Gary Diskin - Nov 29, 2021
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Gradually more and more tourist destinations in Asia announced opening their borders to international visitors. Various restrictions however are still in effect.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, the continent had strictly sealed itself off and announced that it would reopen its borders to international tourism on Christmas 2021. The date has now been postponed until early 2022. Only fully vaccinated vacationers will be allowed to enter the country. What will be possible again from December 1, however, are the popular "working holidays," in which travelers combine work in Australia with a vacation. For this purpose, one needs a "Working Holiday Maker Visa" (subclass 417) or a "Work and Holiday Visa" (subclass 462), must be fully vaccinated, register online and present a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours.


The vacation island of Bali, Indonesia, reopened to international tourism in October. The quarantine after arrival has been reduced from five to three days for fully vaccinated travelers. In addition, proof of health insurance is required. So far, vacationers are only allowed to travel to Bali and the Riau Islands; all other regions of the Southeast Asian country are not yet open to international tourism.


Cambodia plans to gradually ramp up tourism again since November. Fully vaccinated travelers will be spared quarantine, but they must present a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old, complete a rapid test immediately upon arrival, and provide proof of health insurance. After that, they are allowed to travel throughout the country. Those who cannot provide proof of vaccination must take a PCR test upon arrival and enter a 14-day quarantine.


As of October 15, India has reopened to vacationers from abroad. The tourist visas will be reissued with immediate effect, but initially only for travelers on charter flights. From November 15, this regulation was extended to all other flights. According to initial information, a negative PCR test will be presented upon entry. Travelers will also have to register on the Air Suvidha online portal before starting their journey and upload the negative PCR test here as well. Upon entry, passengers from Europe must take another PCR test at the airport for a fee (currently costs around 6 euros) and download the app Aarogya Setu.


By January 1 at the latest, Malaysia plans to launch a pilot project that will allow fully vaccinated tourists from abroad to travel to the island of Langkawi. A list of countries from which quarantine-free entry is allowed upon presentation of a certificate of vaccination, a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, and proof of health insurance is to be presented soon. A minimum stay on Langkawi of three days is required.


Since October 1, fully vaccinated vacationers can enter Mauritius quarantine-free. All they have to do is present a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours and take another one upon arrival at the airport. On the fifth day of stay, an antigen test must be taken at the hotel or a self-test available at a pharmacy. Unvaccinated persons over the age of 18 must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Bars and clubs in the island nation are currently closed, no events are taking place, and proof of vaccination is required to enter restaurants.


Those who are fully vaccinated will again be issued visas upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport. Additionally, one needs a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, confirmation of lodging, and registration, which must be carried out in the printed form. Unvaccinated people have to apply for their visas at the responsible representative authority of Nepal. In addition to the test and registration, they must undergo a ten-day hotel quarantine.


The Southeast Asian island nation plans to reopen its borders to international tourism soon - but only to fully vaccinated vacationers from "green" countries with high vaccination rates and low infection rates. There are currently 43 countries and territories on the list, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the Falkland Islands. European countries are not included yet. The Philippines, known for magnificent landscapes, volcanoes and dream beaches, has closed its borders to international vacationers since March 2020.

Sri Lanka

The island nation in the Indian Ocean will join the tourist destinations in Asia that allow tourists to enter the country who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus for at least two weeks and present a negative PCR test that is not more than 72 hours old. Those who had a corona infection within the last three months prior to entry will only need a negative antigen test that is a maximum of 48 hours old as a recovered person. Upon arrival, foreign visitors are then allowed to move freely. Individuals who are not fully immunized against Covid-19 must register online, need a negative PCR test at the time of entry, and must take another one upon arrival. Afterwards, they are only allowed to move around the so-called "Safe & Secure Certified Level 1 Hotels" or visit selected sights. On the twelfth day of the stay, another test must be performed. If the test is negative, visitors are allowed to move freely around the country from the 14th day onwards.


Fully vaccinated travelers from all over the world have been able to book vacations with special travel programs in the Thai vacation paradise of Phuket or Ko Samui for some time. After a week, they can also travel to other regions of Thailand. Since November, Thailand is open for fully vaccinated air travelers from 63 countries with low Corona risk. So far, only ten countries were on the list. Travelers must present a negative PCR test upon entry and complete another one upon arrival. Once the result is available, they can travel without quarantine to 17 places open to tourism so far, including Phuket Island, the capital of Bangkok and Chiang Mai in the north of the country. Before entering the country, one must apply online for the "Thailand Passport". The opening of nightclubs, pubs and karaoke bars, originally scheduled for early December, has been postponed until at least mid-January. Alcohol may currently only be served in restaurants in the capital Bangkok, the provinces of Krabi and Phangnga, and on the resort island of Phuket.


Depending on the vaccination rate in the country, Vietnam wants to open up to international tourism again. To this end, a four-step plan has been presented, the first step of which is to open selected destinations to vacationers arriving on charter flights towards the end of the year. These include the island of Phu Quoc and the coastal cities of Da Nang and Khanh Hoa. For this purpose, a list of countries will be presented whose fully vaccinated nationals will be allowed to enter. A limited number of scheduled flights are to be allowed again from January 2022. As things stand, however, travelers must expect to be quarantined upon arrival. There are no plans to allow entry for convalescents or unvaccinated travelers.

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