The Philippines announced that it will soon reopen to tourists

(CNN) – The Philippines is looking to soon open its borders to tourists from countries on the “green list”, “the Ministry of Tourism announced on Friday, November 19.

Tourism Minister Berna Romulo-Puyat said: “Allowing tourists to come from green countries or territories where the majority of the population is vaccinated and have low infection rates, will be of great help to the public. our recovery efforts – increasing tourist arrivals and revenue among others,” Tourism Minister Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

“This move will also aid in strengthening consumer confidence, which is a major contributor to our gross domestic product or GDP growth,” added Romulo-Puyat.

Only travelers who have received vaccines recognized by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or authorized by the World Health Organization will be allowed to enter the country.

A Tourism Special Technical Working Group is currently finalizing guidelines for approval from the country’s Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

There are currently 44 countries and territories on the Philippines’ coronavirus “green list”, including China, Japan and India; however, the United States is not on the list.

Tourism contributed 17.8% of the Philippines’ GDP in 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Most of those tourists from all over Asia, with South Korea leading the way.

Tourism to the Philippines is down more than 80% due to the pandemic.

Overall, Asia’s reopening plan has been cautious.

Thailand took the lead thanks to ‘Phuket Sandbox‘pilot program for tourism and now several other countries in the region – including Cambodia, South Korea and Singapore – are also adopting cautious approaches to welcoming vaccinated travelers return from specific countries.

There have been more than 2.8 million confirmed cases and 46,422 deaths from coronavirus in the Philippines since the start of the pandemic.

Top image: In this photo taken on October 1, 2020, a resident wearing a face mask walks along the beach in Borocay. Credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images

CNN’s Isaac Yee contributed reporting.


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