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Information on Entry Requirements for Covid-19


JJReyes

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My wife and I are planning a visit to the Philippines early next year.  The information available online seems to be dated, contradictory and confusing.  Hopefully, forum members can help me with the following:

My wife and I previously visited the Philippines and were given a Balikbayan stamp upon entry by the Bureau of Immigration.  An acceptable proof then was that the Philippines is my place of birth as stated in my US passport.  Someone informed me you now need additional proof like a birth certificate or a former Philippine passport.  Is this true?

We visited Ecuador, Mexico and Greece in 2021.  Only entry requirement was proof of vaccination by showing our CDC card.  Returning to the United States required an Antigen negative test prior to arrival.  This can be completed in less than 20 minutes.  The certificate is presented to the airline at check-in.  A Philippine website states it has to be a Covid-19 RT-PCR test.  Is this different from a PCR test?  Can we obtain the test after arrival in Manila?

Do we need additional Covid tests to move about in the provinces?  The plan is to fly or hire a car & driver after arrival.

The CDC card does not include a QR code.  I understand the vaccination card issued in the Philippines through WHO has one.  Either the printed or digital version is scanned before entry to shopping malls and restaurants.  Is there a way of obtaining one after arrival?  

By the way, forum members with a US Global Entry card will like the new entry procedure.  A facial recognition machine scans your face.  That's it.  No need to show paperwork or passport for Customs and Immigration.  This is still done on a test basis at certain airports.  But I love it.

 

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47 minutes ago, JJReyes said:

early next year

JJ, Unless you mean January 2022 as early next year, I am sorry to tell you that it is way to early to be of much concrete help. Anything we tell you now could change overnight.

Things looked like they were going to open up then Omicron hit and everyone went into panic mode.

As it stands right now, your BB visa will be honored, you will need a test prior to boarding, you will still need to have a pre-reserved quarantine hotel upon arrival (the amount of time varies). Unless the province you travel to has some unique requirements we can now move freely about the country.

Having said all that, that is the way things stand TODAY. If we get an xmas surge do to folks traveling and visiting,,,there is no way to tell what might happen in January.

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58 minutes ago, graham59 said:

My first go-to would be the BI Facebook page, which is updated daily.  

JJ every ones in the dark, they change their requirements regularly and without warning this leaves booking flight and hotels near impossible. We are trying to come over in January/February but the way they keep chopping and changing we might leave it another month or two. 

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You may find it impossible to actually get there. We have tried 3 times to get flights. The airlines are selling tix far in advance, then canceling flights when not enough tix are being sold to at least break even. The latest cancellation was Asiana Airlines not flying on Feb 2.

Edited by Guy F.
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Thanks for the information.  The latest report indicates 235 new Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 14, 2021.  This is the lowest since the pandemic started.  I was hoping they would begin easing up on entry restrictions so we can visit family, friends and some of the tourism areas.  

Our situation is unique because we are homeless and live in a small motorhome while in the United States.  My wife is concerned about campgrounds because of the proximity to other campers and shared toilets/showers.  The search is for low cost of living countries that will accept us for visits longer than 90 days.  Philippines is one of them, using the Balikbayan program.  

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4 hours ago, JJReyes said:

Our situation is unique because we are homeless and live in a small motorhome while in the United States. 

We are not saying it is impossible JJ, its just not hassle free.  Being a BB your, unlike a traditional tourist, your entry into the country is almost guaranteed (as things stand now anyway :whatever:), the steps are quite easy actually.

1. Buy a ticket 2. Reserve a room at one of the quarantine hotels 3. Get a test prior to departure 4. Show up at the airport 5. Keep your fingers crossed. 6. Repeat until successful.

Need is a great motivator :thumbsup:

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10 hours ago, JJReyes said:

Thanks for the information.  The latest report indicates 235 new Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 14, 2021.  This is the lowest since the pandemic started.  I was hoping they would begin easing up on entry restrictions so we can visit family, friends and some of the tourism areas.  

Our situation is unique because we are homeless and live in a small motorhome while in the United States.  My wife is concerned about campgrounds because of the proximity to other campers and shared toilets/showers.  The search is for low cost of living countries that will accept us for visits longer than 90 days.  Philippines is one of them, using the Balikbayan program.  

I'd be taking the 235 cases with a pinch of salt.  Since the introduction of the vaccine passport there's generally no longer a need to be tested prior to travel so a huge number of people are no longer getting tested, throw that in with many can't afford the test in the first place or pay to go to a doctor or hospital I'd say the numbers are being masked. Best to hold off coming here for bit unless prepared to fly at short notice and high cost. 

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Thanks for the information.  Always the optimist, I will wait one or two months.  My wife and I did Facetime with a close friend living in Makati.  She said the budget hotels in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu are filled with quarantined returning OFWs and, in the meantime, domestic tourism has really picked up.  Reason is wealthier Filipinos want to travel after being cooped up for over one year.  Many foreign destinations like Hong Kong are off limits so domestic tourism becomes the alternative.  Perhaps the government is feeling less pressure reopening the country to international tourism.

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20 hours ago, JJReyes said:

 domestic tourism has really picked up. 

I think they are dreaming. A recent report from Alona Beach in Bohol said Alona beach is open but tourists are outnumbered 10 to 1 by tour promoters and massage ladies.

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