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Philippines to allow entry of foreign spouses, children starting December 7

The Philippines will slightly relax its entry ban on foreigners, allowing the foreign spouses and children of Filipinos, as well as former Filipino citizens and their family, starting December 7.

This was announced by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque on Friday, November 27.

He said that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will allow "the entry to the Philippines of Filipino citizens' foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them, starting December 7, 2020."

The task force will also permit the entry of former Filipino citizens, including their spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them.

The task force's decision is spelled out in its 85th resolution.

The new rules will take effect a few weeks before Christmas, allowing families to be reunited for the important holiday.

Previously, the Philippine government only allowed entry for foreigners with investor or work visas. Foreigners with only tourist visas are still banned from the country.

Conditions for entry

But, as with all permitted travel, it is subject to conditions that foreign spouses, their children, and returning former Filipino citizens will have to comply with.

The conditions are the following:

  • They are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No 408 series of 1960
  • They must pre-book at a quarantine facility in the Philippines
  • They must pre-book a swab (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test at a laboratory operating in the Philippine airport
  • They must abide by the passenger maximum capacity of their ports of entry

The Bureau of Immigration was ordered to ensure the smooth implementation of the new rules.

The Department of Tourism, meanwhile, is tasked with ensuring adequate quarantine facilities for those who plan to enter the Philippines under these new rules.

Hotels have been used as quarantine facilities for Filipinos returning from abroad. While the government has shouldered the quarantine of overseas Filipino workers, others coming from abroad should foot the bill for their stay.

Those quarantined in hotels are allowed to leave only when they get a negative RT-PCR test result. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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