PSA: If You’re Traveling Abroad on a Tourist Visa, You’re REQUIRED to Have Travel Insurance

Planning to travel internationally soon?
by | September 06, 2021

With the procurement of different vaccines against COVID-19, international travel for leisure is gradually reopening. Several countries have already opened to vaccinated tourists from the Philippines. As more people get fully vaccinated globally and travel restrictions ease, you might be able to continue working your way through your travel bucket list.


“Outbound Filipinos” now eligible for international travel.

Earlier in the pandemic, only OFWs, students enrolled abroad, and foreign nationals or permanent residents were allowed to travel out of the country. But now, outbound Filipinos — or those traveling as tourists or on short-term/visitor visas — can now travel abroad. (Short-term visas are generally issued for tourism, business trips, family visits, or for medical treatment.)


What are the travel requirements for Outbound Filipinos using tourist visas?

Outbound Filipinos using tourist visas are required to have the following requirements (apart from their passport):

  • Confirmed round-trip tickets
  • Adequate travel and health insurance to cover travel disruptions and hospitalization in case of COVID-19 infections during the allowable period of stay abroad
  • A negative COVID-19 test taken with the health and safety protocols of the destination
  • International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) — if required by the destination country.
  • Additional documents and medical/health requirements by the destination country

(Sources: Philippine Airlines, KPMG)


Do you need travel insurance that covers COVID-19 before being cleared to travel?

After booking a trip, travel insurance should be one of the first things to take care of just in case of a medical emergency abroad. While there are many countries that already have a mandatory travel insurance requirement before the pandemic like Schengen countries and The UAE, there are countries that have listed travel insurance as a requirement due to COVID-19 such as Aruba, Cambodia, Lebanon, and Seychelles.

Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 is a requirement before travel for all outbound Filipinos using tourist visas. It is also important to check updates on the travel requirements of your country of destination prior to travel. An example is Singapore, which now requires short-term visitors applying to enter the country to secure travel insurance for COVID-19 medical treatment and hospitalization costs, with a minimum coverage of $30,000.


Where to get travel insurance

Travel insurance can usually be purchased as an add-on when booking flights, which covers medical and travel assistance, baggage protection, and compensation for emergency trip changes. But if you’re looking for travel insurance with more coverages, you may refer to these companies:

  • Standard Insurance with up to USD 50,000 medical expense benefit on Travel International and up to Php 500,000 medical expense benefit on Travel ASEAN
  • Prudential Guarantee, which includes a Repatriation benefit in case you need to be transported back to the Philippines or another country for medical treatment
  • AXA with three different packages on both international and domestic trips
  • Malayan, which includes coverage on recovery of travel expenses and travel inconvenience benefits


Before making travel plans


It is important to check whether or not the country of destination is open for tourists. Individuals eligible to exit the Philippines as well as travel requirements are also subject to change. Always keep your eyes peeled for updates as we live in uncertain times.


For updates and inquiries, you may contact the Bureau of Immigration through (+632) 8465-2400, (+632) 8524-3769, send an email to,,, or visit their official website or Facebook page.

When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.

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