Malacañang announced last Friday, October 16, that the non-essential outbound travel ban will be lifted starting October 21, 2020. So this means Filipinos can now travel overseas again.

But before packing your bag and heading to the airport, here’s what you need to know!

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non-essential outbound travel ban lifted for Filipinos

Non-essential outbound travel requirements for Filipinos

It will not be easy as the new normal will require Filipinos traveling on tourist visas to present the following:

  • Submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets
  • Travel and health insurance to cover travel disruptions and hospitalization in case of COVID-19 infection during their allowable period of stay abroad
  • A negative antigen test result that has been taken within 24 hours before departure (subject to the Department of Health guidelines)
  • Execution of an immigration declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling (to be provided at the check-in counters by the airlines)

After their non-essential outbound travel, returning Filipinos shall likewise follow the guidelines set by the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19. This protocol includes undergoing a swab test and the mandatory 14-day quarantine until they test negative for COVID-19.

But the million-dollar question is…

Is it safe to travel now in this time of pandemic?

Of course, it doesn’t come without COVID-19 risks. Like potentially getting the virus while traveling. Or you yourself could potentially be the carrier of the virus without you knowing (no symptoms) and passing it around as you travel.

So definitely travel at your own risk.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Outbreak 2020: How to Stay Safe While Traveling the World

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Where can Filipinos travel overseas now?

If you’re decided that you want to travel overseas once the non-essential outbound travel ban has been lifted, here are some countries that are currently allowing Philippine passport holders as of October 11.

non-essential outbound travel ban lifted for Filipinos 2020
Non-essential outbound travel ban lifted starting October 21

Some of the countries that Filipinos can visit once the travel ban has been lifted on October 21:

  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Cambodia 
  • Maldives
  • New Zealand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • US

NOTE: Subject to flight availability and other special arrangements/commercial flights and subject to the destination country’s medical protocols on arriving and departing international passengers.

Here are some of the countries that Filipinos still cannot visit for leisure travel (haven’t lifted border restrictions yet): Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

See the complete list from DFA here. Regularly check for updates regarding public and travel advisories on COVID-19.

Local destinations you can visit now

I personally think that local travel is the best way to go if you’re itching to travel. Especially now that the Philippine government eases restrictions on domestic travels. This means that travel between areas under general community quarantine and modified community quarantine is now allowed.

It’s highly recommended that travelers must check first the local government units of their destination to ensure there are no restrictions. Travelers should also strictly follow safety protocols set by the local government units.

Filipinos residing in Metro Manila can now visit the following local destinations:

  • Boracay
  • Tagaytay
  • Baguio City (starting October 22)
  • Ilocos Norte (starting October 15)
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Clark
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pampanga
  • Subic

See the complete list and other Philippines travel advisory here.

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As non-essential outbound travel for Filipinos will soon resume, let’s not forget to support local tourism. If you decide to travel domestically, you’ll be able to help local resort owners, establishments, vendors, drivers, tourist guides, and more!

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