Take note of these travel requirements for your upcoming international trip.

2020 should have been another year of traveling and celebrating special occasions and milestones, but it changed with the COVID-19 outbreak. We are left to dwell in our homes for months that our wanderlust increases each day. If you are planning to travel abroad anytime soon, whether to visit a loved one or purely for leisure, take note of the necessary safety precautions. Each country has a different degree of confirmed COVID-19 cases. So, before you book a flight, take note of these international travel requirements. 

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

Sta. Monica Pier. (Photo from Robert Bye)

United States

Citizens and residents of the Philippines and their foreign spouses and children may travel to the U.S. Currently, there are six airlines that fly directly from Manila every three (3) hours: Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Inc., and All Nippon Airways.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Health screen upon arrival in the U.S. – Without any exceptions
  2. Minimum health standards in the U.S. – Always wear face masks and observe social distancing of at least two (2) meters.
  3. RT-PCR test upon arrival in the Philippines – All passengers must undergo this test at the airport.
  4. For U.S. citizens traveling with a Filipino citizen, entry is subject to the Philippine Bureau of Immigration under these circumstances:
    1. They are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960;
    2. With a pre-booked quarantine facility;
    3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport; and,
    4. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry. 
  5. U.S. citizens must undergo quarantine – All U.S. citizens arriving in the Philippines must be quarantined for 14 days in a government-controlled facility.
(Photo from Rebe Adelaida)

Italy

Currently, leisure travel to Italy is prohibited as the country has a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. However, the government of Italy categorizes the Philippines under List E, which means there are certain restrictions to traveling to their country. The acceptable reasons for travel are as follows: work, health or study reasons, absolute urgency, and return to one’s home, residence, or domicile. However, you are still allowed to travel if you have a proven stable relationship with an Italian/EU/Schengen citizen or a long-term resident you need to reach out to.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Accomplished Self-Declaration Form – Fill up this form online before your departure. Click here to download.
  2. Negative RRT-PCR test result – Have yourself tested at least 72 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of the Department of Health’s accredited COVID-testing laboratories.
  3. Airline requirements – Check with your booking agent on other health measures you should follow.
  4. Exceptions – There are certain limitations to the obligation of swab testing. Click here to see the full list. 
  5. Minimum health standards – Stay six (6) feet away from people not traveling with you. Always wear face masks anywhere you go. Wash your hands often with sanitizer or soap and water.

RELATED READS: Everything You Need To Do Before Traveling To Your Favorite Local Destination

Ginkgo Tree Lane. (Photo from Tripzilla)

South Korea

Effective January 8, 2021, non-Korean nationals may depart from the Philippines to Korea. However, there are strict restrictions on traveling.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Negative PCR test result – Have yourself tested at least 48 hours prior to your departure. Click here for the list of the Republic of Korea’s accredited COVID-19 health facilities in Manila. Click here for the facilities based in Cebu. Take note these lists are different from the Department of Health or DOH’s accredited facilities.
  2. Printed negative PCR test result – Make sure to print out two (2) copies of a certificate (in Korean or English language) of your verified negative PCR test result. This certificate should be issued by the Embassy’s designated hospital and should include the passenger’s name, passport number or ID, and date of examination (48 hours prior to departure). 
  3. Accomplished Bureau of Immigration (BOI) Declaration Form – Fill out this form acknowledging travel risks and present it to your airline upon arrival at the airport. Click here to download.
  4. 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Korea – Tourists must undergo a self-quarantine in government facilities at your expense. 
  5. Self-Diagnosis Mobile App check-ins – While on the mandatory self-quarantine, you must check-in through Korea’s mobile app responding to daily health questions. Click here to download. If you are unable to download the app, provide your number and address in Korea to let their government facilitate your daily health monitoring.
  6. Negative PCR test results in Korea – Tourists must undergo another PCR test either upon arrival or within three days of arrival. After the 14-day self-quarantine, you will be required to take the PCR test again.
  7. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and maintain a distance from people.
(Photo from Jamie Street)

United Kingdom

As of this writing, the Philippine government banned travel to and from the United Kingdom. They suspended flights until January 15, 2021. The ban came into effect given the recent news of the new COVID-19 strain, called B117, which was first detected in the UK. Those who arrived in the country prior to the travel ban will undergo a stricter form of quarantine and testing protocols.

RELATED READS: Fly Safe And Travel In Style With The New Aircraft Of Turkish Airlines

Aoraki or Mount Cook National Park in South Island. (Photo from DoC)

New Zealand

Only residents and citizens of New Zealand and their partners and dependent children are allowed to travel in their country. However, there are exceptions such as an essential worker or for medical reasons. Click here for the full list of critical purposes you can travel to New Zealand.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Request for travel form – If you meet the criteria for critical purposes of traveling in New Zealand, click here to submit your request to their government. It will take two (2) working days for approval. However, it may take up to two (2) weeks for employers or agents bringing in their workers. The request for entry has a charge of $45 for each person.
  2. Form for a visa – Once your request for entry is granted, the government will send you a link for the application for a visa or a variation of conditions.
  3. Accomplished Bureau of Immigration (BOI) Declaration Form – Fill out this form acknowledging travel risks and present it to your airline upon arrival at the airport. Click here to download.
  4. Confirmed flight and hotel bookings – Make sure to get the necessary details of your bookings first to register for a voucher in doing mandatory quarantine.
  5. 14-day quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand – Passengers must undergo quarantine. Those traveling in groups like families can do quarantine together. Make sure to choose the “family registration” option for the Managed Isolation Allocation System.
  6. Managed Isolation Allocation System – Obtain this voucher to secure an allocation in a managed isolation facility. You can not choose which facility to do your quarantine. Click here to register for a voucher. Print or download your voucher as you need it to present at the airport before traveling to New Zealand.
  7. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and maintain a distance of six (6) feet from people.
Al Bastakiya. (Photo from Culture Trip)

Dubai

The UAE government allows leisure travel to Dubai once again. You need a visa before you travel and it is valid for up to 60 days from the issued date. Click here for the types of visas you can get.

As of writing, the Philippines is not part of the “Green List” or countries allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi. You may refresh the page after a couple of weeks as the list is subject to change based on the global developments of COVID-19.

Here are the requirements:

  1. Negative PCR test result – Have yourself tested at least 96 hours prior to your departure. Present your official and printed certificate (in Arabic or English language) to authorities. Take note that SMS or digital certificates are not accepted. The UAE government accepts test certificates from the Department of Health (DOH)’s accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories. Click here to see the list.
  2. Negative PCR test result upon arrival in Dubai – You must undergo another PCR test after arriving in their country. You have to stay in your booked hotel or residence until your results come out.
  3. Download COVID-19 DXM Smart App – you must have this app on your phone for COVID-19 information. Click here to download for IOS while click here to download for Android users.
  4. Minimum health standards – Always wear face masks and maintain a distance of six (6) feet from people.
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