Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines will resume pre-pandemic entry regulations for fully vaccinated foreign nationals from visa-required countries from on April 1, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Kristian Ablan said on March 25.

He said that foreign nationals must be fully vaccinated except only for children below 12 years old traveling with their fully vaccinated foreign parents.

They should show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours, or a negative laboratory-based antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure from the country of origin, he said, adding that once entering the country, they are no longer required to observe facility-based quarantine but shall self-monitor for any sign or symptom for seven days from arrival.

The new policy opens the country to all travellers, including tourists.

The announcement of the new entry policy came five days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order easing the entry of foreign tourists into the country to boost international tourism, increase foreign investments, and restore jobs in the tourism sector.

The measure is part of the government's efforts to accelerate and sustain the country's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month, the Philippines reopened its doors to foreign travellers from 157 visa-free countries and regions after over two years of pandemic lockdown.

COVID-19 pandemic, which broke out in 2020, has drastically affected the Philippine economy, contracting its gross domestic products by 9.6 percent in 2020, the first recession since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. The economy grew by 5.6 percent in 2021.

So far, more than 65.2 million people, or 72.49 percent of the targetted population, have been fully vaccinated since the vaccine rollout in March last year./.