2021 Travel PH Guide for US Citizens and Other Foreign Nationals

cars at naia philippine travel

Planning to travel PH soon? As per the latest guidelines of the government, Philippines travel for foreigners is not yet allowed amid the pandemic. However, there are certain exemptions that you will see as you read on. This blog contains an extensive guide for all foreign nationals who wish to travel to the Philippines. We have also dedicated a section for US citizens containing all the necessary information that both the US Department of State has released.

In this blog, we are covering the information about travel advisory Philippines, requirements, travel restrictions Philippines, best places to visit in Philippines, and more.

What’s inside this blog?

Travel PH General Updates

The Philippine government has imposed travel restrictions Philippines, suspending the entry of all foreign nationals through April 30, 2021. Only 1,500 per day inbound international passengers are allowed to enter the country.

Whether you’re planning to travel to Philippines from US or other countries, you will not be allowed to travel PH unless you’re one of those exempted.

Advertisements

See below for the full list of the following individuals who are exempted from the entry ban provided they have a valid visa at the time of entry:

TRAVELERREQUIREMENTS
Diplomats and members of international organizations, and their dependentsValid 9(e) visa or 47(a)(2) visa
Foreign nationals involved in medical repatriationMust be duly endorsed by Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Foreign seafarers under the “Green Lanes” program for crew change9(c) crew list visa
Foreign parent/s, spouses, and children of Filipino citizensMust be traveling with the Filipino citizen
Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous casesMust be approved by the Chairperson of the NTF COVID-19 or his duly authorized representative
Foreign nationals with valid entry exemption documents duly issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) prior to March 22, 2021

As of writing, Philippines vacation for leisure purposes are still not allowed for many parts of the country due to the travel restrictions Philippines in place according to the quarantine classifications. For your guide, here are the current quarantine classifications according to the Philippine government:

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) through April 30, 2021
Puerto Princesa City – five barangays

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) through April 30, 2021
Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Santiago City, Quirino Province, and Abra

Advertisements

General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through April 30, 2021

  • Luzon – The entire Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan, Isabela, and Nueva Vizcaya in Region II, Batangas, and Quezon Province;
  • Visayas –Tacloban City; and
  • Mindanao – Davao City, Iligan City, and Lanao Del Sur.

All other areas are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).


General Travel Advisory Philippines

Pursuant to the implementation of ECQ to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, holiday to Philippines or other trips to Philippines for leisure purposes are not allowed. Please be guided by the following travel restrictions Philippines imposed on Foreign Travelers. 

Please note that this information is constantly changing so make sure to check DFA’s website and pages for updates.

Advertisements
  • Entry of foreign nationals are restricted effective March 22.
  • Visa-free privileges of foreign nationals are temporarily suspended.
  • All issuance for entry visas for visa-required foreign nationals are suspended while all previously-issued visas are cancelled, except those issued to the following:
  • Foreign Government and International Organization officials accredited to the Philippines
  • Foreign Spouse and children of Filipino nationals

For more details on the travel restrictions Philippines, please visit https://dfa.gov.ph/dfa-news/statements-and-advisoriesupdate

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs


US Department of State: Travel Advisory Philippines

In the April 20, 2021 Philippines Travel Advisory released by the US Department of State, the advisory is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for the Philippines due to a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. 

Advertisements

According to the travel advisory: 

  • Do not travel to PH due to COVID-19. Additionally, exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. 
  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.   

Do Not Travel to:

  • The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.
  • Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Reconsider Travel to:

  • Other areas of Mindanao due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Advertisements

Philippines Travel Guidelines and Process

To ensure everyone’s health and safety, here are the rules and requirements you must take note of when you’re planning to travel PH.

Here are the things that foreign nationals who will travel to Philippines now must know:

Before your trip

1. Register to the following E-CIF from point of origin for a unique QR Code to be presented to One Stop Shop (OSS) upon arrival in the Philippines

Terminal 2 PAL Passengers:
Pre-Registration for RT-PCR Test in Manila

Advertisements

Terminal 1 & Terminal 3
Foreign Airlines:
https://www.padlab.ph/DLS/eCIFv8

2. Pre-book at Bureau of Quarantine (BOG) accredited ZEN Rooms Quarantine Hotel (list on this blog) for at least 7 days from your arrival date and for non-OFWs and foreign nationals, prepare P4,OOO.OO for RT-PCR Testing and additional cash for transportation expense.

