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GUIDE: COVID-19 measures and travel requirements of Southeast Asian countries near Philippines

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Jul 05, 2022 6:31 pm

Been traveling lately?

If you're part of the many Filipinos who've been caught by the revenge travel bug and supporting local tourism, it could be high time to set your sights on some international destinations as well. With COVID-19 cases easing up all over the globe and airline seat sales booming, the time has never been riper to explore.

If you've still got some reservations or don't know where to start, check out these fellow Southeast Asian countries—and what exactly you need to remember before grabbing that ticket.

Do take note that these policies can be changed at short notice depending on a country's pandemic situation, so it’s best to contact your designated airline or be updated on their regulations.

Thailand

Do I need to be fully vaccinated?

No. Thailand currently allows entry for fully vaccinated and non-vaccinated Thai citizens and tourists. Transit travelers are also allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 24 hours. 

What are the COVID-19 guidelines?

Unvaccinated tourists must issue a negative RT-PCR test issued within 72 hours before take-off. Meanwhile, vaccinated travelers entering the country must provide proof they have been fully vaccinated. No Covid tests are required for vaccinated travelers before departure.

What should I bring?

  • Proof of Vaccination (Certificate of Vaccination) from VaxCertPH
  • Recovery Certificate for individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 to certifying that the first date of detection is a least 14 days but no more than 3 months.
  • Return Ticket and sufficient funds to cover your of stay
  • Thailand Pass QR Code found here

Singapore


Do I need to be fully vaccinated?

Yes. Singapore only allows fully vaccinated visitors regardless of age.

What are the COVID-19 guidelines?

Starting from April 2022, all fully vaccinated individuals of any age entering Singapore will no longer be required to provide a negative RT-PCR test. Please refer to the vaccination requirements on the SafeTravel website. 

What should I bring?

  • Proof of Vaccination (Certificate of Vaccination) from VaxCertPH.
  • Register your profile via the Singapore TraceTogether app.
  • Submit your SG Arrival Card and e-health declaration here at least three days before arrival. 
Hong Kong

Do I need to be fully vaccinated?

Yes. Fully vaccinated individuals must also undergo a 7-14 day quarantine period before exploring Hong Kong.

What are the COVID-19 guidelines?

Tourists must provide a negative RT-PCR test result valid within forty-eight (48) hours prior to departure. They must also have a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival.

In addition, travelers must undergo a compulsory 7 to 14-day quarantine at a Designated Quarantine Hotel (DQH). While in quarantine, they are required to undergo daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) each day.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated travelers have the option of ending quarantine early if they receive a negative RT-PCR test result on their fifth day or negative rapid antigen tests on their sixth and seventh days.

Masks are optional outdoors while required indoors.

Hong Kong city leader John Lee previously said that they are looking into shortening the quarantine period of the country: "I am conscious of the need for Hong Kong to remain open and convenient to travelers, but it is also important that we address the risks at the same time."

What should I bring?

  • Proof of Vaccination (Certificate of Vaccination) from VaxCertPH
  • HK's mandatory health declaration form found here. Keep the QR code for safekeeping.
Indonesia

Do I need to be vaccinated?

No. However, non-vaccinated individuals need to quarantine upon arrival in Indonesia.

What are the COVID-19 guidelines?

Fully vaccinated travelers can go straight to their desired destinations upon arrival. Partial or non-vaccinated individuals need to take a five-day quarantine in facilities prepared by the Indonesian government.

Wearing of masks is required in crowded outdoor activities, indoors, and on public transport.

What should I bring?

  • Proof of Vaccination (Certificate of Vaccination) from VaxCertPH
  • Download the country's PeduliLindungi for QR code and proof of vaccination (available in iOS and Android)
  • Fill out the mandatory customs declaration (Click here for Ngurah Rai International Airport for those dropping off at Bali, and here for Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for those dropping off in Indonesia).
Taiwan

Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Taiwan is still on high alert amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. As such, leisure international travelers are still not allowed to enter Taiwan. Interested non-resident business travelers can apply for a special permit via the local Taipei Representative Office (TRO).

What are the COVID-19 guidelines?

With travel restrictions still at a high, only the following travelers are allowed in Taiwan:

  • Republic of China (ROC) Taiwanese Nationals
  • Foreign spouses and children of nationals holding dependent visas or visitor visa for visiting relatives marked TS or OS (for spouse) and TC or OC (for child).
  • Hongkong and Macau nationals holding valid re-entry permit visa
  • Mainland Chinese for family reunion 
  • Registered non-resident business travelers
South Korea

Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Starting from June 1, South Korea has resumed accepting visa applications from Filipino tourists.

With a Short Term C-3 visa, tourists can enter South Korea for leisure and will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days. Those interested in securing a visa may apply at the Philippines Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

Meanwhile, Korean is also allowing the entry of Filipinos without a visa under the following conditions:

  • Fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Book a group tour via one of the country's eight designated travel agencies
  • Follow the tour group's schedule of arrival and departure at the Yangyang International Airport.

This visa-free loophole allows Filipino travelers to only go to Gangwon Province, the Seoul Metropolitan Area, and Jeju Island for up to 15 days. 

Japan

Do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. Similar to South Korea, Filipino passport holders need to secure a Japanese visa before visiting the country and are initially allowed to visit via assembled tour groups. Designated guides will helm the groups comprised of tourists from the approved 98 nations and regions.

What should I bring?