COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

Last updated:  11/26/2021

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:

The National Capital Region (NCR) is 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 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.  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 visa and if other conditions are met.

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.  Passengers coming from, or who have been to, “Red” jurisdictions will NOT be allowed entry to the Philippines.  For the full list of “Red” and “Green” countries, visit the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) website.  “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.

According to BI guidance, 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:

  1. Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas at the time of entry.
  2. 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.
  3. Foreign nationals who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident Retiree Visas (SRRV) may be allowed entry without the need for an Entry Exemption Document (EED).
  4. 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, parents, or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9(a) visas who are allowed entry to the Philippines without the need of an EED, per IATF Resolution 128.

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, parents, or children of Filipino citizens with valid 9(a) visas who are allowed entry to the Philippines without the need of an EED, per IATF Resolution 128.  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.

For departing U.S. citizens, please ensure that your visas are updated.  BI has provided the below grace period for foreign nationals whose visas expired during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Foreigners whose converted visas (working, student, or resident) expired from March 16, 2020, up to July 4, 2021, have until November 30, 2021, to file for visa renewal or amendment.
  2. Foreigners with expired visas have a non-extendible grace period of six months, from the date of expiration, 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 visit the BI website for further details.

Only foreigners who have not left the Philippines may benefit from the grace period.  Those whose visas have expired while they were/are abroad should apply for a new visa at the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate.

  • 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.

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

Checkpoints are in place and domestic air travel remains limited.  An 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 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.

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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