Antigen test requirement for outbound travel lifted

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that they will implement the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ruling to lift the antigen test requirement for outbound travel starting November 1.

However, the BI said that should the country of destination require a negative Covid-19 test certificate, the same must be prepared.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente clarified that the other requirements set by the IATF for outbound travel are still in place.  

“A round trip ticket will still be required for those who will be leaving under a tourist visa,” said Morente.  “Travelers will likewise be required to sign a declaration acknowledging the risks of traveling, which will be given to them by the airline upon check-in,” he added.

Earlier, the IATF allowed the departure of Filipinos with non-essential travel. The BI, however, reported that the number of Filipino travelers under a tourist visa “did not increase significantly despite the policy change”.

Meanwhile, restrictions for arriving passengers have been partially lifted.  The IATF announced that starting November 1, foreign nationals with visas pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, as amended by Republic Act No. 8756, those with 47(a)2 visas, and those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, as well as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority will e allowed to enter the country.

According to the BI, foreign nationals with visas under EO 226, as amended by RA 8756 are those working as personnel or executives of multinational companies in the Philippines.  Those with 47(a)2 visas are special non-immigrants whose visas are granted by the Department of Justice, while Aurora and Subic-issued visas are under special economic zones.

Previously only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children, foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs were allowed to enter the country.

Those who are eligible to enter under a tourist status are still required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to arrival.

Apart from those mentioned, accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas are allowed.

BI Port Operations Chief Atty. Candy Tan added that both departing and arriving travelers are still required to undergo regular immigration inspection, and present documents needed for their travel.

“Arriving passengers are also required to have a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility before they arrive, and are still subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers set by airport authorities,” said Tan.  “After immigration inspection, arriving passengers will proceed to the one stop shop at our airports, where they will be tested and referred to their assigned quarantine facility,” she added.