Last updated: 28 July 2020
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization has officially categorized the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. We now look at what it means to the travel and tourism industry, and what needs to be taken into consideration when making travel arrangements.
As of July 2020, the following countries have implemented special procedures related to international travel to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
Albania has shut down its borders on March 16, with restrictions on flights to/from Italy, Greece and United Kingdom.
Algeria has temporarily halted air and sea travel to/from Europe as of March 19. The North African country has earlier stopped flights to/from China and Morocco.
Entry is permitted for individuals coming from European Union member states, Schengen countries and Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican or the United Kingdom. However, incoming travelers must show a medical certificate confirming they are COVID-19 negative. The certificate must not be older than four days at the time of entry and must be in German or English. Travelers who cannot provide a medical certificate must self-isolate for 14 days.
Passengers arriving from China are screened via thermal scanners to detect fever and are required to fill out and submit health cards. They are asked to contact Bangladesh’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) if they develop a fever within 14 days from date of arrival. If any traveler has a fever higher than 100 ̊F (37.7 ̊C), the passenger will be quarantined in an observation room at the airport. Travelers will be moved to Kurmitola General Hospital, if necessary.
Canada is only accepting travelers who are:
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents
- Person(s) registered under Canada’s Indian Act
- Protected person(s)
Foreign nationals can only enter Canada if they are:
- Immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and planning to stay for at least 15 days
- United States citizens who meet eligibility requirements
- Traveling for essential purposes
- Traveling directly from the US
- Exempted from travel restrictions
The following inbound travelers are exempted from the restriction:
- Temporary foreign workers
- International students
- Approved permanent residents
- Transiting passengers
- Accredited diplomats and their immediate family members
- Air and marine crew members
- French citizens residing in the Saint-Pierre and Miquelon territory and have only been in Canada, the US, or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon during the last 14 days
- Person(s) who have an invitation from the Minister of Health to help with COVID-19 management
- Person(s) who are delivering medical supplies
- Person(s) who are verified by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada to not pose a threat to public health, and who will provide essential services during their stay in Canada
- Person(s) whose presence in the country is of national interest, in compliance with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Prepared; or the Minister of Foreign Affairs
All inbound travelers are required to:
- Undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine, whether exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or not.
- Undergo medical screening
- Provide their basic information through
Entry to China is temporarily restricted for foreign nationals holding visas issued before 28 March 2020, residence permits, or Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Cards.
Exemptions are made for the following inbound travelers:
- Foreign nationals holding diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas
- Foreign nationals coming to China for economic, trade, scientific or technological activities
- Foreign nationals who obtained visas on or after 28 March 2020 for emergency humanitarian needs
All passengers must undergo a 14-day quarantine period at hotels elected by the government.
Crew can rest on the aircraft for a maximum of five hours. Crew members entering the country are also mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at hotels vetted by the government.
Both passengers and crew are not allowed to leave or exit the aircraft during technical stops.
Citizens and permanent residents of EU countries and European Economic Area territories can enter Croatia without restrictions. Travelers coming from third countries such as the United States and Canada must have valid proof of accommodation and tourist activity, as well as submit a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and should self-isolate for seven to 14 days.
Passengers must fill out a health form, have their temperature checked and must be covered by health insurance throughout their travel.
Ethiopia is applying strict measures to prevent nCov from entering and spreading in the country. At Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (HAAB), passengers flying from Wuhan and other Chinese cities are being screened. Two thermal screening facilities have been established at HAAB, and Tikur Anbessa Hospital and Saint Paul’s Millennium Medical College are ready to provide medical services if required.
From 15 June 2020, travelers from the following European countries will be allowed entry to France without the need for an international travel certificate and without mandatory quarantine:
- European Union (EU) member states
- Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican
Travelers coming from the United Kingdom will be allowed entry but must still comply with a 14-day quarantine period.
From 21 June 2020, restrictions on travelers coming from Spain by air will be lifted but inbound travelers must still observe a 14-day isolation period upon arrival.
Tourists from countries that have mitigated the virus, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, can also enter France.
The Ministry of Health is screening all passengers – both arriving to and departing from Ghana airports. No further actions are being taken so far.
Since June 15, Greece has lifted restrictions to allow tourists to enter the country. Travelers from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and EU-approved third countries can enter Greece. All travelers must fill out the Passenger Locator Form before arrival.
Entry to Hong Kong is restricted for all non-residents.
