be allowed to come to the Philippines.
However, these foreigners are required to follow certain requirements.
“They should have a valid and existing visa upon arrival. They should have a pre-booked [stay] at an accredited quarantine facility. They will still be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, and they need to follow applicable immigration laws, rules, and regulations,” Roque said.
Foreign tourists are still banned in the country.
In March, the Philippines banned the entry of all foreign nationals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This led to the collapse of the local tourism industry, which contributed almost 13% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product in previous years. The Department of Tourism said that almost 5 million workers in the industry have either lost their jobs or have had to accept pay cuts due to the pandemic.