Last July 7, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, with the advice of the Inter-Agency Task Force, announced that the Philippine government has lifted all restrictions on non-essential outbound travel. This means all travel to international destinations — essential or not — are now technically allowed.
But don’t draft your travel itineraries just yet. Given the extraordinary situation the world is in today, the easing comes with a few conditions for caution:
You will have to submit a lot of paperwork
If you’re traveling on a tourist visa, you will be asked to present confirmed round-trip tickets. You will also have to secure adequate travel and health insurance to cover re-booking and accommodation expenses should you be stranded abroad, or in case of an infection, be hospitalized. Lastly, you will need to show proof of allowed entry by your destination country per their travel, health, and quarantine restrictions.
On top of all that, you will be required to sign a declaration stating that you acknowledge the risk involved in international travel, including the risk of delay in your return trip. This will be provided by the airline’s check-in counter.
You will be quarantined when you return
That’s only how you’re supposed to leave the country; you’d also have to follow protocols on your way back in. This includes subjecting yourself to a 14-day mandatory quarantine, as well as undergoing RT-PCR testing upon your return.
Your choices for tourism will be very limited
After all, restrictions were lifted only from our end. Even though some countries are slowly opening their borders to tourists, most major tourist destinations around the world stay barred for travelers. The US is still denying entry to all travelers with only very few exceptions, and the nations in the European Union only allowed non-essential travel from 14 countries — sadly, the Philippines didn’t make the cut.
On the off chance that you do find a great destination that allows visitors — and should you oddly want to travel in these dangerous times — then you’ll still be subjected to that country’s entry protocols. That might mean getting quarantined, tested, or hospitalized before you get to go sightseeing
Given these conditions, would you personally want to go back to traveling abroad? Where would you want to go first?