philippines reopening borders

Philippines Prepares To Reopen for Tourism “Soon”, Says Government 

The Philippines might reopen for tourism “soon,” according to a statement issued by the government on Nov. 19.

For now, only fully vaccinated nationals, residents permit holders, and those traveling for essential reasons visiting from low-risk countries are now allowed entry. 

Arrivals must submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours prior to boarding and undergo a  7-day quarantine at a government-approved quarantine hotel.

Unvaccinated visitors must quarantine for 14 days. 

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Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours.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

Philippines Reopening

November 20 – Philippines prepares to reopen for tourism “soon,” says government. 

The Philippines has approved a reopening plan to allow fully vaccinated tourists from “green” countries to visit the nation “soon”, the Tourism Ministry said Friday. 

“Allowing tourists from green countries or territories that have the majority of its population vaccinated and with low infection rate, will greatly help in our recovery efforts, increasing tourist arrivals and receipts among others,” said the minister in a statement.

For the time being, the Philippines includes on its “green” list of approved countries Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and India, among others.

November 4 – The Philippines might be getting ready to reopen its borders 

“More Fun Awaits,” the recent campaign unveiled by the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) promoting new tourism products and packages appears to be strong evidence that the country might be preparing for reopening in the coming months. 

But that’s not all; according to the plan, fully vaccinated tourists will be welcomed and transported directly to tourist spots, bypassing hotel quarantines.

“That is why we prioritized the vaccinations of tourism workers so we can start accepting domestic tourists and eventually foreign tourists,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat told reporters recently. 

COVID-19 situation in the Philippines

The CDC has ranked the Philippines as a level 3 travel risk.

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines
Source

As of November 20, the country has reported 2,824,499 cases of COVID-19 and 46,903 deaths.

Why Visit the Philippines?

Beach in 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. 


Philippines Reopening: Update Archives

October 21 – the Philippines started to ease domestic COVID-19 restrictions on Oct. 16

The Philippines has started to lift the lockdown restrictions as of Oct. 16, 2021, allowing more businesses to operate in Manila at reduced capacity.

Meetings, conferences, and exhibitions are now permitted, as well as social events such as weddings, and tourist attractions such as museums, parks, and others.

“We are almost out of the tunnel and beginning to see the light,” Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, said it would help create more jobs and accelerate the economic recovery.

October 5 – The Philippines further eases COVID-19 restrictions amidst worst spike of coronavirus in Asia

The Philippines eased its COVID-19 restrictions allowing more business to resume activities as the country struggles with record numbers of daily cases.

With 38,294 total deaths, the country has the second-highest casualties in Southeast Asia. 

Regardless of the negative pandemic numbers, the government had to make such a decision due to the economic hardship millions of citizens are facing, said Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr., in a T.V. interview.

Despite the new policy, there are still no signs from the government that it is ready to reopen for foreign tourists this year. 

September 13 – The Philippines lifted travel restrictions for other 10 countries including the UAE

Last week, Duterte’s government decided to lift travel restrictions on visitors from the UAE, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The country remains closed for tourism. This step in Vietnam’s international reopening process only includes some categories of travelers.

For now, only Filipino citizens, foreign spouses, and parents or children of Filipino citizens, diplomats, and foreign nationals with valid visas are permitted entry.

Source: NTravel

August 31 – Philippines will reopen economy when vaccination rate reaches 70% to 80%, says government 

Local lockdowns will end as long as local government units (LGUs) are able to vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of their population. 

Presidential adviser Joey Concepcion stated that the country could start creating “mall and restaurant bubbles” for fully vaccinated people to help recover the economy.

“We can only do this in an LGU once we have achieved the target of getting 70 to 80 percent vaccinations in that LGU,” Conception said.

On the other side, Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Steven Cochrane considers that the Philippines’ policies to face COVID-19 will create delays on the economic recovery. 

Source: Business World

August 16 – Philippines extends travel ban on the UAE and other 9 countries until August 31

The Philippines has extended its travel ban on passengers visiting from the UAE, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr confirmed the President’s decision and also added that “this is a proactive measure amid the implementation of international border control 

because of Covid-19 Delta variant,” Roque Jr said.

