Starting February 16, all unvaccinated travelers whether Filipinos or foreigners would be barred entry to the Philippines, although Filipinos coming from countries with high-risk status for new and emerging Covid-19 strain will be allowed to fly in direct on commercial flights.

In a resolution, the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said all travelers arriving in the Philippines are required to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 starting February 16.

This is the first time the Philippine government has discriminated against unvaccinated international passengers from coming to the Philippines.

A fully vaccinated individual must have received a second primary jab at least two weeks prior to the flight, or in the case of Jannsen vaccine, a single-dose jab.

The Covid-19 vaccines that the Philippine government recognizes are those given Emergency Use Authorization or Compassionate Special Permit by the Food and Drug Administration, including Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac (Coronavac), Sputnik V, Janssen, Covaxin, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Covovax.

WHO-approved vaccines Nuvaxovid, Covishield, Covavax, and Vero Cell will also be accepted.

There are, however, exemptions for the no-vaccine, no-entry rule, which are children below 18 years of age, people medically unable to receive Covid-19 vaccine as certified by a competent public health authority in the port of origin, and diplomats and their qualified dependents.

The Civil Aeronautics Board has been directed to mandate the airlines to require foreigners traveling to the Philippines to present proof of full vaccination prior to boarding flights to any points in the Philippines.

Covid-19 vaccination certificates issued by the authorities of Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand will be recognized by the Philippines.

As well as certificates from the Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Without a vaccine ID from these countries, travelers need to get a WHO-issued International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICV).

Authorities will keep movement restrictions in its capital from January 16 to 31, while allowing quarantine-free entry for some foreign arrivals even as daily Covid-19 infections and the percentage of positive tests hit record highs.

Metro Manila, which accounts for a third of economic output, will remain under Alert Level 3, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles said in a briefing. Outdoor restaurants can operate at half capacity, while cinemas, gyms and other indoor businesses are limited to 30 percent capacity.

Fully vaccinated travelers from low-risk areas, including China, India and Japan no longer need to quarantine, as long as they have a negative RT-PCR test 48 hours before departure. Arrivals from high-risk areas are also now allowed subject to quarantine and testing protocols.

The post-holiday spike in infections has led to tighter limits on businesses in the capital, disrupted airlines and banks, and shortened stock trading. Hospital beds in the capital are again filling up, with the unvaccinated accounting for most severe and critical cases, prompting the government to restrict movement.