(MNS Photo)

MANILA, May 21 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has proposed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the setting up of a “green lane” that would facilitate the entry of fully vaccinated foreign visitors to the Philippines as part of government efforts to reopen the economy.

“The Green Lane will pave the way for the reopening of our tourist destinations to leisure travelers who are now fully vaccinated. It will give the jobs back to many of our tourism workers and gradually revive the tourism industry under safe conditions,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement Friday.

The proposal came after the IATF-EID tasked the DOT and several other government agencies to explore protocols for inbound international travel for fully vaccinated individuals.

Once approved, the DOT said this initiative would allow qualified travelers “to visit the country for leisure as quarantine rules are being relaxed with the progress of the vaccination worldwide”.

Headed by the DOT and the Department of Foreign Affairs, a Small Working Group (SWG) has been formed to evaluate the possibility of implementing “green lanes” and formulate related protocols.

The SWG also includes the Bureau of Quarantine under the Department of Health, the Bureau of Immigration, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of Transportation, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

With several countries opening up their major destinations to fully vaccinated foreign travelers, Romulo-Puyat said: “We must keep pace with our neighbors and the rest of the world in slowly reopening our tourist destinations.”

She added that the Philippines should be ready for visitors when the time comes that the world is ready for international travel once again. (MNS)

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