The Philippines will welcome back foreign nationals starting Nov. 1 and allow Filipino travelers to leave without Covid-19 antigen tests as the Southeast Asian nation continues to reopen. Religious gatherings in areas under a looser form of quarantine will be allowed up to 30% of seating capacity from 10% previously, Harry Roque, spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte, said in a statement on Friday.

Early this week, the government shortened curfew hours in the capital region and eased stay-at-home order in response to a request from the Cabinet to allow more businesses to thrive. The Philippines, which has the second most number of Covid cases in Southeast Asia, on Thursday reported 1,664 new cases, bringing to total to nearly 364,000.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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