Christmas is just around the corner! Already thinking of cashing in your vacation leaves this December? Since local lockdown and movement restrictions are slowly easing up, many Filipinos are now considering out-of-town trips with loved ones. Here’s a guide to help you stay on top of the latest developments, and plan efficiently and safely for your holiday getaway.
Less Movement Restrictions within NCR
From November 5 - 30, 2021, NCR will be under Alert Level 2.
What does this mean? Intrazonal and interzonal movement are allowed. Intrazonal travel means traveling within or to areas with the same set of quarantine rules (ex. Movement within Metro Manila). Interzonal travel means traveling between provinces and cities under different community quarantine rules (ex. Metro Manila to Aklan).
However, LGUs may impose reasonable restrictions in their governing area, as long as it’s not stricter than the current recommendation of the IATF. Read the full IATF Resolution No. 148-F.
Understanding Alert Levels: Read the guidelines on the implementation of the Alert Levels System in NCR in response to COVID-19
Domestic Travel within the Philippines is Now Possible
Philippine Airlines has created an up-to-date and comprehensive list of provinces and tourist destinations and their local requirements. Read the matrix here.
Before you book that ticket, learn about PAL’s guidelines on Eligible Passengers for Domestic Travel.
Know How Your Vaccination Status May Affect Your Travel Plans
On October 8, 2021, the Department of Tourism (DOT) began to allow fully vaccinated individuals regardless of age from Metro Manila to travel on a point-to-point basis.
Who is fully vaccinated?
2-dose vaccines: 2 weeks or more after receiving your 2nd dose
1-dose vaccines: 2 weeks or more after receiving your single dose
Starting December 1, 2021, Malacañang has ordered mandatory vaccination for on-site Filipino workers. If they remain unvaccinated, they will need to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense. Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from this. Business establishments will also have a right to deny entry or service to those who choose to remain unvaccinated despite being eligible.
Many LGUs have also begun to ease up on restrictions. For example, starting November 16, 2021, Boracay allows fully vaccinated tourists to visit by presenting vaccination certificates issued by their LGU or through VaxCertPH. 🌊
Take Note of the Minimum Public Health Standards
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) has issued minimum public health standards that are in effect regardless of alert level or community quarantine status:
😷 Proper wearing of face mask
📏 Physical distancing of at least one meter
👐 Hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Starting November 16, 2021, face shields are no longer required to be worn in public unless in medical settings.
Essential Items to Pack in Your Holiday Bag
The downtrend of COVID-19 cases is good news, but it’s still recommended to be prepared and practice safety precautions.
If you are planning a year-end trip, don’t forget these health essentials:
Get vaccination shots before your trip. Depending on the region you plan to visit, it might be helpful to get appropriate jabs such as cholera and influenza to protect you from diseases.
Prepare a Travel Medication Kit. It will come in handy to prepare medication such as antihistamine for allergic reaction, diosmectite for diarrhea, and motion sickness pills. If you’re unsure of what to pack, you can speak to a doctor on the Doctor Anywhere app for advice.
Plan your itinerary in advance. Be sure to provide sufficient time for travel delays due to more checks and crowd control measures, and try to plan your itinerary such that you can avoid crowds.