Incoming visitors fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should no longer be required to show negative RT-PCR tests, AirAsia Philippines announced.
The airline strongly backed the calls of local government units (LGUs) to scrap the RT-PCR test requirement.
Many Local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) units still require travelers to submit negative RT-PCR test results before allowing them entry to the provinces, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However, during a dialogue with Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, other LGUs, such as Palawan, Aklan and Cebu batted for less restrictions and more simplified entry requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.
For its part, the provincial government of Bohol maintained that vaccine cards must be fully authenticated to allow mobility of vaccinated tourists.
“AirAsia is 100% behind our LGUs in calling for a more relaxed travel restriction and requirement for fully vaccinated individuals to lessen the cost of air travel,” declared AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla.
The City Government of Tacloban was among the first to successfully implement the use of vaccination cards in lieu of testing requirements for returning residents and tourists.
Other LGUs such as Dumaguete, Cotabato, Guimaras and Butuan followed suit in accepting tourists.
To date, Tacloban has vaccinated around 100,000 individuals, 54,437 of which received their full dose of the vaccine.
AirAsia is integrating the health travel icon on its Super App with the Department of Health’s (DOT) VaxCertPH which will make travel seamless for accepting LGUS.
“We are in the final stages of integration,” according to Isla.
“Once completed, we shall roll out the health travel icon on the airasia Super App for easy vaccination verification among LGU’s who accept fully vaccinated individuals.”
“This will hasten the recovery of not only the airline industry but the tourism sector as a whole,” Isla underscored.
AirAsia Philippines is also pushing for a shortened 5-day to zero quarantine period for fully vaccinated international travelers.
This will entice more travelers from the U.S. and other European countries to reconsider their plans of visiting the Philippines.