Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 9/15/2021
All airline passengers traveling to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
According to guidance from the Bureau of Immigration (BI), individuals in the following categories should be allowed to enter the Philippines, subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry, until further notice:
- Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas at the time of entry.
- Foreign nationals allowed entry under the Balikbayan Program (RA6788), provided they are nationals from non-visa-required countries under Executive Order 408:
- Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are travelling with the former Filipino citizens; and
- Filipino citizens’ spouses and children, regardless of age, who are travelling with the Filipino citizen.
- Foreign nationals who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident Retiree’s Visas (SRRV) may be allowed entry without the need for an Entry Exemption Document (EED).
- Foreign nationals who are holders of valid and existing 9(a) or Temporary Visitor’s Visas, provided they present, upon arrival, an EED issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), except for foreign spouses, parent/s, and/or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9(a) visas who are allowed entry to the Philippines without the need of an EED as of August 1, 2021, per IATF Resolution 128.
The Philippine Interagency Task Force (IATF) adopted “Yellow” and “Red” classifications in addition to the “Green List” for countries/territories/jurisdictions based on their respective COVID-19 incidence rates and case counts.
All passengers coming from or who have been to the following “Red” list countries shall NOT be allowed entry:
Azerbaijan, Guadeloupe, Guam, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Lucia, and Switzerland. For more information, see the Philippine Presidential Communications Operations Office website.
For the “Green” list countries, see IATF Resolution 136-B. Yellow list countries are those countries not in the “Red” or “Green” list. The United States (except Guam) is on the “Yellow” list. For more information, see the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) website.
All arriving passengers [except for 9(e) visa holders] shall present a pre-booked accommodation for at least ten days in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility (except vaccinated passengers from Green countries) at the immigration counters for initial check. Foreign nationals who fail to present a pre-booked accommodation shall be denied entry and shall be boarded immediately in the next available return flight. For more information, see IATF Resolution 136.
Those who were fully vaccinated in the Philippines must carry their vaccination card, which should be verified prior to their departure by a certification issued through the Certificate of Vaccination Record Portal of the Department of Information and Communications Technology or the City Health Officer of the local government unit who administered the full vaccination. Those fully vaccinated in countries/jurisdictions outside the Philippines must carry their official documentation of full vaccination validated through the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) or present their International Certificate of Vaccination, whichever is applicable. For more information, see IATF Resolution 123-C. You may also see the BOQ’s website for more information on the VaxCertPH vaccination program.
For departing U.S. citizens, please make sure that your visas are updated. BI has given the below grace period for foreign nationals whose visas have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Foreigners whose converted visas (working, student, or resident) expired from March 16, 2020, up to July 4, 2021, are given until November 30, 2021, to file for visa renewal or amendment.
- Foreigners with expiring visas were also given a non-extendible grace period of six months from the expiry of their visas to file their applications for visa renewal or extension.
Foreigners who fail to file their applications before November 30, 2021, could be subject to deportation proceedings. Please see the BI website for further details.
Only foreigners who have not left the Philippines may qualify for these amendments. Those whose visas have expired while they were/are abroad should apply for a new visa at the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate.
The Philippine government is piloting a new framework which establishes a “granular lockdown” and alert level system. The new framework places the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 4 beginning September 16. For more information on the new framework, please visit the Philippine Presidential Communication Operations Office website and Guidelines on the Pilot Implementation of Alert Levels System.
The Philippine government has mandated that everyone must wear full-coverage face shields together with face masks while in public places. Local governments continue to implement additional requirements to slow the virus’ spread. For information about public health protocols, please visit the Philippine Department of Health’s website.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the Philippines?
Pursuant to IATF regulations, COVID-19 testing facilities may require a copy of your passport and proof of residence or accommodation, including but not limited to a valid Philippine driver’s license, barangay certificate, or utility bills. Please contact the testing facility for their requirements prior to your appointment.
Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) and antigen (rapid) testing are readily available throughout the country, including at Philippine Department of Health (DOH) accredited testing centers. In general, payment is in cash only by the U.S. citizen prior to testing. Costs vary according to the test given and the medical facility.
