Qantas restarts Manila flights as Philippines reopens

Qantas and Philippine Airlines prepare for a travel rebound between Australia and Manila.

By David Flynn, February 21 2022
Qantas restarts Manila flights as Philippines reopens

Qantas will once again fly between Sydney and Manila from March 27, following this month’s reopening of The Philippines to tourists and business travellers and today’s similar move by Australia.

The airline has pencilled in a daily Airbus A330 for the Sydney-Manila route, going up against Philippine Airlines, which has continued to connect Australia and the Philippines with flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Manila, all on the carrier’s Airbus A321-series jets.

Citizens of almost 160 countries which previously enjoyed visa-free entry to the Philippines – including Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – are now once again be able to visit the popular Asian destination without entering quarantine.

The economic losses caused to the tourism-dependent archipelago by two years of lockdown were compounded by a super typhoon that smashed into the country in December.

The Philippines moved to scrap its ‘traffic light’ system which ranked countries based on their handing of Covid-19, and shift the focus onto individual travellers, who must be fully vaccinated and submit a negative result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours of their flight’s departure.

While unvaccinated travellers remain banned, unvaccinated Filipino nationals can enter the country on the basis of entering five days quarantine.

However, while popular tourism destinations such as Boracay will welcome visitors, some parts of the Philippines - including many of its smaller islands – impose tight restrictions or remain in lockdown.

As previously reported, Thailand will roll out the welcome mat to visitors from 1 February, while Bali is gearing up for Australian visitors pending government approval for the return of quarantine-free travel.

Australia could also fully reopen its borders to all visitors and business travellers by April, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison remarking over the weekend “I’d like to see us get there soon… certainly before Easter, well before Easter.”

 

 


 


 

 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 525

"While unvaccinated travellers remain banned, unvaccinated Filipino nationals can enter the country on the basis of entering five days quarantine."

Wrong. Unvaccinated travellers WILL be banned, not "remain" banned. Up until now, they've been allowed in but as of either Feb 10 or Feb 16 depending on the source, unvaccinated foreign nationals will unfortunately be banned from entering the Philippines. As of the time the article was printed, they were still allowed in.

This is disappointing, seeing that these vaccines don't prevent transmission or protect you from catching Covid.

It is hoped that ALL restrictions, including vaccination, pre-departure testing and mask wearing will be permanently lifted in a few months time when it is expected that Covid will become "endemic". 

Travellers to the Philippines should be aware that the country has very strict mask laws in place. Up until now, they've even required face shields to be worn in many settings. That restriction is set to be relaxed soon, but not the mask wearing. Officially, you'll still be required to mask up everywhere, including at beaches. In practice, if you're somewhere isolated you don't have to wear a mask but need to take your cue from locals.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of paranoia throughout Asia regarding Covid, with locals in countries from Thailand to China, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and probably the Philippines as well, taking offence at westerners not wearing masks.


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