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.

One thing is fairly certain: Expect requirements for full vaccinations and to be able to prove it with an app on your phone! There may be several different apps available to do this and we’ll update this page with that information when it becomes available.

Note: many governments are not updating their information in a timely manner, so we are using several resources for our information including our local partners with on-the-ground intelligence. We put links to the most official sources, like ministries of tourism, US embassies, etc. for each destination. 


Bhutan

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Bhutan has suspended tourism visas and closed all land borders and airports since March 6th, 2020 when its first case was discovered. Since then, they’ve managed to keep the number of cases below 1000. They’ve done a good job of getting about 60% of their population to take the first dose of a vaccine in late March and early April, but it may take awhile before the 2nd dose becomes available. The devastating surges in India and Nepal plus the surge in Thailand will likely delay opening as those are the most popular places from which to fly into Bhutan.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

The Bhutanese government is being very conservative about reopening its borders to tourists. Our recommendation is to wait until this summer of 2021 to start planning for a trip in the Fall of 2021 of 2022–or later. 

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Cambodia

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Inbound tourism is not allowed yet. There is a new surge of cases across most of SE Asia despite tight restrictions. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

The official number of cases is quite low in Cambodia, but testing has been very limited. We imagine that Cambodia will open when Vietnam and Thailand start to open, but it would likely be on a regional basis to begin. For tourists from the USA, don’t plan anything until at least fall of 2021 and perhaps later.

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China

Last Updated: 25 May 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 fairly slowly compared to the USA. About 10% of the population has been fully vaccinated.  Over 70% of the whole population is expected to be vaccinated by early 2022.

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 reopening date depends on the progress of herd immunity.

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Hong Kong

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Hong Kong has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. Our Best Guess for Reopening

Although Hong Kong has done a good job of controlling the spread of the virus, they are also experiencing political unrest with large demonstrations and protests about China overstepping its authority. As a result, we would not recommend traveling there as a tourist for the foreseeable future. Transiting through the airport should be ok.

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India

Last Update: 20 May 2021

To tell you the truth, we expected India to be a virus hotbed since early on, but this latest surge and the death toll is truly horrendous and much worse than the numbers indicate. Almost no family has been spared. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

We don’t believe that India will be ready for most international tourists until at least the winter of 2021/2022.  

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Indonesia/Bali

Last Updated: 25 May 2021

The Indonesian government is aiming to reopen the country in different phases, starting with the islands of Bintan and Batam (for Singaporeans only) followed by Bali with selected Green Zones areas on the island. About 3.7% of the population is fully vaccinated. The target is for 70% of the population to be vaccinated by March 2022.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

The Indonesian government is aiming to reopen the country in different phases, starting with the islands of Bintan and Batam (for Singaporians only) followed by Bali with selected Green Zones areas on the island.

Bintan and Batam might be opened as early as June 2021.  The Green Zones in Bali are currently targeted to be opened in July. No dates have been announced yet for other parts of the archipelago.

Bali’s reopening is depending on several factors like achieved vaccination rate (target = 3 million people on the island), reduced COVID-19 infection rates, reciprocal agreements with other countries as well as non-stop flight connections between Bali and the country of origin.

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Japan

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Despite increasing domestic pressure to cancel, the Olympics are still on for August. However, no spectators will be allowed. Travel to Japan for foreign nationals from most countries is currently banned, unless there are exceptional circumstances. About 2% of the country has been fully vaccinated.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Japan will likely open in stages for countries that have a low incidence of community spread of the disease. Don’t expect American tourists to be allowed in before this fall’s typical high season. In fact, Spring of 2022 would be our guess for tourism related travel from North America to be allowed.

