COVID-19 UPDATE AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

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Updated: 14 June, 2021

We are commited to keeping you informed of the lastest travel update in Southeast Asia. Any question or concern, please contact [email protected].

Taking prompt and strict measures early, countries in Asia have contained the spread of Covid-19 better than other parts of the world. However, some countries are currently experiencing a secondwave, goverments have adopted stricter measures to ensure safety. There is no plan to reopen the border for foreign tourists nor deadline to restart the inbound tourism.

1) VIETNAM

Total cases: 10,630
Active cases: 6,573
Total discharged: 3,998
Total deaths: 59
  • Since 22 March 2020, Vietnam has closed borders to foreign travellers. Vietnam has suspended all visa exemptions, visa on arrival and e-visa.
  • Only Vietnamese nationals, foreigners on diplomatic or official business, and highly skilled workers are allowed to enter Vietnam and they are subject to undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
  • All foreigners who entered Vietnam after March 1 on visa exemptions, e-visas or tourism visas will be given automatic stay extensions at no charge until 31 October 2020.
  • International flights are suspended since 1 April 2020 until further notice.
  • Vietnam is resuming international commercial flights to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China since 18 September and with Laos, Cambodia and Thailand from 22 September, for Vietnam residents are working or living abroad, Non-Vietnam residents are officials, diplomats, experts, skilled workers, investors, and employees of key projects. Foreign tourist are not allowed to enter yet.
  • All domestic flights are operate normally and there are some new route like as direct flight from Hanoi to Con Dao island.
  • Vietnam has temporarily suspended international commercial flights due to the new cases of Covid-19 community transmission.
  • Vietnam and Singapore agree on a travel bubble and plan to restore regular commercial flights between the two countries early next year.
  • Vietnam plans to reopen border by July for vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries like as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan with mandatory 14-day quarantine.
  • Vietnam eyes Covid vaccine passport to foreign investors and tourists.
  • Vietnam Airlines has become the first carrier in Vietnam to trial the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass (read more here).

2) LAOS

Total cases: 2,010
Active cases: 127
Total discharged: 1,880
Total deaths: 3
  • All flights to Laos and tourist visa for foreign visitors are suspended.
  • Laos Airlines has started its flights from Vientiane to Luang Namtha, operating twice a week.
  • Covid-19 prevention measures will continue until 31 August, including the closure of entertainment venues such as karaoke bars, nightclubs, and internet cafes.
  • Laos launches cultural heritage protection project for Champassak and Savannakhet to develop economic benefits for local populations.
  • Japan and Laos agreed Sunday (23 August) to allow expatriates to resume traveling as early as September, provided they stay home for 14 days after entering their respective countries.
  • Nationalwide restrictions have been extended through March 31,2021 and Lao Airlines has suspended chartered flights through January 23,2021.
  • Laos requires foreign visitors to buy Covid-19 insurance, which will cover the cost of any medication prescribed in the event that the policyholder contracts the virus.
  • Laos has extended the nationwide lockdown to June 4, 2021.

3) CAMBODIA

Total cases: 38,969
Active cases: 5,654
Total discharged: 32,967
Total deaths: 348
  • The Covid-19 service charge for foreign arrivals is US$ 2,000 and they must purchase a local health insurance package for any potential treatment at a cost of $90 and valid for 20 days.
  • Travelers also require a Covid-19-free health certificate not longer than 72 hours prior to arrival. Upon arrival in Cambodia, all travelers must undergo a COVID-19 test and wait to receive laboratory results.
  • Land borders with neighboring countries remain closed.
  • Visa exemption for ASEAN countries, tourist visa and e-visa have been suspended.
  • Singapore Airlines has secured approval for passengers to travel between Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia, and Phnom Penh of Cambodia, transiting via Singapore. There will be 2 weekly flights between Phnom Penh and Singapore from September 1, on Tuesdays and Sundays.
  • Following recent Covid-19 confirmed cases, stricter restrictions have been introduced with immediate effect since 8 November. All karaoke bars, nightclubs, cinemas, and museums across the country have been ordered to close. Authorities have halted all sports activities at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh temporarily, until further notice.
  • Sponsorship travel scheme will be suspended from Dec.12 due to increased local cases of Covid-19.
  • Hyatt Regency has opened the first hotel of the brand in Phnom Penh since January 5th and marks the debut of the company in the country.
  • Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight between the two countries.
  • Cambodia plans to reopen Angkor Archeological Park to vaccinated travelers by Q4 of 2021.

