The Philippines is not open for tourism and has recently tightened again to all foreign visitors and even returning Filipino nationals.
The handful of allowed visitors must submit a negative COVID-19 test result and will be subject to an additional COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the airport.
Visitors also need to book a room at a government-approved quarantine hotel or facility where they will have to take an additional test the sixth day from the date of their arrival.
As of now, the Philippines borders remain closed for tourism and the country is under curfew and interstate travel ban.
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Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.
Philippines Reopening – LATEST UPDATES
May 1 – Philippines to toughen local restriction until May 14 to contain the new coronavirus wave
The Philippines is experiencing one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia. With no vaccines or medical supplies to attend patients, the government has had to take tough decisions to control the spread of the virus.
From today, all non-essential movement or gatherings are banned. Restaurants will need to fully close in Manila and in the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite until May 14.
Under the new restrictions, and according to recommendations from the Department of Health, President Rodrigo Duterte added new areas to the general community quarantine to take pressure off overwhelmed hospitals.
Areas under full lockdown until May 14
- Baguio City
- Davao City
- Lanao del Sur
- Mountain Province
- Nueva Vizcaya
April 16 – The Philippines’ President to take control over private facilities by force due to the pandemic emergency.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office has announced today that President Rodrigo Duterte, will “invoke the police power” to take control over private hotels and health facilities since the country’s health system is about to collapse.
“We are in a critical condition, there is no space for the doctors and the nurses to move and stay healthy, then we begin to exercise the police power of the state. When we are pushed to the wall, either by the microbe itself or by external, internal, I can always order the military and the police to go there and confiscate the operation of the hotels,” President Duterte said on national T.V. yesterday.
Duterte also mentioned that this one is their less favorite option and it could be damaging in a democratic country such as the Philippines. But given that the country is the middle of an international competition with many other developing countries to secure the few vaccines that the rich countries left, they may need to proceed this way until they can guarantee a massive vaccination rollout.
President Rodrigo Duterte has recently said that he will be reopening the country’s economy soon. “I have to reopen the economy. I have given a timetable of just weeks. The President also called for a quick vaccination because “the economy must be opened in a short while.”
The Philippines plans to immunize 70 million of its 108 million people this year. However, the country is experiencing a shortage of vaccines because the government took too long to negotiate with the big pharma.
Update March 11
Effective March 20, the Philippine government will ban the entry of all international tourists and even returning Philippine citizens who cannot prove they are part of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
This rather strict restriction will be enforced from March 20, 2021, until April 19, 2021. Additionally, the country will only allow 1,500 international passengers per day.
- This a list of the people who will be exempt from the entry ban:
- Holders of 9(e) visas
- Medical repatriation travelers and their companions who are endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- Distressed Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) duly endorsed by DFA-OUMWA;
- Emergency, humanitarian, and other cases approved by the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
Update – February 19
On February 19, the Filipino government decided to open its doors to long-term visa holders. Foreign arrivals will have to undergo health protocols set by the “Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
The Philippines hasn’t vaccinated a single citizen just yet. President Rodrigo Duterte blames the rich countries that, according to him, “bought all the supplies”. Despite that, the country is getting ready to receive its first batch of vaccines at the end of the month.
Update – January 15
The Philippines extended the travel ban for 2 more weeks, until January 31. Travelers from more than 30 territories and countries are not allowed to enter. (Source: Reuters.com)
The Philippines initially opened for tourists on June 1st, but…
While the government gave the provinces the green light to open for tourism on Jun. 1, 2020, provinces were reluctant to accept tourists due to Covid-19 fears. As the number of cases climbed, borders had to be close again.
Travelers need to be aware of the current quarantine status of the area they are traveling to.
Regardless of the region, all visitors and residents must comply with social distancing rules, wash their hands frequently, and wear masks.
COVID-19 situation in the Philippines
The CDC has ranked the Philippines as a level 3 travel risk.
As of May 1, the country has reported 1,046,653 cases of COVID-19 with 957,051 deaths.
Prior to the pandemic, the Philippines was one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. Now it is in recession.
The virus’ effect on tourism is part of the problem. In 2019, over 8 million tourists came to the Philippines, and the tourist industry accounted for 13% of the country’s GDP. Almost 1 in every 7 Filipinos worked in the tourist sector.
Now with the lockdowns, many of them are out of work with no end in sight. This has motivated the government to try to open up the country, but it has been a slow process.
Why Visit the Philippines?
The Philippines is a wonderful place for a tropical escape. It’s warm and, with more than 7,000 islands, has miles of white sand beaches for visitors to relax on.
The waters are crystal clear and provide opportunities for snorkelers, divers, kayakers, and fishermen.
Some of these locations, such as Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao, constantly make it into the top beach destinations in the world.
There are also other natural wonders, such as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the longest navigable underground river in the world. Travelers can take a tour through a cave system filled with impressive formations.
Tourists can also enjoy unique cuisine, vibrant local festivals, and some of the friendliest people in the world. Because the locals usually speak English, visitors find it easy to communicate.
Filipinos are proud of their country and love to answer visitors’ questions.
It’s also an inexpensive travel destination. Travelers can get a day tour for about $20 and decent meals for under $5.
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