Features

Coronavirus: Which countries and regions have travel bans?

19 Mar 2020 by Seher Asaf
Coronavirus

The situation with the coronavirus is changing very quickly, and this page will be updated. 

An increasing number of countries and regions around the world are closing their borders and imposing travel restrictions such as travel bans and quarantine requirements in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which was  declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The coronavirus has arrived in more than 50 countries and territories worldwide, infected over 200,000 people, and has led to more than 8,000 deaths.

Below is a running list of some of the key destinations that have either closed their borders or imposed travel restrictions. Travellers should also visit government websites for updated information and more details.

Australia

The Australian government issued its highest travel advice level on March 18, asking all Australian citizens to not travel overseas at this time. The government is also asking Australians who are already overseas and wish to return to Australia to do so as soon as possible.

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has also ordered a 14-day self-isolation period for anyone arriving in the country, according to the BBC. The measure took effect on midnight on Sunday (13:00 GMT).

He also announced a ban on all cruise ships from docking in Australia.

Travellers who have visited mainland China, Iran, South Korea or Italy in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Australia. This does not apply to airline crew, Australian nationals and their immediate family members, or New Zealand national residents in Australia, who are instead required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Cambodia

Cambodia said it will ban foreign nationals from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the United States from entering the country starting from March 17 for 30 days in a tweet posted to the Cambodian prime minister’s office’s Twitter account.

In another tweet posted on the same account, the office announced that foreign nationals from Iran are also barred from entering Cambodia from March 18 for 30 days.

Canada

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced at a news conference on March 16 that Canada has barred entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

On March 18, the United States and Canada agreed to restrict all non-essential travel across their border amid the coronavirus pandemic. A start date to the measures is still being agreed. Previously, Canada’s travel ban did not include US citizens.

US-Canada border to close to all non-essential traffic

China

China has quarantine measures in place which vary from province to province.

For example, starting March 16, all inbound flights to Beijing Capital International Airport from overseas as well as from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are required to land at the D-zone of Terminal 3. Travellers entering Beijing who are on these flights are required to fill in a health declaration form. 

Everyone entering the Chinese capital from overseas will be quarantined for 14 days at designated facilities. Travellers will be expected to pay the expenses.

According to the Chinese government, passengers need to go through “quarantine inspection” at airport customs before proceeding to border control to complete entry formalities. Non-transit passengers will need to stay in a designated area, where they will be transferred by shuttle bus to a “transfer center” at the new China International Exhibition Center in Shunyi district; while transit passengers will have to wait for their next flight in a designated waiting area after completing transit procedures.

Denmark

Denmark closed its border on March 14, but Danish citizens will be allowed to re-enter the country.

Denmark’s ministry of foreign affairs said these measures will be in place until at least until April 13.

Hong Kong

All travellers arriving in Hong Kong from any country will be put under a 14-day home quarantine and be subjected to another two weeks of medical surveillance starting Thursday March 19.

The city has also issued a red outbound travel alert on all foreign countries with the exception of mainland China, Taiwan, and Macao. These new measures will apply to both residents and non-residents.

Arrivals from mainland China are already required to self-isolate at home.

India

India issued a travel ban on all travellers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom. This came into effect on March 18.

India also announced on March 17 that travellers coming from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia will be barred from entering the country “with immediate effect”.

Those coming from or transiting through China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, Germany, UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait will be quarantined for 14 days.

According to India’s ministry of foreign affairs, these restrictions are temporary measures and will be in force until March 31.

Indonesia

Indonesia will suspend its visa exemption policy for all countries for one month, which includes exemption for short-stay visits, visa on arrival and diplomatic visa-free facilities, according to the country’s ministry of foreign affairs. This will come into effect on Friday March 20.

All foreigners/travellers who wish to visit Indonesia must obtain a visa from Indonesian missions. Applicants also have to provide a health certificate issued by relevant health authorities from their respective countries.

A temporary travel ban will bar people who have travelled to Iran, Italy, the Vatican, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK in the last 14 days from the time of their exit from entering or transiting in Indonesia.

Japan

Japan has banned entry to passengers who have been to  South Korea, Iran, Italy, San Marino or designated regions in mainland China within the last 14 days from the time they exited those regions. Japanese nationals are not included in this ban.

According to the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs, the following measures will be in place until the end of March:

  • Single or multiple-entry visas issued by March 8th by Japanese embassies or consulate generals in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) or South Korea will be suspended.
  • Visa exemption measures for Hong Kong and Macau, and the Republic of Korea will be suspended.

As a result, the following travellers are barred from entering Japan:

  • Those who intend to enter Japan with single or multiple-entry visa issued by March 8 by Japanese embassies or consulates generals in China or South Korea.
  • Those who possess a passport issued by Hong Kong or Macau, or the Republic of Korea and intend to enter Japan without obtaining a visa.

Macau

The Macao government announced on March 17 that all travellers from overseas countries will be barred from entering Macao, starting midnight on March 18 local time.

The ban will not cover Macao residents and non-resident workers. Residents of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are exempted from the new measure.

Malaysia

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin imposed a movement control order starting from March 18 until March 31.

Under the movement control order, foreign travellers will be barred from entering the country, while Malaysian citizens will not be allowed to travel abroad. According to local news website The Star, those who return to Malaysia from overseas must undergo a health inspection and a 14-day self-quarantine.

Malaysia to impose lockdown, close border to foreigners until March 31

New Zealand

New Zealand closed its border to foreign travellers on Thursday.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents “with valid travel conditions” and their immediate family members (including partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still enter the country according to Immigration New Zealand.

New Zealand’s immigration department added that eligible immediate family members must have a valid visa or NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) and must travel with the New Zealand citizen or resident family member on the same flight to the country.

Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can also return to New Zealand. Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members are also able to transit through New Zealand to Australia.

Returning residents and citizens must also self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in New Zealand.

Singapore

All travellers (including Singapore residents, long term pass holders, and short-term visitors) entering Singapore with recent travel history to ASEAN countries, Japan, Switzerland, or the UK within the last 14 days will be issued a 14-day “Stay-Home Notice”.

They will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day “Stay-Home Notice”. They may also be swabbed for testing for Covid-19, even if they are asymptomatic.

Singaporeans are advised to defer all non-essential travel abroad. This advisory will apply for 30 days, and will be reviewed after the 30 days.

Residents and long term pass holders returning from mainland China (outside Hubei province), Iran, Italy, France, Germany, South Korea, and Spain will also be issued a 14-day “Stay-Home Notice” upon their return to Singapore, while short-term visitors from these areas will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

Taiwan

Taiwan will bar foreign nationals from visiting the island starting Thursday March 19.

Those with Taiwan resident permits, diplomatic visas or business visas will be allowed to enter, and all new arrivals will be subject to a 14-day home or hotel quarantine.

Taiwan has issued travel warnings for 93 countries and asked its residents to not travel unless its highly essential.

United States

On March 14, the US banned all foreign nationals who have recently been in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  This does not apply to US citizens or permanent residents.

Travellers who have been in any of the 26 countries within the Schengen border-free travel area, within 14 days of their travel to the US have also been barred from entering.

Those who have travelled to China or Iran in the past 14 days since their arrival have also been barred from entering the US.

Vietnam

Travellers who have been in the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area and the UK within the past 14 days prior to their arrival are not allowed to enter or transit through Vietnam. The country has also suspended visa upon arrival for all foreign nationals.

This decision came into effect from 12pm on March 15 for 30 days.

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