Harvard University


Risk Ratings  

    MEDIUM MEDICAL RISK for Philippines
    MEDIUM TRAVEL RISK for Philippines
    HIGH TRAVEL RISK for South-west Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago

COVID-19 Impact

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Travel): High -

Inbound travel significantly restricted for most travellers.

Only citizens and those who meet certain criteria for exemption  may enter. Mandatory testing and quarantine in designated facilities may apply.

COVID-19 virus imageCOVID-19 Impact Rating (Domestic Operations): Medium -

COVID-related impacts posing routine challenges to business operations.

The medical, logistics and security environments are impacted by the pressures of COVID-19. Pre-existing security risks increasingly likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19-related political and socio-economic concerns and associated pressures in the near/medium term. There may be delay in accessing urgent care due to pressures on the medical system. Core protective  elements of BCP likely to be implemented: non-essential staff  working from home, staff tracing in place, reinforced hygiene and segregation practices with robust escalation and de-escalation triggers as well as mitigation measures.

• Are there any border restrictions? Yes
• Are there any entry restrictions? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? Yes
• Are there any quarantine requirements? Yes
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? No
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? Yes
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? Yes

(Until further notice)
Border restrictions
• Border closures/restrictions
- Arrivals at Manila’s Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport is capped at 2,000 arrivals per day.
• Exemptions
- Ports will continue to be open to cargo ships, no embarkation and disembarkation of crew will be allowed.

(Until further notice)
Entry rules
• Inbound travel for local nationals / residents
- Filipino nationals are allowed to enter the country.
• Inbound travel for 'third country' nationals
- Only the following five categories of foreign nationals are allowed to enter the country:
1) Diplomats and members of international organisations and their dependents
2) Filipino dual citizens
3) Foreign nationals with valid and existing visas
4) Foreign nationals allowed to enter under the Balikbayan Program, provided they are nationals from countries that can travel to the Philippines visa free.
5) Foreign nationals who need to travel due to emergencies but are not travelling with the principal Filipino national. These include foreign spouses, children, parents of Filipino nationals.
- Detailed information can be found here: http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/consular/visa/general-information/

. • Inbound travel from areas where virus variants of concern are circulating
- Foreign nationals who have been to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Oman and the UAE in the past 14 days are prohibited from entering the country.

(Until further notice)
Testing requirements

• Who needs to test?
- Filipino nationals returning from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UAE are required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours before boarding.
- All arriving passengers will be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival.
(Until further notice)
Quarantine requirements

• Who must quarantine and for how long?
- Incoming travellers are subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The first ten days will be observed in a quarantine facility while the remaining days will be completed under home-quarantine.
- The latest list of quarantine hotel can be found here: https://quarantine.doh.gov.ph/facilities-inspected-as-of-may-27-2021/ The list is reviewed weekly.
- The quarantine period for inbound travellers who have received the full dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines is seven days. These travellers will not be required to take a PCR test upon arrival.
• Cost of quarantine
- Foreign nationals need to bear the costs for the quarantine hotel, while the government will bear the costs for Filipino nationals who fall under the category of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
• Additional tests in quarantine?
- Travellers will be required to undergo an RT-PCR test on the seventh day.

(Until further notice)
Documentation required
• All returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) need to register themselves with the OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS, http://oasis.owwa.gov.ph) at least five days before their arrival in the Philippines to facilitate on-the-ground preparation for their return.

• All non-OFWs, depending on the port of entry (Manila, Cebu, Clark), are required to register and fill out the electronic Case investigation Form (e-CIF) as early as three days before departure to secure their own QR Code and confirmation email. This can be done at https://c19.redcross.org.ph/arriving-passengers.
(Until further notice)
• Any specific local rules?
- The Traze Mobile Application is used to generate and scan their QR code when entering in, boarding from, and upon arriving in all Philippine Airports is mandatory.

• Other useful information
- Face masks and face shields are mandatory at airports.
(Until further notice)
• Are there any border restrictions? No
• Are there any exit restrictions? Yes
• Are there any testing requirements? Yes
• Are there any quarantine requirements? No
• Are there any vaccine requirements? No
• Are there any separate transit restrictions? No
• Is COVID-19-related documentation required? No
• Are there separate restrictions for overseas territories? No
• Are there any other restrictions? No
(Until further notice)
Exit rules
• Outbound travel for local nationals / residents
- Foreign nationals, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and balikbayans are allowed to leave the country, provided that the travellers meet travel requirements. The travel requirements include confirmed round trip tickets for those travelling on tourist visas, submit travel and health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses if stranded and hospitalisation in case of infection, proof of permitted entry by destination country, a declaration acknowledging the risks involved in travel.

