PH to allow entry of foreigners by August amid COVID-19 crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — The Philippines will allow foreign nationals with long-term visas to enter the country starting August, COVID-19 task force spokesperson Harry Roque said on Friday as the country continues to ease air travel restrictions.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases laid out the guidelines in Resolution No. 56. Conditions for inbound travel include securing a pre-arranged COVID-19 swab test and booking with an accredited quarantine facility where they will be housed while waiting for their test results, he said.

"They are likewise subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, as returning overseas Filipinos will be given priority," Roque added in a statement.

In June, Roque said the IATF was considering several embassies' request to allow the entry of foreign employees working on flagship projects despite flight restrictions.

Also on Friday, the National Task Force against COVID-19 increased the number of inbound international passengers allowed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and Clark International Airport.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, NAIA can now accommodate an additional 3,000 inbound international passengers daily, while Mactan and Clark can accept 1,500 more.

CAAP said the new rule was issued "taking into consideration the respective airports' COVID-19 testing capacities, and subject to close and full coordination with airport authorities."

No commercial international flights had been allowed since mid-March when President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine. But the country gradually eased lockdowns starting June.

Earlier this month, the government also allowed Filipinos to exit the country for non-essential travel.