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Coronavirus Travel Updates: Current APAC travel bans and advisories

By Nicole Hurip 25 March 2020 | Last Updated 30 March 2020

Header image courtesy of Bloomberg

Travel restrictions have been implemented by countries in the global effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a list of the current restrictions in place for countries in the Asia Pacific. This list will be updated as the situation develops.

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Australia

  • From 9 pm onwards on 20 March 2020, non-Australian citizens or residents are no longer allowed to enter Australia, unless they are direct family members of Australians. See exemptions here.
  • All travellers to Australia are required to self-isolate for 14 days, either at home or in a hotel.

Source: Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs

Bhutan

  • As of 6 March 2020, tourist entry is banned until further notice.
  • Indian nationals are allowed to enter the country for non-tourism and essential purposes through land ports after coronavirus screening, according to reporting by New Delhi Television.

Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan 

Cambodia

  • As of 17 March 2020, visitors from the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Iran are banned from entry.
  • Visa processing for people from these six countries is suspended for 30 days from 17 March 2020.

Source: Khmer Times and Ministry of Health of Cambodia

China

  • There is no ban for international travellers as of 23 March 2020.
  • As of 23 March 2020, all international passenger flights bound for Beijing will be diverted to the following twelve designated first points of entry: Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Hohhot, Shanghai Pudong, Jinan, Qingdao, Nanjing, Shenyang, Dalian, Zhengzhou, and Xi’an. Passengers will go through quarantine inspection and clear immigration and customs at their first point of entry, and only those deemed healthy will be allowed to board the same aircraft again to fly to Beijing.
  • Effective 23 March 2020, individuals flying into Shanghai who have travelled to or resided in the 24 listed countries (Korea, Italy, Iran, the Philippines, France, Spain, Germany, USA, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Netherland, Demark, Austria, Australia, Malaysia, Greece, Czech, Finland, Qatar, Canada and Saudi Arabia) will be required to self-quarantine at home or hotel or sent for centralised medical observation for 14 days upon entry. See more information here.

Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Hong Kong

  • As of 29 March 2020, public gatherings of more than four people are banned. The ban will last for 2 weeks.
  • All foreign tourist and transit arrivals to the city will be banned from 25 March 2020. The ban will last for 2 weeks.
  • Arrivals from mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau will still be allowed, subject to quarantine, provided that they do not have a recent history of international travel.
  • As of 19 March 2020, all overseas arrivals are subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine period.

Source: Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam

Macau

  • As of 25 March 2020, visitors from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China who have been abroad in the last 14 days will be banned.
  • All foreign nationals are banned from entering.
  • Residents of Macau currently in any of the affected areas will be requested to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return.

Source: Macau Chief Executive, Ho Lat Seng

Fiji

  • From 18 March 2020, Fiji’s borders will be closed to all foreign nationals who have been present in mainland China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or Spain within 14 days of their intended travel to Fiji.

Source: Fiji Department of Immigration

Guam

  • Visitors who have have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within 14 days of arrival will be denied entry.

Source: Smartraveller and The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs

India

  • As of 25 March 2020, there will be a countrywide lockdown for 21 days, according to a statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. People will not be allowed to leave their homes during this time.
  • As of 22 March 2020, all international flights are banned for one week.
  • As of 18 March 2020, all travellers from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom are banned from entering.
  • Currently, all tourist visas are suspended and a 14-day quarantine is enforced on all travellers, including returning Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.

Source: Aljazeera and CNN

Indonesia

  • Apart from Indonesian nationals and residents, passengers and airline crew who have been in China, or affected regions of Italy, South Korea, and Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Indonesia.
  • Starting 8 March 2020, travellers from China and several cities in Iran and South Korea are banned from entering or transiting. The cities are: Tehran, Qom, and Gilan in Iran; Lombardi, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Piedmont in Italy; and Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in South Korea.
  • People who have travelled to Iran, Italy, Vatican City, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days are barred from entering or transiting.
  • Starting from March 20, 2020, free visas, visas-on-arrival, and diplomatic visas will no longer be issued, with the suspension lasting for a month. Visitors who want to come to Indonesia must submit or resubmit their visa application to our embassies complete with a health statement.
  • Direct flights to and from Mainland China have been temporarily suspended.

Source: CNN, SCMP, and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia

Japan

  • Entry is banned for passengers with a Chinese passport issued by Hubei and Zhejiang Provinces or who have been in affected regions of China, South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Iceland within the last 14 days. The full list can be found here. Japanese nationals are exempt, as are their spouses and children if the relations are verified.
  • Starting from 9 March 2020, travellers from 38 countries would need to self-quarantine for 14 days in facilities approved by the Japanese authorities. Those countries include China, Hong Kong, Macao, and the Republic of Korea, the 26 members of the European Schengen countries, as well as Ireland, Andorra, Iran, Britain, Egypt, Cyprus, Croatia, San Marino, the Vatican, Bulgaria, Monaco and Romania. The United States will be added to the list started from 26 March 2020. See the full list here.

Source: Japan National Tourism Organization

Laos

  • All land borders are closed, visa-on-arrival and e-visa applications are suspended.

Source: Lao News Agency

Malaysia

  • As of 18 March 2020, foreign tourists and visitors are restricted from entering the country.
  • Citizens are also banned from travelling abroad.

