MANILA, Philippines — Only foreign nationals with valid and existing visas will be allowed to enter the Philippines, and tourists are still prohibited despite the lifting of certain travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.
The BI issued the clarification after the Philippine government lifted the travel ban on some foreign nationals starting May 1.
“Foreign tourists are still prohibited from entering the country and said restriction remains effective until it is lifted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement on Sunday.
Morente explained that the country only reverted to implementing the travel international guidelines that existed prior to March 22 when the government re-imposed a ban on the entry of all foreigners due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“The recent easing of travel restrictions applies only to those aliens who were allowed to come here before March 22 and they should have valid and existing visas at the time of their arrival in our ports of entry,” the BI chief added.
The BI earlier announced that starting May 1, foreigners with existing immigrant and non-immigrant visas may again enter the country.
Exempted from the visa requirement are the foreign spouse and children of Balikbayans or returning Filipinos and former Filipinos who are traveling with the latter.
Foreigners who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) or Section 9(a) temporary visitors’ visas may be allowed entry, provided they present an entry exemption document from the Department of Foreign Affairs upon arrival.
Except for foreign diplomats and members of international organizations, all foreign travelers are required to present a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel facility where they will be tested for COVID-19 on the sixth day from the date of their arrival, the BI said.
The BI also emphasized that following the IATF-MEID, travelers who came from India or have a travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding their arrival are not allowed to enter the country until May 14.