Philippines Travel: COVID-19 Advisory

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Hot Air Balloon Festival 2019 in Cavite, Philippines

Last updated: Aug 14, 2020

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has heavily affected the tourism industry. With travel restrictions put in place to control the further spread of the virus, leisure tourism has been put on hold not just for local travelers in the Philippines, but also for international tourists who wish to explore the country's top tourist spots. 

Guide to the Philippines is committed to ensuring the health safety of travelers who want to enjoy the destinations and experiences offered by our country. This page is a collection of information regarding Philippine new normal travel guidelines imposed by the national and local government units in relation to COVID-19 to help you with your travel plans. 

Is the Philippines open for tourism?

Mount Mayon in Legazpi, AlbayInternational flights to and from the Philippines and domestic flights are limited to essential travel only for returning Filipinos like Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), seafarers, stranded Filipino tourists, and foreigners. 

Domestic destinations are gradually opening for leisure tourism but are limited to locals only in the region with minimum health standards observed: 

  • Boracay - Open for Western Visayas tourists starting June 16

  • Tagaytay - Open for domestic tourists starting September 1

  • Baguio, La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte - Open for domestic tourists residing in the 5 provinces starting September 21

Who are allowed to travel under the different Community Quarantine tiers in the Philippines?

Sirao Flower Garden in Cebu, Philippines The national government in the Philippines through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has imposed tiers of quarantine (community quarantine) per region which are also the basis for which industries and activities are allowed to open/operate. 

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

  • Health and emergency frontline service personnel

  • Government officials and frontline personnel

  • Humanitarian assistance actors (HAA) with authorization

  • Persons traveling for medical/humanitarian reasons

  • Persons going to the airport for travel abroad

  • Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Overseas Filipinos (OF) returning to their residence

  • Other persons transported through the efforts of the national government

  • Priests, Pastors, Imams, or other religious ministers conducting necrological services

  • Immediate family members of deceased (from non-COVID causes) attending the wake

  • Individuals who are working on veterinary clinics

  • Individuals who are working as security personnel in operational industries

  • Persons who will report to work for industries that are allowed to operate

  • Persons who need emergency medical aid or assistance

  • Persons with quarantine passes who will get essentials like food and medicine

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ)

  • Health and emergency frontline service personnel

  • Government officials and frontline personnel

  • Humanitarian assistance actors (HAA) with authorization

  • Persons traveling for medical/humanitarian reasons

  • Persons going to the airport for travel abroad

  • Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Overseas Filipinos (OF) returning to their residence

  • Other persons transported through the efforts of the national government

  • Priests, Pastors, Imams, or other religious ministers conducting necrological services

  • Immediate family members of deceased (from non-COVID causes) attending the wake

  • Individuals who are working on veterinary clinics

  • Individuals who are working as security personnel in operational industries

  • Persons who will report to work for industries that are allowed to operate

  • Persons who need emergency medical aid or assistance

  • Persons with quarantine passes who will get essentials like food and medicine

General Community Quarantine (GCQ)

  • Health and emergency frontline service personnel

  • Government officials and frontline personnel

  • Humanitarian assistance actors (HAA) with authorization

  • Persons traveling for medical/humanitarian reasons

  • Persons going to the airport for travel abroad

  • Repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Overseas Filipinos (OF) returning to their residence

  • Other persons transported through the efforts of the national government

  • Priests, Pastors, Imams, or other religious ministers conducting necrological services

  • Immediate family members of deceased (from non-COVID causes) attending the wake

  • Individuals who are working on veterinary clinics

  • Individuals who are working as security personnel in operational industries

  • Persons who will report to work for industries that are allowed to operate

  • Persons who need emergency medical aid or assistance

  • Persons who will get or buy essentials like food and medicine

  • People traveling within the country with a secured Travel Authority document

  • Individuals attending important gatherings with 10 or less people

  • Individuals traveling to places under GQC and areas not under quarantine, except for leisure purposes

  • Students going to school once face-to-face classes are allowed

Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)

  • Movement for people in areas under MGCQ with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Resumption of all work in the private and public sectors at full capacity with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Public transportation with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Use of private vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles 

  • Resumption of all flights will resume with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Work operations in government offices with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Normal physical classes in schools with enforcement of required minimum health standards

  • Gatherings (including religious gatherings) of up to 10 people with enforcement of required minimum health standards

What are the Restrictions and Requirements for Inbound Travel to the Philippines?

