Philippines to reopen to some foreign tourists from next week

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Tourists watch sunset aboard sailboats, one day before the temporary closure of the holiday island Boracay, in the Philippines April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

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MANILA, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Philippines will reopen its borders to tourists from some countries on a trial basis from Dec. 1, its government said on Friday, as part of efforts to rebuild an economy hit hard by the pandemic.

Foreigners vaccinated against COVID-19 from countries designated low risk by the Philippines will be allowed entry over an initial 15-day period, Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, told a regular news conference.

"This is something we are doing step by step," Nograles said, adding that the two-week window could be extended.

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The Philippines, popular for its white sand beaches and rich marine life, shut its doors to foreign tourists at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

Its tourism arrivals from top markets Japan, South Korea and China slumped 83% drop to 1.4 million last year.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia have reopened borders to foreign tourists.

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Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty

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