Philippines: IATF Approves Adoption of “Yellow” and “Red” Country Classifications

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points 

  • On Sept. 6, 2021, the Filipino government approved a recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift travel restrictions on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • The government moved to adapt an IATF approved color-coded country lists for safe travel


The government of the Philippines announced on Sept. 6, 2021, that it will lift an entry ban on travelers arriving from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Travelers arriving from these countries will still have to comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols and should visit the Republic of the Philippines Department of Health website for additional information. The government also plans to release a color-coded country list that will clarify requirements for entry into the Philippines. Like other countries that utilize a color-coded list, the IATF approved list will be classified by “Yellow”, “Red” and “Green” countries. These classifications will be decided based on each country, jurisdiction or territories respective incidence rates and case counts, in addition to testing data.  

What are the Changes?

Previously, all foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines were required to undergo the same quarantine process, regardless of their point of departure. Strict travel bans have also been placed on countries with high COVID-19 rates. Now, regardless of their vaccination status, inbound travelers arriving from a yellow-list country or having travelled through a yellow-list country within 14 days before their arrival in the Philippines:  

  • Must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The first 10 days of the quarantine must be carried out at a government designated location; 
  • Must take a PCR test on the seventh day of their quarantine. If the test is negative, after the 10 days spent in the government designated location, the individual is allowed to quarantine at home or in another suitable location. All 10 days of quarantine must be completed, regardless of a negative PCR test; 
  • The Bureau of Quarantine will ensure strict symptom monitoring throughout the quarantine period 

Foreign nationals who have been in a red-list country within 14 days of their planned arrival in the Philippines are not allowed to enter the country. Filipino citizens returning to the Philippines via a government-initiated repatriation, non-government-initiated repatriation or a Bayanihan flight may be allowed to enter the country but must follow testing and quarantine protocols. This includes: 

  • Undergoing a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The first 10 days must be completed in a government approved quarantine facility while the remaining 4 days of quarantine must be spent under home quarantine; 
  • Take a PCR test on the seventh day of quarantine. If the test is negative, these individuals are allowed to finish the remaining 3 days at home, or another government approved location.  

If an individual has only transited through a red-list country, they will be allowed to enter the Philippines, if they meet other entry requirements.  

Looking Ahead 

The government is still in the process of finalizing and publishing an approved color-coded country travel list. Individuals planning on traveling to the Philippines should continue to check for an updated color-coded country list. For additional information regarding quarantine protocol and travel check here.


Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.