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Coronavirus: Situation in the Philippines

Metro Manila and neighboring provinces remain in quarantine May 14, 2021

The AußenwirtschaftsCenter Manila informs Austrian companies about the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on business activity and economy in the Philippines

Status: 05/11/2021


Current & important

As of May 11th, 2021: The currently applicable lockdown provisions of the "modified Enhanced Communicty Quarantine" (mECQ) were amended on April 28, 2021 by President Duterte for a further two weeks for Metro Manila and the four surrounding provinces (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) and are now valid until May 14, 2021.

The city of Santiago and the provinces of Quirino and Abra were also placed under mECQ quarantine. Numerous other provinces and cities were placed under General Communicty Quarantine: Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon; Tacloban City, Iligan City, and Davao City.

Under Mecq the house (purchase of foods and drugs) must indeed continue only important reasons to leave, but the office is operating up to a capacity of 50% allowed. Shops are also allowed to reopen with low capacity and restaurants to offer reduced out-door dining. Fitness centers, spas, and entertainment venues are still closed.

The curfew in Greater Manila has been reduced to a period between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive form of modified general community quarantine (mGCQ).

International flights, which have been resumed in isolated cases since June 7, 2020, will also continue to be greatly reduced in frequency. Air travel for tourist purposes within the Philippines is now possible on a few isolated routes (e.g. to the island of Boracay, Bohol, Siargao and Palawan). Touristic areas are now gradually being reopened to visitors. However, these decisions depend on the local community authorities and every opening can be reversed immediately. Due to the quarantine in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces, tourist flights from this region are currently not allowed. Numerous government permits and health certificates are required for travel within the Philippines.


Entry and travel regulations

Relief for vaccinated peopleRelief for those who have recoveredRelief for the tested
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On April 8th, 2020 the Austrian Foreign Ministry issued a level 6 travel warning for the Philippines: "You are warned against all trips to the Philippines due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)."

There is a comprehensive entry ban for foreigners; Tourist visas will not be issued until further notice. Since the beginning of the crisis, entry into the Philippines has only been possible for Filipino citizens, accredited diplomats and relatives of Filipino citizens with a valid visa. In the meantime, the entry requirements for foreigners who have a long-term residence permit for the Philippines have been partially relaxed.

In particularly urgent cases and after obtaining approval from the responsible ministry, special permits may also be issued for entry without a long-term residence permit. However, this is a lengthy process.

All travelers to the Philippines (Filipino citizens and foreigners) must have a COVID test carried out at the arrival airport and are then immediately taken to a quarantine hotel booked in advance. On the 7th day (the day of arrival is considered day 1), another test must be made, which primarily tests for the presence of CoVID variants. Since May 11th, the following applies: If the result is negative, a further three days must be spent in the quarantine hotel. If the second negative test is present, the quarantine hotel can be left on the 11th day after arrival and the remaining quarantine time (up to the 14th day) can be spent in private accommodation or a hotel.


Regulations for freight transport

The situation in the cargo ports of Manila has now eased again. Cargo flights were also possible during the quarantine. However, there may be delays in customs declarations or obtaining official permits for import / export.


Protective measures and business life

A face mask must be worn in public throughout the country. In Metro Manila it is also mandatory to wear a face shield in public!

Local flight connections between cities / regions qualified as General Community Quarantine will be possible from June 1, 2020.


Support measures for the economy

The government's package of measures worth around 25 billion euros covers four areas: a) emergency aid for poor sections of the population, b) extended medical care and ensuring the safety of frontliners, c) fiscal and monetary measures to finance emergency aid for companies and employees and d ) a stimulus plan to create jobs and keep growth going.

The greatest losses because of the lockdown suffered construction, retail and tourism.


Further information and emergency numbers