Philippine Travel: Locations Open for Tourism + Requirements during the Community Quarantine

Bored yet? We’ll soon have the first-year anniversary when the Philippines, and pretty much the whole world, stayed due to the quarantine measures implemented by the government. Staying at home has its perks, but doing it for one year definitely has its downside. Perhaps it’s time to spend some serious time under the summer sun in some of our favorite Philippine travel destinations.

It’s scary, but one side of our brain is telling us that we darn deserve it. We have spent summer and other holidays last year within the four corners of our homes instead of basking under the sun, with the fine white sand of Boracay or Palawan on our feet, and the mouth-watering local food and delicacies on our lips. 

For some of us aching to explore the world again through travels, it’s a welcome news that with the quarantine guidelines gradually easing up, we can now slowly go back to traveling under the new normal (observing health protocols, of course).  

And with these changes, some areas are also getting back on their feet by gradually opening their doors to eager travelers. However,  these areas are operating under a number of health restrictions and protocols. Some of these Philippine destinations include: 

1. Caticlan, Boracay

All tourist must present a negative RT-PCR test result (72 hours validity), except children aged (2) years and below. Effective 1 October 2020, Boracay Island may accept tourists from areas under GCQ and MGCQ. Persons with comorbidities are not allowed to enter Boracay Island. Check the rest of the requirements.

2. Baguio

Tourists are allowed to visit Baguio. Please check the requirements discussed in this video.

3. Tagbilaran, Bohol

Per the Philippine Airlines: the following shall be the new testing protocols applicable for all classification of individuals (Returning Residents, OFW, APOR, Tourist) effective March 1, 2021:

a) Negative RT-PCR Test Result

If conducted prior to departure at the point of origin, test shall be done not later than 72 hours and validity shall be for a period of 3 days from arrival. Should pax to stay beyond 3 days, they shall undergo repeat testing which can either be RT-PCR Test or Antigen Test.

If conducted upon arrival, pax shall be placed under quarantine until release of negative result. If the RT-PCR test yields a negative result, pax shall be released and the validity shall be a period of 5 days. Should pax to extend their stay, they shall be required to undergo testing, either RT-PCR or Antigen Test.

b) Rapid Antigen Test

If conducted prior to departure at the point of origin, test shall be done 24-48 hours and immediately upon arrival, a repeat RAT shall be done. The validity shall be for 5 days and if pax to stay beyond 5 days, they shall undergo another RAT.

If conducted upon arrival, once test result is negative, the pax is allowed to proceed with his/her activities. The validity of the RAT is for a period of 3 days from arrival. Should pax to extend, they shall undergo repeat RAT on the 4th day.

c) PCR Saliva Test

Test shall be honored and recognized in lieu of the RT- PCR and RAT provided that the test shall yield a negative result.

* The 14-day quarantine at a government quarantine facility or an accredited private quarantine facility shall only be implemented for inbound travelers who develop symptoms anytime during his/her stay in the Province of Bohol and have tested positive for RT-PCR. Read the rest of the requirements.

4. Cebu

Tourism and non-essential travel are allowed, subject to the following requirements (for Cebu Province): 

  • Medical Certificate, issued by a reputable doctor and within seven (7) days prior to travel date
  • Proof of pre-booking at a resort or hotel establishment in Cebu and duly accredited by the Cebu Provincial Task Force
  • Pass symptoms checking or screening at the point of departure and point of arrival

Minimum health standards must be observed. All passengers and personnel should wear face shields and face masks when accessing Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal premises and during their flight. Face shield should sufficiently cover nose and mouth.

Cities and other LGUs within Cebu province may have additional or different requirements. See requirements.

5. Ilocos

Per the website: all travelers, before entry to Ilocos Sur, shall pass the symptom screening at the border upon arrival, and in case of public transport upon boarding. As of this posting, Covid-19 testing and quarantine remain in effect in Ilocos Norte while concerned authorities are still in the process of updating travel protocols. Minimum health protocols such as physical distancing as well as wearing of face masks and face shields are strictly implemented. See more requirements.

6. La Union

Per the website of La Union, Travel Pass and Medical Certificate are no longer needed for those entering La Union. You just need to undergo clinical assessment (temperature check, etc) in border controls and scan NAPANAM QR codes. Only those coming from GCQ, MECQ, and ECQ areas need to show a negative RT-PCR test. Health protocols must still be strictly observed. Read more.

Unfortunately, tourists are still not allowed to travel to Palawan until further notice. Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) are allowed to travel, subject to travel requirements (check here). We’ll update the list to include other destinations as soon as information become available, so drop by from time to time. Regulations may change, so it’s always better to consult the official channels of the LGUs for the application requirements. [You may also want to check the discussion on vaccine passports.]

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