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General COVID-19 Update for the Asia-Pacific

Borders of most APAC countries remain closed for non-residence, with only a small number of essential travel allowed in the region.

Overall, borders of most APAC countries remain closed for non-residence, with only a small number of essential travel allowed in the region.

Previous travel bubble agreements have been temporarily suspended, PCR tests are now an expected requirement for the region, and restrictions are projected to lessen as vaccinations are implemented. 

For all country updates, visit the COVID-19 resource page.

 

Travel Bubble Arrangements

Few of the previously established green lane/travel bubble arrangements have been suspended due to rising infections. Some have further tightened their quarantine rules, such as quarantine required for all crew members returning to Hong Kong and travelers entering Singapore from the UK and South Africa.

Suspended travel bubble arrangements such as the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble, green lane arrangements between Singapore and Malaysia/South Korea, and "Residence / Business track" arrangements in Japan have been temporarily suspended.

The travel bubble between Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands is still ongoing, with no set date to expire. One-way quarantine-free travel is currently only available for travelers entering Australia from New Zealand and the Cook Islands into New Zealand. 

Expect PCR Tests

Eligible travelers with essential purpose traveling into or within the APAC region should expect PCR tests upon arrival and strict hotel quarantine upon arrival. At the same time, some countries may also require PCR test before departure.

For countries that require PCR test upon arrival, test facilities are usually located in the airport terminal. The number of PCR tests required in every country is different as well; hence all travelers should have a good understanding of the requirements before departure.

If you plan to have a PCR test done in APAC countries before departure, please allow 48-72 hours turn time as most governments cannot produce a short notice test result. Travelers will also have to find out the availability of testing locations as some require booking.

Restrictions

Most of the restrictions will likely remain in place in the coming months as most countries are very cautious with borders opening to keep the situation under control.

However, we expect to see a more targeted reopening approach by establishing a "travel bubble" for business or leisure between countries once the infection rate drops to a safer level for reopening.

This is particularly important for countries planning to host global events – namely, the Tokyo Olympic in July and World Economic Forum in Singapore.

Vaccination is Priority

We do see the light at the end of the tunnel as many APAC countries are now focusing on vaccinating the population to get life back to some form of normality.

For example, Thailand may waive quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers in the coming months, while Singapore is planning to reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated travelers.

Once more data on the vaccine's effectiveness is available, expect a slow and steady plan to be implemented by the respective governments and health authorities of many APAC countries. These expected plans will allow the reopening of borders while still managing public health concerns.

Contact World Fuel Trip Support

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South America: + 55 11 2924-2569

United States: +1 800 626 0577 | +1 281 280 2200

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