Philippines welcomes back international tourists

The Philippines reopened to international tourists on February 10, almost two years after the government shut down the country and the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the economy.

Fully-vaccinated citizens of more than 150 countries with visa-free entry to the Philippines — including the United States, Canada, UK, Japan and Australia – no longer have to quarantine at a designated facility if they show negative RT-PCR results within 48 hours of arrival and proof of vaccination.

They also need a passport valid for at least six months, a return ticket to their country of origin no later than 30 days from arrival, and travel insurance worth $35,000 for COVID-19 treatment.

Before this latest change, only Filipino nationals and their dependents, former Filipino nationals with an old passport or birth certificate, and foreign nationals with a valid visa could enter.

It’s welcome news for foreign tourists, as well as millions of Filipinos and their families who live outside of their motherland and have been unable to travel home to see relatives or do business.

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated or fail to present valid proof of vaccination are subject to the quarantine process and post-arrival COVID test swabbing. Parents of unvaccinated minors between 12 and 17 years old must stay with their children in a quarantine hotel for five days and until negative test results are released.

As with any international travel during the pandemic, always research the latest protocols before you book a trip. Many countries still require travelers from the Philippines to quarantine when they return, so plan for that. Flag carrier Philippine Airlines requires passengers to present all documentation before boarding, so plan ahead or you will not be allowed on the plane.

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