A DAY after the Department of Health confirmed the presence of two mutated virus strains believed to be a Philippine COVID-19 variant, the government made an announcement allowing the entry of foreigners with valid visas except for tourists.
In a televised message aired over the state-run PTV-4, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that foreign nationals who would be allowed entry starting March 1 are those who have legitimate business in the country, working here and those who are married to a Filipino national or have kids living in the Philippines.
Prior to Roque’s announcement only foreigners with issued visas dated March 20, 2020 onwards were allowed to enter the Philippines in view of the continuing global pandemic scare.
“Ito po iyon mga namumuhunan [sa Pilipinas], nagnenegosyo, nagtatrabaho, may kamag-anak na asawa, anak sa Pilpinas, halos lahat ng dayuhan except ang mga turista,” Roque said.
Interestingly, foreign nationals wishing to enter the Philippines to visit tourist destinations or see his or her fiancée remain restricted, added Roque who hinted that love is not in any way a form of tourism.
“Yes, love is not tourism, pero naka-tourist visa pa rin iyon. Maghintay-intay lang po tayo,” Roque quipped.