In this file photo taken on January 15, 2018, tourists board a speedboat near a forestland area on Boracay island in Malay town, Aklan province, central Philippines. Image Credit: AFP

Manila: Fully-vaccinated international travelers and tourists from "green" countries, territories or jurisdictions tagged as "low risk” for COVID-19 will soon be allowed to travel to the Philippines, tourism officials announced Friday.

More than 30 destinations in the Philippines, including the world-famous Boracay, are open for fully-vaccinated domestic travellers, having lifted quarantine and PCR-test rules.

‘Approved in principle’

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases "has approved in principle" on Friday the entry of international travellers. The move is contingent on the issuance of specific guidelines, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism said in a statement.

“The Special Technical Working Group on Travel has been tasked to promptly come up with said guidelines for final approval of the IATF,” the DOT stated.

The guidelines are expected "before the end of the month", the Philippine News Agency reported on Friday.

The state news agency also reported that the Philippines is pushing for the "Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) or Bubbles”, a scheme that had been adopted by neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Philippine News Agency
Fully-vaxxed international tourists are now welcome to the Philippines, the tourism agency announced on Friday (November 19, 2021). Image Credit: PNA

VTL is a framework between two countries to facilitate two-way travel by individuals who have received a full regimen of a COVID-19 vaccine. Under the proposed program, fully-vaxxed tourists from "yellow" countries tagged as "moderate risk" may also be allowed to enter the Philippines under certain restrictions and conditions.