*This article will be updated periodically as more guidelines are released.
After months of travel bans, the Philippines is finally lifting restrictions on non-essential outbound travel by Filipinos. This means that Filipinos will be able to travel to other countries — even though it’s not for an “essential” reason (e.g. for work, or if they’re residents of another country).
Is non-essential travel for tourism allowed?
The short answer is yes — at least, for outbound tourism.
Though Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised address that tourism is not allowed, he later amended this and said that outbound tourism is, in fact, permitted.
What do Filipino travelers need to go overseas?
According to the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, travelers need:
- Submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets for those traveling with tourist visas
- Adequate travel health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses, in case they end up stranded abroad. However, the Department of Tourism still hasn’t given guidelines as to what this amount should be.
- To submit a declaration acknowledging the risks of traveling in this pandemic
- To follow the guidelines for returning Filipinos, which include mandatory swab testing and quarantine
- To take into account their country of destination’s restrictions. (Is there an entry ban for Filipinos?)
Is anyone still banned from traveling abroad?
Yes. According to Roque, healthcare workers still cannot travel abroad for non-essential purposes, as there is a POEA ban on deployment of healthcare professionals overseas.
When will this take effect?
Travel restrictions will be lifted 15 days after it is published in the government’s Official Gazette. According to Roque, it should be cleared by mid-August.
As of Monday, July 6, the Philippines has reported a total of 46,333 confirmed coronavirus cases; 1,303 deaths; and 12,185 recoveries. On Sunday, July 5, the Department of Health reported 2,434 new cases — a record high since the beginning of the pandemic in the Philippines.
What do you think of the lifting of these travel restrictions?