Last Update: 11 January 2021
At Phoenix Voyages, we are continuing our crusade through this spatiotemporal rift to tell you about our remarkable stays to offer your clients in the near future. Here is our latest news on the current situation of our destinations.
- The borders are still closed to non-nationals except holders of highly qualified work permits. Visa exemptions are suspended.
- The Ministries of National Defense and Public Securities has strengthened border control by temporarily suspending inbound commercial flights. Only charter flights for special case of diplomats, technical experts, experts, investors and Vietnamese retuning home are still authorized to enter Vietnam.
- Domestic flights and domestic tourism have resumed but interstate travel passengers must complete an online health declaration. On 14 December 2020, the Vietnamese government announced that wearing face masks is compulsory on all flights; violating passengers will be fined between 1,000,000 VND and 3,000,000 VND.
- On arrival (for national and non-national with special visas), a negative Covid-19 test is required and a health screening procedure is conducted at the airport. Travelers must stay in quarantine for 14 days in dedicated centers (at the expense of the traveler).
- On 05 January 2021, the Vietnamese government issued a Directive calling for more drastic COVID-19 prevention measures. Foreigners and residents in Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Hanoi are required to wear masks in public and may be fined for failure to comply. The Directive also discouraged large gatherings, events, and festivals; and requested that high-risk venues, including supermarkets, transport stations, airports, schools, hospitals, and factories, etc., to be monitored more closely.
- Vietnam has not had any new community transmission cases since 02 December 2020; all recently confirmed cases involve people who arrived in Vietnam with COVID-19 and were sent directly to quarantine and isolated for treatment. The Vietnamese government used testing and isolating measures to efficiently control the situation.
- Several areas in Vinh Long Province and Ho Chi Minh City with connections to the newly confirmed COVID-19 patient who illegally entered Vietnam on 24 December 2020, as well as several areas in Quang Ninh Province, have been placed under lockdown.
- On 13 January 2021, the Vietnamese government announced that human trials for their second potential COVID-19 vaccine might begin later this month. Vietnam has began human trials for its first potential COVID-19 vaccine on 17 December 2020.
(121 active cases) – 08 January 2021
- The Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the Emergency Decree nationwide until 28 February, 2021, as part of the strengthened measures nationwide to contain the local transmission. Effective from 04 January, 2021, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has declared 5 provinces as "maximum controlled areas" and 28 provinces as “highly controlled areas” following a surge in community transmission including the capital Bangkok.
- For the 5 provinces under “maximum controlled areas”: only essential travel is allowed to and from these provinces. People who want to travel to and from Samut Songkhram, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Trat must receive approval from the local authorities.
For the 28 provinces as “highly controlled areas”, the strengthened restrictions are:
✓ Closure of educational institutions at all levels.
✓ Meetings, seminars, and banquets with more than 200 participants must seek prior approval with strict disease control measures.
✓ Closure of at-risk venues, including entertainment businesses of all types, such as: pubs, bars, or karaoke, boxing stadiums, massage and bath venues.
✓ Limit the operating hours of businesses: Food outlets and restaurants are open from 6 am to 9 pm. Afterwards, only take-away or delivery services are allowed. Social distancing rules must be applied during opening hours. Shopping malls, department stores, community malls, convention centres or exhibition halls, convenience marts, supermarkets or similar services can open as per usual operating hours but must apply strict disease control measures.
✓ The public are encouraged to cancel or postpone interprovincial travel at this time, or must undergo strict screening measures, which may cause inconvenience.
✓ The private-sector organisations are encouraged to allow work from home options.
- The tourism authorities also announced the temporary closure of 80 landmarks across Thailand including: The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok (temporarily closed from 05-31 January 2021).
- Some provinces apply 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from highly controlled areas.
- The flight ban is currently in effect but some commercial flights that are operated by specific airlines have resumed. The Thai government is allowing tourists to come back to Thailand. Since the 25 of December 2020, Tourists who are nationals of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg are permitted to enter Thailand on a visa exemption scheme for a period of 45 days.Apassport with a validity for more than 6 months and a plane ticket to exit Thailand within 45 days of arrival are requested when applying for the mandatory “Certificate of Entry” at the Thai Embassy of their home country.
Conditions to obtain the “Certificate of Entry” before departure:
The requirements to obtain a COE differ according to the countries, but the minimum requirement is that one must present are:
✓ Flight confirmation
✓ Health insurance policy which expressly covers treatment and medical expenses in relation to COVID-19, with a minimum coverage of 100,000 USD.