4) THAILAND

Total cases: 199,264
Active cases: 39,854
Total discharged: 157,944
Total deaths: 1,466
  • Certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter Thailand and they will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine.
  • Commercial international flights are still suspended.
  • The Royal Thai Government has extended visa relief for foreigners, who are unable to leave Thailand due to the country’s COVID-19 control measures, until 31 October, 2020.
  • Tourists have to pre-register for visiting national parks in Thailand.
  • From 1 September, Emirates resume flights between Bangkok and Dubai with one flight daily (see more details in Emirates website).
  • Inflight services on domestic routes, including inflight food and beverage sevices and onboard sales, are allowed to resume since 3 September.
  • The Thai cabinet has approved the “Special Tourist Visa” to allow foreign tourist to visit Thailand but they will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine and stay at least 90 days (extenable twice for a total of 270 days). This scheme plans to come in effect within October 2020.
  • The first group of 39 and the second group of 147 chinese tourists arrived in Bangkok on October 20th and October 26th under Special Tourist Visa (STV) and they are undergoing 14-day quarantine. However, the Thai border is not opened for normal tourist yet.
  • Since November 2020, Thailand reopens to tourists and crews of foreign yachts under the STV scheme. 14-day quarantine aboard the vessel and three tests for Covid-19 are required before they can travel in Thailand.
  • The Special Tourist Visa (STV) is applied for passangers from low-risk countries. However, the applicant from medium-risk countries like as Europe and Scandinavia now can apply this STV but the applicant must have savings of at least 500,000 THB, a medical certificate, must take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before travel, acquire health insurance cover of 100,000 US Dollars and acquire out-patient insurance to cover 40,000 THB.
  • Thailand is considering shortening the mandatory quarantine for travellers from low-risk countries or from countries proximal to Thailand from 14 days to 10 days.
  • Apart from Special Tourist Visa and the modified 60 day Tourist Visa, Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the second quarter of 2021.
  • The long-stay special tourist visa (STV) will be applied to visitors from every country instead of only those from low-risk countries.
  • Thailand eased travel restrictions for citizens from 56 countries who can travel without visas. However, travellers would need a certificate of Covid-19 negative test 72 hours before travel and will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine and three Covid-19 tests.
  • Since December 31,2020, Thailand has banned food, drink, newspapers and magazines on domestic flights in an effort to stem the tide of the coronavirus.
  • Tougher restrictions have been reinstated in response to a rise of the coronavirus cases.
  • New environment-friendly electric ferries on Bangkok´s Chao Phraya River have been introduced since December 24th, 2020.
  • The nationwide Emergency Decree has been extended for 11th time until 31 May 2021.
  • Thailand plans to introduce tourist tax for all international visitors.
  • Thailand’s Tourism authority launched a compaign to welcome visitors back by July and plans to ease quarantine rules for tourists.
  • Thailand has introduced two-week quarantine on yatch and this program is currently available in Phuket.
  • The first group of 42 golfers from South Korea and Japan has completed their 14-day golf quarantine and they have started their journey around the country from 6 March.
  • From 1st April, Thailand will allow vaccinated visitors to undergo 10-day of quarantine. The first provinces to be open for foreign tourists are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Surat Thani (including Ko Samui and Koh Tao) and Chonburi. Regarding to this plan, visitors can visit Thailand’s most popular areas with quarantine-free by October 2021. Thailand aims to reopen completely by January 2022.
  • Thailand announces a 3-stage roadmap reopening. From July to September, Phuket will be the first destination to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists. From October to December, Krabi, Phang Nga, Surat Thani (Ko Samui), Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Chiang Mai will join Phuket in lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists.
  • From 1 May 2021, the quarantine period has been raised to 14 days.
  • The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has provided initial information regarding to “Phuket Sandbox” program to safety reopen the island to vaccinated travelers from July 1 (read more here).

5) MALAYSIA

Total cases: 657,508
Active cases: 73,324
Total discharged: 580,276
Total deaths: 3,908
  • Cross-border travel between Malaysia and Singapore is resumed on 17 August.
  • Wearing facemasks is compulsory on public transports and in public areas from 1 August.
  • Domestic tourism is going well with some hotels reporting high occupancy over the weekends.
  • Almost all restrictions have been lifted, with conditions.
  • International flights still have been suspended.
  • The government has extended the recovery movement control order (MCO) until 31 December 2020. So, tourists are still not allowed to enter the country.
  • The Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council is proposing to resume the medical tourism for patients from specified nations (Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) to arrive on commercial flights and enter via green zones.
  • The Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) has been extended again till March 31, 2021.

