With the increasing number of Filipinos getting their Covid-19 vaccine shots, the tourism and airline industries are backing suggestions to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated individuals to encourage domestic tourism.
Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to spread or acquire Covid-19. This was the contention of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, airline industries, and local government units (LGU) in submitting a joint proposal to provide incentives for fully vaccinated travelers in domestic destinations without carrying the additional financial burden of an RT PCR test.
“We want to move heaven and earth to allow fewer restrictions for the fully vaccinated passengers. “It’s time that we open up. The government’s revenue will get depleted, and we have to make sure that we can save the economy,” Concepcion said.
He recently met with Cebu Pacific vice president Alex Reyes, Air Asia CEO Ricky Isla, Philippine Airlines president, and COO Gilbert Sta. Maria, Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, and several LGU executives.
Mayor Mario Reyes Jr. of Coron and Mayor Elizabeth Cervantes of Busuanga, Palawan supported the Reyes’ stand, adding they are already studying reopening their doors for tourists.
“We fully support the stand of Go Negosyo and the rest to make it easier for the fully vaccinated to travel,” said Governor Joeben Miraflores of Aklan, and added he is pushing to ease travel restrictions for 18 years old and below.
For his part, Governor Arthur Yap of Bohol said he has no issue with vaccination-based mobility as long as the vaccine cards presented by travelers are authenticated.
Cebu acting Mayor Michael Rama insisted that the country should move forward by implementing more aggressive, faster, and bolder measures to fight the virus, stressing that “We must adopt freedom with responsibility.”
Concepcion has been pushing the implementation of the “Bakuna Bubble.” This scheme allows greater mobility for vaccinated individuals to help boost the economy and protect the employment of many Filipinos.
A number of countries, including the US, are exempting vaccinated travelers from any quarantine mandates to encourage air travel. In the UK, travel rules are simplified for international travel, international travel, scrapping the need for fully vaccinated passengers from low-risk countries to take costly Covid-19 tests upon arrival.
“Providing greater mobility is now a worldwide standard. If we continue to impose stricter measures when it comes to travel, we will surely be left behind,” Concepcion said. Data from all over the Philippines, more so, all over the world mirror the same thing, that the unvaccinated are at greatest risk to themselves. Restricting them in areas that are high-risk will not be considered discriminatory,” he added.