✓ Reservation at an accredited hospitals/hotel for the 14-day Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ), as well as transfers from/to the airport.
Additional documents depending on the countries:
- For French nationals:
✓ A proof of accommodation (hotel reservation or letter of invitation from a property owner with proof of ownership and identification) for at least 7 days following the traveler’s ASQ.
✓ Pay slips for the last three months (salary below SMIC will not be accepted) or a KBIS extract or proof of retirement (in the case of a pensioner) or proof of schooling (in the case of a student or minor). Click Here
✓ A financial proof (currency in Euro) : bank statements for the last three months with a minimum balance of €2,000 per applicant (or €4,000 for a joint account) on each statement. A photocopy of the family record book is requested in case the bank statement is not in the name of the applicant, who is under 20 years old.
- For Spanish nationals:
✓ An original bank statements for the LAST three months
✓ Foreigners entering Thailand under the Tourist Visa Exemption category must provide proof of adequate funding for the duration of stay in Thailand at the port of entry (i.e., traveler’s cheque or cash equivalent to 20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family), proof of onward travel (confirmed air, train, bus or boat tickets) to leave Thailand within 30 days of the arrival date, otherwise a tourist visa must be obtained.
- All non-Thai nationals travelling to Thailand must have the following documents for boarding the plane:
✓ The Certificate of Entry
✓ Medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID -19 is not detected, using RT-PCR test, issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
✓ A non-covid medical certificate certified in English by a General Practitioner (depending on the result of the traveler’s RT-PCR test) within 72 hours prior to departure.
✓ A “Fit to Fly” Health Certificate which has been certified or issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
✓ In addition, traveler must complete the T8 form (health questionnaire) and present it upon arrival in Thailand. Click Here
Conditions on arrival:
✓Screening procedure by the authorities, a medical form to be filled in with a travel history. If the screening shows a body temperature above 37.5 degrees, a PCR test is performed directly at the airport.
✓ During the 14-day quarantine at the accredited hospital/hotel, 2 additional screenings will be carried out.
- Since the Emergency decree to contain the local transmission, demonstrations in Bangkok have stopped.
(4,519 active cases) – 08 January 2021
- Following the return of migrant workers from Thailand, the Ministry of Health has appealed to provinces bordering Thailand (Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Oddâr Meanchey, Preah Vihear and Païlin) to increase their vigilance.
- Some international flights from South Korea, China and Singapore are allowed. Domestic flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have stopped, but flights between Phnom Penh and Sihanouk are still operating.
- Life in Siem Reap is normal, but for economic reasons, some tourist facilities are closed: hotels, bars, restaurants, spas. The Angkor site remains open. Large meetings or gatherings, such as festivals or religious gatherings, are prohibited until further notice.
- Cambodian authorities have suspended visa exemptions and are no longer issuing visas on arrival or e-visas (electronic tourist visa). Any foreigner wishing to come to Cambodia must first obtain an entry visa at the Cambodian Embassy in their country of residence. As of 12 December 2020, exemptions for business people and "sponsored" persons will no longer be allowed.
The arrival measures remain very strict for the moment. On arrival, all foreigners must present:
✓ A health certificate recognized by their country of departure, as well as being tested negative of COVID-19, which is done within 72 hours before the departure flight.
✓ A health insurance of at least US$ 50,000 coverage for foreigners (except for diplomats).
✓ In addition, all foreigners arriving in Cambodia are required to deposit US$2,000 at the airport, in cash or by credit card, in order to pay for the cost of testing and possible medical expenses and other quarantine costs. The unused balance of this sum is refunded after the test is done on the fortnight, if it is negative (exempted are holders of A or B visa).
Compulsory procedure on arrival:
✓ Temperature control by thermal camera and medical consultation, if necessary.
✓ Collection of samples for a first Covid-19 test.
✓ Travelers are then taken by bus to designated hotels until test result is obtained (24 to 48 hours) at the expense of the traveler.
✓ If all tests are negative, passengers can proceed to a hotel chosen by the Cambodian authorities and must observe a strict self-quarantine there. A second test must be done on the 13th day at the Khmer-Soviet Hospital, in order to waive the quarantine.
