COVID-19

Boosted Filipinos, foreigners don’t need COVID-19 test to enter PH starting May 30

Pia Ranada
Boosted Filipinos, foreigners don’t need COVID-19 test to enter PH starting May 30

NEW RULES. Filipinos return from abroad at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Rappler

Fully vaccinated persons who have not gotten their booster shot still need to present a negative RT-PCR test
Boosted Filipinos, foreigners don’t need COVID-19 test to enter PH starting May 30

MANILA, Philippines – Starting May 30, the Philippine government will drop the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement for Filipinos and foreigners arriving from abroad as long as they are fully vaccinated and have received at least one booster shot.

The new pandemic-time rules for international arrivals was explained by Acting Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Kris Ablan on Friday, May 27 during a Malacañang press briefing. The rules are formalized by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) Resolution No. 168.

The COVID-19 protocols are on top of visa requirements and other entry requirements that typically apply to foreigners, depending on which country they are from. It was only in late March when the Philippines opened its borders to fully vaccinated foreigners.

Here’s a summary of the new guidelines:

For fully vaccinated and boosted Filipinos and foreigners arriving from abroad:
  • Must carry or possess any of the following acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination: World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis, VaxCertPH, national or state manual or digital vaccination certificate of the country or foreign government, other proof of vaccination permitted by the IATF
  • For foreigners, passports valid for six months at the time of arrival
  • No need for RT-PCR test result from point of origin
For fully vaccinated Filipinos and foreigners (no booster yet):
  • Carry or possess proof of COVID-19 vaccination (see above)
  • Present negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours or a remotely supervised or lab-based rapid antigen negative test result administered and certified by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility within 24 hours prior to date and time of departure from the first port of embarkation
  • For foreigners, passports valid for six months at the time of arrival
For unvaccinated, partially vaccinated Filipinos, or persons whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated:
  • Present negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours or a remotely supervised or lab-based rapid antigen negative test result administered and certified by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility within 24 hours prior to date and time of departure from the first port of embarkation
  • Undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of negative RT-PCR test result. Test shall be taken on the fifth day from date of arrival.
  • Home quarantine from date of release from facility until 14th day from date of arrival in the Philippines
  • For unvaccinated minor children, either foreign or Filipino parents should accompany the child during quarantine

Protocols for minors

Fully vaccinated persons aged 12 to 17 are also exempt from having to present a pre-departure RT-PCR test result. Unlike adults, they do not need to have had a booster shot to be exempt from the test requirement. The same applies to minors below the age of 12, regardless of their vaccination status, as long as the parents or guardians accompanying them are fully vaccinated and boosted. If their parents are not fully vaccinated or boosted, these minors will follow the protocols applicable to the parents or adults accompanying them.

If a foreign child under the age of 12 travels to the Philippines with Filipinos, they will follow the protocols applicable to the Filipino parent with them. If the foreign child is aged 12 to 17, they will follow the protocols set for unvaccinated or vaccinated adults, depending on which applies to them. Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.