• Outbound travel for 'third country' nationals
- Foreign nationals with special type of visas require authorisation (known as a travel pass) to depart from the Philippines, if they are temporarily leaving the Philippines. They may seek authorisation from the government agency (including the Department of Justice, Board of Investments, Philippine Retirement Authority, Philippines Economic Zone Authority or other agencies) which issued them the visa. The request must be made at least seven days prior to departing the Philippines.
- Foreign nationals with approved immigrant and non-immigrant visas will be allowed to depart the country until 31 December, even if they have not been issued their alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-Card).
In lieu of the ACR I-Card, departing foreign nationals can present official receipts of the ACR I-Card waiver application fee and re-entry permit (RP) or special return certificate (SRC).
Payment of the ACR I-Card waiver fee and corresponding ECC or RP/SRC fees can only be made at the Bureau of Immigration main office and authorised sub-port offices.

• Exemptions
- Foreign nationals who held Emigration Clearance Certificate from the Bureau of Immigration do not need authorisation from the agency that issued their visa as they are permanently leaving the Philippines.

(Until further notice)
Testing requirements

• Who needs to test?
- Filipino nationals intending to exit the country need to provide a negative antigen test result taken 24 hours before departure.

(Until further notice)
Internal / DomesticSummary
• Is a state of emergency in place? Yes
• Are curfews/lockdowns in place? Yes
• Can businesses operate? Restricted
• Are there other restrictions on internal travel? Yes
• Are there any other restrictions in place? Yes

(Until further notice)
State of emergency
• Details and until when?
- An ongoing state of calamity has been extended until at least September.

(Ends 1 September 2021)
Curfews and lockdowns
• Locations and timings

- There are four levels of community quarantine in the Philippines. The Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). Furthermore, the authorities have further added two levels above GCQ, which are GCQ ‘with some restrictions’ and GCQ ‘with heightened restrictions’.
- Detailed restrictions regarding each levels can be found here: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2021/05may/20210520-OMNIBUS-RRD.pdf

- There are no areas under ECQ.

- The following areas are under MECQ until 30 June:
Luzon island: Santiago city and Cagayan (Cagayan Valley), Apayao, Ifugao (Cordillera Administrative Region, CAR), Bataan (Central Luzon), Lucena city (Calabarzon), Puerto Princesa (MIMAROPA), Naga city (Bicol),
Visayas: Iloilo city and Iloilo (Western Visayas), Negros Oriental (Central Visayas)
Mindanao island: Zamboanga city, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte (Zamboanga Peninsula), Cagayan de Oro city (Northern Mindanao), Davao city (Davao), Butuan city, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat islands, and Surigao del Sur (Caraga).

- The following areas are under GCQ 'with some restrictions' until 30 June: The National Capital Region (NCR; Metro Manila), as well as the neighbouring provinces of Bulacan (Central Luzon region). The nightly curfew hours in these areas are from 00.00 to 04.00.

- The following areas are under GCQ 'with heightened restrictions' until 30 June: Cavite, Laguna and Rizal (all Calabarzon region)

- The following areas are under GCQ until 30 June:
Luzon island: Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, and Benguet (CAR), Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino (Cagayan Valley); Batangas and Quezon (Calabarzon);
Mindanao island: Iligan City (Northern Mindanao), Davao del Norte (Davao), General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato (Soccsksargen), Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, BARMM).

- General Santos City: The city is under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until 30 June. Curfew hours will continue from 22.00 to 04.00.

- Davao city: A nightly curfew is effective from 21.00 to 04.00 until 31 July.

- All other areas are under the MGCQ.

(Ends 30 June 2021)
Restrictions on businesses

• What restrictions are placed on operating businesses?
- Details about restrictions on business operations in the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal can be found here: https://dtiwebfiles.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/COVID19Resources/COVID-19+Advisories/DTI+Advisory+No.+21-11.pdf
- In areas under ECQ, private organisations allowed to operate are only those related to food and medicine production and distribution as well as health services. Banks, money transfer services, utilities, telcos and outsourcing and export firms are also exempt.

• Exemptions
- Curfew exemptions will be granted to those involved in providing basic necessities, food preparation and delivery services, energy and telecommunications, as well as healthcare workers, water refilling workers, financial services workers, media personnel and people transiting to and from work, with necessary identification and certificate of employment.

(Ends 30 June 2021)
Restrictions on internal travel
• What restrictions are in place
- Under ECQ
○ Air, land and maritime movement are restricted, except for cargo and essential business.
○ People may only leave their homes to conduct essential business such as purchasing basic necessities.
○ Public transportation as well as taxis and ride-hailing services are suspended in areas under ECQ. Those with private cars are only allowed to drive for essential purposes such as purchasing essential goods and accessing healthcare services.

- Interzonal travel from the NCR and GCQ areas ‘with heightened restrictions, except those conducted by authorised persons, will remain prohibited.

- Authorised persons outside of residence (APORs) from the national government agencies and their attached agencies are required to provide their ID, travel order, travel itinerary and must pass health screenings at the port of entry and exit.

• Exemptions
- Fully-vaccinated seniors over the age of 65 are exempt from stay-at-home orders in areas that are under GCQ or MGCQ. However, they cannot travel to another zone with a different quarantine classification.

