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Latest News: Philippines government bans all travelers from Oman and United Arab Emirates between 15-31 May because of COVID-19 (Khaleej Times, 14.05.2021). Philippines government imposes tighter quarantine restrictions, testing requirements on incoming travelers regardless of vaccination status (Reuters, 07.05.2021). Davao authorities allow resumption of domestic, international flights (Sun Star, 06.05.2021).

International Restrictions:

*Entry to the Philippines: The Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has announced that from 1 May the following passengers shall be permitted entry to the Philippines:

• Filipino citizens, including those with an Identification Certificate (IC) as proof of recognition as a Filipino citizen or as proof of retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under RA9225;

• Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas at time of entry;

• Foreign nationals allowed entry under the Balikbayan Program (RA6768) provided they are nationals from non-visa required countries under EO408: a)Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign spouses and children regardless of age, who are travelling with them; and b)Filipino citizens’ spouses and children, regardless of age, who are travelling with them.

• Foreign nationals who are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) or Section 9(a) visas, provided they present, upon arrival, an entry exemption document issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Entry exemption documents issued to 9(a) visa holders by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 shall be recognised as valid until 31 May 2021

The entry of all other foreign nationals shall be subject to the following conditions:

• All arriving travellers must undergo 14 days of quarantine on arrival. The first 10 days of quarantine must be pre-booked in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility. The final 4 days can be completed under home quarantine at their destination

• Subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the seventh day from date of arrival

The pre-booked accommodation for at least ten nights in a quarantine hotel accredited by the Department of Tourism shall be presented for initial check at the immigration counters. Those who fail to present proof of pre-booked accommodation shall be denied entry and risk being boarded immediately on the next return flight.

Foreign nationals who were cleared for entry but subsequently found to have presented counterfeit or fraudulent pre-booked accommodation upon validation by the Department of Tourism, or those who violate the testing and quarantine protocols of the Department of Health, are subject to deportation.

All travellers coming from, or who have visited the following countries in the last 14 days, will be denied entry to the Philippines:

Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

*Quarantine requirements: Passengers arriving at any international port of entry may be subjected to mandatory quarantine (for a maximum of 14 days) and/or need to undergo COVID-19 testing either on arrival or on the sixth day of quarantine at the quarantine facility or an assigned laboratory. You’re expected to pay the costs of your quarantine and/or COVID-19 testing.

*Visas: As long as you have a valid visa you will be allowed to remain in the country, but will need to observe the local government rules if your present location is under quarantine.

*If your tourist visa expired during the ECQ period: You can apply for an extension, without penalty, up to 30 days after the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). If you have overstayed and are trying to leave the country, you can arrange a visa extension at international airports. There may be a standard fee in order to extend the visa but no penalty fee will be applied.

If your visa expired before the ECQ and you have been in the Philippines for more than 12 months: Any fines and penalties will need to be settled in a Bureau of Immigration (BI) sub-port office. The list of BI sub-port offices may be found at the Bureau of Immigration website.

If your visa expired before the ECQ and you have been in the Philippines for less than 12 months: Any fines and penalties may be settled at the airport before your departure.

*Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC): You should refer to the Bureau of Immigration website to check if you need to pay for an ECC. Instructions and a checklist can also be found at the Bureau of Immigration website . You can settle this at the airport before your departure.

All ACR I cardholders generally need to pay for the ECC upon departure. Those with approved visas but who are yet to receive their ACR I cards can show their receipt at the airport. Foreigners with approved visa applications which have not yet been issued can present their valid passport, DOJ endorsement or Certification from the approving office and receipt.

*Travel Pass: From 1 March 2021, anyone holding a visa issued by the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Board of Investments (BoI), the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) must obtain a travel pass from the Department that issued their visa in order to leave the Philippines. Anyone holding an ECC issued by the Bureau of Immigration is exempt from this requirement.

Internal Restrictions:

*Travel in the Philippines: Measures have been introduced by the Philippine government to prevent the spread of coronavirus; these differ across the country. The quarantine level in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal is Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and is in effect until (at least) 14 May. An evening curfew in the capital region from 10pm until 4am will also be in force over the same period. British nationals should continue to follow the advice of local authorities. The Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force (for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) has announced that during MECQ: Food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants and eateries may resume their indoor dine-in services at 10% capacity; and beauty salons, beauty parlours, barbershops and nail spas may resume services at 30% capacity providing patrons/clients and service providers wear facemasks at all time.

The following areas have been placed under General Community Quarantine from 1 May:

• CAR: Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province

• Region 2: Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya

• Region 4-A: Batangas, Quezon

• Region 8: Tacloban City

• Region 10: Iligan City

• Region 11: Davao City

• BARMM: Lanao del Sur

The wearing of face shields while on public and private transport is now mandatory. This includes but is not limited to trains, buses, jeepneys, taxis, boats and ships. The order also includes aeroplanes. You should check with your airline in advance whether they will provide a shield or whether you need to bring your own. You should closely monitor announcements from local authorities to understand the latest restrictions and regulations where you’re situated, and their impact on your ability to travel and access essential services. Check the requirements of your local authority such as barangay clearance, health certificate or travel authority for any travel outside of your residence, including to the airport. For further information on rules and restrictions relating to quarantine classifications, visit the Department for Health website.

*Travel to the airport: Since November 2020, some airports including Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have required passengers to download the ‘Traze Contact Tracing’ app prior to entry. You can find further information on the NAIA facebook page . You can also seek assistance from your local Department of Tourism office, which may be able to offer advice on transport options or hotels. The Philippine government has confirmed that foreign nationals will be able to leave the Philippines at any time during the period of enhanced quarantine.

There is disruption to travel routes both domestically and across the region. Check with your travel provider for updates.

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