Covid-19 Travel Restrictions by Destination

To help you determine when you might be able to travel again, we’re keeping track of the status of our destinations in Asia.

Many destinations in Asia are in the process of opening this fall and winter!

Expect requirements to be fully vaccinated, travel insurance that covers illness due to Covid, and testing prior to departure and on arrival in your destination. You may also have to download an app to your smartphone, depending on the destination.

International flights to/from Asia are operating on a very limited capacity and many flights are still being cancelled. So while it’s ok to start planning a trip with us for 2022 in most places, it’s best to wait until 2 or 3 months prior to book your international flights. 


Bhutan

Last Updated: 10 October 2021

Bhutan vaccinated about 95% of it’s adult population by early October and has opened for tourists–but still with a 14 day quarantine requirement. For most people, that’s still not feasible considering the average length of a trip here is less than 10 days. It’s looking like removing the quarantine requirement might not happen before the end of the year, but we’ll see. I’d say it’s safe to start planning now for Spring of 2022 trips.

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Cambodia

Last Updated: 22 November 2021

Fully vaccinated tourists are now allowed to enter the country as of November 15th, 2021. Under the new rules, travelers arriving from abroad can skip quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, test negative for the virus before departure and test negative again with a rapid test at the airport on arrival. Travelers who are not vaccinated must still spend 14 days in quarantine.

Because of the one night quarantine requirements that Thailand has, it’s best not to make Cambodia a side trip from Thailand but rather visit before or after a Thailand itinerary. 

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China

Last Updated: 25 September 2021

The virus first exploded in China, but relatively quick action had it under control by April. Their outbreak now looks tame compared to the rest of the world. Vaccinations are progressing, but the delta variant is appearing in places. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

No specific date has been given in regards to reopening the country. However, local news agencies have reported that international travel will open when the country has 80% of the population vaccinated. The spring season of 2022 is our best guess for reopening.

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Hong Kong

Last Updated: 11 November 2021

Hong Kong has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. It’s still difficult to judge when it might reopen.

Although Hong Kong has done a fairly good job of controlling the spread of the virus, they are still requiring quarantines for international travelers. We believe that Hong Kong’s reopening may be politically tied to mainland China’s reopening, which isn’t likely to be anytime soon.

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India

Last Update: 06 November, 2021

India has announced that they will begin processing tourist visa-on-arrival service beginning from November 15th, 2021. However, detailed entry requirements have not been released yet and commercial flights will only restart from November 15th.  

Most of the country is seeing drastic declines in the number of cases with the exception being the southern state of Kerala, which is still going through a bad surge. 

Here are the basic requirements for entry: 

  • Arrivals must possess a tourism visa or e-visa granted after October 6, 2021. 
  • Arriving at an airport, all arrivals are screened. Anyone showing symptoms will be taken to a medical facility.
  • All travelers must upload a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha Portal, as well as a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the journey.
  • Fully vaccinated arrivals do not have to quarantine. Others must self-isolate for seven days, test on day eight, and continue to monitor their health for another week.
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Indonesia/Bali

Last Updated: 10 October2021

The country is starting to open and is processing visas again…though still with an 8-day quarantine requirement and not for tourists. 

Bali will start allowing direct arrivals from China, Japan and South Korea as a receding Covid-19 outbreak lets the country ease restrictions further. 

Foreign visitors from New Zealand, Qatar and United Arab Emirates can also enter the country through the island’s Ngurah Rai International Airport starting from Oct 14.

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Japan

Last Updated: 22 November 2021

Japan is taking a very cautious approach to reopening, after many complaints from citizens about hosting the Olympics during the pandemic. However, we’ve been invited by the government to visit and give feedback on their reopening plans. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Our best guess is that Japan would open sometime after the beginning of the year so that tourists are welcomed back in time for the cherry blossom season in the spring of 2022.  

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Laos

Last Updated: 22 November 2021

The government has announced that it will reopen some tourist areas to fully vaccinated tourists in early 2022, but without many specifics. This is expected to coincide with the opening of the high speed rail line between China and Luang Prabang and Vientiane and is planned to reach Bangkok by 2028. 

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Malaysia

Last Updated: 22 November 2021

Malaysia has announced that it hopes to open to international travelers who are fully vaccinated by the 1st of 2022. 

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Mongolia

Last Updated: 10 October 2021

Mongolia is Open!
Mongolia has officially lifted the restriction on inbound/outbound travel for US and Canadian citizens (and everyone else) starting from October 15, 2021 with no quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers. That’s just in time for their bitterly cold winter, but contact us for traveling next summer!

