Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Visa Vexations: It’s Not Business as Usual Out There

What to expect at the customs and immigration counter when arriving at these destinations

ICS Travel Group specializes in travel to Asia, Middle East and Europe and offered this update on travelers can anticipate when arriving in the following countries.


•  The government has announced it will impose two weeks’ restriction on all incoming tourists with immediate effect.

•  The government also announced the closure of several schools and the postponement of international conferences and seminars for two weeks.


•  Cambodia announced to refuse entry of foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States for 30 days, effective March 17 2020

• All schools in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to be closed with immediate effect and the Angkor Songkran festival in mid-April has been canceled.

• All tourist sites are open and operating normally.


•  People arriving in Hong Kong who have been to the following countries/areas in the past 14 days, regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, will be subject to compulsory home quarantine.

1. Italy (except Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions)

2. Bourgogne-Franche-Comte and Grand Est regions in France

3. North Rhine-Westphalia region in Germany

4. Hokkaido in Japan

5. La Rioja, Madrid and Pais Vasco regions in Spain

•  Effective March 17th 2020, people arriving in Hong Kong who have been to the following countries/areas in the past 14 days, regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, will be subject to compulsory home quarantine.

1. Korea (except Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do)

2. Schengen Area in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy (except Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions), Latvia, Principality of Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Republic of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)


•  Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO module for extension/conversion of their visa or grant of any consular service if they choose to do so.

•  All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15th February, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

•  The International Indian Film Academy Awards and Delhi’s fashion week have been postponed as well as other festivals and public gatherings.

• Get travel advisory updates from the officials here.


On March 9 the Indonesian government announced the following measures:

•  For all visitors/travelers from certain areas in Iran, Italy, and South Korea, a health certificate issued by the official Health Authorities from each respective country will be required.

•  Prior to landing, visitors/travelers arriving from the three said countries are required to complete a Health Alert Card (Kartu Kewaspadaan Kesehatan) issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia.

•  Some tourist sites have been closed down for sanitizing processes.


•  Italy has suspended flights from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as well as from Taiwan. There is currently no proposed date for lifting the travel restrictions.

•  While direct flights between Chinese points-of-origin and Italian destinations have been temporarily postponed, there are no specific restrictions for entry of anyone based solely on their nationality. Italian authorities continue to monitor arrivals from China at all international airports, and any passengers exhibiting symptoms (e.g., fever, respiratory congestion, coughing, sneezing) are subject to additional medical examination.

•  Italy has expanded temperature screening to all air travelers upon arrival on all international (including European) and domestic flights arriving in Italy’s major airports.


•  Anyone who has boarded an airplane or ship arriving from China or Republic of Korea and not been isolated or stopped is required to stay 14 days at a location designated by the quarantine station chief and not to use public transportation in Japan.

•  Foreigners who have stayed in some areas of some countries within 14 days will be refused entry to Japan under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, with or without symptoms, unless there are special circumstances.

•  Many attractions across the country have temporarily suspended service. Some festivals and events may be canceled or postponed.


•  No cases of COVID-19.

•  All tourist sites are open and operating normally.

•  All passengers entering the country will pass through thermal scanning.

• All flights from South Korea have been canceled; some flights from China (Kunming and Chongqing) are still operating.

• All foreign nationals who have visited China or South Korea in the past 14 days before entering Laos will be subject to more stringent screening procedures.


•  Foreign nationals who have visited China, Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy and Denmark in the past 14 days will be denied entry to Malaysia.

•  Additional travel restrictions are in place for Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia.

•  The government has suspended or cancelled all events/conferences/gatherings through April.


•  The Myanmar Government has announced additional quarantine measures for international travelers and Myanmar citizens for anyone with travel history for the past 14 days in Korea, China, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany and the USA

•  All tourist sites are open and operating normally.

•  No cases of COVID-19 has been reported so far by the authorities.


•  Nepal has temporarily suspended visa on arrival for all foreigners.

•  All foreign visitors with a prior valid visa have to submit a swab test PCR health certificate issued maximum 7 days before their arrival date.

•  All foreign nationals entering Nepal since 14th March 2020 will be subjected to stay in self quarantine.

• All land ports in Nepal remain closed.


•  Effective 16 March 2020 all travelers including Singaporean 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 with a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN).

•  Travelers entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness may be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test. Those with positive results will be conveyed to a hospital in a dedicated ambulance.


•  The Sri Lankan Government has stopped the issuance of visas on arrival effective 14 March 2020. This facility will no longer be available until further notice.

•  However, visas can still be applied for in advance of travel online via

• All visas already obtained in advance online will be valid for travel.

•  Currently, there is a 14-day mandatory quarantine in place for nationals arriving from Italy, Korea and Iran. This has not yet been extended to cover other nationalities.


•  The Department of Disease Control has updated a list of countries with ongoing transmission, which now include Japan, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the UK and the USA.

•  Upon arrival in Thailand, all travelers including those who transited for at least 12 hours at an airport in a Disease Infected Zone or who passed through immigration in a Disease Infected Zone must pass Thailand’s entry screening including thermal scan, and provide the necessary information to the officers at the Quarantine Office.

•  All tourist sites are open and operating normally.

•  The Songkran Festival has been canceled in several cities such as Bangkok, Khon Kaen, Pattaya, Bang Saen and Patong in Phuket.

•  Full Moon festivities on the island of Koh Phangan have been cancelled.


•  UAE has announced that all entry visas (except diplomatic and residency) will be suspended from March 17th 2020 until the end of the month – this also includes countries that are normally able to get a visa on arrival.

•  Only travelers that have a visa already approved will be allowed entry.


•  All tourist sites are open and operating normally.

•  All citizens (regardless of which country they belong to) arriving on a charter flight or other specialized transport from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, France and Spain and all who visited those countries within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country.


The Government of Vietnam has decided to:

•  Temporarily suspend entry for tourists who come from Schengen countries and/or the United Kingdom, or have visited or transited through these areas within 14 days preceding their expected entry into Vietnam;

•  Suspend visa upon arrival for all foreign nationals. This decision is effective through April 15, 2020.

•  Get travel advisory updates from the officials here and here