At the airport

3. Upon arrival at the airport, submit the accomplished Health Declaration Form to the BOQ. Before anything else, make sure you’re allowed to travel to the PH.

4. Proceed to the OSS Briefing Area for a briefing by the Philippine Coast Guard on quarantine protocols and distribution of Affidavit of Undertaking.

Advertisements

5. Proceed to the Department of Tourism (DOT) Desk for validation of quarantine hotel facility.

6. Proceed to Private Laboratory Desk for processing of data and pay for RT-PCR Testing to be conducted at your chosen quarantine hotel facility.

7. Proceed to the Bureau of Immigration (Bl) for clearance and passport checks.

8. Retrieve your luggage(s)

Advertisements

9. Submit duly accomplished Affidavit of Undertaking and PCG

10. Get airport taxi to your chosen quarantine facility/hotels and observe strict quarantine procedure

While on quarantine

11. While on quarantine, plan, consider and prepare the following:

  • Airline or bus ticket
  • Letter of Acceptance from your own local government unit (I-GU)
  • Travel Pass from any PNP Office at point of Departure

12. On Day 6, take RT-PCR Swab Test at the quarantine facility by the assigned COVID-19 Private laboratory. Continue observing strict quarantine protocols while waiting for test results. 

Advertisements

13. Upon receipt of a negative RT-PCR result via email, wait for the BOQ Health Certificate indicating the actual number of days on quarantine. 

14. To check out, present yourself to the quarantine hotel facility in-charge with documents mentioned in item 13.

Coordinating with LGU

15. Upon clearance, avail of authorized transportation to your final destination. Do not loiter around and expose yourself to possible sources of transmission. Your delay in reporting to your I-GU can be a ground for imposition of another 14 days quarantine. Always observe health protocols during your travel.

16. Upon arrival in your locality, report to your Barangay Officials for accounting and instructions. Your LGIJ has been informed earlier about your arrival through a DILG mechanism.

Advertisements

17. Complete home quarantine at your Barangay to complete the required 14 days quarantine or as your LGU instructs.

18. Once released from quarantine by I-GU, continue observing minimum health standards like wearing of face mask, maintaining physical distance and washing of hands. 

For Foreign Maritime Travel:  In a press release by the Bureau of Immigration, foreign seafarers with valid visas are allowed to enter the country. Said seafarers are those that would be undergoing crew change at the country’s green lanes. BI Bay Service Section Chief Alnazib Decampong shared that green lanes were launched by the government in a bid to promote the Philippines as a hub for crew change for international maritime vessels and facilitate the movement of sailors in the region during the pandemic.


Travel Guidelines for U.S. Citizens

american flight attendant philippines travel

Photo by Lukas Souza on Unsplash

Advertisements

Since the Philippine international travel guidelines change regularly, US citizens who will travel to Manila must check the updates first.

US citizens must have a visa to enter the Philippines for all travel purposes, including tourism holiday to Philippines. Travelers must receive a visa from a Philippine embassy or consulate prior to traveling to the Philippines. If you remain in the Philippines beyond the “admit until” date stamped in your passport by immigration authorities, you may be subject to fines and detention by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.

  • Travelers to the Philippines will be subject to COVID testing and quarantine for at least 14 days. More information on this requirement may be found here.
  • Visit the website of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Washington, D.C., for information on other types of visas and the most current visa information.
  • Certain foreigners must apply for an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) from BI before they may depart the Philippines.

You can find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, customs regulations, and other Philippines travel updates concerning US citizens on the US Department of State’s website.

For Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Philippines now should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Advertisements

Quarantine Hotels in Manila

As mentioned above, arriving foreign tourists in Philippines are required to undergo mandatory quarantine at government-approved quarantine facilities. Check below for our top picks of quarantine hotels in Manila by ZEN Rooms.

  1. Nichols Airport Hotel (from P2500/night with 3 meals)
  2. Broadway Court Apartelle (from P1200/night)
  3. Time Travellers Hotel (from P1900/night)
  4. ZEN Rooms Aloha Manila Bay (from P3100/night with 3 meals)
  5. ZEN Rooms Basic Dian St. Makati (from P2,100/night)
  6. Time Travellers Tourist Inn (from PHP 2,010/night)

Please click here for the full list of DOT and BOQ-accredited Quarantine Hotels in Manila.


