Malacañang approves further easing of Philippine travel requirements

Bea Cupin

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Malacañang approves further easing of Philippine travel requirements

TRAVEL. In this file photo, balikbayans arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.


Unvaccinated travelers must test negative via a pre-departure antigen tests – no longer RT-PCR tests – or undergo an antigen test upon arrival

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has approved the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to further ease travel restrictions for people entering the Philippines.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, via orders from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., issued a memorandum on Friday, October 28, approving the IATF resolution released on October 4.

The IATF is composed of representatives from several government agencies, and is tasked with managing the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

The IATF’s Resolution No. 2 (series of 2022) states that fully vaccinated travelers need not test prior to traveling. A person is fully vaccinated when they have completed a two-dose series or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before leaving to travel to the Philippines.

Proof of vaccination includes a World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccinations of Prophylaxis VaxCertPH, a vaccination certificate from a foreign government, and other proofs of vaccination.

For the unvaccinated, or those whose vaccination status cannot be validated, the requirements are:

  • For those 15 years and older (whether Filipino or a foreign national), a negative rapid antigen test result from a laboratory and administered by a health professional – which means self-tests aren’t allowed. The test must be taken within 24 hours of departure from their country of origin.
  • For travelers 15 and above who did not take a pre-departure antigen test, they must undergo an antigen test upon arrival at the airport. The test must be administered and certified by a healthcare professional and should be laboratory-based.
  • Unvaccinated minors accompanied by adults will follow the quarantine protocols of their parents or the adults accompanying them.
  • Unvaccinated minors travelling solo are required to take pre-departure laboratory-based antigen exams or take one upon arrival at the airport.

Travelers who end up testing positive for COVID-19 in the antigen test will undergo quarantine procedures as specified by the Philippines’ health department.

The Philippines has long waived testing requirements for fully-vaccinated foreign nationals but required a negative RT-PCR test results for unvaccinated foreign travelers.

Pandemic protocols have eased rapidly in the first months of the Marcos administration. The President recently signed an order that made mask-wearing optional both indoors and outdoors. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.