Vietnam woman at market wearing a face mask

Coronavirus Travel Information

Travel Status - 18 January 2023

All of our Asian destinations have considerably relaxed their entry requirements close to pre-pandemic levels, including Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Entry requirements for these countries are minimal – please see full details below for each country, as they do differ slightly. As of early 2023, the outlook is looking good for travel to all of our destination, with light restrictions for Hong Kong.

South Korea removed On Arrival PCR testing requirements in early October 2022. This was welcome news after the government scrapped pre-departure testing earlier in the year.

Japan removed arrival caps and resumed visa-free travel in October 2022. This means that fully independent travel to Japan is now possible. Perfectly in time for cherry blossoms 2023, after two whole seasons without international tourists! Currently there are some entry requirements for direct flights coming from China.

Even if there are few to no restrictions in our destinations, we continue to work closely with our local partners to develop and follow the robust protocols of WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) to implement new safety practices and standards. These will strengthen the current health and safety guidelines set out by local governments themselves to create a stress-free travel experience for you.

Government advisories and your travel to Asia

UK

There is no restriction to travel to any of our destinations: just make sure to check the entry requirements for the country you're travelling to further down below or, alternatively, check the latest official government information on travel to Asia from the FCDO here.

See the latest official government information on travel to Asia from the FCDO here.

USA

There is no restriction to travel to any of our destinations: same as the UK, just make sure to check the entry requirements for the country you're traveling to. Currently our destinations are listed as level 1s and 2s in the US by the State Department (with the exception of Hong Kong, listed as 3 - reconsider travel).

Advice from the CDC:

Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel.

Level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions

Level 1 - Practice usual precautions

Advice from the State Department:

Level 3 – Reconsider travel.

Level 2- Exercise increased precaution

Level 1 - Exercise normal precaution

See the latest official government information on travel to Asia from the CDC here.

Canada

International travel is open, though please check the government advisory beforehand and any country entry requirements below.

See the latest official government advice on travel to Asia here.

Australia

Same as the UK and US, there is no restriction to travel to any of our destinations: just make sure to check the entry requirements for the country you're travelling to further down below, and check Smartraveller's website for the most up-to-date information.

In line with this final ease on restrictions, DFAT has updated its advisory and most of the destinations listed are now showing EXCERCISE NORMAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia) or EXERCISE A HIGH DEGREE OF CAUTION (Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong)

  • Lv 1 EXERCISE NORMAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
  • Lv 2 EXERCISE A HIGH DEGREE OF CAUTION
  • Lv 3 RECONSIDER YOUR NEED TO TRAVEL (avoid non-essential)
  • Lv 4 DO NOT TRAVEL

DFAT are updating travel advice levels for 177 destinations based on the latest assessment of risk – both COVID-19 and other threats to safety and security.

A global COVID-19 Health Advisory will also be issued in conjunction with the Department of Health, with advice for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.

See the latest official Australian government information on travel to Asia here.

See below for a breakdown of our destinations vaccination and travel status.

Update from our destinations

Vietnam

Vietnam has flung its doors fully open to visitors, with no testing, quarantine, or travel restrictions regardless of vaccination status. In addition, citizens from 13 countries are allowed up to 15 days visa-free entry, while e-visas are available for a further 80 countries.

Requirements:

Pre-Arrival:

  • Visa exemptions: will be offered for citizens of the following 13 countries: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K. This will permit travel for up to 15 days without a visa regardless of passport type or entry purpose.
  • E-Visas: will be offered for citizens of 80 countries including the United States and most European nations not included in the visa exemptions above. E-visas are single-entry 30 day tourist visas.
  • Medical insurance: covering COVID-19 treatment worth at least US $10,000, which costs around $30 USD.

Arrival:

  • Proceed through immigration as normal and enjoy your stay!

During Stay:

  • Monitor health for 10 days as per health ministry protocol
  • If travellers test positive for COVID-19 during their stay, they may self-isolate as long as they aren't exhibiting serious symptoms requiring medical attention.
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Vietnam

Cambodia

Cambodia has also fully re-opened for travel and has dropped their previous testing requirements - not just on arrival but completely! Visa requirements have also been relaxed, and travellers can now simply acquire their visas on arrival.

To travel to Cambodia, you will need to:

Vaccinated Travellers:

  • Arrival:
    • Show proof of full vaccination
    • Obtain a Visa on Arrival when entering Cambodia
    • It is no longer necessary to download the 'Tracerapp'; you are free to travel Cambodia with no quarantine restrictions!
Unvaccinated Travellers:
  • Arrival:
    • Take a rapid antigen test and give a negative result

Our sources on the ground have said that they are welcoming tourists in and that it would be good if visitor numbers were to increase in 2022. A lot of the sites and temples are quieter meaning people are freer to move around. We are hoping to gather more intel as to what life is like on the ground over the coming months.

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Cambodia

Laos

Laos is officially and fully open thanks to a continual decline of covid cases despite Laos being behind its neighbours in terms of its rates for the vaccination programme.