US to Philippines Flight Status

Before you book your trip to Philippines, you must know that only 1,500 per day inbound international passengers are allowed to enter the country. To know the international flights status to Philippines including  LAX to Philippines flights, Narita to Manila, Taipei to Manila, and others, you can check your respective airline’s social media pages and website as they regularly give Philippine travel updates.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) also updates their Facebook page with scheduled international flights. 

Advertisements

Travel Tips for Arriving Passengers in the Philippines From USA and other countries

If you have booked a ticket for your travel to Philippines from US or from other countries, read the following tips to ensure your safety and to avoid delays or hassles at the airport.

  1. Before your flight for your trip to Philippines, make sure you have prepared the travel requirements.
  2. Carefully review your eligibility and the required documents for travel to Philippines from US or from other countries. You may be allowed to visit Philippines, but if any of the travel policies and protocols set by the Philippine government are not met, you may not be allowed to enter the Philippines.
  3. Always wear a face mask and face shield. This applies to everyone who is going to Philippines or any other destination.
  4. Practice social distancing at all times.
  5. Make it a habit to check the latest Philippines travel updates so if ever there are changes to your Philippines to USA flight, Philippine international travel guidelines, your US to Philippines flight and so on, you won’t be surprised upon your arrival. Don’t just rely on your travel agency Philippines to give you Philippines travel updates.
  6. When going to Philippines or any destination in Philippines open for travel, check with your destinations’ tourism office first before planning a trip because the travel advisory today Philippines may be different from the advisory the next day.

Best Tourist Spots in the Philippines

When the Philippines is open for tourism, plan a holiday to Philippines. With so many beautiful attractions, you’ll never regret visiting Philippines. 

And when the time comes you can take an adventure again, travel PH and explore all the most beautiful places in the Philippines we’ve compiled.

  1. Palawan – One of the best islands in the world. There’s no doubt that Palawan is considered one of the top beautiful places in the Philippines because of its lagoons, lakes, and amazing beaches.
  2. Batanes – Perfect for nature-lovers as it offers breathtaking views of the mountains, hills, and the sea. Batanes is the destination that will make you witness how beautiful Philippines is.
  3. Boracay – This is one of the best places to visit in Philippines if you love the beach because it has the whitest and finest sand in the Philippines. That’s why it’s not surprising that it’s listed among the world’s best islands by international travel magazines.
  4. Cebu – It is among the most popular places to visit in Philippines because of its perfect blending of city and island life.
  5. Siargao – The Surfing Capital of the Philippines. If you’re aiming for an adventurous holiday to Philippines, this is the place to be.
  6. Ilocos – If you want a Philippines vacation that’s full of history and food trips, Ilocos is the the place that will let you travel back in time and feed your hungry tummy.
  7. Manila – The Capital of the Philippines. Manila is every Philippines tourist’s jumpoff point where you can experience the modern city living and so much more.
  8. Bohol – Where Chocolate Hills are found. Bohol is definitely one of the most unique places in the Philippines you must see.
  9. Tagaytay – This place is a popular Philippines vacation spot for a quick escape near Manila perfect for food trips and exploring nature.
  10. Batangas – One of beautiful places in the Philippines with the richest marine life. 

For a complete list of best tourist spots in the Philippines, read this blog: Philippine Travel Guide: 70+ Philippines Tourist Spots That Will Take Your Breath Away

Advertisements

Frequently Asked Questions About Philippines Travel

Q: Are US citizens permitted to travel PH?
A: No. Travel restrictions in the Philippines are still in place so any travel to Philippines from US or other foreign countries is not permitted.

Additional information and travel advisory today Philippines also are available on the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) website. All arriving passengers remain subject to guidelines set by the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force Against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in Resolution Nos. 97, 98, and 103.

According to the US Department of State, all decisions to grant or deny entry to the Philippines are made by BI staff at the port of entry upon arrival in the Philippines. Contact the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the United States for additional information prior to booking ASAP tickets Philippines to be able to travel to Manila. 

