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. 

Some 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: 23 January 2021

Bhutan has suspended tourism visas and closed all land borders and airports since March 6th when its first case was discovered. Since then, they’ve managed to keep the number of cases below 1000. 

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 or Spring of 2022. 

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Cambodia

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

Inbound tourism not allowed yet.

COVID-19 cases: 166
Active: 33
Death: 0

On March 28, the Government of Cambodia suspended the e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice. On May 20th, Cambodia removed its ban on visitors from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain and the United States–but there are now tight restrictions making it unlikely anyone will want to travel there as a tourist.

On June 10, authorities announced a requirement that all foreign travelers entering Cambodia pay a deposit of $3,000 upon arrival at airports for mandatory COVID-19 testing and potential treatment services.  On June 8, authorities released a fee schedule for these testing and treatment services. Travelers should be prepared to see this deposit applied to a minimum of $165 for mandatory COVID-19 testing, approximately $1,281 more to support quarantine in the event one or more passengers on their flight test positive, and a minimum of approximately $3,255 more for treatment and quarantine if the traveler tests positive. The Embassy recommends all travelers be prepared upon entry into Cambodia to pay for the full costs identified in the fee schedule.

The June announcements of new entry requirements are in addition to requirements for entering Cambodia by air, land, and water that authorities introduced on May 10. All arriving foreigners must:

  • Possess a COVID-19 negative medical certificate issued no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel and proof of medical insurance coverage of at least $50,000;
  • Undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival and wait in official facilities to receive laboratory results. In the event one or more travelers on an arriving vessel/flight test positive, all passengers must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a location designated by Cambodian authorities. If all travelers test negative, health authorities will require travelers to self-isolate for 14-days at their home or lodging under supervision of local authorities.  Health authorities will then oversee another COVID-19 test on the 13th day of self-isolation.
Status of International Flights

It is possible to fly into Cambodia, but flights are severely restricted. 

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 without the above requirements 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 2021 unless you have a very flexible schedule to account for a possible 2 week quarantine and big budget.

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China

Last Updated: 3 July 2020

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. However, China is closed for international tourism for the foreseeable future. 

China has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals except Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan passport holders. Travelers arriving in Beijing and Shanghai are required to be tested and quarantined for 14 days in designated places for medical observation.

Status of International Flights

A limited number of flights are operating between the US and China.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Don’t expect to be able to travel to China as a tourist before the spring of 2021. Expect continuing restrictions on travelers from countries with continuing outbreaks of the virus–like the USA.

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Hong Kong

Last Updated: 1 July 2020

Hong Kong has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. Travelers who have only been in China, Taiwan, or Macau in the past 14 days may still enter. Hong Kong residents with an Identity card accompanied by a visa marked with “Permission to remain extended until” may enter Hong Kong within the validity of the permitted stay. 

All travelers eligible to enter Hong Kong must present a completed Health Declaration Form to the Department of Health upon arrival, and must undergo 14 days of compulsory quarantine.

Status of International Flights

From June 15, transit services at Hong Kong International Airport have now resumed for travelers who can be checked through from port of origin to final destination. Transiting between flights operated by different airlines is now allowed, although transiting to and from mainland China will still not be possible. A number of restrictions still apply to transiting through Hong Kong, so it is advised to check with your airline or travel agent before traveling.

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: 1 July 2020

Covid-19 is continuing to spread at high rates in India–even as the country is opening up from its lockdown. Testing has been relatively limited so we assume that the number of cases is much worse than is evident. 

India has suspended most flights into the country. Certain categories of Indian nationals and residents may enter the country on repatriation flights arranged by Ministry of Civil Aviation. All travelers are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in India.

Status of International Flights

India has suspended most categories of international flights into the country.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

We don’t believe that India will be ready for most international tourists until at least March 2021, but more likely it will be October of 2021 when the fall high season begins.  

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Indonesia/Bali

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

COVID-19 cases: 80,093
Active: 32,247
Death: 3,797
·  To reopen Bali to international tourists on September 11; no final details yet
·  Plans for “travel bubble” with China, South Korea, Japan and Australia

The number of Covid-19 infections continues to increase even as testing rates are very low. All foreign arrivals and transits are currently banned.  Some cities, including Jakarta, have relaxed some of these restrictions and have reopened some public spaces.

Status of International Flights

It’s not currently possible to fly to Indonesia on a tourist visa, though a limited number of flights are operating. There are plans to start international flights on September 11th to Bali.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

However, there has been talk about creating a travel bubble between Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and Bali. So they may be the only ones allowed in to begin with. For American tourists, I wouldn’t plan for anything before next summer’s 2021 high season starting in June or July.

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Japan

Last Updated: 23 July 2020

Travel to Japan for foreign nationals from most countries is currently banned, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you’re able to enter, you’ll still be tested and quarantined for 14 days.

