Philippines Offers Free COVID-19 Booster Shots to Japanese Tourists

TOKYO – Fully vaccinated Japanese tourists can avail of free booster jabs against COVID-19 when they visit popular tourist destinations in the Philippines.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who led the Philippine delegation to Japan to market and promote the country as a safe travel destination in the new normal, introduced the program to entice Japanese leisure travelers who have yet to receive their third dose.

“This will enable Japanese tourists to go back to Japan without having to do quarantine,” the Department of Tourism (DOT) said in a news release.

Japan has consistently been the Philippines’ fourth-biggest tourism source market prior to the pandemic. In 2019, the country recorded 682,788 tourists from Japan.

Last Feb. 10, the Philippines reopened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign travelers, requiring them to only present proof of vaccination, valid negative RT-PCR tests, travel insurance, and outbound tickets.

The country welcomed 2,125 leisure travelers from Japan as of March 20, the DOT said. - Florenda Corpuz

(Article cover photo: Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat engages Japanese media in a meet and greet activity at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on March 15. Din Eugenio)