To boost economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic, House Deputy Speaker Michael Romero on Friday proposed to partially reopen the country to foreign travelers and returning Filipinos from overseas who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In a statement, Romero said the government should partially open up the country with the tourism and retail sectors to welcome inoculated visitors “for starters”.
“Let us open our country to all the fully vaccinated people into our country, so that our hotels, airlines, restaurants, shopping malls, and related retail establishments can operate at full capacity,” Romero said.
He noted that there are over 1 billion Covid-19 shots that had been administered globally.
He said these vaccinated individuals should be allowed to visit the country as long as they present their valid vaccination cards upon boarding at the point of origin.
“Filipinos need jobs, food, and other basic needs. This is the only way!” he said. “We cannot sit and just wait for the world to revolve. We already did the world’s longest lockdown. Government has to be proactive, we need to progress, move forward.”
He said the inoculated visitors could undergo Covid-19 swab tests once they arrive in the country to ensure that they are not infected with the virus.
National Task Force (NTF) chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said some 1,809,801 doses have been administered to priority groups under categories A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) in the country based on recent data.
About 1,065,728 healthcare workers, 240,221 senior citizens, and 256,866 persons with comorbidities have been vaccinated since the government’s vaccine rollout started on March 1.
Galvez said beginning August, the country is slated to receive a stable supply of around 15 to 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from various pharmaceutical firms -- Sinovac-Biotech, Gamaleya Research Institute, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech and from the COVAX Facility. (PNA)