BI lifts antigen test for outbound Filipinos; more foreigners allowed entry

Monday, October 26th, 2020. Filed under: News Philippine News

MANILA, Oct 26 (Mabuhay) — Filipinos leaving the country will no longer be required to have an antigen test for COVID-19 starting next week while more foreign nationals will be allowed entry to the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced Sunday.

In a statement, the BI said the antigen test requirement for those leaving the country will be lifted starting next Sunday, November 1, as ruled by the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious disease (IATF-EID), but other requirements still remain, such as a test certificate as mandated by other countries.

“A round trip ticket will still be required for those who will be leaving under a tourist visa… Travelers will likewise be required to sign a declaration acknowledging the risks of traveling, which will be given to them by the airline upon check-in,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

The IATF-EID lifted restrictions on non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos starting Wednesday, October 21, but the BI said there was no significant increase in the number of residents leaving the country.

The IATF also lifted the antigen test requirement for outbound Filipinos two days later.

In the same statement, the BI said restrictions for arriving passengers have been partially lifted, with more foreign nationals with select visas now allowed to enter the country, specifically those with visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Such foreign nationals are those working as personnel or executives of multinational companies in the Philippines, or special non-immigrant whose visas are granted by the Department of Justice.

Prior to this only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children, foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs were allowed to enter the country. Also allowed entry are accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas.

Those eligible to enter under a tourist status are still required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to arrival.

The BI clarified, however, that both departing and arriving travelers are still required to undergo regular immigration inspection, and present documents needed for their travel.

“Arriving passengers are also required to have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility before they arrive, and are still subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers set by airport authorities… After immigration inspection, arriving passengers will proceed to the one-stop shop at our airports, where they will be tested and referred to their assigned quarantine facility,” said BI Port Operations Chief Candy Tan.  (MNS)

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