The Philippines Reopens to Vaccinated Foreign Tourists

Mandatory quarantines have been scrapped and holidaymakers are now eligible to stay for up to 30 days.

Rice terraces in Bontoc, on the Philippine island of Luzon. (Photo: Michael Rivera/Unsplash)

Today, the Philippines has finally lifted its two-year ban on international visitors, paving the way for the recovery of its beleaguered tourism industry. Fully vaccinated travelers from 157 countries and territories that have visa-free arrangements with the Southeast Asian nation can now enter, so long as they test negative for Covid-19 beforehand and fulfill a number of other conditions.

To skip quarantine, overseas arrivals must have been inoculated with a vaccine authorized by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration or the WHO more than 14 days before departure. Children below the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement.

As for proof of vaccination, at least 30 countries now accept the Philippines’ vaccine certificate under a reciprocal arrangement, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Records issued by India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam will be recognized, alongside those of European nations such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. But travelers coming in from countries that have not yet forged an agreement with the Philippines, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, will need to carry a WHO international certificate of vaccination.

Other entry requirements include a passport with at least six months’ validity from the time of arrival, and travel insurance for Covid-19 treatment costs with a minimum coverage of US$35,000. Visitors must also register for a One Health Pass within three days of travel, and update it by filling in an online health declaration to acquire a QR code. This must be shown for verification upon arriving at the airport.

Foreign tourists should also present a confirmed hotel booking from a government-accredited provider, and hold return or onward tickets to another destination. (Travelers will not be allowed to stay in the Philippines for more than 30 days.) Another must-have is a negative result from a PCR test within 48 hours of departure, though small children aged three and below do not need to be tested.

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