(File photo)

MANILA – Travelers from Hong Kong and Macau are allowed to stay in the country without a visa for at least 14 days, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Saturday.

Nationals of Israel and Brazil may also again enter the Philippines visa-free for an initial stay of 59 days.

The said privilege was extended to citizens of the two countries under a reciprocal arrangement wherein Filipinos are also allowed entry into Israel and Brazil for 59 days without a visa.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the relaxed policy is provided in the latest resolution passed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Friday. 

The resolution revived a Philippine foreign service circular that was in effect before the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

"This is a welcome development which expands the list of those who may enter the country visa-free,” Morente said.

“Hopefully this attracts more foreign tourists to visit the Philippines in the next few weeks, in time for the summer season," he added.

The BI reported that in 2019, there were more than 5,000 arrivals from Hong Kong and over 3,000 from Macau SAR (Special Administrative Region).

In the same period, almost 25,000 Israelis and around 13,000 Brazilians visited the Philippines. (PNA)