DOT pushes “green lanes” for fully vaccinated foreign travelers

May 21, 2021 Cristina Lee-Pisco 155 views

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has proposed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the possibility of setting up a Green Lane that will facilitate the entry of foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This is part of the national government’s effort to reopen the economy.

The Green Lane will make it easier for fully vaccinated travelers to visit the country for leisure as quarantine rules are being relaxed with the progress of the vaccination worldwide.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said she is optimistic about the prospect.

“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,” she said.

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

Headed by the DOT and the Department of Foreign Affairs, a Small Working Group has been formed to evaluate the possibility of implementing “green lanes” and formulate the necessary protocols. The group also includes the Bureau of Quarantine under the Department of Health, Bureau of Immigration under the Department of Justice, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Transportation, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration under the Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Trade and Industry.

Several countries have opened up their major destinations to fully vaccinated foreign travelers.

“We must keep pace with our neighbors and the rest of the world in slowly reopening our tourist destinations. We must be ready for the visitors when the whole world is ready to safely travel again,” said Puyat.