THIS ARTICLES IS UPDATED TWICE DAILY – SINGAPORE TIME
In these times of uncertainty, travelers around the world are asking themselves many questions related to COVID-19, the coronavirus. This article aims to provide resources to help answer the below questions:
- Will I be able to travel to my destination?
- Can I leave the country I am in and return to my home country?
- Will my airline refund my flight?
- Can I cancel and refund my hotel booking?
- Will my insurance cover me against any travel cancellations or medical issues in the time of coronavirus?
- What can I do to stay safe against coronavirus?
Before we dive deep into each of the above questions, it pays to look at the numbers and understand the impact of COVID-19. This data-driven analysis of the situation and impact/risks of coronavirus is highly recommended for anyone considering travel to read.
- Coronavirus travel bans and updates per country
- European Union
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Cancellation and refund policies of tour companies, airlines and hotels
- Travel insurance coverage updates
- Travel advice and tips to stay safe in the time of coronavirus
- Global news coverage and updates
The latest update on the number of cases, deaths and recoveries can be found here. Below are updated on the latest coronavirus status per country.
Additionally, the European Union is considering a 30-day ban on non-essential travel to the Union. More details on the proposal here. This will affect only the EU and exclude non-member states that are part of the Schengen area visa such as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
If approved, visitors from non-EU states who will not be allowed to enter the EU unless they are long-term residents, family members of EU nationals, diplomats, cross-border commuters, or essential workers (doctors, nurses, researchers).
On the 17th of March, he European Union has approved a ban to all non-essential travel to the Union for 30 days. The ban includes all the European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, but excludes Ireland who is not part of the Schengen Area. The UK exited the Union in January so it is not part of this ban either.
Nationals, family members of nationals and long term residents will be able to return home, as will healthcare professionals, researchers and those caring for the elderly. Military and humanitarian personnel and diplomats as well as border workers are also exempt.
All details and explanation on the ban here.
UPDATE: The country has closed its non-essential transportation in and out via road from the 27th of March. Nationals will still be able to return.
Argentina goes into lock-down from the 20th of March.
Argentina has canceled all flights from UK, US, China, Japan, South Korea and Iran and prohibited all non-residents who transited through the above countries in the previous 14 days from coming into the country.
UPDATE: On the 25th of March, Australia has banned all overseas travel as announced in the Level 4 warning.
On the 18th of March, Australia has raised its travel warning to Level 4 for the first time in its history and advised against all travel. It has also declared a human biosecurity emergency and is setting to close internal movements. On the 19th of March Australia has announced that it is banning all entry to non-residents or locals from the 20th of March. Returning Australians will be placed on a 14-day quarantine.
Australia enforces a 14-day self-quarantine for all arrivals and those who break it will be prosecuted. Cruises will be banned from docking for 30 days since the 16th of March. Travelers who have been in China, Iran, South Korea or Italy in the previous 14 days will not be allowed in or through Australia.
More details here.
Austria has ordered all non-essential businesses to close and residents are not to leave the house except for work that can’t be done from home, to help the needy or to shop for urgent supplies. Flights to the UK, Ukraine and Russia have been suspended.
UPDATE: As of the 18th of March noon and until the 5th of April, Belgium’s Government has announced movement will be restricted to essential travel such as going to the doctor, the supermarket, the post office, the bank, the pharmacy, petrol stations or to help people in need. Belgians are to remain at home.
Travel outside of Belgium is prohibited and companies are to ask their employees to work from home. More details here.
Belgium has not set any travel bans for now but is battling its long-standing political struggle.
Read this blog with details about life in Belgium during Coronavirus.
UPDATE: As of the 19th of March, Bolivia will close its borders except for Bolivians and residents. All flights will be suspended from the 20th of March. Measures in place until 31st of March. As of the 22nd of March, the country has also imposed a 14 day total quarantine of the entire population except essential services.
All flights to and from Europe are suspended. In addition, nationals of China, South Korea, Italy and Spain are banned from entering the country.
Brazil remains one of the few countries not to impose travel bans. However, it has closed its border with Venezuela on th 17th of March and for 15 days.