6) SINGAPORE

Total cases: 62,301
Active cases: 398
Total discharged: 61,869
Total deaths: 34
  • Long-term Visit Pass and Student’s pass holders, work pass holder and essential business travellers are permitted to enter Singapore.
  • Changi Airport permittes transit passangers.
  • Since 1 July, Singapore has gradually reopen some attractions as Universal Studio, Singapore Zoo, Flower Dome at Gardens by The Bay, Casino at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, and Sands Sky Park and Observation Deck… (see details on Singapore Tourism Board website)
  • Singapore will shorten the quarantine period to 7 days (instead of 14 days) for individuals arriving from 6 low-risk countries and regions, including Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Macao, China and Vietnam.
  • Singapore has opened for essential travellers from 6 regions of China and Malaysia.
  • Short-term visitors from Brunei and New Zealand will be allowed to enter Singapore applying an Air Travel Pass from 8 September 2020 (see details here). This scheme comes in effect for travellers from Vietnam and Australia from 8 October 2020.
  • Singapore Airlines is planning to launch its “Flights to Nowhere”, 3-hour flights providing sightseeing trips to passanger which will take off and land at Singapore’s Changi Airport, allowing those with itchy feet to enjoy an opportunity to fly without taking the risk of travel. Other program, “Cruises to nowhere”, will be launched in November 2020.
  • Singapore – Hong Kong plans to launch travel bubble to begin on November 22 with no quarantine is required. This travel bubble has been postponed due to the Covid-19 spike in Hong Kong. For now, this travel bubble will be delayed to 2021.
  • Singapore will launch a new segregated travel lane for limited number of business, official and high economic value travellers from all countries on short-term stays (up to 14 days). They will have to “stay at an appointed facility under the [email protected] initiative, undergo regular routine testing and strictly observe all prevailing Safe Management Measures. Applicants for this travel lane will be open in the middle of January 2021.
  • All long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to South Africa within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore or transit through here, since January 4, 2021.
  • Singapore has become one of the first Asian nations to start its national vaccination programme and the country considers to relax Covid-19 restrictions for vaccinated travellers.
  • Since January 24, Singapore will begin testing all inbound traveller for Covid-19 at the airport and it also require visitors to carry a minimum of $30,000 in travel insurance starting January 31.
  • Singapore Airlines has become the first airline to vaccinate its entire crew.
  • Singapore and Australia plan to restart travel bubble by July for vaccinated travelers without mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
  • Singapore remains open to tourists from Australia, Brunei, China, New Zealand and Taiwan.
  • Singapore will accept the International Air Transport Association (IATA) mobile travel pass from May 2021.
  • Singapore and Hong Kong will relaunch travel bubble by May 26.

7) INDONESIA

Total cases: 1,911,358
Active cases: 113,388
Total discharged: 1,745,091
Total deaths: 52,879
  • Attractions in Indonesia have been gradually opened for domestic tourists.
  • International and transit travellers are not permitted.
  • Visa services have been suspended.
  • Bali, which originally planned to reopen its borders to foreign travelers on 11 September, will remain closed until 2021.
  • Indonesia has extended the entry ban for foreign visitors until 22 February, 2021.
  • Foreign tourists, who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, could be allowed to visit select areas in Bali within months.
  • Indonesia prepares to reopen Bali, Batam and Bintan for foreign tourists by July.
  • Bayan Tree will launch new property in Bali in September. BAHUAN, a Bayan Tree Escape is located in an off-the-beaten-track untouched part of northern Ubud and pioneers a “no walls, no doors” concept throughout the property and in each of its 16 balés (villas).

8) PHILIPPINES

Total cases: 1,315,639
Active cases: 59,865
Total discharged: 1,232,986
Total deaths: 22,788
  • Borders remain closed for foreign travelers.
  • Since August, certain categories of foreigners are permitted to enter the country (see details here).
  • International flights are suspended and borders are still closed.
  • Cebu opens for limited number of tourists since August 1.
  • Baguio City is considering reopening to a limited number of tourists by September (click here).
  • Philippines plans to gradually reactivate domestic tourism in October and the country will not open its borders to international visitors until the second half of 2021.
  • Philippines plans to open for tourists from low and medium risk countries in 2021.
  • Since February 1, Philippines has lifted a ban on travelers from countries with confirmed cases of the new coronavirus variants. However, foreign tourists would remain banned.
  • Amid the rising cases of COVID-19, Philippines has temporarily suspended the entry of foreign nationals from March 20 to April 30.

9) MYANMAR

Total cases: 145,603
Active cases: 9,431
Total discharged: 132,928
Total deaths: 3,244
  • All international flights are suspended until 31 August.
  • Lockdowns and curfews are in place across the country, and differ between regions.
  • Visa exemptions and visa on arrival have been suspended.
  • Mandatory COVID-19 infection-free certification no more than 72 hours before travel date.
  • Public gatherings 30 or more people are prohibited.
  • Face masks are mandatory in public and in public transportation.
  • Due to the recent increase in local transmission cases, Myanmar has extended temporary entry restrictions for all incoming visitors until September 30. Therefore, all types of visas and visa exemptions are suspended, as well as all international air services. International flights and tourism will be banned until December 31.
  • Domestic flights have been resumed from December 16.
  • Myanmar has extended entry restrictions for travellers through January 31,2021.
  • Myanmar has suspended flights and shut down all its airports after military coup.

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