PRIMARY DOSE. Monica Daniel, 13, receives her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Philippine Medical Association office in Quezon City on Friday (March 11, 2022). The Philippines is already vaccinating children aged 5 to 17 in preparation for the resumption of face-to-face classes(MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 12 (Mabuhay) — Foreign nationals and returning Filipinos may now present negative laboratory-based antigen results for entry to the Philippines, Malacañang said on Friday, as government eased restrictions to further open the economy.

The Philippines previously required inbound travelers to present negative results for RT-PCR tests taken within 48 hours, noted Acting Deputy Presidential spokesperson Michel Ablan.

“Now it is either of the two, RT-PCR or antigen test,” he said in a press briefing.

He said the antigen test should be taken 24 hours before arrival in the Philippines.

Ablan added that Hong Kong or Macau passport holders are allowed to travel visa-free to the Philippines for a stay not exceeding 14 days.

“For a stay longer than 14 days, they may apply for a visa at any Philippine Embassy or Consulate,” the DFA said in its website.

The Philippines will also honor the vaccination certificates of Croatia, Cyprus, and Nepal for entry protocols, said Ablan.

These are on top of other territories whose COVID-19 certificates were earlier approved by the COVID-19 task force.

The Philippines in February reopened to fully-vaccinated foreign tourists from some 150 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the Philippines.

The Department of Tourism on Thursday said it hoped the country could welcome all foreign travelers by April. (MNS)

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