From 25 March 2020, Hong Kong residents must have the following documents to enter:
- Permanent identity card
- SAR passport or British National (overseas) passport with right of abode in Hong Kong
- Identity card (must be accompanied by valid work or study visa)
The following travelers are exempted from entry restrictions:
- Travelers coming from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macau who have not been to any other country or region in the past 14 days
- Diplomatic passport holders (subject to existing visa requirements)
- Immediate family members (spouse and children) of Hong Kong residents
- Local government officers performing official duties
- Personnel approved by government to perform anti-epidemic work
- Passengers who hold valid visas to work, study, establish or join a business, or take up residency in Hong Kong
*Exempted passengers must still comply with a 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
Major international airports in India are on high alert and are screening all passengers. People who have shown symptoms of the coronavirus have been quarantined in different cities, including Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.
Passengers need to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival, as well as fill out a form (https://www2.hse.ie/file-library/coronavirus/covid-19-passenger-locator-form.pdf) with information about the local accommodation they will be staying at throughout their trip.
EU Passport Holders
From June 3, inbound travelers with EU passports and are coming from an EU country can freely enter Italy. EU passport holders are not required to declare their reason for travel upon arrival.
The above guidelines apply to EU travelers flying to and from the following territories:
- EU and Schengen countries
- Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Non-EU Passport Holders
From June 3 to 15, non-EU passengers and crew will be allowed entry for work-related purposes and must complete a self-declaration form.
If they need to stay for more than 72 hours, inbound travelers must self-quarantine, provide their hotel/accommodation address and contact number, and inform local health authorities of their presence in the country.
The 72-hour limit can be extended for another 48 hours for valid reasons such as work, emergency and health.
Travel to EU country
EU passport holders traveling to any EU country can depart from Italy without the need to accomplish a self-declaration form with their reason for travel but are subject to country of arrival regulations.
Non-EU passport holders traveling to any EU country must complete a self-declaration form.
Travel to non-EU country
Passengers and crew (whether EU or non-EU passport holders) departing from Italy to a non-EU country need to declare their reason for travel.
NOTE: Travelers heading to Sardinia must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Operators must collect and declare passenger information, including names, identifying documents and address.
- Foreign nationals coming from or who have been in the following countries in the last 14 days will be denied entry:
|Africa||Cabo Verde, Cote d’lvoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Morocco, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa|
|Asia||Bangladesh, Brunei, China, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam|
|Europe||Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican|
|Latin America and the Caribbean||Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Uruguay|
|Middle East||Afghanistan, Bahrain, Israel, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates|
|North America||Canada, United States of America|
|Oceania||Australia, New Zealand|
- Foreign nationals holding Chinese passports issued in the provinces of Hubei and Zhejiang will not be permitted entry. The same restriction applies to foreign nationals who boarded the cruise ship Westerdam and departed from Hong Kong.
- All passengers are subject to a 14-day quarantine at designated locations and are not allowed to use public transportation.
All passengers who have been to China, Italy, South Korea and/or Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to transit or enter Jordan. Only delegates and diplomats who have been to China and/or Italy in the past 14 days are exempted.
Jordanian nationals and their wives and children who hold foreign passports are exempted from these restrictions and can enter Jordan, provided that their information is forwarded in advance via email to transit section at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM, OJAI).
Quarantine is not required but passengers are advised to take the RT-PCR test. Travelers may have their health checked upon disembarkation.
The Kuwait Ministry of Health is taking precautionary measures at all arrival ports. The Ministry of Health will be working with the Ministry of Interior (Ports and Passports Department) to implement precautionary measures and installation of thermal cameras, in addition to ensuring the preparedness and availability of health clinics and isolation rooms at the airport. Airport personnel will also be provided with protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will be monitoring passengers arriving at Kuwait International Airport, in compliance with instructions issued by the Ministry of Health, and will refer passengers to examination, if deemed necessary.
UPDATE: Kuwait has suspended all flights to/from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Thailand, Italy and Iraq.
Travelers must submit a negative RT-PCR test result taken 96 hours before the flight. Upon disembarkation, another type of exam will be carried out at the airport. Tourists must also have health insurance to cover any COVID-19 treatment costs.
All passengers and crew arriving in Macau must fill out and submit health declaration forms to Immigration Offices. The forms will be distributed by ground handling agents or can be accessed and accomplished online by passengers and crew. Please click this link to access the form.
All passengers and crew will undergo temperature checks. Persons with a temperature lower than 37.5°C can enter Macau, but persons with temperature higher than 37.5°C will be directed to the Macau Health Bureau.
