Published on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020
The Philippines is planning to subsidise COVID-19 tests for tourists in a bid to boost its tourism industry that has been largely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is gradually reopening to domestic travelers. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a recent press statement that the government is considering to shoulder as much as half the cost of COVID-19 swab tests for tourists.
She mentioned that travel vouchers for the subsidised tests from state-run Philippine General Hospital in Manila will be given to tourists but did not elaborate who can qualify. She mentioned that the government wants people to be able to travel, especially this Christmas season. She stated that the cost is prohibitive, but the requirement for testing before travel cannot be removed.
It was also informed that the tourism department is also moving to set uniform requirements for entry to tourist destinations, as different travel protocols set by local governments are “confusing.” The tourism sector accounted for 12.7% of the Philippines’ economic output last year and the country is currently easing movement curbs to boost an economy in recession.