- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
High Degree of Caution
Latest Travel Alert
Citizens planning travel abroad should take into account the ongoing risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad and are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Before departure and during travel, citizens are advised to monitor our Travel Advice, follow us on Twitter, and register with their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.
Travel to Philippines
Irish citizens may enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period up to 30 days. However, citizens must meet the following conditions or risk being refused immigration clearance and may be deported:
- Citizens travelling to the Philippines are urged to register with Philippine authorities for an eArrival Card within 72 hours prior to departure.
- Passengers who are fully vaccinated must possess a recognised proof of vaccination. Travellers aged 15 and above who are not fully vaccinated are required to present a negative laboratory-based Rapid Antigen Test taken 24 hours before departure from country of origin.
- Unvaccinated travellers aged 15 and above who are unable to present a negative pre-departure laboratory-based Rapid Antigen Test will be required to undergo testing in the upon arrival in the airport. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to complete a facility-based quarantine in the Philippines.
- Accompanied, unvaccinated children aged 14 and below shall follow the quarantine procedures of their parents and guardians.
- Unaccompanied unvaccinated children aged 14 and below must go through the same procedure as travellers aged 15 and above.
- Have a valid return or onward ticket within thirty (30) days of arrival in the Philippines.
- Have a passport with at least six (6) months of validity.
Irish citizens holding an existing visa may enter the Philippines but may be subject to quarantine depending on recognition of vaccination status as per the above.
Note that entry restrictions may change at any time under the discretion of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). The latest advice can be found here.
In the Philippines
Measures have been introduced by the Philippine government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the mandatory wearing of masks in healthcare facilities, medical transport, and public transportation by land, air or sea. Meanwhile, voluntary wearing of face masks in all other areas are also encouraged for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals. Please consult the following webpage for further information: a guide on arrival and quarantine procedures.
You should monitor announcements from local authorities to understand the latest restrictions and regulations where you are situated and to check the requirements for any travel outside of your residence, including to the airport.
General Travel Advice
The Department of Foreign Affairs advises against all travel to South West Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Irish citizens should be aware that tourists are often targeted by criminals, especially in busy public areas and around popular nightlife areas. Crime levels in informal settlements are very high. Tourists should exercise caution if visiting these areas, especially at night.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for the Philippines. Mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis (JE) and chikungunya virus occur can all year round. The government declared a national dengue epidemic in August 2019, resulting in a heightened risk of dengue fever. You should take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and plan to travel to areas affected by the Zika Virus, you are advised to discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider and to consider postponing your travel to affected areas. Irish Citizens are advised to follow the advice of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
The World Health Organisation recommends that travellers get vaccinated against measles at least 15 days prior to travel. WHO advice for international travel in relation to measles can be found here.
Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, mostly between June and December. There may be flooding and landslides. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms. The Philippines is in a very active earthquake zone and has numerous volcanoes. For more information, read the natural disasters and climate section of this page.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about the Philippines before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you're in the Philippines, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
If you need assistance, you can contact the Embassy in Manila.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
We advise against all travel to the BARMM area of South West Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago and advise a high degree of caution to the remainder of Mindanao and to the south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian. If you’re travelling to the Philippines, always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational. The Philippines Bureau of Immigration has specifically warned foreign nationals against participating in public protests and political rallies. Foreign nationals who participate in these activities may be detained and deported for violating Philippine immigration laws.
There is a risk of terrorism in the Philippines. Terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country, including in Manila. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like airports, shopping malls and places of worship. Be aware of the risk of terrorist attacks to all forms of public transport: road, rail, sea and air. Terrorist groups have threatened to attack passenger ferries and other vessels, particularly those operating from Mindanao. You should avoid using public transport throughout Mindanao.
There is a threat from kidnapping, particularly in the southern Philippines. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and on dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea. Foreigners have been targeted in rural, urban and coastal areas in the past.
There’s a high level of violent crime, including gun crime. Criminal gangs sometimes use terrorist tactics like kidnapping. Explosions attributed to criminal organisations have caused fatalities.