Japan has been in talks to ease its entry ban for business people from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Status of International Flights

Limited international flights are available into Narita (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka) airports.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Japan will likely open in stages for countries that have a low incidence of community spread of the disease. First it will be for business people, then tourists. Don’t expect American tourists to be allowed in before this fall’s typical high season. Spring of 2021 would be our guess for tourism related travel from North America to be allowed.

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Laos

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

COVID-19 cases: 19
Active: 0
Death: 0
·  All borders still closed to foreign nationals

Laos has been “officially” virus free since June 9th when the last person recovered of only 19 cases. That’s great news, but testing is quite limited although they have been testing returning migrant workers. 

Status of International Flights

All airports and land border crossings are still closed.  

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Expect Laos to begin opening to regional tourism first from neighboring countries, then international tourism. It will likely be coordinated with the reopening of Vietnam and Thailand.

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Malaysia

Last Updated: 7 July 2020

Malaysia is closed to foreigners until at least August 31st except for the purpose of receiving medical care. If for some reason you get special permission to enter, expect a covid test and a 14 day quarantine. 

Status of International Flights

Limited international flights are available and you are allowed to transit through the international airports.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Don’t plan for travel before 2021. 

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Mongolia

Last Updated: 2 July 2020

Mongolia only has had 220 cases as of July 2nd. The country is mostly open for business domestically, but closed for inbound and outbound international travel. The big Nadaam Festival from July 10th to 13th will be held, but without spectators. Instead it will be live streamed. 

Status of International Flights

International flights are not operating until at least July 15th. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Mongolia will likely open in stages for countries that have a low incidence of community spread of the disease. Since the high travel season is from June through August, we wouldn’t recommend travel until that time in 2021.

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Myanmar

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

COVID-19 cases: 337
Active: 65
Death: 6
·  International commercial flights banned until at least October
·  May reopen to neighbouring countries in the next six months

Status of International Flights

A ban on  international commercial air traffic has been extended until October 2020.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

Myanmar may go along with the rest of SE Asia when these countries decide to open. For Americans, don’t plan a trip to Myanmar until at least next spring.

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Nepal

Last Updated: 23 July 2021

COVID-19 cases: 270,000 
Deaths: 1,986

Cases in Nepal have been decreasing since their peak in November after the Dashain holidays in late October, 2020. Nepal has eased its lockdown and most things are open and foreigners are welcome with some restrictions, including for flights originating or transiting through the UK. 

Visas on arrival are not available to ordinary tourists, but you can enter with a visa from an Nepalese diplomatic mission abroad and a negative Covid-19 test obtained within 72 hours of departure. 

First doses of vaccines have arrived as of January 21st, but expect a slow and uneven rollout. Nepal is relying mostly on international aid for its vaccine supply.

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Singapore

Short-term visitors are still not allowed into Singapore, except with special permission. 

NOTE: Singapore is also currently undergoing a severe dengue outbreak. Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause severe illness.

Singapore has one of the most transparent governments when it comes to informing the public about the Covid-19, testing results, locations of outbreaks. They are also very strict about monitoring those in quarantine and contact tracing. Their recent surge of cases has been found in the migrant worker community and the dormitories they live in, but there has also been a wider community transfer. 

Status of International Flights

Changi Airport is operating, though flights are still limited. Transit may be possible for travelers with flights originating from certain countries and using certain airlines. It’s important to check with your airline about that.

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. Transiting through Changi Airport may be ok, but a stopover or stay for tourism shouldn’t be planned until at 2021.

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Thailand

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

COVID-19 cases: 3,232
Active: 82
Death: 58
·  Foreign tourists not allowed entry
·  Plans for a “Travel bubble” with selected countries has been put on hold on virus worries.

Thailand’s emergency decree has been extended to July 31st. Domestically Thailand has entered Stage 4 (of 5) and most everything is open including restaurants and bars with restrictions for physical distancing. Some domestic flights are now operating. Thailand will begin allowing commercial flights from July 8th with some conditions. International tourists are still not allowed.

Status of International Flights

Thailand will begin allowing international commercial flights from Wednesday, July 8th, how there will still be many restrictions on who is allowed to enter. 

Our Best Guess for Reopening

We’ve heard talk that medical tourists will be the first to be allowed into the country. We also expect that Thailand will only allow visitors from counties that have the virus under control and perhaps with a regional bubble…likely to include Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. For US travelers, tourism may depend on extent of the virus spread here.

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Vietnam

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

COVID-19 cases: 381
Active: 28
Death: 0
·  All international borders still closed to tourists
·  There are plans to accept tourists from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, but no specific schedule yet.

Vietnam is considered to have had among the best responses in the world to the virus. Foreigners are still not allowed in the country. Most domestic restrictions have been lifted.

Status of International Flights

International Flights have been suspended through July 31st, with the exception of flights from Hanoi to Shanghai and Seoul on a reduced schedule.

Our Best Guess for Reopening

We also expect that Vietnam will only allow visitors from counties that have the virus under control and perhaps with a regional bubble. For US travelers, tourism may depend on the extent of the virus spread here. It’s best not to plan a trip before spring of 2021.

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