COVID-19 Guidance for the Twilio API for WhatsApp

WhatsApp and Twilio are making special considerations for COVID-19 related use cases during these unique times.

Onboarding for non-government entities

For businesses that were already allowed to onboard to WhatsApp, there is no change to the criteria for WhatsApp onboarding access. Please refer to our support article and the WhatsApp commerce policy.

There is also no change to the use of templates for these business types. The same rules and restrictions (outlined in Getting Started with Twilio for WhatsApp) apply.

Onboarding for government entities

Governments can now onboard to respond to incoming citizen messages about COVID-19. Template messages, such as outgoing broadcast messages, are not allowed for governments by WhatsApp at this time.

To onboard, governments must first establish contact with their local Facebook Public Policy contact to escalate the government's use case. Once contact with Facebook Public Policy has been made, please follow the already published onboarding guidelines.

Facebook and WhatsApp must approve each government entity before it can be eligible for onboarding.

Please note that government entities working with a software integrator (SI) must use their own Twilio account, not the SI. After approval and onboarding, the government entity can then provide its own Twilio account credentials (Account SID and Auth Token) to the SI for them to perform any necessary system integration.

COVID-19 and WhatsApp – FAQ

  • Q: Are hospitals allowed? Yes.
  • Q: Is telemedicine allowed? Yes, everywhere except France.
  • Q: Are NGOs or nonprofits allowed? Yes, by the standard onboarding process.
  • Q: Are government and government health entities allowed? Yes, but you must be vouched for by the Facebook Public Policy team from your region – see above for instructions.
  • Q: What about doctors? Doctors and medical practices are allowed to onboard to WhatsApp through Twilio, but individual doctors or small practices may find it easier to use WhatsApp’s small business mobile app.
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