Foreign travel advice

Philippines

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Natural disasters

Typhoons

Typhoon Vongfong is expected to impact Oras in Eastern Samar province on 14 May, before moving across Visayas Islands and southern Luzon between 14 and 16 May. You should follow the advice of local authorities, and monitor the progress of approaching storms on the websites of the Philippines state weather agency, the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and typhoon.com, or follow @Typhoon2k on Twitter.

Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year. Most typhoons occur from June to November. There may be flooding and landslides.

You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the websites of the Philippines state weather agency, the Philippines Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and typhoon.com, or follow  @Typhoon2k on Twitter.

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

Earthquakes

The Philippines is in an earthquake zone. At 2.11pm (PHT) on 15 December, a Magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred in Davao Del Sur province. A number of aftershocks have been reported. Transportation throughout the area may be disrupted. If you’re in Davao Del Sur, or are planning to travel to the area, you should be careful of aftershocks, monitor local media for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities. You should check with transportation companies for any changes or cancellations of schedule.

On 22 April 2019, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck north eastern Luzon and was felt strongly in Metro Manila. A further earthquake of magnitude 6.2 occurred in Eastern Samar province on 23 April.

To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can find more information about earthquakes on the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) website.

Volcanoes

There are numerous volcanoes in the Philippines, any of which can erupt without warning. Sudden steam and ash explosions may occur at any time. . Check news reports and follow local advice before travelling to volcanic areas. Avoid volcanic areas during and immediately after heavy rainfall when there’s increased risk of lava flows. You can find more information about volcanoes on the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) website.

The lake Taal volcano 60km south of Manila has been experiencing increased volcanic activity since 12 January 2020. On 14 February the Philippines’ authorities reduced the alert level from 3 down to 2. This should not be interpreted that unrest has ceased, or that the threat of a hazardous eruption has disappeared. The volcano is under constant monitoring by Philippine authorities and the alert level will be raised again if an increase in activity is detected. You should follow updates on the PhiVolcs official website.

The eruptive activity of the Mayon volcano in Albay Province (Bicol region) has reduced since 2018, although it remains at a moderate level of unrest with a risk of sudden eruptions, lava collapses and ash fall. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has lowered the alert to level 2 but an exclusion zone remains in place. If you’re in Albay Province, you should follow the advice of the local authorities, including the advice not to enter the designated danger zone. You should remain vigilant and follow developments on the PHIVOLCS website.

Ash plumes can affect air quality and have an impact on health. A properly fitted face mask may provide some protection. If you have any pre-existing respiratory conditions, you might be at increased risk of triggering or worsening your symptoms. Additional advice on the potential health hazards can found on the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network website.

The capacity of the Philippine emergency and rescue services to deal with large natural disasters is limited.