Covid-19: Asia’s latest travel updates

HANOI, 12 October 2020: Vietnam has lifted the 14-day quarantine for foreign experts, investors, managers, and diplomats entering the country for less than 14 days, the Vietnam Government Portal reported at the weekend.

In an explanation of the quarantine exemption, the country’s  Ministry of Health said it would allow the “pursuit of dual goals to combat  disease and ensuring economic growth.”

The concession will enable industries to bring in foreign experts for short stays to supervise the installation or maintenance of essential machinery, particularly from South Korea. 

Last month, the government agreed to resume international commercial air routes between Vietnam and investment partners, such as the Republic of Korea.

Foreign experts are exempted from quarantine at centralised facilities if they stay in Vietnam for less than 14 days. However, they have to comply with all other requirements, including wearing a mask and refraining from shaking hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

They also need to complete medical procedures, including tests for COVID-19 every two days.

The organisation that invites them needs to guarantee that it, or an international insurance company, will bear all medical and other expenses if they contract the disease in Vietnam.

Regarding those entering Vietnam (over 14 days), foreign experts have to register quarantine sites (hotels or designated sites of local authorities) and present Covid-19 negative certificates three to five days before arrival.  Those tested positive for Covid-19 will be admitted to medical centres for treatment; while those reporting negative results twice can switch from centralised quarantine sites to isolation at home or their place of work or a hotel until they complete the 14-day quarantine period.

Latest travel updates


Hong Kong authorities have suspended Nepal Airlines flights until at least 17 October.

Civil aviation officials in Hong Kong introduced the ban 4 October, after several passengers travelling from Kathmandu Airport (KTM/VNKT) to Hong Kong Airport (HKG/VHHH) tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival despite having presented a negative test result prior to departure.


Trekking: Nepal has announced that it will give foreign nationals permission to enter the country for mountaineering and trekking from 17 October 2020 onwards, subject to providing a valid negative PCR test.


Travellers who resided in Australia for the last 14 days (excludes Victoria) or Vietnam can now enter Singapore subject to a Covid-19 test on arrival at Singapore Changi Airport. They are exempt from serving a Stay-Home Notice if the test was negative. Travellers need to complete an Air Travel Pass application between seven and 30 days before their intended arrival into Singapore.


Entry to Sri Lanka is currently prohibited for all non-nationals. A

14-day quarantine is mandatory for all those travelling to Sri Lanka, followed by 14 days self-isolation at home.


Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the new Special Tourist visa will only be available to tourists from countries deemed to be at ‘low risk’ from Covid-19.

It has not yet identified the low-risk countries, but it is understood the list will probably include China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

The launch date of the STV is also up in the air after authorities postponed a trial visit of around 150 Chinese “business visitors” to Phuket to the end of the month at the earliest.  The 90-day visa costing THB2,000 can be extended twice to give the visitor an overall stay of 270 days, costing THB6,000.