How to Return from Bangkok to Manila

Currently, you can travel between Thailand and the Philippines without doing quarantine by applying for a Thailand Pass to get into Thailand, and a One Health Pass to get into the Philippines. Traveling to either of these countries also requires an RT-PCR test negative for SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19 virus), so there’s a lot to get organised before the trip.

I went to Bangkok for six days on a Thailand Pass under an older protocol that required hotel+RT-PCR tests on Day 1 and Day 5. However, when I arrived on March 1 a new protocol was in place: Day 1 hotel+RT-PCR test and Day 5 self-administered antigen test. Read all about my MNL-BKK flight here.

Getting a Pre-Departure RT-PCR Test Result on Time

I had originally planned to fly back to Manila on Day 6, assuming that my Day 5 RT-PCR result would be back early that day. Then I read about how other people who used the same hotel+testing hospital combo got results released later than 24 hours after. That wouldn’t do! And so on Day 4 I was scrambling on my phone looking for express RT-PCR testing. If I had known earlier that I would need another RT-PCR test to get the results on time, I might have been able to book a next-day result RT-PCR test on Klook. Thankfully, Google Ads came to the rescue and served me an ad for the clinic I would book for a test the next day. (It was pricey, but the alternative would have been to miss a flight worth P20,000 as well as having to book two more nights at a hotel, since the next flight was in two days.)

Watch my experience in the vlog below, or scroll down for more details on what you need to get your One Health Pass to enter the Philippines without quarantine.

One Health Pass to Enter Philippines Quarantine-Free (for tourists and non-OFW)

Apply for your One Health Pass online at onehealthpass.com.ph. You can apply for the One Health Pass only within three days of your intended arrival date. You will need the following requirements in screenshot or scanned form:

  • Vaccine certification recognized under existing IATF regulations such as: World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis; VaxCertPH; or national/state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF
  • Negative RT-PCR result from within the last 48 hours
  • If returning Philippine resident: your home address and contact number
  • If tourist: your roundtrip ticket or onward booking, plus confirmed hotel accommodation

Where the application form says you need to select a quarantine hotel and an RT-PCR lab, this is just a holdover from the old form and older quarantine requirement. Just select any hotel and any lab.

Once you finish registration, take a screenshot of the QR code given you. It will also be sent to the email address you used in the form.

At the airport upon check-in, your airline will ask for:

  • Passport
  • Proof of vaccination (what you submitted to get the One Health Pass)
  • Negative RT-PCR result
  • One Health Pass
  • If tourist: travel insurance, roundtrip ticket/onward booking, confirmed hotel accommodation

Upon arrival in the Philippines, you will first be directed to the Bureau of Quarantine checkpoint. Present the following documents (and others as required):

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass
  • Proof of vaccination (what you submitted to get the One Health Pass)
  • Negative RT-PCR result
  • One Health Pass

The BOQ/Coast Guard officer will check your documents and then stamp your boarding pass “Approved.” DO NOT LOSE THIS! You will need to present this boarding pass again at Immigration, further checkpoints near the baggage claim, and to exit the airport.

And that’s it! I was through BOQ and Immigration stops in five minutes because there weren’t a lot of us on the flight, and no other flights had arrived at the same time.

I’ve heard rumors that Thailand may scrap their Thailand Pass arrival testing requirements completely since Cambodia and the Philippines have dropped theirs, so keep checking the Tourism Authority of Thailand newsroom for updates.

It takes a bit of elbow grease and a lot of planning to travel internationally right now, but it’s totally doable if you’re itching to explore once more.

About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in fitness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

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