Covid-19 Travel Bans Around The World

Covid-19 Travel Bans Around The World

A summary of restrictions in place at some key destinations.

In view of the evolving Covid-19 situation, there have been consequential travel disruptions globally. Many countries are intensifying measures to combat the deadly outbreak and have declared that they are closing their borders to and imposing movement restrictions on foreign nationals and local residents alike. The following is a quick rundown of the Covid-19 travel bans in place. 

Covid-19 travel bans


All international travellers entering Australia are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation. While foreign nationals who have been in Italy, South Korea, Iran and China 14 days from the time they left those countries, will not be allowed to enter Australia. In addition to that, all cruise ships are not allowed to dock in Australia.


Cambodia is imposing a ban on foreign nationals arriving from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US which will take effect on Tuesday, 17 March.


India has suspended all tourist visas and e-visas granted on or before 11 March until 15 April. It has also subjected travellers including returning Indian nationals arriving from China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany to a quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days.


Passengers and airline crew who have stepped foot into China, or affected regions of Italy, South Korea and Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Indonesia. However, this does not apply to Indonesian nationals and residents.


Italy has been on lock-down since 9 March.The Italian authorities have advised against travel for tourism purposes throughout Italy, and instructed tourists already on holiday in Italy to limit their movements to those essential to returning home.


The Covid-19 travel bans in Japan involves the prohibition of passengers who have been in affected regions of China, South Korea or Italy within the last 14 days from entering the island country. This ban does not apply to Japanese nationals.

Also read: Japan Cherry Blossom Festivals Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Outbreak


Malaysia has imposed a ban on travelers from affected areas of China, Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy and Denmark. This ban does not apply to Malaysian nationals but they are required to self-quarantine at home for a fortnight after returning from the above mentioned countries.


The Philippines will deny entry to foreign nationals arriving from all countries with confirmed localised transmissions of covid-19. However, Filipino citizens including their foreign spouses and children, holders of permanent resident visas, and holders of diplomatic visas issued by the Philippine government are exempted from the ban.


Citizens of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran and Italy are prohibited from entering Russia, but exemptions are made for airline crew and foreign nationals resident in Russia.

Passengers who have been in countries hardest hit by the coronavirus; China, France, Germany, South Korea or Spain and are planning to stay in Moscow must report themselves to the authorities by phone and impose a mandatory self-isolation for 14 days.


Singapore Residents, Long Term Pass holders, and short-term visitors entering Singapore with recent travel history to ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), Japan, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days will be issued with a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). This will come into effect on 16 March at 11.59 p.m. 

This is on top of the concurrent 14-day SHN issued to travellers returning from mainland China (outside Hubei province), Iran, Italy, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, and Spain. 

Singaporeans have been advised to defer non-essential travel abroad. 

Also read: Is It Safe To Travel To Singapore Amidst the Novel Coronavirus?

South Korea

Travellers who have visited China’s Hubei Province in the past 14 days are barred from entering South Korea. This is in addition to the ban on passport holders from that region.


Spain has imposed an unprecedented nationwide near-lockdown. Residents have been instructed to stay at home, with the exclusion of buying food and medicine or travelling to work, health centres or banks. Travel is also permitted for those looking after the elderly or dependents.


Thailand will stop issuing visas on arrival to visitors from 18 countries namely Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China. 

In addition to that, the tourist visa exemption is temporarily suspended for Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong SAR – three of the total 56 nations or territories that are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes.

United States of America

United States of America has banned travellers from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The restriction only applies to foreign nationals and not to American citizens who had been screened before entering the country.


As of 15 March, tourists who come from the Schengen countries and/or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or have visited or transited through these areas within 14 days preceding their expected entry into Vietnam are prohibited entry. Vietnam has also suspended visa upon arrival for all foreign nationals. The two measures will be implemented for a period of 30 days.

Countries all over are revising their entry policies during this global pandemic in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. If you are still planning on travelling during this period of time, please bear in mind to regularly check the travel advice to the country you are travelling to – especially the Covid-19 travel bans!

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Ifah Sakinah
Ifah Sakinah

Sakinah has a discerning palate and an innate desire to satisfy her inner curiosity. While she hasn't been everywhere, it's definitely on her list.


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