Q: Are US citizens required to quarantine?
A: Yes. Per the latest travel update Philippines, quarantine is still required not only for US citizens but for ALL travelers entering the Philippines. The duration of quarantine is 7 to 14 days in a government-controlled hotel/facility. Individuals granted permission to travel PH by the Philippine authorities must have a confirmed booking for at least seven days at a hotel accredited by the Department of Tourism and Bureau of Quarantine while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. US citizens must stay at the booked hotel until they receive a Philippine Bureau of Quarantine medical certificate.

Advertisements

Check below for our top picks of quarantine hotels in Manila by ZEN Rooms.

  1. Nichols Airport Hotel (from P2500/night with 3 meals)
  2. Broadway Court QC (from P1200/night)
  3. Time Travellers Hotel (from P1900/night)
  4. ZEN Rooms Aloha Manila Bay (from P3100/night with 3 meals)
  5. ZEN Rooms Basic Dian St. Makati (from P2,100/night)
  6. Time Travellers Tourist Inn (from PHP 2,010/night)

Please click here for the full list of DOT and BOQ-accredited Quarantine Hotels in Manila.

Q: Are commercial flights operating?
A: Yes. However, commercial flights are limited throughout the country from the Philippines to USA flights. To know about the popular routes like LAX to Philippines flights, Narita to Manila, Taipei to Manila, and others; check Manila International Airport Authority’s (MIAA) Facebook page for the scheduled international flights before your PH travel.

Q: Are RT-PCR and/or antigen tests available for US citizens in the Philippines?
A: Yes. RT-PCR and antigen (rapid) testing are readily available throughout the Philippines, including at Department of Health (DOH) accredited testing centers. Payment is on cash only basis by the US citizen prior to testing. Costs vary according to the test given and the medical facility.

Advertisements

Q: Are vaccines available in the Philippines for US citizens to receive? 
A: Yes, but circumstances may be limited. Make sure to contact your Local Government Unit (LGU) for information on whether you qualify to receive the vaccine and the timeline for distribution. Dual US-Philippine citizens should be eligible as Philippine citizens for vaccination under local programs. US citizens who are residents of the Philippines should contact their LGU for information about the vaccination program in their area. US citizens working for private companies in the Philippines should inquire with their employers about vaccine distribution plans for staff. For more information, see the Philippine DOH Beat COVID-19 website.

Q: Are consular offices operation?
A: Yes but limited. See the details below:

  • American Citizen Services:  Limited non-emergency services are available by appointment only at U.S. Embassy in Manila and at the Consular Agency in Cebu. We are not providing walk-in service at either location. Emergency services remain available at both locations.
  • Visa Services:  Limited visa services are available by appointment only at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Visit the Embassy’s visa alert page for updates on visa services and operations.

Q: Is Philippines open for tourism?
A: Currently, there are still travel restriction in the Philippines but there are some domestic Philippines tourist spots that are open for travelers depending the classification of quarantine placed in the destinations. For your guide, here are the current quarantine classifications according to the Philippine government:

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) through April 30, 2021
Only essential travel is allowed. Foreign tourists are still prohibited from visiting for leisure purposes.

Advertisements
  • Puerto Princesa City – five barangays

Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) through April 30, 2021
Only essential travel PH is allowed. Al Fresco dining is now allowed but foreign tourists are still prohibited from visiting for leisure purposes.

  • Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Santiago City, Quirino Province, and Abra

General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through April 30, 2021
Leisure travel is allowed but limited. Guidelines vary per destination.

  • Luzon – The entire Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan, Isabela, and Nueva Vizcaya in Region II, Batangas, and Quezon Province;
  • Visayas –Tacloban City; and
  • Mindanao – Davao City, Iligan City, and Lanao Del Sur.

All other areas are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
Leisure travel is allowed but limited. Guidelines vary per destination.

Q: Is Cebu open for travelers?
A: Yes, Cebu has reopened its doors to travelers. 

Advertisements

Q: What are the Cebu travel requirements 2021?
A: The Cebu travel requirements 2021 are as follow: 

  1. Present a valid medical certificate issued by a reputable doctor within seven days prior to the travel date.
  2. Proof of pre-booking a resort or hotel establishment where he or she would stay during the duration of his or her visit. The resort or hotel establishment should be located within the province of Cebu and duly accredited by the Cebu Provincial Task Force
  3. Pass symptoms checking or screening at the point of departure and at the point of arrival.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Related Posts