FULLY-VACCINATED foreign nationals from 157 countries included in the Philippine’s visa-free list will again be allowed entry starting Feb. 10 as local coronavirus cases decline and the government eases restrictions to pump up the economy.

Immigration Commissioner Jamie H. Morente reiterated that inbound foreigners have to present proof of vaccination and other documentary requirements set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). 

Mr. Morente noted that unvaccinated foreigners, regardless of visa type, will not be allowed entry.

“Following the direction of the IATF, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated aliens will not be allowed entry, only those who are fully vaccinated maybe admitted,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Among the other requirements are a negative RT-PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure from their country of origin, passport valid for at least six months, outbound ticket, and travel insurance that includes coronavirus with a minimum coverage of $35,000.

Tourism is one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, with its contribution to the national economy dropping to 5.4% in 2020 from 12.8% in 2019, based on Philippine Statistics Authority data. 

Tourism revenues in 2020 plunged by 83% to P81.4 billion after the country closed its borders and implemented mobility restrictions. 

The Department of Tourism said over a million industry workers were affected. — John Victor D. Ordoñez