Before heading to your favorite destination in the country, take note of these travel requirements.

As the Philippines slowly opens to travel, many are taking this opportunity to head to their favorite places—having missed the bliss of being outdoors after months of lockdown and all. This helps soothe the pandemic’s impact on the industries of tourism, airline, and hospitality as well. However, the risk of contacting COVID-19 remains, and so it is necessary to take precautions. The national government requires documents and tests to ensure every traveler is safe and will not be exposing others to the novel coronavirus. If you are among those thinking of booking a trip, look out for these local travel requirements for every popular destination.

Refresh the page to update the requirements as policies tend to change.

(Photo from Kobu Agency)

For contact-tracing

Since November 28, 2020, the national government required the download and use of the Traze App. It is a contact-tracing app currently implemented in four international airports: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Clark International Airport (CRK), Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIAA), and Davao International Airport (DIA).

You will need to download this before you enter any airport as it contains your unique Traze QR Code. This will be scanned from your entry, check-in, at the immigration counter, departure and arrival, baggage claim, to airport taxis.

The Traze App is available for Apple, Android, Huawei, and Samsung users. Click here to download.

(Photo from Behold Philippines)

Boracay Island

Before the pandemic, you can fly through different airports: Caticlan and Kalibo. However, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) assigned Caticlan Airport solely for Boracay-bound leisure travelers. With that said, you can plan to book the hotels closest to this airport.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Health Declaration Card (HDC) – Accomplish the form online.
  2. Confirmed hotel booking – book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels
  3. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  4. Email these to [email protected] – Send your accomplished Health Declaration Card, confirmed hotel booking, flight details, negative swab test result, and a valid ID. For the email subject, write OHDC—Family Name, First Name. If you are traveling with family or friends, send the requirements in one email. Submit this 12 hours or more before your travel date.
  5. Tourist QR Code and HDC – Once the authorities confirm your trip (which usually takes within two hours), you will be sent a QR Code and a copy of your HDC. You may print these out as you need them during your entire stay at your destination.
  6. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go on the island.

RELATED READS: Young Society Figures Reveal Their Post-Pandemic Dream Destinations

(Photo from Agoda)

El Nido, Palawan

The pandemic changed the many liberties tourists used to have. In El Nido, solo tours are no longer allowed. You have to book from official travel agencies or tour operators instead. You can only visit attractions included in their package to minimize movement on the island.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Case Investigation Form – Accomplish the form online for Manila-El Nido direct flights.
  2. Confirmed roundtrip tickets – Make sure you have roundtrip flights going to and returning from El Nido.  
  3. Confirmed hotel booking – Book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels
  4. Confirmed tour itinerary – Book from a list of the DOT-accredited travel agencies. Click here to browse.
  5. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  6. Get a QR Code – This will serve as your entrance/exit pass to tourist attractions in El Nido. Click here to accomplish the form.
  7. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go on the island.
(Photo from Good News Philippines)

Baguio

A visit to the idyllic mountain views of Baguio is only available for domestic tourists residing in the Luzon region, including Metro Manila. If you are traveling via road, you can enter through Naguillan Road or Palispis (Marcos) Highway.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Health Declaration Form (HDF) – Register at Baguio’s VIS.I.T.A Platform first. Click here to fill out the HDF and wait for the QR Code Tourist Pass. This will be your entrance/exit in the city.
  2. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  3. Keep copies of your QR Code Tourist Pass and negative swab test results – You may print them out or keep a digital copy on your phone.
  4. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go in the city.
(Photo from Club Paradise Palawan)

Coron, Palawan

Similar to El Nido, the local government of Coron no longer allows DIY or solo tours, and so you must avail of their tour packages from DOT-accredited hotel resorts and travel agencies. Wandering around the town is prohibited without an itinerary from a DOT-accredited travel agency.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Case Investigation Form – Accomplish the form online for Manila-El Nido direct flights.
  2. Confirmed roundtrip tickets – Make sure you have roundtrip flights going to and returning from Coron. Direct flights to Busuanga Airport (Francisco B. Reyes Airport) are available through Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.
  3. Confirmed hotel booking – Book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels. Click here to browse.
  4. Confirmed tour itinerary – Book from a list of the DOT-accredited travel agencies. Click here to browse.
  5. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  6. Get a QR Code – This will serve as your entrance/exit pass to tourist attractions in Coron. Register here first. You have to upload your negative swab test result, confirmed hotel and tour booking, and round trip tickets here.
  7. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go on the island.

RELATED READS: 7 Millennials Share Their Dream Destinations After The Pandemic

(Photo from A Wanderful Sole)

Siargao Island

Domestic tourists can have only one (1) round trip flight regardless of residence. Travelers can enter through Sayak Airport, Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal, and Lipata Ferry Terminal. Direct flights to Siargao include Manila, Cebu, and Clark while direct flights to Surigao include Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Secure e-Health Pass – Together with a valid ID, these two will be used for contact-tracing. Click here to fill out the online form.
  2. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  3. Confirmed hotel booking – Book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels. Click here to browse. 
  4. Present requirements to authorities – Once in the Sayak Airport or the other entry points, present the documents (printed or digital copy). For those who booked a private vehicle, obtain a clearance from the Task Force there first.
  5. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go on the island.
Fortune Island. (Photo from Where To Go Philippines)

Batangas

Domestic tourists can enter the province through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and Batangas Pier. For those planning to dive in the beaches of Anilao, make sure to present your negative RT-PCR test result taken at least 48 hours before your arrival.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 48 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  2. Confirmed hotel booking – Book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels. Click here to browse.
  3. Health Declaration Form (HDF) – Fill out the HDF upon arrival at establishments, especially at dive facilities.
  4. Bring your diving gear – For those planning to dive, make sure you bring your complete gear and defog solution for the mask. This is to prevent the risk of COVID-19 contact from using public diving gear.
  5. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go in the province.
Sirao Flower Garden. (Photo from MJ Magallon)

Cebu

As of writing, tourists below the age of 15 and above the age of 65 are not allowed to travel to Cebu. For entry, you can go through Mactan-Cebu International Airport and other major city checkpoints. 

Here are the requirements:

  1. Confirmed roundtrip tickets – Make sure you have Cebu roundtrip flights.
  2. Confirmed hotel booking – Book from the list of Department of Tourism’s accredited hotels. Click here to browse.
  3. Confirmed tour itinerary – DIY or solo tours are not allowed and so only accredited travel agencies can provide tours for you and your companions. Click here to see the available ones.
  4. Negative RT-PCR Test – Take a swab test, making sure it is valid 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories.
  5. Secure Barangay Health Clearance – Non-essential travelers must obtain a medical certificate or barangay clearance from the local government unit of your origin. This is to obtain authorization from the JTF Covid Shield Travel Authority.
  6. Upload all requirements to the authorized site – Send all these necessary documents to the City of Cebu online application. Your authorization to enter will be emailed to you 48 hours prior to your departure.
  7. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and face shields anywhere you go in the city.
Download this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA digital copy from:
Order your print copy of this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA Magazine:
Subscribe via [email protected]