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MANILA, Feb 11 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Thursday assured that health and safety protocols against the Covid-19 pandemic are in place as the country opened its doors to arriving foreign nationals for tourism and business.

This, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), has issued new guidelines on entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for foreign nationals entering the Philippines.

“We’re confident that because of these protocols, we will be able to ensure that, number one, mapi-pick up na, ang tourism industry natin, mapapabangon natin muli ang ating tourism industry, makakatulong po ito ng malaki sa mga lubos na naapektuhan sa sector na iyan, lalong-lalo na po ang ating mga workers, employees, mga nagtatrabaho sa sektor na iyan (We’re confident that because of these protocols, we will be able to ensure number one, the tourism industry can pick up, we can revive our tourism industry, it could really help the hard-hit sectors such as tourism industry workers and employees),” Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said at the virtual public briefing.

Nograles said these protocols imposed for the reopening of the tourism industry would improve the country’s economic growth and development.

It would also revitalize all other industries dependent on tourism, he added.

“Magkakaroon po ng cascading effect iyan sa iba’t ibang industriyang connected sa turismo (It will provide a cascading effect in different tourism-related industries). But we will be able to ensure it if everybody complies with the minimum health and safety protocols,” Nograles said.

Nograles noted that the public strict compliance and adherence to the government’s set of health and safety protocols will also ensure that the reopening of the tourism industry will not cause a surge of Covid-19 cases in the country.

“But at the same time, we have to ramp up some more our vaccination efforts,” he added.

Nograles reminded the public that the country is only accepting fully vaccinated foreign nationals.

He said inbound foreign nationals must also present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 48 hours prior to date and time of departure from the country of origin or first port of embarkation in a continuous trip to the Philippines excluding layovers. (MNS)

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