There is a high incidence of street crime and robbery. Some taxi drivers and their accomplices have robbed and harmed passengers. Be particularly vigilant when travelling on public transport. Armed hold-ups have occurred on ‘jeepneys’ and buses. In some cases these have resulted in fatalities.
You should take sensible precautions.
- Arrange to be met at the airport or use a hotel transfer service. Only use taxis from a reputable company.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Beware of strangers offering drinks or confectionery that may be spiked.
- Always be careful about your personal safety. Get advice from local contacts, avoid travel off the beaten track and always leave travel plans with friends, colleagues or relatives. Safety standards on taxis, buses and boats can be low.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in the Philippines, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Manila if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Philippines, bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
With the exception of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Air, all air carriers from the Philippines have been refused permission to operate services to the EU due to safety concerns.
Avoid travel on ferries if possible. Ferries are often overloaded, lack necessary lifesaving equipment, are not adequately maintained and have incomplete passenger manifests. Storms can develop quickly.
There is a high level of piracy and armed robbery against ships in and around Philippine waters.
Maritime rescue services in the Philippines may be limited.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for importing and using illegal drugs are severe.
You must be able to show some identification if requested by the police. A photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport will suffice. Leave details of your travel plans, passport and credit cards with friends and family and make sure the next of kin details in your passport are up to date.
Philippine law on paedophile activity is severe, and strictly enforced. A child is defined in Philippine law as a person under the age of 18. Entrapment may also occur where strangers with children have befriended single male tourists; allegations of abuse are then made in an attempt to extort money.
Any foreign national planning to recruit Filipinos for employment overseas must carry out due diligence, comply with local legislation and be licensed. The laws relating to illegal recruitment are strict. Foreign nationals have been known to spend more than two years in prison on remand while their cases are processed.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year. Most typhoons occur from June to December. There may be flooding and landslides. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the websites of the Philippines state weather agency, typhoon.com, or follow @Typhoon2k on Twitter.
To learn more about what to do if you’re caught in a tropical cyclone, see the Gov.uk website.
The Philippines is in an active earthquake zone. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Taal Volcano, located 60km south of Manila, experienced a significant eruption in the early hours of 13 January 2020. On 26 January the Philippines’ authorities reduced the alert level from 4 down to 3. Whilst this indicates a decreased tendency towards a hazardous eruption being imminent, it does not indicate that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared. Authorities recommend recommends that entry into the Taal Volcano Island as well as into areas over Taal Lake and communities west of the island within a seven (7) km radius from the Main Crater must be strictly prohibited. For updates please refer to the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) website.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Under normal circumstances, Irish passport holders can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. Entry to the Philippines may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel - for example an onward or return air ticket. You can apply to extend your stay at the offices of the Bureau of Immigration Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter and can lead to detention pending payment of outstanding fees and fines and voluntary deportation at your own expense.
If you’re unsure of the entry requirements for the Philippines, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the Philippines.
Make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months after the conclusion of your trip to the Philippines (or other countries within South East Asia).
During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport and your arrival card at all times so you can show evidence of your identity if asked, for example, by the police.
Children travelling to the Philippines without their parents
Foreign minors (under 15 years of age) who are not travelling with one or both parents, or not coming to join a parent in the Philippines are required to carry a copy of their parents’ resident visa. Parents of children travelling unaccompanied to the Philippines must file an ‘affidavit of support’ with the nearest Philippines Embassy or Bureau of Immigration. Contact the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate for further information.
The availability of medical care varies across the Philippines, and may not meet the standards of care in the Europe. Although adequate in major cities, medical care is limited in more remote areas. Treatment can be very expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 117 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Water-borne diseases, including typhoid and cholera, are endemic in the Philippines. You should use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.
There is a risk of rabies throughout the Philippines.
The Embassy of Ireland in Manila is open and provides consular services to Irish citizens, including passports.
Embassy of Ireland,
30/F Tower 2, RCBC Plaza,
6819 Ayala Avenue,
Makati City, 1200
Tel: (02) 8859 5140
Opening Hours: Access by appointment only
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.