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Laos

Last Updated: 25 May 2021

Laos is going through a surge along with most of SE Asia. Vaccinations are going slowly with only about 1.8% being fully vaccinated. About 3% of the population has been vaccinated. Malaysia is expected to complete its immunization program by February 2022, covering 80% of its population of about 32 million people.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

We’re hoping for opening in the winter of 2021/2022.  It will likely be coordinated with the reopening of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

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Malaysia

Last Updated: 27 May 2021

Malaysia is experiencing a rise in cases and a “movement control order” is in place until June 7th, 2021. All borders remain closed to foreigners until further notice. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Don’t plan for travel before 2022. 

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Mongolia

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

The Government of Mongolia introduced the decision on 8th of April that  Mongolia will be opening its air border in May.  However, it is currently being planned to allow entry for fully-vaccinated citizens only. As of  10th of May, the date is extended to 15th of June, due to the current situation.

Aside from having a positive economic impact, this will allow the new international airport in Khushigt Valley to be opened within two months after the reopening of air borders. Having the target group fully vaccinated by the 1st of July, 2021. Thus, the officials are currently working on travel regulations and towards the goal to open the airport before the Naadam Festival

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Reopening plans are in process but have yet to be announced. We expect that tourism might resume in summer in time for the Nadaam Festival in July or autumn 2021. Travel also remains subject to various restrictions imposed by the countries through which travelers can enter Mongolia.

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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 cracked down on country-wide demonstrations with violence.

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: 20 May 2021

Nepal has followed India with a devastating surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. They have allowed tourists to enter the country on climbing expeditions, but that has resulted in basecamps showing outbreaks. The country is in a complete lockdown until the end of May–including the cancellation of all international fights except for chartered repatriation flights.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Nepal has an extremely unstable and dysfunctional government, which makes it difficult to predict. Quite frankly, they opened their borders too quickly earlier this year, which resulted in the inability to stop the current surge. However, it’s quite likely they will be opening for tourists this fall, but don’t book early because of the unpredictability of the situation.

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Singapore

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Tourists are still not allowed into Singapore, and a rise in recent cases has caused local restrictions to be tightened. Singapore and Hong Kong are trying to launch a “travel bubble” between the two cities, but it is once again delayed. Singapore is doing fairly well with its vaccination program, with about 25% of the population being fully vaccinated.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Short-term visitors and tourists from the US will likely continue to be banned until the US has the virus under control. Proof of vaccination will likely be required. Transiting through Changi Airport may be ok, but a stopover or stay for tourism shouldn’t be considered until late 2021 or early 2022.

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Thailand

Last Updated: 12 June 2021

Thailand is currently experiencing the worst surge of the pandemic. but is currently open for tourists. However, the tedious and onerous paperwork requirements combined with a mandatory 7, 10, or 15-night quarantine on arrival are putting off the vast majority of tourists. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Despite the current surge, Thailand has made concrete plans to begin reopening. Here’s the most current plan:

July 1st, 2021: Open Phuket to vaccinated foreign tourists without a quarantine requirement, except that you cannot travel outside of Phuket for 14 days. After 14 days, you are free to travel anywhere in the country. The requirement to stay was initially for only 7 days, but has been changed to 14 days. 

From October 1st until December 31st: five other destinations will allow vaccinated tourists to arrive without a quarantine requirement, which requires them to stay within the prescribed area for 7 days. This will include Krabi, Phangnga, Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai. Note that Bangkok is still not included.

From January 1st, 2022: It is speculated that from 1st January 2022, vaccinated tourists will be able to enter the country and move around freely without quarantine. However, any setbacks at any of the previous stages, which seem highly likely, could cause the date to be set back significantly.

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Vietnam

Last Updated: 20 May 2021

Vietnam is considered to have had among the best responses in the world to the virus, but is also going through a surge in cases. Foreigners are still not allowed in the country. Vaccinations are going slow, with only about 0.1% of the population having been fully vaccinated.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Vietnam is considering the implementation of vaccine passports for three groups of vaccinated people such as Vietnamese stranded abroad, foreign business travelers, and foreign travelers. While the plan is in consideration, no date for the implementation has been set. It’s best not to plan a trip until later 2022.

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