All passengers and crew will go through temperature checks. Persons with a temperature higher than 37.5°C will not be allowed to exit Macau and will be directed to the Macau Health Bureau.
Inbound travelers who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days will be subject to respective procedures:
|Hubei Province, China||Entry will be denied, unless the person has a valid certificate confirming they do not have COVID-19.|
|South Korea||The concerned person will need to undergo a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue in Macau.|
|Italy and Iran||The concerned person will need to undergo a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue in Macau.|
|Germany, France, Spain or Japan||The concerned person will need to undergo a medical examination, with possibility of a 14-day quarantine at the discretion of health authorities.|
|Areas with high cases of COVID-19||The person under investigation must go through six to eight hours of medical observation, with possibility of compulsory quarantine.|
Inbound travelers who are Macau residents will be observed at a local venue approved by health authorities, while non-Macau residents will be observed at a designated hotel. Hotel fees will be shouldered by non-Macau residents.
On July 15, Maldives opened its doors to all global travelers, including United States citizens. Quarantine is not needed upon arrival at Velana International Airport (MLE, VRMM) in Male, and travelers do not have to show proof they tested negative for COVID-19. However, temperature checks can be done upon arrival and anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will have to undergo an RT-PCR examination. Upon arrival, travelers also need to fill out a health declaration form and they will receive a 30-day tourist visa. Tourists can only stay on resort islands and must spend their entire holiday in one registered establishment.
Upon arrival, travelers must submit a form to the immigration desk to indicate if they had contact with anyone who has COVID-19, if they have relevant symptoms, and which countries they visited in the last 14 days. To complete the form, visit afac.hostingerapp.com.
Travelers from EU countries and third countries with low numbers of COVID-19 cases can travel to Montenegro.
All international flights to and from Morocco have been suspended until further notice. VIP flights with authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco can be exempted.
Authorities are monitoring suspected passengers through thermal screening and they issued preventive procedures to avoid this virus.
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has positioned scanners in all airports to screen inbound passengers. Authorities have also emphasized the need for environmental and personal hygiene.
Oman’s Ministry of Health has set up their own 24-hour clinic at the arrival terminal. All inbound passengers, especially those coming from China, are undergoing thermal screening.
In addition, all passengers who have been in China for 14 days will have to sign the arrival declaration form.
UPDATE: Oman has suspended flights to/from China following increasing coronavirus cases around the world.
Authorities have started screening all passengers and applied the following preventive actions at major international airports:
- Prepared isolation room for affected passengers
- Conducted hygiene inspection of food outlets
- 24/7 availability and duty roster of airport doctors and healthcare staff
- 24/7 manning of polio counters
Authorities have activated the “Communicable Disease Preparedness Procedure” across all international airports. This includes preventive measures that follow guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and WHO.
Although quarantine and screening are routine procedures in Philippine airports, there is heightened security and monitoring on all arriving passengers.
On January 23, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has declared an indefinite suspension of flights between Wuhan, China and the Philippines. All airlines with flights coming directly or indirectly from China need to obtain a health declaration checklist from the Bureau of Quarantine. Passengers must fill out the checklist prior to disembarkation.
Russia has closed its borders and restricted entry of all foreigners into its territory until further notice. Exemptions are granted to the following:
- Russian nationals
- Accredited or appointed employees – and their family members – of diplomatic missions, consular offices, or international organizations located in Russia
- Members of official delegations
- Travelers holding diplomatic, business or normal visas issued in connection with the death of a close relative, as well as visas granted via special decision of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Passengers coming from visa-free countries who are traveling to Russia in connection with the death of a close relative; they must bring copies of death certificate and any document(s) confirming family relations
- Passengers who are family members – spouses, parents, kids, adoptive parents and adopted children – guardians and trustees of Russian citizens, subject to presentation of a document copy confirming family relations
- Passengers who are permanent residents of Russia, as well as passengers transiting through airports without entering Russia
The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, in cooperation with the Health Ministry, is enforcing precautionary and preventive measures against the virus. The Saudi CAA has instructed airports and airlines operating in the Kingdom to take the “necessary health precautions” for incoming travelers, especially those coming from countries where coronavirus cases have been confirmed.
- All carriers operating to KSA airports are obliged to implement preventive measures to counter 2019-nCov.
- Health education facilities will be provided for travelers heading to areas where nCov has appeared.
- If a person traveling on an aircraft bound to KSA is suspected of being infected, the operator of the aircraft should provide the necessary information to the health control center at the arrival airport, in accordance with the general declaration of the aircraft (annex 9 of the International Health Regulations). The passenger identification form should be completed and must include the suspected passenger’s seat number and location in the aircraft and all his/her contact information.
