Department of Tourism Secretary (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has acknowledged the decision of four countries requiring COVID-19 test for travelers from the Philippines, deeming it “of no issue.”
“From the perspective of the tourism industry, we acknowledge and respect the different precautionary measures, guidelines, and requirements that the respective governments put in place to protect their nationals and visitors,” the tourism chief said in a text message to Manila Bulletin.
Based on a recent advisory from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, and South Korea want travelers from the Philippines to present a certification they are cleared of COVID-19 prior to boarding.
MIAA added only certifications issued by the airlines’ accredited testing centers would be accepted.
Puyat said these measures simply reflect each country’s resolve in strengthening health and sanitation border protocols to protect both visitors and citizens.
“As matter of fact, RT-PCR tests are also required for both foreign visitors and returning Filipinos, when entering the Philippines,” she said.
Currently, the DOT is in talks with several local government heads with regard to the gradual reopening of tourism.
Some local chief executives also require COVID-19 testing by means of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to visiting tourists, such as in Boracay, Baguio, Palawan, and Bohol to ensure that even with the resumption of tourist activities, there would be no coronavirus outbreak in tourism.
But as of this time, leisure travel is still prohibited and only locals from the respective provinces are allowed to visit the tourism attractions.