The Philippine government has temporarily suspended the “Green,” “Yellow,” and “Red” list classification of countries and issued new guidelines allowing the entry of fully-vaccinated foreign nationals without a visa from certain countries for tourism and business purposes.1
WHY THIS MATTERS
The suspension of the classification of countries streamlines the entry, testing and quarantine protocols for individuals allowed entry to the Philippines and lessens the monitoring required for employers. Moreover, the lifting of the travel ban eliminates the extra step of securing a travel ban exemption and will allow employers to resume business visits to the Philippines. (For prior coverage, see the following issues of GMS Flash Alert: 2021-232 (8 September 2021) and 2020-422 (6 October 2020).)
Employers and employees should remain informed as to the developing rules and requirements for entry and continue assessing the risk of traveling to the Philippines.
Furthermore, until further clarification from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Immigration, the requirement for pre-entry documents remains for foreign nationals coming from visa-required countries.
Entry, Testing and Quarantine Protocols
Effective 1 February 2022, the entry, testing and quarantine protocols for inbound Filipinos and foreign nationals allowed entry into the country will be as follows, regardless of the country of origin:
- Fully-vaccinated international arriving passengers will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within forty-eight (48) hours prior to departure from the country of origin. Upon arrival, they will no longer be required to observe mandatory facility-based quarantine but will self-monitor for any sign or symptom for (7) days with the first day being the date of arrival. They will be required to report to the local government unit of destination upon manifesting symptoms, if any.
- Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or individuals whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test taken within forty-eight (48) hours prior to departure from the country of origin. Additionally, they will be required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the fifth (5th) day; after which, they will be required to undergo home quarantine until their fourteenth (14th) day, with the date of arrival being the first day.
Entry Protocols for Fully Vaccinated Nationals of Non-Visa-Required Countries
Effective February 10, 2022, fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa-required countries2 under Executive Order No. 408 (s.1960), as amended, will be allowed to enter the Philippines, subject to the following conditions:
- They hold passports that are valid for at least six months at the time of arrival, and have a return or outbound ticket to their country of origin or next country of destination.
- They must have the following proofs of vaccination against COVID-19 recognized under existing Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) regulations:
a. World Health Organization (WHO) International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis (ICV);
b. VaxCertPH; or
c. National/state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF.
- Children below the age of 12 are exempted from the requirement of full vaccination and providing proof of vaccination status prior to boarding.
- They must observe the above-mentioned existing testing and quarantine protocols in place for fully-vaccinated international arriving passengers.
- Fully vaccinated nationals will not be included in the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation and its One-Stop-Shop.
1 See IATF Resolution No. 159 (27 January 2022).
2 See the Department of Foreign Affairs, “Guidelines on the Entry of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines.”
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Philippines.
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