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Philippines sets longer hotel quarantine for arriving passengers

03 December 2021

by Daisy CL Mandap 

The tighter rules apply to Filipinos in HK who will fly home over Christmas

Starting from today, Dec 3, all arriving passengers in the Philippines will have to present a negative result for an RT-PCR test done within 72 hours prior to departure before being allowed to board their flights in the place of origin.

Those who are fully vaccinated and come from places previously designated as green or yellow list (like Hong Kong) will have to stay in a quarantine hotel or facility and have another RT-PCR test done on the fifth, instead of the previous three, days.

This means being in isolation for at least six days, as a negative test result is required before the traveler is allowed to go spend the rest of the 14-day quarantine at home.


Those who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be independently confirmed, will have to stay in a quarantine facility until they test negative for an RT-PCR test conducted on their seventh, instead of the previous fifth, day in quarantine.

Once they obtain a negative test result, they will have to be under home quarantine for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period.

The tightened restrictions were announced by Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles in a statement issued Thursday night, following a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Nograles says the stringent new rules take effect today, Dec 3

They were enhanced amid the continuing global scare over the emergence of a new coronavirus mutation called Omicron, which the World Health Organization has designated as a “variant of concern.”


Nograles also said that the Department of Transportation (DOTRr) must ensure that airlines only allow passengers with the negative RT-PCR test result to board.

Testing and quarantine protocols for minors shall follow the restrictions place on the parent or guardian travelling with them, regardless of the minor’s vaccination status and country of origin.

International passengers who have already arrived and are currently undergoing quarantine shall continue with the testing and quarantine protocols in place at the time of their arrival.

As announced previously, no tourists will be allowed in while the new restrictions remain in place, at least until Dec. 15.

Previously, everyone, Philippine nationals and tourists alike, who flew in from “green” places like Hong Kong could skip hotel quarantine if they were fully vaccinated and presented a negative test result prior to boarding.

Those who were unvaccinated or were unable to present a negative test result were required to spend at least three days in hotel quarantine, during which they would be tested before being allowed to spend the rest of their 14-day isolation at home.


As a result of the Omnicron scare, several places where the new variant was detected were put in a “red” or high-risk list. Everyone from these places are not allowed entry, except Filipinos who are repatriated by the government or non-government organizations, or through Bayanihan flights.

The new rules now require such flights to land only at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, or at Clark International Airport.

Pindutin para sa detalye

In a separate announcement, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said all overseas Filipino workers bound for any of these red countries will not be allowed to depart.

Those who come in through special flights will be required to stay in a quarantine facility for at least 14 days and should have tested negative for Covid-19 before being allowed to return home.

Pindutin para sa detalye

The current red list which is valid from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15 includes South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy. 

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