- Health control centers at Port of Entry will screen travelers arriving directly or indirectly from China and will refer suspected cases immediately to the regional public health department.
UPDATE: Saudi Arabia has temporarily stopped the operations of its state-owned airline, Saudia, to/from China. The Kingdom has also restricted its citizens and residents from traveling to China, while an entry ban is imposed on travelers going back to Saudi from China. In addition, Saudi Arabia is restricting foreigners from making pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina, and will only be allowing citizens and residents to visit the holy sites.
Travelers do not need to submit COVID-19 tests or self-quarantine to enter the country.
Travelers coming from low- and medium-risk countries are allowed entry to Seychelles. However, incoming travelers must show proof of a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours from their date of travel. All arrivals will undergo temperature checks, random swabbing and symptom checks.
All passengers and crew of business aircraft operating into Singapore must make a health declaration before they can get permission to depart for Singapore. Any passenger or aircrew member who declares themselves to be unwell – has a pneumonia or respiratory symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath – will be considered as a patient, and the flight will be considered and operated as a medical evacuation (medevac) flight.
These patients arriving on medevac flights must test negative for COVID-19 from the source country before they are allowed to fly into Singapore. They need to have a hospital in Singapore to receive them and a risk assessment of the patient must be submitted to the said hospital.
Non-Singaporean business aviation passengers and aircrew members on non-medevac flights who have a fever or symptoms of any respiratory illness upon arrival will not be allowed entry. The business aircraft will be mandated to turn around at the soonest possible time.
Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Long-term Pass holders arriving on these flights must undergo screening, which may include a COVID-19 swab test, before entry is allowed.
Passengers are being screened through a thermal scan. No additional procedures or restrictions are being implemented so far.
Spain has reopened its borders to European Union and Schengen member states from 21 June 2020.
Shortly after, it extended its re-opening to third countries that are part of the EU-approved list. Travelers must go through temperature scans and fill in a public health form which must be presented upon arrival.
Since June 2020, Tanzania has lifted restrictions on international tourists and regulated tourist entry under normal visa regulations. Self-quarantine is not required, but tourists must go through temperature and health checks, as well as observe social distancing and wear masks in designated places.
Arriving passengers who have been to countries listed below must fill out and submit health certificates:
- Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau
- South Korea
All passengers and crew coming to Thailand from these countries are required by law to not go to crowded areas exposed and to wear a surgical mask in public.
Authorities have begun implementing preventive measures in Tunisian airports, in coordination with WHO. No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Tunisia as of this time.
All passengers and crew undergo medical screening upon arrival.
Travelers must complete a 14-day quarantine if coming from countries with more than 40 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. Travelers must also have health insurance to cover any medical expenses.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Tourists are only allowed to arrive via Dubai Airport. In addition to an entry visa, travelers must present an insurance certificate that includes coverage for COVIDs-19 or a statement that he/she will bear any costs of treatment and isolation.
Visitors must carry a certificate proving that he/she took the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test within 96 hours before departure and that he/she was negative. Passengers can take the test at the airport upon arrival but must be isolated until they receive the result.
The UK currently does not impose travel restrictions but require incoming travelers to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period and to submit a completed “Public Health Passenger Locator Form” to immigration upon arrival.
Passengers can get the form before departure at https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/public-health-passenger-locator-form and have up to 48 hours before their travel to fill it out.
Passengers will receive a digital certificate indicating their passport details upon submission of the form. Passengers are advised to keep a print or digital copy of the digital certificate as UK Border Force officials will inspect it upon their arrival at the Immigration checkpoint.
The United States does not allow entry for foreign nationals who have been to the following countries/regions in the last 14 days:
- United Kingdom
- Republic of Ireland
- Schengen territories: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City
US citizens, lawful permanent residents, certain family members and other individuals who meet specific exceptions (e.g., foreign diplomats and immediate family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents) can still enter.
Vietnam has suspended air travel to and from China.
INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIVATE JET INQUIRIES
An executive of a Hong Kong-based business aviation group has said the company received an influx of inquiries on private flight charter requests, mainly for travel departing from China or Hong Kong. However, the company is unable to meet the requests due to international travel restrictions on China and its special administrative territories.
FURTHER INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE WITH FLIGHT OPERATIONS
Governments and airport authorities are responding to the developments of the COVID-19 outbreak as they happen. As such, some standard procedures might change and we will do our best to keep this updated as possible.