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Philippines lifts travel ban, foreign nationals allowed starting May 1

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Due to the rising cases of COVID-19, the Philippines suspended the entry of foreign nationals back in March 22. However, starting May 1, the travel ban is lifted and foreign nationals are once again allowed to enter the country.

These are the conditions that must be met in order for a foreign national to enter the Philippines:

  • they must have a valid and existing visa, except for those under Balikbayan Program
  • they must have pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility
  • they must be subject to COVID-19 testing on the sixth day of arrival
  • they are subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers (1,500 per day) at the port and the date of entry

There are exceptions. According to Presidential Spokesperson, Harry Roque, “Travel restrictions, however, shall continue to be in effect for those coming from India or those with travel history to India.” For a list of who are allowed to travel to the Philippines, click here as posted in the Official Bureau of Immigration’s Facebook Page.

I will probably be NOT visiting the Philippines anytime soon

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, to those who have a limited amount of vacation, such as those who plan on visiting for two to three weeks, I believe that the current conditions are still quite prohibitive, and not the most cost efficient. How so?

  • Mandatory 7-day quarantine, that to me, takes a big chunk of my vacation time.
  • Costs associated with getting an accredited quarantine facility where you are not allowed to leave the hotel.
    • I also learned that if a couple, for instance, a husband and wife, and kids were to travel, the husband and the wife will need their own separate room (separate booking), and the kids will have to go with one of the adults. Again, very cost-prohibitive, if you ask me.
  • You are also in charge of paying for your own tests, and if you have a large family, the testing costs could eat up some of your vacation money.
  • Plus, once you are released from quarantine, you could still be subjected to other restrictions imposed by your local region or province

I envision my next visit to be free to from restrictions. I want to be able to fly in between islands, and visit freely. Knowing that we have 4 kids, it will be quite costly for all of us to plan a trip to the Philippines to begin with.

However, there are many foreign nationals who do have to travel back to the Philippines on business, or with certain purpose (death in the family, or visiting an ailing family member – just as an example). They would probably be willing to endure and adhere to these regulations.

So for me, if my purpose to go to the Philippines for a short vacation, I probably would not be booking anytime soon until I see an ease with the travel restrictions.

Will you be traveling to the Philippines soon? Interested to hear your thoughts or suggestions.

Helpful sites to review

Philippines US Embassy 

Philippines Travel Advisory

A guide to Philippine Domestic Travel

Bureau of Quarantine Philippines

Quarantine Facilities

Philippines COVID 19 

Philippines Bureau of Immigration

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.