Flying to Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? You must now present a valid negative PCR certificate before boarding an aircraft, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said in new advisories.
For a Filipino passenger to qualify for a flight to any of these Asian destinations, one must first have a PCR certificate that shows he or she is negative of COVID-19. “All affected passengers are strongly advised to get in touch with their respective air carriers to get the details on the implementation of the new regulation,” one of the advisories added.
Only those who show a negative PCR certificate may board their flights to Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the UAE. Meanwhile, those who show positive results could be denied boarding despite having a confirmed booking with one’s airline.
What is a PCR certificate?
PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a form of testing for COVID-19. It detects a person’s current condition by getting swabs through the nose or throat. This is in comparison to the more affordable rapid testing being done for passengers arriving in the country from abroad.
With a turnaround time of around three to four days, PCR tests produce more accurate results according to experts. Passengers must print their PCR certificate upon checking in for their flights to Hong Kong, South Korea, and the UAE effective July 2020.
How travelling Filipinos can get their certificates
For those flying to Hong Kong
Except for transit passengers, Filipinos travelling to Hong Kong must take the PCR test at least three days before their trip. The test shall be done in an accredited laboratory or health institution. Those returning for work may take the test for free courtesy of their employers, according to the Hong Kong Labour Department. The forms to be submitted may be downloaded here.
For those flying to South Korea
A PCR certificate for Filipinos travelling to South Korea must be issued within two days of departure. For the time being, this applies to flights arriving via Incheon International Airport. This does not cover South Korea passport holders returning to their home country. South Korea Embassy-approved PCR testing facilities are found here.
For those flying to Taiwan
Travellers holding Taiwan residence permits or visas, migrant workers, overseas students, and authorised personnel (e.g. diplomats, etc.) arriving from the Philippines will take the PCR test upon arrival at the Taoyuan International Airport. Otherwise, they must take the test in the Philippines. The PCR test result, if negative, must be valid within three days before departure. From 29 Jul 2020 onwards, the policy also applies to transit passengers in Taipei. The full announcement is available here.
For those flying to the UAE
Filipino passengers flying to the UAE must also take a PCR test in an accredited medical facility in the Philippines. At the time of writing, some known hospitals in Metro Manila conducting PCR tests include St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig and Quezon City, The Medical City in Pasig, and Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan. Also, the result must be valid within three days of the flight departure. Transit flights are excluded from the policy.
Featured image credit: Lei Jiang | Unsplash