- Are test results reliably available within 72 hours?
Results often are available within 30 minutes for antigen (rapid) test and up to five days for rRT-PCR test and may be sent via email or obtained through the medical facility’s online patient portal.
All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. Click here for information about waivers to this requirement.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the Government of the Philippines approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
- Are vaccines available in the Philippines for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes, but circumstances may be limited.
Contact your Local Government Unit (LGU) for information on whether you qualify to receive the vaccine and the timeline for distribution. Dual U.S.-Philippine citizens should be eligible as Philippine citizens for vaccination under local programs. The Department of Health (DOH) issued Memorandum 2021-0157 clarifying that foreign nationals and diplomats with legal residency status in the Philippines shall be included in the priority group appropriate to their circumstances.
U.S. 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.
U.S. Veterans currently receiving healthcare benefits from the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic will continue to receive e-mail updates about COVID-19 vaccinations directly from the VA Clinic. More information is available on the VA Clinic’s webpage.
- Which vaccines are available in the Philippines?
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted authorization for emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech, AztraZeneca, Coronavac, Sputnik V, Janssen, Covaxin, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. For up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines, please visit the Philippine DOH website.
Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations.
You can find general information on COVID-19 vaccines on the CDC’s website.
For travelers who are already fully vaccinated, you may be interested in an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV or ‘yellow card”) from the Philippine Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). The ICV can be used as proof of vaccination within the Philippines or internationally. Each ICV has a unique QR code, allowing local and international authorities to verify its authenticity. Travelers should visit the BOQ’s website for more information.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No.
Entry restrictions remain in place for the Philippines. Please see the Philippine Presidential Communication Operations Office website for more information. Additional information and advisories also are available on the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) website. If you receive an error message while trying to access this page, please visit BI’s Facebook page. All arriving passengers remain subject to guidelines set by the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force Against Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in Resolution Nos. 97, 98,103, 113, 114, 128-A, and 136.
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 travel to the Philippines. U.S. citizen residents of and visitors to the Philippines must contact BI for information on visa extensions. U.S. citizens can review a complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction on its website.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No.
All arriving passengers are required to undergo a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the quarantine hotel/facility on the seventh day from date of arrival, except for Section 9(e) visa holders who are covered by different testing and quarantine protocols. See IATF Resolution 136.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
Upon arrival, local authorities will brief passengers, who will also undergo a temperature check upon deplaning and will proceed to the designated waiting area for other protocols.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes.
Effective September 16, the Metro Manila Council imposed shorter curfew hours in Metro Manila from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. until further notice.
Individuals fully vaccinated in the Philippines need not present a swab test result if they wish to travel within the Philippines, they will only need to present their domestic vaccination card for interzonal travel. Strict observance of minimum public health standards shall continue. Please check with the appropriate LGU for curfew hours and movement restrictions for minors and seniors in other regions.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes.
For more information, see IATF Resolution No. 136-F on the Philippine Official Gazette website. Checkpoints are in place and domestic air travel remains limited. LGUs may request information about your purpose of travel. In general, leisure travel is not permitted at this time.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes.
Individuals granted permission to enter by the Philippine authorities must undergo quarantine for specific days pursuant to IATF Resolution 136. Please see hotel accredited by the Philippine Tourism and Health Agencies to book for accommodation while awaiting your COVID-19 test results.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
Commercial flights are limited throughout the country. There is a daily cap on the number of incoming flights. Flight availability varies by LGU.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes.
Availability varies based on instructions from the LGU. Masks and face shields are required. The number of passengers per taxi is limited due to social distancing requirements.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
Consequences, such as fines or arrests, for non-compliance with Philippine rules regarding social distancing, movement restrictions, and mask/face shield mandates vary according to the LGU. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to follow instructions of local governmental authorities.
- 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.
- Philippine Government COVID-19 Information
- Philippine Department of Health
- Philippine Bureau of Immigration
- Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board
- Department of State COVID-19 Crisis Page
- U.S. Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID – 19 Page
- Department of State Travel Advisory and Country Information Page for the Philippines