and leisure are finally opening up in the Philippines, and fully vaccinated tourists are finally welcome to revisit the country. Since the onset of the pandemic and adapting to the new normal
, Philippine tourism has been dramatically affected. Tourism is one of the country’s best assets because of the Philippines’ natural wonders, beaches, and famous summer attractions.
Though leisure travel is now at ease under the new normal, there are travel restrictions still implemented to control the people and, at the same time, regulate the spread of the virus and avoid another surge here in the Philippines.
The Philippines expects many tourists, especially this summer
season. Since April, the country has fully opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers from across the globe, coming from all countries.
In the new normal, COVID-specific travel requirements upon entering the country are still in effect. Bringing essential documents is still needed for smooth travel and boarding at the airport. These documents can be a vaccination card or certificate, or any proof of vaccination allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force, a national or state digital certificate of the country or foreign government accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement, including negative test results.  With that being said, the first step to consider in traveling under the new normal in the Philippines is knowing these basic new normal travel requirements, other than a boarding ticket, a passport, and luggage.
Besides the hard copies of legitimate proofs of vaccination, travelers must register with the One Health Pass and then apply for an e-Health Declaration Card, which applies to foreign nationals or Filipinos with dual citizenship.
It is also advised for a traveler to keep up with updates regarding travel restrictions
online, especially in the Philippines, since travel restrictions and requirements are always subject to change within short notice depending on the protocols and rules implemented by the Philippine and local government authorities. Some advisories and protocols online are not updated in real-time; therefore, it is still best to check out official announcements from government, health, airline, and tourism websites from time to time.
Fully vaccinated international travelers need not comply with exemption documents anymore, but they shall still adhere to the Philippine government’s visa, testing, and immigration protocols
. As for domestic travelers, selected travel and summer destinations have fully reopened but with restrictions and protocols to be strictly followed. Some summer and travel destinations in the country only allow leisure stay and summer travel for Filipinos or local guests.
Travelers should also be patient with booking their flights since fewer flight options are available in the new normal era. Travelers are advised to plan and book their flights as flexibly as possible if they need to cancel or reschedule due to unprecedented circumstances, like changing travel rules and protocols or untoward sickness that can hinder their flight.
When it comes to the overall health status of the country, the Philippines is still firm on the implementation of minimum health and safety protocols to further contain the spread of the virus. The health authorities are still in the works of vaccinating and administering booster shots, wearing face masks is still mandatory, and legitimate proofs of vaccination are still needed. Travel
and tourist spots are generally up to date in keeping up with health and safety protocols, especially vacation hotspots and summer destinations such as Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao. However, travelers and summer vacationers should still be cautious when walking in public places, interacting in a crowd, or mingling with strangers.
Once a traveler lands in the country, whether for business, leisure, or summer vacation
purposes, safekeeping of vaccination certificates and vaccination cards are always a must in a new normal trip since hotels and tourism establishments will always ask guests to comply with them before entering and checking in. The vaccination card should always accompany the passport, plane ticket, and hotel booking confirmations.
In this pandemic era, living and traveling under the new normal
is what everyone should accept and adapt to. Emerging behaviors, situations, travel restrictions, and health protocols shall be institutionalized  and are now part of every Filipino’s routine and daily life. These practices and protocols are expected to remain even after the pandemic. As long as the virus is still active, mutating, and lurking.
Visit Yoorekka Magazine for more travel and COVID-19 updates and guidelines in Metro Manila!
All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. However, while we are making our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, and the situation is developing rapidly. Hence, some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.
Check out this video: