COVID-19 Travels: 5 Visa-Free Countries For Filipinos

Since the pandemic struck, travelling has become difficult for everyone. International , especially, now seem like a fantasy for most Filipinos. But who’s to say we have to stop dreaming?

As the world is slowly adapting to the new normal, so are several tourist destinations. While we still recommend staying at home as much as possible, we’re happy to see these visa-free countries paving the way for safer !

Also read: 10 Vacation Spots in the Philippines for When It’s Safe to Travel Again

1. Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the rare visa-free countries for Filipinos that has opened for travellers during the pandemic. But travelling to Cambodia right now doesn’t come without a price. In fact, the country has intense requirements for .

On that note, we can see that Cambodia is fairly handling the pandemic well (or at least, better than most). As of 22 Jun 2020, there have been no coronavirus-induced deaths in the country. This goes to say that travelling to Cambodia in the future gives us a lot less to worry about!

Also read: My Siem Reap Adventure: Travel Tips & Expense Guide for Filipino Travellers

2. Malaysia

Although Malaysia has not yet opened its doors for Filipinos, it’s already started easing its travel restrictions. As of writing, domestic travel is already permitted in Malaysia. Currently, it is also looking into reopening its borders to green zone countries including Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Filipinos may enter Malaysia but will be subjected to their medical protocols and to the approval from authorities and the Malaysian government. Also, given the worldwide challenges of travelling, visitors must anticipate that flights to Malaysia won’t come easy. At least, not for now. 

Nevertheless, Malaysia is now under the recovery movement control order (RMCO) and has since opened a few recreational spots. We’re excited for the country to reopen its borders to international tourists soon!

3. Singapore

After ending the circuit breaker, Singapore tourist attractions are once again operating. As of now, the Singapore government is implementing a mandatory 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) for most travellers entering the city-state. 

The SHN will be conducted at dedicated facilities and will cost non-residents around SG$2,000 per stay. Aside from the SHN, all travellers entering Singapore also have to be tested for COVID-19. This applies to Filipinos who will be entering Singapore for essential travels.

We can see that Singapore is doing its best to beat the crisis. While short-term travellers are mostly prohibited from entering the city-state as of now, we’re anticipating Singapore reopening its doors for more Filipino travellers in the near future. 

Also read: How I Spent 3 Days in Singapore For Less Than ₱6,000

4. Thailand

After months of limited mobility, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) finally started easing up its restrictions this June. To cope with the new normal, the Thai government has launched an organisation to coordinate with tourist attractions for COVID-19 prevention measures. 

Basically, the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) aims to equip the tourism industry of Thailand for safe operations during the new normal. To keep tourists safe and healthy, the SHA has set up thorough sanitation standards for establishments and new rules for business owners.

The SHA also helps in contact tracing through a registration system. Once it detects an infected person, the details are automatically sent to the Ministry of Public Health for easy monitoring.

If you’re planning to visit Thailand once it’s possible, consider establishments with SHA certificates. The certificates are only given to establishments that comply with the SHA health guidelines.

5. Vietnam

Awe-inspiring is an understatement if we try to describe the success of Vietnam in beating the coronavirus. The country has become one of the biggest nations without a COVID-19 death, despite its location being a hotspot for the virus.

When the pandemic struck, Vietnam’s Immigration Department decided to let tourists who’ve entered the country after 1 Mar stay until 30 Jun. Like the rest of the world, the country was put under a social distancing directive; but this was soon lifted by 23 Apr. Now, the country is mostly operating fully: flights, hotels, tourist attractions, and other facilities and establishments included.

To keep their nation safe, Vietnam has implemented restrictions for Filipino travellers who want to visit. According to the DFA, Filipinos may enter Vietnam but will be subjected to their medical protocols and to the approval from authorities and the Vietnamese government. 

Also read: The Real Reasons To Love Vietnam, And Visit It When This Is All Over

Without a doubt, these countries are offering us a glimmer of hope for our future . We’ll certainly wait for when it’s safe to travel again before hopping on a non-essential trip; meanwhile, we’ll stay at home, taking the time to do our research for the best places to explore once it’s possible again.

Stay safe!

Featured image credit: Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

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