MANILA, 10 February 2022: Travel and lifestyle brand AirAsia
is advocating for more relaxed travel restrictions to spur regional and
cross-country mobility.

In a statement released earlier this week, the low-cost
airline said it was confident that eased border restrictions would stimulate
the necessary economic activity to prompt the recovery of domestic and
international tourism – the worst-hit sector during the pandemic.

AirAsia believes that two years into the pandemic, countries
have vastly improved their pandemic responses and risk mitigation strategies.
With the accelerated vaccination rates of nations across the world and the
proven effectiveness of standard safety and health protocols such as proper
masking and social distancing, triggering better tourism performance is highly
plausible this year.

Through his LinkedIn account, Capital A Berhad CEO Tony
Fernandes said, “Over the past two years, we have learned to deal with COVID-19
with masks, social distancing and vaccines. But a key lesson that hasn’t sunk
is the futility of long-term travel restrictions.”

According to Fernandes, a better and more sustainable
approach would be to promote cost-effective policies such as the massive and
speedy inoculation of the greater population. He added, “We should not ban
things just to be seen as decisive. Measures should always aim to be
proportionate and minimally disruptive.”

AirAsia lauds and supports the Philippine government’s plan
to speed up the vaccination of its population, with the third stretch of the
nationwide vaccination programme and the inoculation of minors from the 5 to 11
age bracket starting 10 February. To date, 59.81 million Filipinos are fully
vaccinated against Covid-19, while 60.65 million got their first dose of the
vaccine and over eight million have received their boosters. The Philippines
targets to inoculate 90 million individuals by the first half of 2022.

The travel and lifestyle brand also welcomes the national
government’s decision to open its international border with more relaxed travel
and quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated returning Filipinos and foreign
travellers. This also coincides with the increase in NAIA’s arrival cap to
5,000.

“We commend the Philippines’ sustainable approach
toward travel. We can only hope that more countries in the ASEAN follow suit in
strategically considering the upsides of relaxed border restrictions to their
economic recovery. We at AirAsia will continue to support such measures while
also consistently being a champion of safe travel,” added Fernandes.

AirAsia Philippines, meanwhile, announced that nine of its
domestic destinations – Cebu, Clark, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos City,
Davao, Tagbilaran, Kalibo, Caticlan, Tacloban – no longer require negative
RT-PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers, with the exemption to Puerto
Princesa City which only requires a negative Antigen test for fully vaxxed
guests. Unvaccinated Minors (17 and below) are also now being accepted in most
leisure destinations subject to the guidelines set by the respective Local
Government Units (LGUs).