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Covid-19 border closures: quarantine rules

by on February 23, 2022
 

Quarantine rules relating to the Covid-19 pandemic vary from country to country and they may change frequently as the situation changes. You should check your destination country’s most up to date information before booking and again before you leave. Proof of vaccination status may also be required before you travel, by your carrier. Please check with your airline.

Quarantine rules vary

Current rules for various countries vary from completely no checks or quarantine on arrival, to strict testing regimes with mandatory quarantine (home or government mandated) for all travellers. We’ve picked out a few examples to help you get started. The best places to check the most recent rules would be the airline you are flying, or the Health Ministry or Immigration/Home Affairs Department of your destination.

Australia

Most airlines currently flying into Australia require you to show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 2 days prior departure. UPDATE 25th March 2022: The Australian Health Minister has announced that this provision is to be dropped, to take effect from 17th April 2022.
You are advised to check for the latest updates from the the official Australian Home Affairs site which also states that:

From 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need a valid travel exemption to enter Australia.

For more information regarding hotel quarantine and other considerations, you will need to check the official Home Affairs site above.

Singapore

Singapore has set up a system whereby fully vaccinated travellers may enter on certain designated flights, without quarantine. However, at the time of writing, you are still required to provide a negative result from a professionally administered Covid-19 PCR or ART/RAT/RTK (self test) taken within 2 days prior to departure to Singapore. UPDATE: Singapore’s entry procedures will be eased from 1st April 2022. 

Short-term visitors and work permit holders must apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) up to three days prior to the intended date of entry into Singapore.

Singapore citizens and permanent residents do not need a VTP, but must have proof of vaccination using an approved vaccine.

If you are unvaccinated or are required to perform a period of quarantine once you reach Singapore, this set of FAQ is helpful for various categories of travellers and situations. There is also information regarding home quarantine.

Please note that Singapore now allows transit flights, but not for all. For example, you may arrive from Australia on a VTL flight and transit onward to Malaysia on a non-VTL flight. You may not transit from a Malaysia/Singapore VTL flight to a VTL flight to Australia.

Learn more about Singapore’s VTL flights HERE.

…. From 1 April 2022, for travel across the land border between Singapore and Malaysia, both countries will allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter without the need to undergo quarantine or testing, including pre-departure and on-arrival tests. This will apply to all categories of travellers and modes of transport via the land border. Joint statement from Singapore & Malaysian Prime Ministers, 24th March 2022

Malaysia

With no indication at the time of writing, that Malaysia’s borders will reopen anytime soon, quarantine rules are still in place for incoming passengers, except those arriving from Singapore on a VTL flight/bus service.
UPDATE: Malaysia’s borders open to all international visitors from 1st April 2022, with streamlined arrival procedures. Thailand has also agreed to open its land borders with Malaysia in Wang Kelian, Perlis and Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah from 1st April.

Pre-departure:
A RT-PCR test taken within 2 days before departure.

Travellers who have recovered from a past Covid-19 infection must show proof of the positive Covid-19 test result within 11–60 days before departure, as well as a hospital discharge memo. Those who were not hospitalised must hold a negative report of a professionally administered antigen test taken within

All travellers on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur VTL flight must register and upload their digital vaccination certificates (with QR code) and pre-departure test results on the MySafeTravel portal.
Entry charges payable through MySafeTravel website. It is more expensive (by far) for non-Malaysians

  • On-arrival:
    A RT-PCR test required on arrival. (See the update above, this has been changed to a Rapid test, user pays, within 24hrs of arrival)

    • This is free for Malaysian passport holders. (Updated)
  • Foreigners will be charged for this test
    • (including PR and other long term visa holders.) 
  • Check this information regarding testing with charges before you travel.
  • Children aged two and below (as of calendar year) are exempt.

A useful Facebook page has been set up to help travellers into Malaysia who are required to undergo quarantine. They call themselves the Malaysia Quarantine Support Group. Their site updated quite regularly and include useful info like these: Quarantine Rules (Page 1   Page 2   Page 3)

Fully vaccinated travellers may opt for Home Quarantine. However, the option is NOT automatic. Travellers need to get an approval from the Ministry of Health through their Home Surveillance Order (HSO) team. The approval depends on vaccination status and suitable home condition. Check our story here regarding arrival in Malaysia and Home Quarantine.

Please note:

Apart from travellers who enter Malaysia via the Langkawi travel bubble, foreign nationals are not currently allowed to enter Malaysia, unless they are long-term pass holders or for medical tourism.

All arriving passengers are subject to

  • medical screening,
  • quarantine for 14 days (this may vary)
  • this is at your own cost in a designated facility

You must download the MySejahtera app for contact tracing

Cambodia

Pre-departure:

  • A PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
  • A vaccination certificate in English required.

On-arrival:

  • An ART/RAT/RTK (self test) is required on arrival.

For more information, check the Ministry of foreign affairs website covid page. This may not be up to date, but there are email contacts. The website is available in Khmer, English and French.

Thailand

Tourists from eligible countries/territories are welcome in Thailand, although the situation can change rapidly with the borders having been shut at short notice during an uptick in case numbers. A number of tourist destinations are already open and receiving vaccinated travellers from all countries. This Tourism Authority of Thailand website is updated regularly with what you need to know.

Pre-departure:

  • A RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure.  UPDATE: This will not be required after 1st April 2022.
    • Children aged below 6 are exempted.

On-arrival:

  • A RT-PCR test required on arrival (Still required after 1st April)

Post-arrival:

  • Test & Go (Bangkok and Phuket)
    – A RT-PCR test on Day 5.
  • Sandbox programme (Phuket)
    – A RT-PCR test on Day 5 or 6.

United Kingdom

To enter the United Kingdom, you must be fully vaccinated, unless you can provide a medical exemption. Your quarantine rules will depend on criteria which may include your origin country or type of vaccine use. Details for these and all other current conditions can be found on this very comprehensive UK government website.

India

India’s entry requirements have been relaxed from 14th February 2022 to allow quarantine free entry for all primary vaccinated travellers from seventy-eight countries, with on-arrival PCR testing discontinued.

On-arrival:

  • Travellers may be selected randomly to undergo an on-arrival PCR test

Post-arrival:

  • A RT-PCR test required on Day 8.
    • Children aged below 5 are exempted.

Check their latest requirements on the Indian Ministry of Health website.

Indonesia

Pre-departure:

  • A PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure.
  • A printed vaccination certificate is required.

On-arrival:

  • A PCR test is required on arrival.

Post-arrival:

  • A period of quarantine must be observed.
  • This may be up to 5 days depending on your vaccination status.
  • If you are visiting Bali, there is a list of approved hotels/resorts for to to select from.
    • This is at your own cost.
  • A PCR test is required at end of quarantine.

France

You must be fully vaccinated to enter France. All children must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

Entry to France since June 2021, is allowed depending on the health situation of the origin country and the vaccination status of the traveler. The origin countries are classified by authorities according to epidemic situation into Green, Amber and Red groupings. The lists are subject to change depending on the evolution of the situation. You can get up to date information HERE (select English EN at the top right of the page.).

All other countries

We’ve found that the best place to get up to date information is different depending where you go. First, check with your travel provider or airline. They should also be able to direct you to the official channel for your destination. This may be the Health Ministry, Foreign Affairs (Immigration etc) or even the Transport Authorities. Or even a combination of these. It’s also a good idea to check again, just before you leave in case of changes.

If your destination requires proof of vaccination, make sure you have an approved digital and or printed copy that will be recognised by the authorities at your destination.

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