What are the Philippines’ latest travel requirements?

Rebecah S. Roberts
·7 min read

DUE to the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), new travel restrictions have been imposed in the country as of Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

One of these is the new General Community Quarantine bubble enforced in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from March 22 to April 4.

What is a bubble and how does it affect travel?

A bubble serves as a restriction on the entry and exit of people in an area, except during an emergency. In short, a bubble aims to prevent infected people from coming in and out of the area.

This requires a person to be tested for Covid-19 upon entry into the area to prevent the spread of infection.

Only essential travels to and from the areas in the bubble are allowed.

Filipinos returning to the Philippines

The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 has modified the travel restrictions that it issued earlier, allowing all Filipino citizens entry into the country although subject to the quota on international arrivals.

Inbound foreigners are still temporarily barred, except for the following:

* Diplomats and members of international organizations and their dependents who hold a 9(c) or 47(a)(2) visa at the time of entry;

* Foreign nationals involved in medical repatriation;

* Foreign seafarers under the "Green Lanes" program for crew change;

* Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens with valid visas; and

* Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the NTF chairperson.

Other travel requirements by LGUs

Here is the latest list of travel requirements of some local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines as of March 24, 2021:

Cebu City

* A negative swab test result is required.

Inbound domestic travelers to Cebu City will still need to present negative swab test results, although they will no longer be required to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

Only authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) are exempted from the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test requirement.

* Medical certificate and travel authority are no longer required.

Other requirements, such as the medical certificate and travel authority from the Joint Task Force Covid Shield, have been dropped.

Mandaue City

* No longer required: Swab test result, medical certificate, and travel authority

However, requirements for locally stranded individuals (LSIs) or returning residents, Apor, and non-Apor or travelers for leisure activities vary.

Mandaue City: Requirements for LSIs

LSIs or returning residents will have to email the Mandaue City Tourism Office (MCTO):

* Scanned copy of a valid ID

* Certificate of barangay residency

* Complete address in Mandaue City with a contact number

* Pass symptoms screening at the ports

Mandaue City: Requirements for Apors

An Apor returning for work in a private establishment will have to submit:

* Certificate of employment

* Travel order

* Company ID

* Travel itinerary

* Confirmed hotel booking or accommodation.

An Apor returning for work in government agencies will have to submit:

* Government-issued ID

* Travel order

* Travel itinerary

Mandaue City: Requirements for leisure travels

A non-Apor or traveler for leisure activities will have to submit:

* A government-issued ID

* Confirmed hotel booking or accommodation

* Travel itinerary

* Contact number and address in Mandaue City

Lapu-Lapu City

All travel requirements have been dropped in Lapu-Lapu City, but the City Government will strictly enforce public health standards.

The City, however, has yet to seek clarification with the IATF on whether the removal of the RT-PCR test as a travel requirement applies to returning overseas Filipinos and foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines.

Talisay City and Cebu Province

* No longer required: Acceptance letter, travel authority, and negative RT-PCR test results

For those traveling from different towns and component cities in Cebu Province, the following requirements are to be presented:

* Medical certificate

* Pass symptoms screening in ports and airports.

APORs are required to present documents of their itinerary in the area.

Cebu Province

Required are:

* Medical certificate issued seven days before the travel date

* Pre-booking confirmation of any resort or hotel accredited by the Cebu Provincial Task Force

* Pass symptoms checking

Davao City

Required are:

* A negative RT-PCR test result

Passengers must undergo RT-PCR tests not more than 72 hours before the flight.

Saliva-based RT-PCR tests, still taken not more than 72 hours before the flight, will be accepted if done by the Philippine Red Cross.

For children below 12 years old, tests will not be required unless parents or chaperones tested positive for Covid-19.

* Passengers going to the city must secure their Safe Davao QR Code (DQR).

Davao City: Requirements for Apors from National Government agencies

* Identification card

* Travel order

* Travel itinerary

* No longer required: Travel authority from the Joint Task Force Covid Shield and health certificates

Boracay

Required are:

* Confirmed hotel booking

* Negative RT-PCR test results within 72 hours before the trip to the island

* Boracay tourist QR Code

* Traze app

The saliva test will be accredited for tourists. This will not only be limited to the Philippine Red Cross but also other testing facilities accredited with the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

Apart from the negative Covid-19 test result, tourists must also send their confirmed booking form, ID, and travel details to touristboracay@gmail.com for the issuance of their QR code.

Check aklan.gov.ph/guide-for-tourists for more details.

Baguio

Required are:

* Negative swab and antigen test results for residents and non-residents entering the city

* Registration to the city's portals

Go to visita.baguio.gov.ph for tourism and personal/leisure travels.

Go to hdf.baguio.gov.ph for returning Baguio residents and other traveler classifications.

Exempted from testing are:

* government APORs on official travel

* passing through

* drop and go for drivers only

* emergency and non-emergency medical cases cargo

* utilities

* those on humanitarian causes

Pangasinan (Asingan, Bani, and San Nicolas towns)

Required are:

* Report to the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team within 12 hours upon arrival

* Travelers from high-risk areas and outside of Pangasinan are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken seven days before arrival.

* Travelers are required to present valid identification or proof of residency before they can enter the municipality.

Alcala town requires:

* RT-PCR test from any visitor who only exhibits Covid-19 symptoms

Dagupan City requires:

* QR code

* Valid ID

Not required are:

* Undergo quarantine unless they show symptoms upon arrival at the barangay destination

* Travel authority

* Medical certificates

* Negative swab test results

The rest of the province does not require an RT-PCR test unless the LGU will issue a different resolution.

For APORs working for National Government agencies and their attached agencies, LGUs, and the private sector, required are:

* Identification card

* Travel order

* Travel itinerary

* Must pass symptom screening at ports of entry and exit

Misamis Oriental

Required for LSIs and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) are:

* Negative RT-PCR test result within 72 hours from the time the swab test was taken

LSIs or ROFs with the negative RT-PCR test result and manifested no Covid-19 symptoms will no longer be required to undergo quarantine.

* Not required for travelers within Northern Mindanao: 14-day quarantine and negative RT-PCR test result

Negros Occidental

Required are:

Travelers going into Negros Occidental must still secure the following:

* S-Pass permit

* The StaySafe.PH application

* Negative RT-PCR test 72 hours before travel

Not required are:

* The negative RT-PCR test result is not required for those traveling within Western Visayas.

* Travelers are not required to undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at the LGU of destination.

* Travel authority issued by Joint Task Force Covid Shield

* Health certificates

Guidelines that are being enforced at airports, seaports, and terminals within Negros Occidental:

* All airports, seaports, and terminals within Negros Occidental are open to the public.

* Private and public vehicles are now allowed to transport passengers to and from the airport, seaport, or terminal.

* Local government units shall no longer pick up inbound passengers.

* The Provincial Government will offer voluntary swabbing and quarantine to inbound passengers and shall bear the costs.

* There will be no more facility quarantine upon arrival in Negros Occidental.

* Inbound passengers should only undergo seven days of home quarantine upon arrival at their destination.

Required for APORs from National Government agencies and their attached agencies:

* Identification card

* Travel order

* Travel itinerary

* Must pass symptom-screening at ports of entry and exit under IATF Resolution No. 98-A, issued on February 4, 2021