BI releases guidelines on outbound tourism travel

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the guidelines for outbound tourism or guidelines for Filipino citizens.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier eased the restrictions on tourism or outbound travel to revive the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Starting October 21, the BI will be allowing the departure of Filipinos with non-essential travel,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

Initially, the government only allowed foreign nationals, overseas Filipino workers, permanent visa holders, students enrolled abroad, participants accepted in exchange visitor programs, and those who had essential travel to leave the country.

The new IATF ruling, however, expanded this to include non-essential travel.

“Outbound tourism is now allowed for Filipinos, subject to compliance with protocols set by the IATF,” said Morente.

According to IATF Resolution no. 79, outbound Filipino tourists must present a round trip ticket, health and travel insurance, and a negative antigen result at least 24 hours before departure.

Also read: Travel agencies, tour operators in GCQ, MGCQ areas allowed to operate – DTI

BI releases guidelines on outbound tourism travel

However, according to the ruling, if the destination country requires an RT-PCR test, then the same must be presented instead.

Filipinos who will leave for are also required to sign a declaration acknowledging their travel risks, to be provided by airline check-in counters. “After which, passengers will still undergo regular immigration assessment,” said Morente.

The BI official clarified that inbound restrictions are still in place. “We are on standby for any changes in policy, as directed by the IATF and the President,” he stated.

“Currently, only Filipinos, their spouse, and minor children are allowed to enter the country holding tourist visas. Restrictions allow foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs to enter the country,” BI said.

“Those who are eligible to enter are required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to their arrival,” it added.

Last week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had allowed travel agencies and tour operators in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified  to operate.