The Philippines reopens to fully vaccinated international travelers

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Starting 10 February, the Philippines has reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from visa-free countries.

The Philippines has lifted a nearly two-year ban on foreign travelers in a lifesaving boost for its tourism and related industries as its Omicron-fuelled COVID-19 surge eases.

Key points:

  • Tourists who are fully vaccinated and test negative for the virus will be allowed to enter the Philippines
  • The Philippines government hopes the border reopening will restore jobs and revenue in tourism
  • Originally, the reopening was scheduled for December 1 but was pushed back because of Omicron

From 10th February, foreign travelers from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the Philippines — who have been fully vaccinated and have tested negative for the virus — will be welcomed back and will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival.

The Philippines government also ended a risk classification system that banned travelers from the worst-hit countries. “We will begin the next chapter in the road to recovery,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

She added that the border reopening would restore jobs and generate revenue across tourism-related enterprises and communities.

The Philippines imposed one of the world’s longest lockdowns and strictest, police-enforced quarantine restrictions to quell a pandemic that caused its worst economic recession since the 1940s and pushed unemployment and hunger to record levels.

More than a million Filipinos lost their jobs in tourism businesses and destinations in the first year of the pandemic alone, according to government statistics. Tourism destinations, including popular beach and tropical island resorts, resembled ghost towns at the height of pandemic lockdowns, and a volcanic eruption and typhoons exacerbated losses.

Now, Fully-vaccinated tourists from visa-free countries no longer have to undergo quarantine. Travelers must have received the second dose in a two-dose series or a single dose vaccine more than 14 days prior to the date of departure from the country of origin.

The vaccine used must be one that is authorized by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). Children below 12 years old, regardless of vaccination status, can also travel to the country. They will follow the protocol for the accompanying fully-vaccinated foreign parent.

“These are exciting times for Philippine tourism. We have been ready since 2020; with the significant dwindling of new COVID cases, the Department of Tourism (DOT) can now push forward with our plans and programs for the full recovery of the Philippine tourism industry,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a virtual forum.

“Allowing the entry of these international travelers is a welcome development that will lead to growth in the travel and tourism sector, the restoration of lost jobs, the generation of much-needed revenue for tourism-related enterprises, tourism communities and the government, plus many other benefits that will be felt by the entire tourism value chain,” she added.

Here are the requirements if you plan to travel to the Philippines:

  1. Visitors must be fully-vaccinated with any of the following proofs:
    1. WHO International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis
    2. VaxCertPH
    3. National/ state digital certificate of a foreign government that has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement
    4. Other proofs of vaccination permitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)
  1. Your Passport must be valid for at least six (6) months at the time of arrival to the Philippines.
  2. Obtain travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs, with a minimum of USD35,000 coverage for the full duration of your stay in the Philippines.
  3. Register at onehealthpass.com.ph/ at least three (3) days prior to departure to get a QR Code. The following are the documents to be submitted:
    1. Proof of vaccination (except for children below 12 years old, who will follow the protocol for the accompanying parent or guardian)
    2. Confirmed bookings from hotels or accommodation establishments that are accredited by the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT)
    3. Return flight tickets to your port of origin or next destination, which should be not later than 30 days from the date of arrival in the Philippines
    4. Negative result of RT-PCR Test taken within 48 hours prior to departure. Only children who are three (3) years old and below are exempted from this requirement.
Devendra Grover
Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He ventured into business, forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited, a twenty-year-old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of Travel and Tourism, Fashion and Lifestyle, Aviation, and Hospitality Industry. Connect with Devender Grover @ [email protected]