Philippine Covid 19 Travel Restrictions Updated January 1, 2021

Philippine Covid 19 Travel Restrictions Update (December 29, 2020): The Philippines has updated its list of countries where foreign travelers are flying from who would be banned from entering the country due to the reporting of the appearance of new strains of the COVID-19 virus. The travel ban would start from December 30, 2020, and would last until January 15, 2021.

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January 1, 2021 Philippine Covid Travel Restrictions Update: Temporary restrictions now cover travelers from the United States of America for Philippines-bound travel.

With the addition of the United States (including Hawaii and Guam) on the list of countries covered by travel restrictions, local airlines will now be unable to accept flights to the Philippines effective 12:01 January 3 to January 15, 2021. These restrictions cover foreign passengers from the US or foreign travelers who have been in the US within 14 days preceding their planned arrival in the Philippines.   

On the other hand, Filipino citizens from the United States or who have traveled to the US within 14 days before their scheduled arrival in the Philippines and are arriving in the country within the said period covering January 3 to 15, 2021, shall be accepted to the Philippines. They will be allowed entry, provided that is on the condition that such travelers will be required to undergo a fourteen-day quarantine period at a government-accredited quarantine facility. 

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However, it was clarified that Filipino citizens, with their spouses and children, who had traveled to any of the listed countries are permitted to enter the Philippines but will be rigorously required to undergo a strict 14-day quarantine period at a designated quarantine facility.

In a memorandum signed recently by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte had accepted the expanded travel ban to deal with this new virus variant’s danger.

Besides the United Kingdom, foreign travelers coming from 19 other nations are banned from entering the country. Apart from the UK, President Duterte approved the temporary ban on the entry of foreign travelers in Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and Hong Kong.

Philippine COVID Travel Restrictions December 2020

Foreign and Filipino passengers who were already in transit from these areas and set to arrive in the country before December 30, 2020, would not be prohibited from entering the Philippines.

But they would be required to undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period and a negative RT-PCR test outcome, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Related article: travel requirements when departing from or arriving in Manila as updated December 2020. Planning on a trip within the Philippines soon? Check out the COVID19 travel requirements for domestic trips.

Roque continued that outbound travel to countries with reported new Covid-19 variants will likely be subject to the Philippines’ exit protocols and those of various countries.

In connection with this, Cebu Pacific Air announced that the budget airline would only accept Filipino citizens on its flights from Hong Kong, Nagoya (Japan), Singapore, and Seoul (South Korea) for the period from December 30, 2020, to January 15, 2021.

Philippine Airlines, on the other hand, said that it would only accept Filipino citizens, their spouses, and their families on board its flights from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, and Australia for the same period.

CEB will not accept foreign nationals who originated from, or transited via, or visited within 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines, any of the 20 countries specified.

Meanwhile, those with outbound flights to countries with cases of the new virus variant are subject to the existing departure health protocols of the Philippines and entry health protocols of their destination countries.

Earlier, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the nation’s coronavirus task force recommended banning travelers from lands and countries that reported cases of the new version. President Rodrigo Duterte already approved this proposal “in principle,” according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Currently, the Philippines is just imposing a travel ban on the UK. Will there be one in the long run for countries with the variant? It has been highly suggested. A decision is forthcoming,” Secretary Duque continued.

Roque responded to Duque’s statement that a travel ban would be imposed on countries or territories where the new variant was discovered from December 30, 2020, until January 15, 2021. Duque added that returning overseas Filipino workers are exempted from the ban, but they might need to undergo compulsory quarantine for two weeks.

“Except for OFWs. That is what the President needs — to allow our OFWs, our fellow countrymen, to go into the state, but they will need to undergo a rigorous 14-day quarantine,” the health leader said in an interview last December 29, 2020.

In the light of these Philippine Covid 19 travel restrictions, President Duterte also tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Authorities to ensure all other inbound international travelers from nations not subjected to the temporary ban rigorously finish their 14-day quarantine following the present quarantine protocols. This protocol includes allowing newly-arrived traveler home quarantine after getting a negative RT-PCR test outcome at the point of entrance.
Roque then appealed to his colleagues to avoid making COVID-19-related announcements to prevent sowing confusion amongst the public.

“My office is simply the one licensed to issue any information about COVID,” Roque stressed.
The newest variant called VUI 202012/01 was detected in the United Kingdom earlier this month, prompting the Philippines to suspend flights from the UK until the next week of January. It is said to be more transmissible than other famous variants.

Other nations that have confirmed the new COVID-19 variant cases include Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, and France. The DOH recently reported in a briefing that 18 countries would be a part of the travel ban once the President approves the recommendation on the newest travel restrictions. Still, the government may expand the list depending on future developments.

On December 19, the UK imposed a lockdown in London, southeastern England, and tightened restrictions for many of England over the festive period, according to CNN’s report.

In the light of the travel restrictions imposed on travelers from the UK, several other countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East have restricted travel from that origin. (From CNN Philippines and various sources)

Here are the travel requirements when departing from or arriving in Cebu or the travel requirements when departing from or arriving in Clark as updated in December 2020.

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