This Airline Wants to Scrap COVID-19 Tests for Fully Vaccinated Visitors
If AirAsia Philippines had its way, airline passengers visiting a city wouldn’t need to present a negative RT-PCR test if they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Airline officials said the test only discourages vaccinated people from traveling as it only adds to the costs.
AirAsia Philippines President Ricky Isla made the announcement following a similar plea by local government units of tourism destinations like Palawan, Aklan, and Cebu. Most travel hotspots in the country still require visitors to present a negative RT-PCR test before they are allowed entry.
“AirAsia is 100 percent behind our LGUs in calling for a more relaxed travel restriction and requirement for fully vaccinated individuals to lessen the cost of air travel,” Isla said. “It is also one way to incentivize those who took the shot and encourage more to do the same.”
“It’s Christmas season in the Philippines, and after almost two years of not being able to travel due to the pandemic, Filipinos would surely want to spend time with family in the provinces or just simply enjoy the beach and the sun in the many leisure destinations in the country.”
Isla, who is also the president of the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), said AirAsia has been implementing measures to strengthen its operations while ensuring that each flight is safe from COVID-19. This includes adding a health travel tile on AirAsia’s app, which integrates the Department of Health’s VaxCertPH to quickly verify the legitimacy and certify a passenger’s vaccination status.
“We are in the final stages of integration and once completed we shall roll out the health travel icon on the Airasia Super App for easy vaccination verification among LGU’s who would accept fully vaccinated individuals,” he said. “This definitely will hasten the recovery of not only the airline industry but the tourism sector as a whole.”
AirAsia is also pushing for the removal of quarantine periods for fully vaccinated international passengers to help attract more international travelers.