The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on the tourism industry. The Philippines is opening up to leisure tourists, but there are travel limitations in place to prevent the virus from spreading further.
We’ve compiled the information you’ll need to plan your holiday in the new normal for those who want to visit the Philippines’ re-opened sites and top tourist attractions. Read on to learn which Philippine sites are open to leisure travel, what the travel requirements are, and other national and local government restrictions and recommendations.
Is the Philippines open for tourism?
No, not for international passengers.
Outside of the Philippines, international travelers or foreign citizens are not permitted to engage in leisure tourism. International flights and inbound travel to the Philippines are restricted to eligible travelers only.
Yes, domestic travelers (to re-opened destinations only and with restrictions)
Domestic tourists are permitted to travel within the Philippines, but only to a restricted number of destinations and with certain limitations. Some destinations restrict leisure tourism to locals only.
Is it possible for foreigners to visit the Philippines?
No, save for individuals going for vital purposes or with a Filipino spouse or parent, foreigners are not permitted to enter the Philippines. Those who qualify for an exception will be given access if they can show the necessary documentation.
Is it now possible for foreigners to enter the Philippines?
No. Only the following foreigners are currently permitted to enter the Philippines:
- Balikbayans under RA 6768 – This is restricted to nationals of non-visa-required nations, former Filipinos, and those traveling with a Filipino or former Filipino spouse or parent, as defined by EO 408.
- Foreign citizens with valid and current visas – Those with a 9(a) visa must submit an entry exception paperwork issued by the country’s foreign post.
Is it safe to visit the Philippines at this time?
In terms of health, the national government and local government entities have put in place safety standards to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Face masks are used, social distance is maintained, and a negative COVID-19 test result and/or a vaccination card or certificate are required while crossing local borders.
If you follow these guidelines, your chances of developing the condition will be reduced. Tourist destinations are generally safe, but it’s always a good idea to stay aware, safeguard your valuables, and exercise caution while conversing with strangers.
Is it legal for US citizens to travel to the Philippines?
No. Travel to the Philippines is restricted to US nationals who are Balikbayans or who are going with a Filipino or former Filipino spouse or parent. Those with valid and current visas are also permitted to enter.
What requirements are foreigners required to present to enter the Philippines?
Travel to the Philippines without a visa is restricted. Below are the following requirements for foreigners traveling to the Philippines:
- Must come from a non-visa required country under EO 408
- Those traveling with their Filipino spouses and parents need to provide proof of filiation
Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas
- ACR I-Card with valid visa
- Those having a 9(a) visa must show an entry exception paperwork issued by the country’s foreign post.
In addition, all arriving tourists must be quarantined at an authorized quarantine hotel or facility. The length of the quarantine varies depending on the classification of the passenger’s place of origin and their vaccination status, however each tourist must provide a confirmed booking as part of the entry requirements.
Countries on the Green List, Yellow List, and Countries Subject to the Philippine Travel Ban
For all countries and territories, the IATF has established three classes.
- Green countries are those that are considered to have a low risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Yellow countries are those that are considered to be at a moderate risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Countries that are considered as having a high risk of COVID-19 infection are labeled red.
The countries on the Green List are:
- American Samoa
- China (Mainland)
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China)
- Marshall Islands
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Sint Eustatius
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
The Yellow List includes a number of countries.
The yellow list includes countries that do not appear on either the green or red lists.
Those who arrive in the Philippines fully vaccinated from yellow nations must undertake a 6-day quarantine in a government-approved facility. On the fifth day of quarantine, they must get an RT-PCR test. After that, there must be a four-day quarantine at home.
Upon arrival in the Philippines, unvaccinated travelers from yellow-list nations must undertake an 8-day quarantine in a government-approved facility. On the seventh day, they must take an RT-PCR test, as well as an additional six days of home confinement after their facility-based quarantine.
The countries on the “Red List”
Those from the nations on the Red List are prohibited from entering the Philippines. Filipinos returning to the Philippines via official and non-government repatriation and bayahinan flights are the sole exceptions.
The following territories are on the red list (from November 16 to November 30, 2021):
- The Faroe Islands are a group of islands off the coast of
The implementation of limits on international flights is for the safety of passengers as well as personnel who are working 24 hours a day to combat the pandemic. All we have to do is follow, keep safe, and be informed about the latest changes in the travel environment.
All of this is transient; be calm and you will be able to overcome it; and, confidently speaking, we will be back to normal.