The Philippines Opens Its Borders to International Travelers

The Philippines had been closed to tourists for almost 2 years.

Tourists take pictures with a view of Taal Volcano in Tagaytay, Cavite province, Philippines.
Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The Philippines has reopened to foreign tourists, becoming the latest Southeast Asian country to ease restrictions on travel.

International visitors, including travelers from the United States, will be welcome to enter on Feb. 10, ending the border closure for the first time in nearly two years, according to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. The country has instituted visa-free travel and no longer requires vaccinated tourists to quarantine in government facilities upon arrival.

Travelers will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure as well as self-monitor for symptoms for seven days after arrival.

Unvaccinated travelers will have to quarantine in a government facility, test negative for COVID-19 on the fifth day, and then quarantine at home until the 14th day, according to the embassy. Children under 18 are exempt from vaccination requirements.

"We are also aware that there is no room for complacency given the unpredictability of the virus," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said, The Associated Press reported last month. "We will closely monitor the situation and ensure that health and safety protocols are strictly implemented in all tourism establishments."

The opening comes two months after the government initially planned to lift its entry ban on Dec. 1, the wire service noted.

The Philippines, which boasts some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the world, is currently classified as a "Level 4" destination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country.

The decision to ease border restrictions comes as other Southeast Asian countries are also looking to welcome back foreign tourists. Neighboring spots, Bali and Thailand have both recently reopened, and Thailand has reintroduced quarantine-free travel.

For those who can't make it to the Philippines quite yet, there are plenty of places to enjoy Filipino food in the U.S. from creative takes on fried chicken wings spiced with tamarind to American outposts of famed Filipino chain Jollibee.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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