The Bureau of Immigration (BI) clarified on Tuesday, Nov. 16, that the Philippines is still closed to foreign tourists.
“The country remains closed to foreign tourists. Only those under the allowed categories as set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, if coming from green or yellow countries may be admitted to enter,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
Morente stressed that while there are encouraging signs that the country might soon reopen its borders, the BI will continue to restrict the entry of foreign tourists until the government decides to lift the travel ban.
Presently, only Filipinos, balikbayan, and foreigners with valid and existing visas issued by the BI and other specialized government agencies are allowed to enter the country.
Those who wish to travel to the Philippines under a tourist visa may only do so if they apply for a 9(a) temporary visitors’ visas and an entry exemption document (EED) from Philippine posts abroad.
Morente said that while the BI is ready and prepared for the eventual reopening of the country to foreign tourists, the decision to reopen will come from the President and the IATF.
The BI chief issued the statement following reports that the bureau’s offices were being swamped with queries from persons who assumed that foreign tourists can now enter the country after Metro Manila was placed under the less restrictive Alert Level 2 status.
“We advise the public to refer to our website and social media pages to keep themselves updated on our latest advisories on guidelines and requirements for international travelers,” he said.
The Palace earlier said that the Philippines will be again be welcoming foreign tourists “in due time,” saying such a move will depend on the experience of other countries who have already opened their borders to foreign visitors.