Top Travel News: Philippines Reopens to Foreign Travellers  

Great news! The Philippines will reopen its borders to foreign tourists on February 10. This makes it the latest Southeast Asian country to ease restrictions on international travel.

Philippines, which boasts some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the world, will re-introduce visa-free travel and vaccinated tourists are no longer required to quarantine in government facilities upon arrival.

Top Global Travel News from Jan 25 to Feb 2, 2022

What about Omicron? According to the WHO, while the Covid-19 pandemic is not over, it might be heading towards a sort of endgame in the EU. WHO also highlighted that people hospitalised with Omicron are less likely to end up in intensive care. In Europe, the majority of those who need intensive care are unvaccinated.

This direction has given countries, around the world, an indication that they can start to open their borders. This news article features the latest countries to reopen to foreign travellers and relaxed restrictions taking place globally.

Travel News: Asia

1. The Philippines

Travel News Philippines

  • Your travel to Philippines is now possible. The Philippines will reopen its borders to foreign tourists on 10 February. News headlines say this will end its border closure for the first time in nearly two years.
  • The country will re-introduce visa-free travel and vaccinated tourists are no longer required to quarantine in government facilities upon arrival.
  • Travellers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure as well as self-monitor for symptoms for seven days after arrival.
  • Unvaccinated travellers will have to quarantine in a government facility, test negative for COVID-19 on the fifth day, and then quarantine at home until the 14th day, according to the embassy. Children under 18 are exempt from vaccination requirements.
  • The Philippines is currently classified as a “Level 3” destination by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This indicates a “high” level of COVID-19 transmission in the country.

2. Singapore

Travel to Singapore

  • Vaccinated travel lane (VTL) travellers entering Singapore after 11.:59 pm on Jan 23 by both land and air will only be required to do unsupervised self-administered ARTs from day 2 to day 7 of their arrival if they need to leave their place of residence or accommodation.
  • The previous testing regimen required supervised ART on days 3 and 7 of arrival.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers who arrive after Jan 23 and have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 90 days will be exempted from all testing and stay-home notice requirements if they can provide documentary proof.
  • There will continue to be a 50% limit on VTL flight and bus tickets for entry into Singapore for now.

3. Vietnam

Travel News Vietnam

  • Vietnam plans to fully reopen to tourists, with the tourism ministry on March 31. News articles say the entire adult population would have received three doses by then.
  • Travellers must present proof of full vaccination with the last dose at least 14 days and not more than 1 year prior to the date of entry. They must also have a negative result from an RT-PCR/RT-LAMP-method test administered within 72 hours before boarding (from the time of test).
  • Another option is to present a certificate of recovery from Covid-19. The time between hospital discharge and entry date must not exceed 6 months.
  • To enter, travellers much have medical or travel insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment, with a minimum liability of US$50,000. This is typically about USD40.
  • Finally, travellers must present booking with an approved package tour program of a travel agency. We will provide details on the testing requirement once it has been finalised by the Vietnamese government.

Travel News: Malaysia

Travel news Malaysia

Here are the latest entry and quarantine requirements for travellers arriving in Malaysia:

Key Points:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers who have received a booster shot must:
    • Quarantine for 5 days.
    • Have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.
    • Take a PCR test upon arrival and take a PCR test on the fourth day after arrival or a supervised antigen test on the fifth day after arrival.
  • Fully vaccinated travellers who have not received a booster shot must:
    • Quarantine for 7 days.
    • Have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.
    • Take a PCR test upon arrival and take a PCR test on day 5 or a supervised antigen test on the seventh day after arrival.
  • Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must:
    • Quarantine for 10 days.
    • Have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.
    • Take a PCR test upon arrival and take a PCR test on the eighth day after arrival or a supervised antigen test on the tenth day after arrival.

Additional Information: Travelers will be released from their quarantine once they receive a negative PCR or antigen test taken near the end of their designated quarantine period.

Vaccination
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin says Malaysia is seen as better prepared to deal with the surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant. He adds that authorities know how to protect the most vulnerable.

Reported in news articles, Khairy said (in a tweet) that the situation was not the same as seen in June to September 2021, because the country is better protected now through vaccinations under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

“That’s why we can shorten quarantine times, allow people to self-regulate and keep disruption to a minimum,” he added.

Travel News: Global

1. The UK

Travel UK

  • Face masks are no longer mandatory in public places and Covid-19 passports will be dropped for large events as infections level off in most parts of the country.
  • This means that face masks are no longer be legally required anywhere in England. Restrictions were being eased because government scientists say the surge of infections prompted by the highly contagious Omicron variant “has now peaked nationally.”

2. The US

Travel News US

  • In news articles, travel industry trade groups are pushing federal officials to drop the pre-departure coronavirus testing requirement for vaccinated travellers flying into the US.
  • Other destinations, including the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico, have already dropped testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers in recent weeks. We will keep you posted on this in the coming weeks.

3. The EU

Travel news Europe

  • Big news in the EU, which has altered its travel restrictions in 2 ways this month:
    • Firstly, it is recommending a change in how member states manage travel restrictions, and altering the focus to the individual, away from the region of departure. This means that if a person has a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate and can prove their vaccination, test, or recovery status, this should take precedence over where they are arriving from.
    • Secondly, all member states are shortening the validity of Covid-19 vaccination certificates to 270 days (nine months) across the bloc.
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