IATF releases updated arrival protocols for foreigners coming to PH

The government's pandemic task force has updated the arrival protocols initially set for foreigners who want to enter the Philippines for business and tourism purposes starting February 10, 2022.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main gateway. (Photo from PNA)

Based on Resolution No. 160-B of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, fully vaccinated foreign nationals may enter the Philippines without visas provided that they qualify as former Filipino citizens with Balikbayan privilege.

They are also allowed to enter the Philippines if they are citizens of any of the 157 countries entitled to a stay not exceeding 30 days. These are:

  1. Andorra
  2. Angola
  3. Antigua and Barbuda
  4. Argentina
  5. Australia
  6. Austria
  7. Bahamas
  8. Bahrain
  9. Barbados
  10. Belgium
  11. Belize
  12. Benin
  13. Bhutan
  14. Bolivia
  15. Botswana
  16. Brazil (up to 59 days)
  17. Brunei Darussalam
  18. Bulgaria
  19. Burkina Faso
  20. Burundi
  21. Cambodia
  22. Cameroon
  23. Canada
  24. Cape Verde
  25. Central African Republic
  26. Chad
  27. Chile
  28. Colombia
  29. Comoros
  30. Congo
  31. Costa Rica
  32. Cote d’Ivoire
  33. Croatia
  34. Cyprus
  35. Czech Republic
  36. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  37. Denmark
  38. Djibouti
  39. Dominica
  40. Dominican Republic
  41. Ecuador
  42. El Salvador
  43. Equatorial Guinea
  44. Eritrea
  45. Estonia
  46. Ethiopia
  47. Fiji
  48. Finland
  49. France
  50. Gabon
  51. Gambia
  52. Germany
  53. Ghana
  54. Greece
  55. Grenada
  56. Guatemala
  57. Guinea
  58. Guinea Bissau
  59. Guyana
  60. Haiti
  61. Honduras
  62. Hungary
  63. Iceland
  64. Indonesia
  65. Ireland
  66. Israel (up to 59 days)
  67. Italy
  68. Jamaica
  69. Japan
  70. Kazakhstan
  71. Kenya
  72. Kiribati
  73. Kuwait
  74. Kyrgyzstan
  75. Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  76. Latvia
  77. Lesotho
  78. Liberia
  79. Liechtenstein
  80. Lithuania
  81. Luxembourg
  82. Madagascar
  83. Malawi
  84. Malaysia
  85. Maldives
  86. Mali
  87. Malta
  88. Marshall Islands
  89. Mauritania
  90. Mauritius
  91. Mexico
  92. Micronesia
  93. Monaco
  94. Mongolia
  95. Morocco
  96. Mozambique
  97. Myanmar
  98. Namibia
  99. Nepal
  100. Netherlands
  101. New Zealand
  102. Nicaragua
  103. Niger
  104. Norway
  105. Oman
  106. Palau
  107. Panama
  108. Papua New Guinea
  109. Paraguay
  110. Peru
  111. Poland
  112. Portugal
  113. Qatar
  114. Republic of Korea
  115. Romania
  116. Russia
  117. Rwanda
  118. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  119. Saint Lucia
  120. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  121. Samoa
  122. San Marino
  123. Sao Tome and Principe
  124. Saudi Arabia
  125. Senegal
  126. Seychelles
  127. Singapore
  128. Slovak Republic
  129. Slovenia
  130. Solomon Islands
  131. South Africa
  132. Spain
  133. Suriname
  134. Swaziland
  135. Sweden
  136. Switzerland
  137. Tajikistan
  138. Thailand
  139. Togo
  140. Trinidad and Tobago
  141. Tunisia
  142. Turkey
  143. Turkmenistan
  144. Tuvalu
  145. Uganda
  146. United Arab Emirates
  147. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  148. United Republic of Tanzania
  149. United States of America
  150. Uruguay
  151. Uzbekistan
  152. Vanuatu
  153. Vatican
  154. Venezuela
  155. Vietnam
  156. Zambia
  157. Zimbabwe

Foreign travelers must be fully vaccinated except children below 12 years old.

They must carry any of the following proofs of vaccination:

  • World Health Organization (WHO) International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis
  • VaxCertPH
  • National/state digital certificate of the foreign gov't which recognizes VaxCertPH
  • Other proofs of vaccination permitted by the IATF

The passenger must also have a passport valid for at least six months at the time of their arrival, and valid return tickets or tickets for the country of their next destination.

Prior to their travel, they are required to obtain travel insurance for COVID-19 treatment costs from reputable insurers, with a minimum coverage of US$35,000 for the duration of their stay in the Philippines.

Foreign visitors are deemed fully vaccinated if they received the second dose in a two-dose series or a single dose vaccine more than 14 days prior to their flight to the Philippines. Their vaccine must be included in the emergency use listing of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or issued a compassionate special permit by the Philippine FDA.

Visa-free foreign nationals who fail to fully comply with the conditions and requisites shall be denied admission into the country and shall be subject to the appropriate exclusion proceedings.

However, once allowed entry, they are no longer required to observe facility-based quarantine but must self-monitor for symptoms for seven days. They must report to the local government unit (LGU) of their destination should they manifest symptoms.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has clarified that "self-monitor" does not mean "home quarantine".

Meanwhile, foreign children below the age of 12 but are traveling with Filipino nationals shall follow the protocols of their travel companion.

A foreign child from ages 12 to 17 traveling with their Filipino parent shall follow the protocol based on their vaccination status. However, if the child is unvaccinated, one parent should accompany the child during their facility-based quarantine.

9(a) visa bearers

On the other hand, foreigners with 9(a) visas (a tourist visa for pleasure or business) will be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated, except children below the age of 12.

They must carry acceptable proof of vaccination and a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to their flight.

These passengers will not be required to undergo facility quarantine but must self-monitor for symptoms.

Foreign nationals who fail to comply with the conditions must undergo facility-based quarantine and undergo testing on the fifth day. They may be discharged upon the release of a negative result but must complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home.