COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

Last updated:  12/1/2021

All nonimmigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States are required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status, as well as a negative COVID-19 test result, prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.  Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated nonimmigrant air travelers will not be allowed to board a flight to the United States without an approved waiver from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  More information on what it means to be fully vaccinated and which vaccines are accepted is available on the CDC website.

Nonimmigrant travelers are those travelers who are not U.S. citizens, not U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), and not traveling to the United States using a U.S. immigrant visa.  K nonimmigrant visa holders are considered nonimmigrant travelers under this new guidance and must be vaccinated in order to board an airplane to the United States.

U.S. citizens and U.S. LPRs who are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one (1) day before their flight.  U.S citizens and U.S. LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three (3) days before their flight.

Exceptions of the vaccination requirement for nonimmigrant travelers and for U.S. citizens and LPRs of the testing requirement will be considered by the CDC on an extremely limited basis.  Click here for more information on how to apply for an exception through the U.S. Embassy in Manila.  Please visit the CDC webpage for more information about exceptions and the requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Country-Specific Information:

Most regions, including the National Capital Region (NCR), are now placed under Alert Level 2 of the Philippine government’s COVID alert level system.  For more information, see the Philippine Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) website and Guidelines on the Implementation of Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response in Pilot Areas.

The Philippine government has mandated that everyone must wear face masks in public places.  The use of face shields is mandatory in medical and quarantine facilities, as well as during Alert Level 5, Enhanced Community Quarantine, and granular lockdowns.  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.

 COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the Philippines? Yes.

Pursuant to Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emergent Infectious Diseases (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 (neighborhood) certificate, or utility bills.  Please contact the testing facility for their requirements prior to your appointment.  RT-PCR and antigen (rapid) testing are readily available throughout the country, including at Philippine DOH-accredited testing centers.  In general, payment is 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? Yes.

Results are often available within 30 minutes for antigen (rapid) tests and within 24 hours for RT-PCR tests.  Note that this fast turnaround of test response may incur additional costs.  The results are often sent via email or obtained through the medical facility’s online patient portal.

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 for vaccinations under local programs.  The Philippine 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 more information, visit 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.

The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow the host country’s developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Which vaccines are available in the Philippines?

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted authorization for emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, CoronaVac (Sinovac), 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.

You may visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.  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 and 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? Yes, with a valid Philippine visa to include the following conditions:

The IATF has adopted “Yellow” and “Red” classifications in addition to “Green” for countries/territories/jurisdictions based on their respective COVID-19 incidence rates and case counts.  “Yellow” jurisdictions are those countries not on the “Red” or “Green” list.  The United States is on the “Yellow” list.  For more information on “Green Lanes” rules, see the PCOO website.  For the full list of “Red” and “Green” countries, visit the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) website.

Pursuant to recent IATF Resolution 151-A, those coming from red list countries within the last 14 days prior to arrival shall not be allowed to enter the Philippines.

The IATF resolution further suspended the reopening of the country’s borders to foreign tourists given worldwide concerns over the Omicron variant. According to the Bureau of Immigration, the current general travel restrictions remain the same. Only Filipinos, Balikbayan, and those with long-term visas from green and yellow list countries may be allowed entry.

U.S. citizen residents of and holders of long-term visas to the Philippines must contact BI for information on arrival and visa extensions.  U.S. citizens can review a complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction on its website including departure formalities and procedure.

For fully vaccinated foreign nationals, a negative RT-PCR test shall be required to be taken within 72 hours prior to the departure from the country of origin.  A facility-based quarantine will be required until the release of negative RT-PCR test taken on the 3rd day and 14-day self-monitoring from the date of arrival.  For fully vaccinated foreign nationals without negative RT-PCR pre-departure test,, a facility-based quarantine will be required until the release of negative RT-PCR test taken on the 5th day and home quarantine until the 10th day from the date of arrival.

For the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or individuals whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated, they shall undergo a facility-based quarantine until the release of a negative RT-PCR test taken on the 7th day and home quarantine until the 14th day from the date of arrival.

  •  Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Depends.

Testing requirements for foreign nationals vary based on their jurisdiction of origin (Red, Yellow, or Green jurisdiction; the United States is on the “Yellow” list).  Travelers should visit the BI website for more information.

  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Depends.

Information about health screening procedures is available from the PCOOClark International Airport, and Philippine Airlines.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No.

The Metro Manila Council has lifted the curfew hours for the NCR.  Please check with the appropriate LGU for curfew hours in other regions.  Please note that curfew restrictions could be reinstated again at any time.

  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes.

Checkpoints are in place and domestic air travel remains limited.  Local police or security  authorities (LGU)  may request information about your purpose of travel.  Strict observance of minimum public health standards continues.  For more information, see IATF Resolution No. 146-A on the Philippine Official Gazette website.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Depends.

Quarantine requirements for foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, vary based on their jurisdiction of origin (Red, Yellow, or Green jurisdiction; the United States is on the “Yellow” list).  Travelers should visit the BI website for more information.

Transportation Options:

  • 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 local (LGU) and national authorities.

  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.

Availability varies based on instructions from the local (LGU) and national authorities..  Masks and face shields are required on public transportation.

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 local (LGU) authorities.   U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to follow instructions of local governmental authorities.

Consular Operations:

  • American Citizen Services:  Passportcitizenship, and other services for U.S. citizens 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.

 Local Resources: 

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