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Philippines opens to quarantine-free entry for Taiwanese tourists on April 1

Philippines opens borders to all foreign tourists who are fully vaccinated, present negative rapid antigen test

(Facebook, Department of Tourism Philippines photo)

(Facebook, Department of Tourism Philippines photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Philippines will allow all fully vaccinated foreign tourists, including those from Taiwan, to enter the country without having to undergo quarantine starting on Friday (April 1).

On Wednesday (March 30), the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taiwan announced that effective April 1, all fully vaccinated foreign travelers, including Taiwanese tourists, will no longer need to undergo quarantine. The travelers must be fully inoculated with World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID vaccines.

MECO stated that it will begin opening bookings for time slots to apply for tourist visas on Thursday (March 31) at both its Taipei and Kaohsiung branches. Taiwanese travelers will be able to apply for single-entry, multi-entry, and transit visas at these offices starting on Thursday.

On Feb. 10, the Philippines lifted a nearly two-year ban on foreign tourists and allowed travelers who are fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus to enter the country without needing to quarantine. However, the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) continued to force tourists from Taiwan to quarantine for seven days because it did not recognize vaccination cards from Taiwan, citing the country's lack of membership in the WHO.

From February 10 to March 8, the Philippines welcomed 73,178 tourists from 157 visa-free countries, reported GMA News. Most of this first wave of tourists have originated from the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam.

Previously, travelers were required to present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure to the Philippines. Begining on April 1, rapid antigen takes will be accepted instead of PCR tests, according to the tourism department.