Last Saturday, hundreds of hospitals reported to be reaching full capacity. Indeed, some of them have already run out of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients. 

August 2 – The Philippines’ capital to go under total lockdown from August 6 to 20

The Philippines will return 13 million Manila people to lockdown to curb the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, said government on July 27.

For 14 days, dine-in services in restaurants will not be allowed, and religious gatherings will be suspended. Other essential businesses such as barber shops can operate at 30% capacity. 

Additionally, President Rodrigo Duterte warned that those who refuse to get vaccinated will not be allowed to leave their homes to protect other citizens’ lives. 

He stated he’s ready to keep people who are “throwing viruses left and right” off the streets. “Well, for all I care, you can die anytime,” said Duterte.

Source: SCMP News

July 22 – The Philippines might enforce new additional restrictions this week

The Philippines has garnered a reputation for having one of the toughest and longest lockdowns in the world.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said that he will not recommend enforcing any more restrictions at the government’s pandemic task force meeting this week due to concerns related to the economy. 

However, President Rodrigo Duterte said it could be necessary “to reimpose stricter measures” as Delta cases rise and according to Lopez, Duterte has the final say.

Source: CNN

July 2 – Philippines to allow fully vaccinated visitors from 57 countries from July 1.

First and foremost, the Philippines is not open for tourism just yet. However, this is a major change in the country’s rather strict entry requirements.

Until June 30, only people who were vaccinated – in the Philippines – could visit. Now returning nationals and those visiting for compelling reasons from 57 low- risk countries are also allowed with a reduced 7-day quarantine.

“To those who received full vaccination outside the Philippines, you need to bring the official documents stating you were already vaccinated,” said Harry Roque in an online press conference on Tuesday.

Source: GulfNews

June 17 – The Philippines reopening date is “difficult to predict” says the government 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has recently stated that the date in which the Philippines will reopen for tourism is “difficult to predict” due to the new COVID-19 variants.

The Philippines is not alone in this uncertain world. Romulo-Puyat also mentioned that their Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ counterparts are experiencing the same issue.   

“When I last spoke with my ASEAN tourism counterparts, nobody could give a date [to reopen] because of the volatility of the situation, especially with the new variants,” she said.

On the other hand, the country has eased domestic restrictions thanks to a drop in local case transmission. 

Gyms, skating rinks, racket courts and museums in metropolitan Manila and adjacent provinces are now allowed to reopen at a limited capacity. 

(Source: GMANews)

June 4 – The Philippines Bureau of Immigration supports the new reopening proposal  

The Philippines has been closed to international tourists and even to their own nationals for most of the pandemic. 

But enough is enough. At least, this is what several government sectors have expressed over the last month. 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat recently asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow the setting up of “green lanes” to permit fully vaccinated foreing visitors to come back and consequently, being able to reemploy thousands of jobless Filipinos. 

Fortunately, she is not alone in her claims. The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has already backed her up. 

“The bureau supports this initiative by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as it will not only resuscitate our tourism industry, but also generate employment for millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs due to the pandemic,” […] “opening the country’s borders to international leisure travelers will also hasten the revival of the commercial aviation and shipping industries severely affected by the pandemic,” said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente in a statement. 

(Source: Manila Bulletin)

May 20 – Lapu-Lapu City in the Philippines has reopened for domestic tourism and returning residents

It’s confirmed. After 6 months of a severe lockdown, Lapu-Lapu city, home to the second busiest airport in the Philippines has reopened its posh resorts and the rest of tourist spots for domestic tourism. The Kawasan Falls in Badian town and resorts in Malapascua, Sumilon and Bantayan, are now open to local visitors and returning residents who had been banned from entering the country some weeks ago.

Cebu police director Col. Engelbert Soriano sent policemen to ensure all health protocols are observed. 

As of yet, the country continues to be closed for international tourism. However, Mayor Junard Chan is reportedly lobbying to make it possible to also reopen it to international visitors. 

Chan cited Resolution 113 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which states foreigners can enter the country by providing they have a valid visa and pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited hotel or facility. 

The central government has not replied yet.