Airplane landing at Legazpi Airport in the PhilippinesInternational flights are allowed to enter the Philippines but arriving passengers should adhere to the precautionary measures, mandatory protocols, and requirements for travelers imposed by the Philippine government

Eligible travelers for inbound travel

  • Filipino nationals

  • Non-Filipino/Foreign spouse and minor children or children with special needs of a Filipino national

  • Non-Filipino/Foreign parent of a minor Filipino child (below 21 years old) or a child with special needs (regardless of age)

  • Accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents

  • Non-Filipino/Foreign seafarers with 9(c) visa

  • Non-Filipino/Foreign nationals with an eligible long-term visa

Conditions of the IATF-EID for inbound travelers

  • Must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry

  • With pre-booked accredited quarantine facility

  • With pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider

  • Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers as set by the National Task Force for COVID-19

The eligible passengers for inbound travel to the Philippines, documentary and other requirements are subject to change. For inquiries and latest updates, you may get in touch with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration:

Telephone: (+632) 8465-2400, (+632) 8524-3769
Facebook: Immigration Helpline PH, Bureau of Immigration
Website: www.immigration.gov.ph

Email: 

What are the Restrictions and Requirements for Domestic Travel in the Philippines?

Manila, Philippines sunset skylineDomestic flights are allowed to operate in the Philippines in areas under GCQ and MGCQ only, but arriving passengers should adhere to the precautionary measures, mandatory protocols, and requirements for travelers imposed by the Philippine government. 

Each destination in the Philippines also has its own set of requirements for domestic travelers mandated by the Local Government Unit (LGU) governing the city or province. 

Eligible travelers for domestic travel

  • Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) – returning or repatriated OFWs and other OFs

  • Locally stranded individuals (LSIs)

    • Foreign nationals or Filipino citizens in a specific locality within the Philippines who have expressed intention to return to their place of residence/home origin."

    • LSIs can be further classified as "workers, students, tourists, or other individuals stranded in various localities while in transit".

  • Health and emergency frontline services personnel

  • Government officials and government frontline personnel

  • Duly authorized humanitarian assistance actors (HIAAs)

  • Persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons

  • Other persons transported through the efforts of the national government upon concurrence of LGUs

  • Anyone crossing the zones for permitted work in the zone of destination and going back home.

Mandatory Documentary Requirements for Domestic Travel

Returning Overseas Filipino (ROF)

  • Identification Card

  • Travel Authority issued by JTF-CV Shield

  • Negative RT-PCR result and Certificate of Quarantine issued by DOH-BOQ

Locally Stranded Individual (LSI)

  • Identification Card

  • Medical Certificate issued by city/municipality

    • LSI is neither a contact, suspect, probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, AND

    • LSI completed 14-day quarantine, OR

    • LSI who has been confirmed COVID-19 case already tested negative twice through RT-PCR.

  • Travel Authority issued by JTF-CV Shield / Permit to Travel

Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR)

  • Official Identification Card or proof of occupation

What are the Required Public Minimum Health Standards in the Philippines?

Hikers' sunrise view at Mount Apo in Davao, Philippines

Photo by the Philippine Department of Tourism

Regardless of the community quarantine tier, the government has imposed the following required minimum health standards that the public and establishments must observe: 

  • Mandatory wearing of face masks
  • Social or physical distancing of at least 1 meter 
  • Mandatory wearing of face shield for public transportation commuters and office workers (effective Aug 15)

Tips for Traveling in the Philippines during COVID-19

Vibrant sunset view in Boracay, PhilippinesTraveling during a pandemic can be challenging because of the restrictions and requirements imposed. Here are some helpful tips you can take note of when traveling in the Philippines during COVID-19: 

1. Prepare your documents in advance based on the requirements of your destination's local government. 

2. Pre-book your hotel for the required quarantine period to avoid inconvenience upon arrival. Here are some quarantine hotels in Metro Manila that you can book:

  • Y2 Residence Hotel Makati Managed by HII (Book here)
  • The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences Makati (Book here)

3. Not all local destinations have government-arranged transfers to/from the airport. You can book private transfers to/from the airport in advance. 

4. Install mobile apps that can help you monitor symptoms during quarantine and get real-time updates on the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines. 

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