(Ends 30 June 2021)
Restrictions on internal travel
• What restrictions are in place
Davao city:
- Only those listed as authorised persons outside residence (APOR) will be allowed entry (whether via land, air or sea travel). These people include:
- Health and emergency frontline workers.
- Government officials.
- Duly-authorised Humanitarian Assistance Actors (HAAs).
- Travellers on work or business, as well as those returning home.
- Travellers who are listed as non-APOR will be required to present a Travel Authority and Travel Confirmation Form from the Davao City Government. They will also need to show proof of paid bookings for hotels or similar accommodation. Non-APOR travellers will also need to register specific forms for using public and private transport. For detailed restrictions, please refer to: https://twitter.com/davaocitygov/status/1327241724771536900 http://byahengdo30.com/covid-19/sara-lists-unified-travel-requirements-in-city/
(Until further notice)
Restrictions on internal travel
• What restrictions are in place
Cebu city:
Anyone entering the city, with the exception of repatriated overseas Filipino workers/returning overseas Filipinos, via seaports and airports must possess an Authority to Enter (ATE). Those intending to enter the city can apply for the ATE via the Cebu city Government Portal www.mics.cebucity.gov.ph/inboundapplication. Tourist visiting Cebu province are required to submit a valid medical certificate issued by a doctor within seven days before the trip and a proof of room reservation in a hotel or resort accredited by the Cebu provincial Task Force.

Returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) going to any areas outside Cebu Province and arriving at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) are required to present a letter of acceptance (LOA) from their local government unit (LGU) of destination.

Those travelling for medical purposes must present a medical certificate indicating medical condition or referral note from the hospital or doctor or confirmed medical admission or laboratory request by the attending physician and a valid identification card.

Government employees on official business must submit a medical certificate indicating they are not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza-like illness for the seven days before their travel; a travel order or mission order issued by the head of the agency and government agency identification.

Private authorised persons outside of residence (APOR) must submit a work order from their company indicating the purpose of travel, company ID, their travel itinerary in Cebu City for the duration of stay in the city or for the first ten days or less, their round trip ticket or travel details and a confirmed booking of accommodation in Cebu City.

Locally stranded individuals (LSIs) must submit letter of co-ordination from the barangay in Cebu City and JTF COVID-19 Shield travel authority.

Non-essential leisure travellers must submit a travel itinerary for their duration of stay in Cebu City or for the first ten days or shorter, travel authority issued by the JTF COVID-19 Shield, confirmed booking of accommodation and roundtrip ticket or travel details.

Those transiting via Cebu City will not be allowed to go out of the seaports or airport unless a connecting ticket for their intended destination is presented.

Returning OFWs and returning overseas Filipinos must coordinate with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) or the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) prior to their arrival in Cebu City and their barangay of residence in the city.

(Ends 1 September 2021)
Other social distancing measures
• General
- Refer to the Inter-Agency Task Force’s guideline for community quarantine for detailed restrictions and measures for areas under different community quarantine levels. The guideline can be accessed here: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2021/05may/20210520-OMNIBUS-RRD.pdf
• Is mask wearing mandatory?
- Face masks and face shields are mandatory in public places.
• Gatherings
- Gatherings are prohibited in areas under ECQ and MECQ.
- In areas under GCQ or MGCQ, some gatherings are allowed at reduced capacity.
(Ends 30 June 2021)

23 Jun 2021 (Updated Daily)

Risk Summary


Please see our:

Medical and Security Alerts for Philippines

COVID-19 information for Philippines

Dedicated COVID-19 website


Stringent travel restrictions have been imposed with regards to entry into and movement within the Philippines during this period of COVID-19 outbreak. Members should defer all travel to the Philippines, where stringent COVID-19-related restrictions are in effect.

Crime poses the greatest risk to travellers nationwide. The risk of a visitor falling victim to crime is slightly greater in Metro Manila. Banditry is a problem in rural areas, though the line between insurgent activity and criminal banditry is frequently blurred.

Travel to Basilan and the Sulu archipelago should be avoided and travel to south-western Mindanao should be for essential purposes only. These areas present a high risk security environment for business travellers and expatriates due to militant and associated criminal activity.

This information is intended as a summary of the travel security environment; however, the risks can change at short notice during a crisis or evolving situation. Please check our travel security alerts to ensure you are informed of the most recent developments.


Vaccinations For Philippines
CholeraOral vaccination is recommended for travellers
Read more
Hepatitis ARecommended for all travellers and expatriates,
Read more
Hepatitis BRecommended for most travellers and expatriates,
Read more
Japanese encephalitisVaccine is recommended for people who will
Read more
PolioAll travellers are recommended to be fully
Read more
RabiesConsider for certain travellers, especially: For
Read more
Typhoid feverRecommended for all travellers and expatriates.
Read more
Routine Vaccinations

Disclaimer  Privacy

Travel security advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Medical and health advice provided in this report represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. Advice in this report does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

© 2021 AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction (other than for authorised internal purposes) is prohibited except with the prior written consent of the copyright owners.