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Philippines COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: December 2021 Update

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jan 29, 2023

    Philippines COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: December 2021 Update

    Because of the ongoing pandemic and the spread of the Omicron variant, Philippines COVID-19 travel restrictions have been updated. These updates aim to reduce the risk of outbreaks that might be caused by the new variant.

    Read on to learn more about these travel restrictions, as well as why they are necessary in the first place.

    Philippines COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: What You Need to Know

    Previously, there were countries who were part of the Philippines’ red list. This means that people who lives in, or visited these countries are not allowed to enter our country. However, that list was only effective until last year. 2022. Currently, we have no news yet on what countries are part of our red list, or if there will ever be such a list at all. However, written below are the previous list on these countries. According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF, there were 8 countries on their ‘red list.’ These were the countries that pose a high risk when it comes to COVID-191.

    Here are the 8 countries on the IATF’s previous red list:

  • Andora
  • France
  • Monaco
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Réunion
  • San Marino
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • This list was effective only until December 31, 2021. Being on this list means that inbound international travel for persons who came from or have been to those countries within the last 14 days will be restricted. This is regardless of the vaccination status of the travelers from those countries.

    For other countries, the standard protocols shall still be followed. This includes getting the One Health Pass, and strictly following the requirements for entry and the mandatory quarantine period for all travelers1.

    Why are COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Necessary?

    Some people might feel that these restrictions are too strict and are too much of a hassle. This is especially true if you are traveling from those countries. However, these Philippines COVID-19 travel restrictions are necessary to ensure that outbreaks can be avoided.

    According to one study2, travel measures had a noticeable impact during the initial spread of COVID-19. Measures done specifically in Wuhan, where the virus reportedly originated, decreased the numbers of cases by 70-80%. Though, one important thing to remember is that early implementation of these restrictions was an important factor in lowering the spread of the virus.

    But on the other hand, there are also detrimental effects when it comes to enacting travel restrictions. First off, it can affect a country’s economy since supply chains can be affected, and business is unable to proceed as normal3. Some studies also found that while travel bans do help in delaying the arrival of disease by days or weeks, they can’t eliminate the risk completely.

    Assessing the effectiveness of travel bans is very difficult to do. The primary reason is that pandemics like this don’t happen often, so opportunities to study the long-term effects of travel bans is severely limited.

    In some cases, allowing travel might be a good thing

    On the other side of the argument, there are studies that say in certain scenarios, removing restrictions can help. In particular, people moving from regions with high-infection rates regions to lower rates helps reduce the risk of infection overall4.

    Though, the scope of this study is limited, and won’t necessarily apply to all situations. In the case of the Philippines, travel restrictions can help significantly since the goal would be to minimize the impact of the pandemic.

    Protect Yourself From COVID-19

    Aside from the government’s efforts, there are also certain things that we can do to lower our risk for COVID-19. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Get your vaccine shots. The vaccine is our best line of defense against COVID-19, so getting fully vaccinated and getting the booster shot is very important.
  • Whenever you go outside your house, always be sure to wear a mask even if it is now not mandatory.
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 meter from other people whenever you’re outside.
  • Avoid crowds or lingering in areas where there are a lot of people.
  • As much as possible, try to stay at home and avoid going out unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • By following these tips, you can keep yourself safe from COVID-19.

    Learn more about Coronavirus and other updates here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jan 29, 2023

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