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Myanmar

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

The Covid virus is a big issue for travel to Myanmar, but not as big as the current political crisis in which the military seized power and has violently cracked down on country-wide demonstrations.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Do not plan a trip to Myanmar for the foreseeable future due to the political unrest.

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Nepal

Last Updated: 24 September 2021

Nepal is Open!
As of September 23rd, 2021, Nepal has announced that there is no quarantine rule for fully vaccinated travelers and have reinstated the visa-on-arrival.

To obtain a visa-on-arrival, tourists will need to present the following documents at immigration:

  • Vaccination Certificate with proof of 14 days after the last dose
  • RT-PCR negative test issued within 72 hours or less before first flight
  • Proof of hotel booking
  • Print copy of filled International Online Arrival Form available at CCMC website
  • Permit copy of mountaineering or trekking

There is no on-arrival-visa provision for non-vaccinated travelers. They need to have prior visa from Nepalese Diplomatic missions in their respective countries. Non-vaccinated travelers need to stay 10 days in quarantine at their own cost in the hotels designated by Nepal Government. 

All travelers should have rapid antigen test upon entering Nepal. If found positive, they should quarantine at a hospital or isolation center designated by the Nepal Government.

Though there are some travel restrictions, travelling in Nepal will not be a hassle. As tourism professionals belong to the prioritized frontline groups, over 95% of the tourism workers have been fully vaccinated (97% in Khumbu and Mustang region).

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Singapore

Last Updated: 22 November 2021

Singapore is opening!
Singapore is extending its Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme to many more countries, allowing those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Singapore without having to serve quarantine.

Note that only passengers on VTL designated flights will be allowed to enter. Most of those are on Singapore Airlines and are significantly more expensive than non-VTL flights for transiting through Singapore to other destinations. 

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Thailand

Last Updated: 06 November 2021

Thailand is opening!

Thailand has been successfully implementing plans for reopening to fully vaccinated tourists. Most tourist sights are open, but bars and pubs are still closed in many places including Bangkok and Chiang Mai. However, restaurants in Bangkok can apply to start serving alcohol.

Here are the details of what the entire process is: 

Prior to Departure:

  1. Get fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to your departure.
  2. Have confirmation of payment for 1 night at a quarantine hotel (SHA+) that includes a Covid PCR test. Red Lantern Journeys will provide this payment confirmation. 
  3. Buy travel insurance that has at least $50,000 in medical benefits and covers illness due to Covid. We can recommend policies for this.
  4. Apply for the Thailand Pass QR code at: https://tp.consular.go.th/ at least 7 days prior to your departure. They will review your vaccination certificate, insurance confirmation and quarantine hotel payment confirmation. Within 1 to 7 days, they will notify you of your approval.
  5. Download the QR Code .pdf file. Print it and bring it with you.
  6. Take a Covid-19 Test 72 hours prior to Departure–print the results to take with you as well as have them available on your phone.

On Arrival at the Airport in Bangkok

  1. Show the QR code in the Thailand Pass app.
  2. Show proof of the negative Covid test results from home.
  3. Take a Covid-19 PCR test on the first day in Thailand (this will be done en-route from the airport to your 1-day quarantine hotel upon arrival.
  4. Check into your quarantine hotel, where you must stay in your room until you receive the negative test result, hopefully within 6 to 12 hours.

After Arrival

  1. After you get your negative test results you must download the MorChana app to your phone. This app is a location tracking app that will monitor your potential exposure to others with the virus, and prompt you to take a Covid Antigen Test after 6 days. The antigen test is provided by the quarantine hotel.
  2. You will check out from your Quarantine hotel. Note: you will only need to check out if your going to stay in a different hotel than your quarantine hotel.  
  3. After 6 or 7 days, take the antigen test and record the results in the Morchana app.
  4. Within 72 hours prior to departure, take a Covid-19 test to return to the United States. This is a US requirement for reentry into the US. Your guide in Chiang Mai can assist with this. The requirements for the test can be found on the CDC web site here.

Covid-19 PCR tests in Thailand are easily done at many locations and results can often be obtained within 12 hours. A PCR test costs between THB 2800 and THB 4500 per person (US$85 and $135).

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Vietnam

Last Updated: 6 November 2021

Vietnam will reopen the popular resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign tourists from November. It also plans to reopen some tourist destinations from December 1st to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed “low risk,” ahead of a full reopening targeted for June 2022. The destinations targeted for reopening include Halong Bay, Hoi An, the highlands town of Dalat, and the beach destination Nha Trang.

Noticeably absent from the list are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It is not yet clear which countries will meet the “low risk” criteria.

Vietnam still has only fully vaccinated just over 45% of its population, the lowest rate in SE Asia.

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