Philippines travel guide: what you need to know as the UAE is added to the green list

With more destinations, including the UAE and Oman, on the country's green list, here's everything you need to know if you're planning to visit

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The Philippines has extended its green list, adding the UAE and Oman to destinations from where visitors can travel without supervised quarantine.

This means travellers who are fully vaccinated will not need to undergo quarantine in a facility as long as they have a negative PCR result within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

The news comes a week after the Philippines was added to Abu Dhabi's green list, allowing quarantine-free travel to the UAE for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

The Asian country implemented a new traffic light system to replace the blanket travel ban on some destinations in September. The travel ban to the Philippines was first introduced in April in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The UAE had been on the list since May 15.

If you're thinking of travelling to the Philippines soon, here's a handy guide with the key information you’ll need to know before you go.

Who can travel?

Currently, only some travellers can fly to the Philippines without quarantine according to the country's Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

People allowed to enter the country include Filipino citizens, foreign spouses, and parents or children of Filipino citizens with valid visas.

Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas, or with entry exemption documents, and diplomats are also allowed to travel to the Philippines.

Is the Philippines open for tourists?

No, the Philippines is not yet open for tourism and entry for foreign tourists remains suspended. No visa on arrival services are operational at this time.

However, Bloomberg reported on November 11 that a travel bubble between the Philippines and South Korea could revive the country's pandemic-hit tourism sector. If this happens, it will be the first sign of international tourism restarting in the Philippines.

What do I need to do before travelling to the Philippines?

International travellers and returning Filipinos who wish to enter the Philippines are required to register their details via the One Health Pass portal. After registration, a QR code will be issued to travellers and must be presented upon arrival in the country. A form is needed for each individual travelling, including children.

Before arriving in the country, travellers should also download the Traze app and there is a mandatory face shield policy in place for those on flights to or from the country, so passengers must ensure they wear this at all times during their journey.

What PCR tests do I need to take?

Before flying to the Philippines, travellers need to submit a negative PCR test result that should be taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

Upon arrival, there will be further testing so travellers should expect delays at terminals. Filipino passengers will undergo a PCR test free of charge on arrival. All permitted foreign travellers must cover the cost of their on-arrival PCR test.

Do I need to quarantine?

Yes, all arriving passengers flying to the Philippines must quarantine on arrival. This applies to Filipino citizens and foreigners and is not dependent on Covid-19 vaccination status.

How long do I have to quarantine in the Philippines?

The length of time you’ll need to quarantine in the Philippines depends on the country you depart from and whether it is classified by authorities as a red, green or yellow destination. If you've been in any other country 14 days before travelling to the Philippines, you will need to take that into consideration and your Covid-19 vaccination status may also impact quarantine duration.

All travellers arriving from red list destinations will have to complete 14 days of quarantine, at least 10 of which will be in a government-approved hotel. Foreigners are not allowed to travel to the Philippines from red list destinations. Only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation, and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry from red-listed countries.

For any vaccinated travellers coming from a yellow country, there’s a 14-day quarantine period, the first five nights of which must be at a government-approved hotel. If travellers receive a negative Covid-19 test result after the fifth day, they can continue the remainder of their isolation period at home. Unvaccinated travellers from yellow countries must spend the first seven nights in an approved hotel. Foreigners must pre-book at least six days in such a hotel before flying to the country.

These travellers will have a PCR test on day seven, and if they get a negative test result on day 10, can complete the remaining four days of isolation at home. This is the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

Travellers flying from green list destinations who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have a negative PCR test before flying do no need to undergo quarantine in a hotel but can self-isolate at home until the 14th day, with the first day being the date of arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers flying from green countries must follow the rules in place for travellers from yellow countries.

What is the new traffic light system for travel?

Alongside lifting a Covid-19 travel ban on passengers from 10 destinations, a traffic light system has been rolled out for travel to the Philippines.

Previously, the country only had a green list of countries from where fully vaccinated travellers were allowed a shorter quarantine time. The Inter-Agency Task Force has now approved yellow and red classifications for destinations, with allocations based on the countries’ Covid-19 incidence rates.

Yellow list countries have a moderate risk of Covid-19 transmission. Red countries are high-risk.

The Philippines' green list : UAE and Oman added

Travellers flying to the Philippines from green list destinations who are fully vaccinated will only have to self-isolate at home, as long as they have a negative PCR test before travelling.

There are currently 45 destinations on the most up-to-date green list, which comes into effect on Thursday, November 16. They are:

  • American Samoa
  • Bhutan
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Falkland Islands
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Paraguay
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Taiwan
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Which airlines are flying to the Philippines?

Philippine Airlines is operating to and from Manila and Cebu to several destinations around the world. The airline flies regularly from the Filipino capital to Dubai, Riyadh, Dammam and Doha.

Cebu Pacific, the largest airline in the Philippines, is also flying to Dubai.

Emirates flies daily to Manila from Dubai and Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, is also operating flights to and from the Filipino capital and Abu Dhabi.

Which vaccinations are accepted in the Philippines?

Travellers that have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel with an approved vaccination and who are arriving from a green list country, will have a shorter quarantine period.

Accepted vaccines include:

· Oxford-AstraZeneca

· Covishield

· Janssen

· Moderna

· Pfizer-BioNTech

· Sinopharm

· Sinovac

Updated: November 15, 2021, 3:35 AM