"We are not ready. We’re not saying that it is not going to open, we're just saying that this is a gradual process." - Cabinet Secretary
Recently, there has been a voice in the Philippines calling for the removal of travel restrictions for foreign prospective spouses. This call came from the "Love is Not Tourism" movement. Today, the Philippine Cabinet Secretary officially stated that considering the current situation of COVID-19 in the Philippines, opening the border and accepting more foreigners entering the Philippines still not an option.
Philippine Cabinet Minister Karlo Nograles told Dobol B sa local News TV channel on Tuesday that the government is "setting new standards" in preparation for the full reopening of travel borders in the future.
"We are not ready. We’re not saying that it is not going to open, we're just saying that this is a gradual process." said Karlo Nograles, who is the co-chair of the Interagency Anti-epidemic Task Force (IATF) responsible for policy formulation.
"We need to ensure that we have facilities, quarantine and isolation to receive foreigners. They come to the Philippines not only for love, but also for travel or other reasons" he added.
Karlo Nograles said that the inter-departmental anti-epidemic working group is already finalising the rules for Filipino outbound travel.
Karlo Nograles also expressed the hope that the Philippines will welcome foreign tourists back in the future.
"We are gradually opening up domestic tourism. When we are ready, we will eventually open international tourism. At present, the Philippine government allows foreign spouses and children of Filipinos and foreign parents of Filipino minors, including children with special needs. Regardless of age, you can enter the country during the epidemic.
Foreigners holding permanent resident or immigrant visas are not subject to entry travel restrictions.
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