As part of the Travel and Hospitality industry, Z Hostel will be coming up with blog posts relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, sourcing from government agencies as well as personal experiences, to help travelers and the public with relevant travel, arrival, and quarantine information here in the Philippines.
Donatello Montrone, an Italian entrepreneur who has been living and working in the Philippines for a couple of years now, arrived in the Philippines from Italy last August 19, 2021. He is sharing a glimpse of the process in arriving in the country — from planning, arrival, quarantine, until reaching his home — during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is non-Filipino national, with a 9g Visa (Philippine working visa for foreigners), who took a trip back in his home country for a few weeks.
Planning and Departure
What were the first and most important things you had to consider and prepare for this trip?
To come home to the Philippines from Italy, I needed several documents and a pre-booking in a quarantine hotel (here is the list of Bureau of Quarantine-allowed and Department of Tourism-accredited Quarantine facilities as of Aug. 31, 2021). I sourced relevant information from the Emirates website and the Italian Embassy.
What were the other travel requirements?
- Airplane ticket to Philippines
- Passport and 9g visa
- RT-PCR test results 72 hours prior to departure
- Hotel confirmed booking at accredited quarantine hotel/facility
Arrival in the Philippines
When did you arrive in the Philippines? Which terminal?
I arrived August 19 early in the afternoon at NAIA Terminal 3.
Walk us through the process when you arrived.
Once I arrived, I was escorted first to the Bureau of Quarantine, here they verify the documents you have such as the RT-PCR test and also the hotel confirmation. After verification you are then asked to book a RT-PCR test on the 7th day of your quarantine stay. I had to quarantine for 10 days since I came from a non-green zone country which was Italy (for a list of the Green Zone Countries, see our blog post here).
After that, they released me and then I went to Immigration where they checked my visa (working visa). Before leaving the airport, they also made sure of my car service arrangements from the airport to the hotel. I got a white taxi (they are the accredited ones at the airport).
Where did you quarantine and for how long?
Yes, I did it in Z Hostel, 10 days. 10 days is for the fully vaccinated and 15 days for non vaccinated.
Did you take an RT-PCR test during this time?
Yes on the 7th day.
How would you describe this entire experience of coming home to the Philippines during this COVID-19 pandemic?
It wasn’t that bad, except for a few problems. One is to wear a mask in a long flight, I had to wear the mask for 18 hours straight,
I also noticed that there were no clear directions at the check-in counter in Rome, especially on the documentations needed. For example, the Emirate’s website said there was no need for RT-PCR, but the embassy said you need it. There is still a bit of confusion.
Any tips and/or stories you may want to share for all those planning to come home / travel to the Philippines during this time?
Since you’ll be quarantined for 10 days, make the necessary preparations. I was able to make my space more comfortable because I was able to request certain things to be brought over at the quarantine hotel upon my arrival from my wife.