Philippines to allow some foreigners to enter country from August

July 17, 2020 - 3:16 PM
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Passengers wearing personal protective equipment for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) queue at the check-in counters of Emirates airline, in Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 9, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA — The Philippines will allow the entry of foreign nationals with long-term visas into the country from August 1, the presidential spokesman said on Friday, as the country gradually relaxes some coronavirus restrictions in a bid to support the economy.

Foreigners with valid and existing visas would need to undergo quarantine upon arrival, said Harry Roque, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.

Long-term visa holders refer to foreigners living and working in the country, Roque told Reuters.

Applications for new entry visas will not be accepted and returning Filipinos will have priority on inbound flights given existing caps on airport capacity, the task force said.

The Bureau of Immigration banned the entry of foreigners into the country in March to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Only Filipinos as well as foreign diplomats were allowed to enter.

The Philippines has reported 61,266 cases of the virus and 1,643 related deaths. It ranks second in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia in terms of the number of infections and deaths. —Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales Editing by Ed Davies