Cebu’s plan to allowing the entry of unvaccinated foreigners is expected to help the tourism industry’s recovery, Senators said.

Sen. Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay-Angeles said unvaccinated foreign visitors should be allowed entry in selected locations.

“The bottom line is to live with the virus and gradually embrace the new normal. Maybe in selected destinations at first, but there should be medical safeguards in place,” she said in a statement.

Ms. Binay-Angeles said that the Philippines should get past its “trial-and-error phase” in dealing with the pandemic and needs to focus on drafting schemes for reopening the borders, noting that unpredictable policy will “have an impact on public health, aside from being economically disruptive.”

Sen. Francis N. Tolentino said he agrees with Cebu’s policy, though most international airlines ask for vaccine cards.

“Our tourism industry has been dead for two years. I think it’s time we revive it again so that our economy can recover,” he added in a statement.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia on Wednesday signed an executive order that would let foreign nationals into the province regardless of vaccination status.

The executive order requires unvaccinated foreign travelers to show a negative RT-PCR test taken 48 hours before leaving their country of origin.

Such entrants face swab tests upon arrival and be sent to a quarantine facility where they must await another negative RT-PCR test result on the fifth day of quarantine. Those who test positive will be brought to an isolation facility. – Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan