IATF imposes conditions on inbound foreign travelers starting Feb. 1

Published January 29, 2021, 10:29 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has imposed conditions on some foreign nationals allowed entry into the country, including having valid and existing visas as well as coronavirus testing at a quarantine facility on the sixth day from their date of arrival.


The conditions imposed on inbound foreign passengers and approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will commence on February 1, 2021 amid the government’s intensified efforts to curb the spread of new coronavirus variants in the country.

“Arriving foreign nationals should have valid and existing visas at the time of entry, except for those qualified under the Balikbayan program under Republic Act No. 6768, the Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement Friday.

Roque said inbound foreign nationals must also have a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility.

“They shall also be subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel or facility on the sixth day from the date of their arrival,” he added.

Roque said the entry of these foreign nationals will be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

He said the Bureau of Immigration has been directed to formulate the necessary guidelines on the matter.

The government started to reopen the country’s doors to some foreigners, particularly those with investor visas since last November amid efforts to revitalize the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Allowed to enter are foreign investors, foreign personnel of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies, their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, and those employed in export processing zone enterprises.

Foreign diplomats as well as spouses of Filipinos and their children are also allowed to enter the country but subject to certain conditions.

These inbound foreign nationals must have valid and existing visas at the time of entry as well as pre-booked accredited quarantine facility. The country’s immigration laws will also be applied to the entry of foreigners.