The Philippines has become the latest country in the Asia-Pacific region to scrap its requirement for travellers to conduct a pre-departure COVID-19 test before travelling to the country, with those who’ve been vaccinated and received at least one booster dose exempt from 30th May 2022.
The Philippines first reopened to fully vaccinated tourists post-pandemic on 10th February 2022, later joining Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane network on 4th March 2022, but has maintained a requirement for pre-departure testing (PDT) for the last three months or so.
However, the country did relax its PDT requirements, allowing a cheaper clinic ART test instead of a PCR from 11th March 2022.
This removal of PDTs will make the Philippines the eighth out of ten ASEAN nations to scrap the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers, though it is the only country so far insisting on a booster dose for test-free travel.
The requirement for travellers to hold travel insurance of at least US$35,000 covering COVID-19 treatment is also being removed.
Existing PDT requirements
Currently those arriving in the Philippines from overseas must have:
- a PCR test within 48 hours of departure; or
- an ART test (clinic-based, no Tele-ARTs) within 24 hours of departure.
The timing applies prior to departure at the first embarkation point in a continuous journey to the Philippines (i.e. where you do not leave the airport premises at any transit points).
For most of our readers that has meant the best option is to have a clinic ART test within 24 hours of the departure time of their non