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Travellers with booster can enter Philippines without COVID-19 test

MANILA (XINHUA) – The Philippines will no longer require a pre-departure COVID-19 test from May 30 for inbound travellers who have got a booster jab as part of the government’s measures to revive the pandemic-hit economy.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the new rule to ease further the travel requirements is to encourage more tourists to visit the country and “make it more convenient for tourists”.

“All types of vaccination certificates, regardless of country of origin, will also be accepted,” she said.

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) sees this development as a win for the local tourism industry as welcoming more tourists in the country will yield more revenues for our small businesses and restore more jobs and livelihoods in the sector,” she added.

Puyat said travel insurance “is no longer required but still highly encouraged for arriving passengers”.

She noted over 500,000 foreign tourists visited the country from February 10 when the government allowed foreign travellers to enter. The United States, South Korea and Canada are among the top foreign tourist markets during this period.

“The government is looking forward to an uptick in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks following the further easing of entry requirements into the country,” Puyat said.

The Philippines barred the entry of foreign visitors when it imposed a lockdown in March 2020 amid the fast-spreading COVID-19 virus.

The Southeast Asian country now has over 3.68 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including over 60,000 deaths.