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PH to accept all travelers regardless of vax status

A circular was issued by the Department of Health (DOH), Circular 2023-06, which covers all airports and seaports in the country and states that “all arriving international travelers are accepted regardless of their vaccination status”.

Said circular followed the Transportation Department’s earlier announcement of the scrapping of face masks for public transportation.

Local air carriers, Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific (CEB) and AirAsia Philippines welcome this development and said they anticipate further growth in international travel as it is expected to become more seamless, with the elimination of the vaccine certificate mandate for inbound foreign travelers that took effect last August 12, 2023.

“We welcome this development that further eases travel to the Philippines and helps boost inbound tourist traffic. We look forward to serving more tourist and business travelers in both our international and domestic travel sectors. We will continue to work on enhancing the passenger experience through digital transformation and fleet expansion,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

“With this development making travel more seamless as we still encourage passengers to continue practicing minimum health standards such as washing hands, disinfecting and physical distancing when necessary,” Carmina Romero, Cebu Pacific spokesperson stated.

AirAsia Philippines Head for Communications and Public Affairs and First Officer Steve Dailisan said: “Since the pandemic, the vaccine certificate has been the most essential travel requirement for inbound tourists.

The lifting of this travel requirement is a major step towards making travel more seamless and will definitely encourage travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to experience the Philippines. This is also very timely now that we are a few days away from welcoming the “Ber” months, the usual peak of travel in the Philippines,” Dailisan added.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Officer-In-Charge Bryan Co meanwhile said the authority continues to prioritize the health and safety of all travelers and airport personnel while restrictions are being lifted, we will remain vigilant in monitoring the situation and will be ready to support DOH in fulfilling its mandate.

“I am sure this development will boost existing efforts of the MIAA and the tourism sector to promote the Philippines as a prefered destination, ” Co said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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