Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 01/20/2021
Effective January 26, 2021, 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.
A ban on non-Philippine citizens arriving from countries officially reporting cases of the new COVID-19 variant remains in effect through January 31, 2021. Under the travel ban, passengers arriving from the United States and more than 30 other countries will not be allowed to enter the Philippines. Please see the Philippine Presidential Communication Operations Office website for more information.
Non-Philippine citizens transiting one of the listed countries may be allowed to enter, as determined by Philippine government authorities at the port of entry. Additional information and advisories 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).
According to the Philippine government, the following quarantine classifications will remain in effect through January 31, 2021:
General Community Quarantine (GCQ):
Luzon – National Capital Region, Santiago City in Isabela, and province of Batangas.
Visayas –Tacloban City; and
Mindanao – Iligan City, Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Norte.
All other areas are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
For quarantine classification protocols and regulations, visit the Philippine COVID-19 website. The Philippine government mandated all persons to 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.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in the Philippines? Yes.
Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) testing is 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? Yes.
Test results often are available within 24 hours and may be 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.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted authorization of Pfizer BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the Philippines. At this time, only the Philippine government is authorized to procure and administer vaccines. The Philippine government is currently in the advanced stages of negotiations with various vaccine manufacturers and expects the first vaccine supply to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.
- 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 vaccination. 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.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes, in limited circumstances pursuant to the travel ban and outlined below:
The following may be allowed entry privileges to the Philippines under the Republic Act No. 6768:
- Filipino citizens’ foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with the Filipino citizen;
- Former Filipino citizens, including their spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with the Filipino citizen.
The entry of these persons is at the discretion of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and shall be subject to the following conditions:
- They are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960;
- With a pre-booked quarantine facility;
- With pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport; and,
- Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.
The Philippine government has announced that individuals already in the Philippines with valid visas in the following categories also may be allowed to re-enter the country: 9(e) – diplomats accredited to the Philippines; and, 9(g) – pre-arranged employees working in the country. Re-entry is subject to the following conditions:
- They have a valid and existing visa on the date of re-entry;
- With a pre-booked quarantine facility;
- With pre-booked COVID-19 testing a laboratory operating at the airport; and,
- Subject to maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.
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 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.
Upon entry, passengers are required to undergo a COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the airport.
- 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 and swab testing.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes.
The timing for each curfew is set by the Local Governmental Unit (LGU) and varies by region.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes.
Checkpoints are in place and domestic air travel remains limited. LGUs my 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.
Quarantine is required for 14 days in a government-controlled hotel/facility.
Individuals granted permission to enter by the Philippine authorities must have a confirmed booking for at least two days at a hotel accredited by the Philippine Tourism and Health Agencies while waiting for their COVID-19 test results.
U.S. citizens must stay at the booked hotel until they receive a Philippine Bureau of Quarantine medical certificate.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
There is a daily cap on the number of incoming passengers.
- 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 passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) 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