✓ On the other hand, if a passenger on the plane is tested positive, all the persons traveling with that passenger will stay at the designated hotel for quarantine at their expense. They can only go out of the quarantine area if the second test done on the 13th day turns out to be negative.
- All the costs are at the expense of the traveler.
- To find out more about the conditions for entering Cambodia: please click here
- Cambodia’s Prime Minister announced that the country would rely on the WHO COVAX mechanism, which has announced it will provide a quantity of vaccine to treat 20% of the country's population from March 2021.
(24 active cases - no fatalities) - One of the least affected countries in the world - 08 January, 2021
- Issuance of visas are suspended (except for certain categories of workers). Borders are still closed to non-nationals.
- International flights remain limited (a few flights from/to China and South Korea) and charter flights are subject to exceptional authorizations.
- Following the return of migrant workers from Myanmar, a cluster of infection has been confined in Luang Namtha and Bokeo provinces.
- Due to the increase of infections in Thailand, the Laotian authorities have appealed to provinces bordering Thailand to increase their vigilance.
- Domestic flights have resumed and interprovincial travel by bus or boat is permitted as well.Life is back to normal, tourist sites have reopened, such as: night markets, shops and restaurants, karaoke bars.
(1 active case - no death) - One of the least affected countries in the world – 08 January 2021
- Borders (land and air) are closed to non-nationals. The ban on all international flights to Myanmar is extended until 31 January 2021 except for special flights (humanitarian and cargo flights).
- Issuance of tourist visas is suspended until 31 January 2021 except for diplomatic or special visas.
- The authorities have extended the "Stay at Home" scheme for the Rangoon region until 31January 2021 Residents were requested to limit their travel as much as possible, except for trips to shop or seek medical care. One person per household can go out for shopping. A curfew was imposed from midnight to 4 a.m.
- Likewise, since 26 September 2020, the "Stay at Home" order continued in the regions of Mandalay, Bago, Ayeyarwady and Mon state. In addition, due to the increase of Covid-19 cases in Kachin State, the Burmese authorities have decided to extend the “Stay at Home” mandate to this State.
- Domestic flights have resumed since 16 December 2020. Passengers must present a negative Covid-19 Test Result done 36 hours prior to departure and their recent ID photo.
- Authorities in some states and provinces require travelers from other states or provinces to complete a two-week quarantine upon arrival.
(13,925 active cases) – 08 January 2021
- Due to a third wave of coronavirus outbreaks with more than 800 new cases reported per day the Korean authorities have strengthened the restrictions throughout the country.
- The Level 2.5 distancing, the second highest in the country's five-tier COVID-19 alert system, is applied to greater Seoul.
- Restrictions in Seoul and the surrounding areas include:
✓ Bars, nightclubs, indoor gyms, karaoke, academy will be forced to close temporarily.
✓ Cafes will only be restricted to take-out and delivery services, while restaurants, marts, department stores will be forced to close at 21:00 (local time) for dine-in.
✓ Gatherings of five or more people will be banned in greater Seoul area.
✓ Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be subject to attendance caps (20 people maximum). Sports events are conducted without spectators. Although most stores, schools, and public buildings remain open.
- Korea has acquired an initial supply of around 25 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and inoculation campaign should start late January.
- International flights, as well as stopovers are authorized in Seoul, but since 23 December until 21 January , the authorities imposed a ban on direct flights from Britain. Domestic flights have resumed.
- Visa exemptions are suspended for 90 countries, so it is mandatory to apply for a visa at the Korean Embassy of your home country prior to travelling. The Korean government will authorize the visa depending on the risk of infection and the country's alert status.
- All foreign nationals will be required to provide a “consent for quarantine” as well as a PCR negative confirmation issued within 72 hours of departure.
- All passengers on the flight to Korea will undergo fever check at the departure airport. Boarding will be rejected for those who have fever with temperature over 37.5'C.
- All passengers entering Korea on short-term visits are tested on arrival at the airport and will be quarantined at designated facilities (at their own expense) and must download and use the government tracing app. Failure to comply with these measures could result, among other things, in the cancellation of visa or residence permit and the imposition of significant penalties.
- Persons transiting through an airport in South Korea for no more than 24 hours are not required to be tested for Covid-19. However, they are subject to temperature control.
(17,908 active cases) – January 6, 2021
As it is so dear to us, the Phoenix Voyages team is at your disposal to prepare for your clients' future trips in Asia.
The Phoenix Voyages Team