The Department of Tourism (DOT) is considering having a “COVID-19 digital travel pass” as a requirement for passengers going or visiting the Philippines.
In a statement Wednesday, the agency said it was complying with global travel standards in preparation for the reopening of overseas travel.
For Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the goal of the move is to gradually open up the country to tourism despite the threat of the coronavirus.
“This move is parallel with the steps undertaken by other countries that have successfully relaxed borders to visitors amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Puyat explained.
This was also laid out by the secretary in a meeting with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and local tourism industry leaders to study the availability of IATA Travel Pass technology solutions for passengers visiting the country.
Puyat explained that the travel pass developed by IATA offers a “global and standardized solution” for the validation and authentication of various regulations abroad in relation to COVID-19 passenger travel requirements.
She added that the country really has trials due to the pandemic, so such a travel pass will help for the reopening of tourism and the economy.
DOT finalizing COVID-19 digital travel pass guidelines
“The agency’s work is centered on the gradual and careful reopening of tourism destinations to support livelihoods, with health and safety as our top priority,” she said.
“Albeit on its testing stage, the IATA Travel Pass, which offers safe and convenient travel, has so far been helpful to airlines that have adopted it for trial.”
According to the DOT, as of April 4, 2021, more than 20 airlines and airline groups have adopted the IATA Travel Pass for a trial basis.
With this, passengers can also submit requirements such as test results or vaccination certificates for them to travel.
It also registers the necessary information on travel, testing, and vaccination requirements.
Passengers can also search COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories at their departure or arrival locations.
The secretary hopes that once the IATA Travel Pass is finalized, it will be safer and smoother to reopen tourist destinations for foreigners.
“Once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole. But this will be done only when the time is right,” she said.