There is no quarantine, testing and no travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers while unvaccinated travellers only need to take a rapid ATK test within 48h of departure to Laos and show the results upon arrival to enjoy the same ease of entry. Everything else including visas and entry returns to pre-covid norms, although visa on arrivals are now charged at $40USD per person.

Vaccinated Travellers:
  • Pre-Arrival:
    • Be fully vaccinated no less than 14 days prior to arrival
    • Visas as normal pre-covid: Citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Laos can apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate abroad or via the e-Visa online system
  • Arrival:
    • Show proof of vaccination
Unvaccinated Travellers:
  • Pre-Arrival:
    • Must have a rapid ATK test performed no more than 48 hours before departure to Laos.
  • Arrival:
    • Show proof of negative results from rapid ATK test before departure.
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      Laos

Thailand

Thailand is now allowing both fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers free access to the country's stunning tourism sites as soon as they leave the airport! Do I need to wear a mask? Not generally. The mask mandate was rescinded in 2022, though some indoor places may still require you to wear a mask.

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Malaysia & Borneo

Malaysia has fully opened the borders! There are no quarantine restrictions or requirements for vaccinated or unvaccinated passengers. Travellers are free to download the MySejahtera contact tracing app before or after arrival in Malaysia and indicate their Covid risk status, but this is not mandatory.

  • Valid visa (if required by country)
  • Not required but recommended: while not formally required, we recommend travellers who have vaccination cards to bring them

During Stay:

  • Mask usage is required indoors, but optional outdoors
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    Malaya

Singapore

Fully vaccinated travellers can travel with no quarantine or testing upon arrival under the new Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF). VTF is open to citizens of all nations and by any transport means. Children under 12 do not need to be vaccinated to enter.

Under the Vaccinated Travel Framework, travellers will be required to:

Vaccinated Travellers:

Pre-arrival:

  • Have proof of vaccination (though it is not necessary to present this before departure)
    • Children 12 and under are exempt from vaccination requirements.
  • SG Arrival Card to be submitted at least 3 days prior to your date of arrival in Singapore
  • Visa (if applicable)
Unvaccinated Travellers (including children travelling with unvaccinated parents):

Pre-arrival:

  • Have travel insurance covering Covid-19, with at least $30,000 of medical coverage.
  • Take a PCR Or ART (professionally-administered Antigen Rapid Test) 2 days before departure

On arrival:

  • Enjoy your stay!

While Travelling:

  • Guests must adhere to local regulations relating to COVID safety.
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    Singapore

South Korea

South Korea is open to travellers with no pre-departure testing or quarantine requirements. However, an electronic visa (K-ETA) needs to obtained before travel to the country. This is valid for two years and covers multiple entry into the country.

To enter South Korea, the process will look as follows:

  • You need to obtain an electronic Visa (K-ETA)
  • Proof of vaccination is no longer needed to enter South Korea.
  • While having travel insurance is highly recommended, proof of it is no longer a requirement to enter South Korea. It is a requirement of InsideAsia Tours however, that you purchase travel insurance if you are travelling with us.
  • There is no longer PCR on arrival.
  • It is recommended to register personal information using the Q-code system prior to entry to the country
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korea

Japan

With 82% of its population fully vaccinated, Japan now ranks among the most vaccinated countries in the world!

The Japanese government removed arrival caps and resumed visa-free travel in October 2022. In other words, the borders are fully open, with only minor travel requirements (see below for more details).

From October 11th 2022, to enter Japan tourists simply need to:

  • Return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure if unvaccinated. Travellers with proof of 3 or more vaccinations do not need to do this.
  • Optional but recommended: preregister on Visit Japan Web to upload PCR/Vaccine-related and arrival information for fast-track into Japan.
  • Optional but recommended: Have a travel insurance plan that covers covid-related medical expenses and disruptions.
  • For direct flights coming from China only (including Macau, excluding Hong Kong): even if vaccinated, travellers must present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure. If the traveller has been to China within 7 days before arriving in Japan, they will be subject to a PCR test on arrival and, if tested positive, will be required to quarantine at a pre-designated hotel/facility.
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Japan

Hong Kong

After almost 3 years of complex Covid-19 prevention measures, Hong Kong has removed restrictions to almost pre-pandemic levels.

Currently the entry requirements are:

  • If aged 12 and over, you must be vaccinated to visit Hong Kong. Hong Kong counts two doses of vaccine as being vaccinated, or a certificate of recovery and one dose.

  • Inbound travellers will need to have a negative PCR within 48 hours, or negative rapid antigen within 24 hours of arrival.

  • Daily rapid antigen tests for the first 5 days are voluntary.

  • There is no longer a vaccination pass scheme in place for entering restaurants or other venues.

  • Wearing a mask in certain areas is still required.

  • Transiting passengers do not require a pre-departure test.

  • Non-vaccinated travellers over the age of 12 will be denied entry to Hong Kong.

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    Hong Kong