Source: CNN

Maldives

  • Travellers arriving from China (excluding Hong Kong), Iran, the North and South Gyeongsang Provinces of South Korea, Italy, Bangladesh, Germany’s Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, Spain, France’s Île-de-France and Grand Est, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Sri Lanka are banned from entering or transiting. See more information here.

Source: The Maldives Ministry of Health 

Mongolia

  • All inbound travel from foreign locations is suspended until 30 April 2020.

Source:  The US Embassy in Mongolia

Myanmar

  • Entry of foreign nationals through land borders is temporarily suspended.
  • Exit from Myanmar to Thailand via the land border is currently still open.
  • Myanmar nationals returning from Hubei Province, China, and Daegu and Gyeongbuk Regions, Republic of Korea will be quarantined in a public hospital for 14 days.

Source: The US Embassy in Burma

Nepal

  • All passengers coming from or transiting through Europe, West-Asia, and all the Gulf-Countries, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan are banned until 12 April 2020.
  • As of 14 March 2020, all foreign nationals who enter Nepal must remain in self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival date.
  • Visa-on-arrival is suspended for all foreign nationals until 30 April 2020.
  • As of 14 March 2020, all of the country’s land ports will remain closed to “foreigners from third countries” through 30 April. Only Tribhuvan International Airport can be used as a port of entry.

Source: Nepal’s Department of Immigration

New Zealand

  • Starting the night of 19 March 2020, foreign citizens are banned from entering the country, including those coming from the Pacific Islands.
  • It will also close off travel between New Zealand and Australia for the majority of citizens in the two countries, who are typically able to travel back and forth without a visa.
  • Essential health workers and citizens of Samoa and Tonga who need to travel to New Zealand for essential reasons will be exempt.
  • New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians, or any dependent children travelling with them are allowed to return.

Source: New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and CNN

Oman

  • From 17 March 2020, only Omani, GCC nationals, and foreign nationals with valid resident visas will be allowed to enter.
  • Everyone will be required to self-quarantine on arrival.

Source: Oman News Agency

Papua New Guinea

  • As of 21 March 2020, all inbound international travel is restricted, with specific and case-by-case exceptions for diplomats, health workers, and other critical personnel.
  • Travellers arriving from Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, and China (with the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore) will be denied entry.
  • On 22 March 2020, Air Niugini ceased operation of all inbound international flights for one week. Papua New Guinean citizens and permanent residents who are presently overseas will be allowed to return home during this period, provided that they undergo a 14-day self-isolation period. See more information here.

Source: Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority 

Philippines

  • From 23 March 2020, the entry of foreign nationals is restricted.
  • Departing Filipino tourists are temporarily not allowed to leave the country.
  • As of 15 March 2020, all domestic travel to and from Manila are banned.
  • Ground, sea, and air travel to and from Manila are halted until 14 April 2020.

Source: The Philippines Department of Tourism and the US Embassy in Manila

Singapore

  • As of 24 March 2020, short-term visitors are no longer allowed to enter.
  • Starting 21 March 2020, all travellers entering the country will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
  • Visitors will also be required to provide proof of the place where they will serve the quarantine. See more information here.

Source: Singaporean Government

South Korea

  • Visitors who have been in China’s Hubei Province in the past 14 days, and passport holders from that region, are not permitted entry.
  • All visitors are to undergo a temperature check when entering the country. Those exhibiting symptoms will be required to take a diagnostic test and undergo a 14-day quarantine.
  • From 22 March 2020, every person entering the country from Europe will be tested for COVID-19.

Source: CNN

Sri Lanka

  • As of 22 March 2020, all passenger flight and ship arrivals into Sri Lanka have been stopped.
  • All departure flights will continue to operate as usual. See more information here.

Source: Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority

Taiwan

  • From 24 March to 7 April 2020, the transit of airline passengers through Taiwan is suspended. See more information here.
  • As of 18 March 2020, entry for foreign nationals is banned, except those with resident, diplomatic, or business credentials or others with special permission.
  • As of 19 March 2020, travellers coming to the island will be subject to mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Source: Reuters and CNN

Thailand

  • All visitors will be required to present medical certificates and proof of health insurance. The medical certificate must be issued no more than 72 hours before travelling, stating that the individual has not been infected with COVID-19, and the insurance policy has to show a minimum coverage of at least US$100,000.

Source: CNN

Timor-Leste

  • All foreign nationals who have travelled to or transited through countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last four weeks (according to the list by the World Health Organisation) will be denied entry. See more information here.

Source: The Government of Timor-Leste

United Arab Emirates

  • From 25 March 2020, all passenger flights to and from the country are suspended for two weeks. See more information here.
  • Issue of all tourist visas and most work permits has been suspended; entry is also denied to residency visa holders.
  • A temporary travel ban has been put in place for all UAE citizens. See more information here.

Source: Reuters, WAM, the Emirates News Agency, and The Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

Vietnam

  • Travellers who have been in the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area, plus the UK, within the past 14 days will not be permitted to enter or transit through Vietnam.
  • Visas-upon-arrival will also no longer be issued for all foreign nationals.

Source: The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

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Nicole Hurip

Travel editorial director

Never content with sitting still, Nicole has turned her passion into a career. Hong Kong is her home, but she’ll always have a soft spot for L.A. and London, where she spent her college years. She loves exploring hidden places, hunting for cool vintage pieces, and talking to interesting people. Her vices include consuming excessive amounts of wine and cheese, a debilitating weakness for sparkly things, and spending too much time on Instagram.

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