UPDATE: On the 26th March Canada announced that anyone returning to the country will have to go into 14 day quarantine. On the 28th of March, Canada will ban domestic air and train travel to anyone showing signs of the virus.
Canada announced on the 16th of March that borders will be closed to anyone who is not Canadian, permanent resident or immediate family of a national. US nationals are exempt of this ban.
From the 18th of March, all international flights will be channeled through 4 airports in Canada: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Vancouver International Airport and Calgary International Airport. This rule does not apply to flights arriving from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and St. Pierre and Miquelon.
The island has suspended all incoming flights from the EU, Nigeria, US, Brazil and Senegal for 3 weeks essentially isolating the country.
UPDATE: Starting on the 28th of March, the Government has banned all foreigners from entering China, including those with residency permits and visas. Foreigners who need to visit will have to apply for new visas. Visas issued after the 26th of March will still be valid.
Starting on the 25th of March, all arrivals into Beijing will be tested and quarantined at government facilities for 14 days at their own expense. This applies even if you arrived in the country through another port in the previous 14 days.
Cases in China coming from international arrivals outnumbered domestic cases for the first time on the 13th of March.
From the 16th of March, China has imposed 14-day quarantine for all arrivals in Beijing, a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals into Shanghai from travelers who have been in South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, and a 14 day quarantine for all arrivals into Guangzhou from Japan, Italy, South Korea or Iran.
Read about life in China during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Government has declared the state of catastrophe for 90 days starting on the 18th of March.
Colombia has closed it borders to anyone who is not a local, resident or diplomat. As of the 24th of March, Colombians will have to self-isolate for 19 days. This isolation measures have been extended until the 26th of April.
Costa Rica declared the state of emergency (in Spanish) and announced on the 16th of March that it would close its borders to all foreigners from the 18th of March. Nationals and permanent residents returning home will be placed in 14 day self-quarantine.
Travelers arriving from Italy, Iran and Hubei Province will be quarantined in Government facilities for 14 days at their own expense. Passengers arriving from Spain, US and Sweden will undergo extra health monitoring and should self-isolate for 14 days.
More details on the situation in Croatia here.
UPDATE: Cuba suspends all international flights on the 2nd of April.
Cuba moves to close its borders on the 20th of March to anyone but residents for 30 days from the 24th of March. Tourists need to depart before the full closing. Residents and Cubans returning home will be quarantined for 14 days. The country will also go on lock down and limit internal mobility.
The Czech Republic has closed its doors to travelers from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Norway, Denmark and France and forbids travel to high risk countries.
More details here.
Djibouti suspended all international flights to the country from the 18th of March.
The Dominican Republic has not imposed specific restrictions but flights from Milan are cancelled.
From the 17th of March, Ecuador is suspending all international flights to the country and barring entry to anyone for the following 21 days until the 5th of April. This ban includes its own citizens.
Flights out of the country are not suspended, only those incoming. Anyone who had entered before or who will arrive after this period, will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. Cruise ships were banned from the 15th of March.
Egypt cancels all flights in and out of the country as of 19th of March for two weeks.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
All three Baltic countries have closed their borders. Latvia will ask all residents returning home from or through Egypt, Germany, France, Iran, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, China, South Korea and Singapore to self-quarantine for 14 days.
France is one of the hardest hit countries in Europe and while it does not have travel restrictions in place, those returning from affected areas and evacuated by the Government will be places in quarantine. The country is also on lock down from the 16th of March and any movement requires an official document and approval. Those who violate the order will be fined.
Arrivals from China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and certain regions in Italy at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport will be checked by medical staff.
Air France announced all flights to and from China were suspended until the 29th of March and flights to Italy until the 3rd pf April.
More details on the French Government COVID-19 site.
Germany has closed its borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark and will only allow in those with a good reason (family or work) to enter from the 16th of Marc. The ban has extended to air travel. The country has also announced a global travel warning until the end of April.
EU citizens from Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Denmark are only allowed into Germany for emergency reasons. EU members can only transit via Germany on their way to their home country.
More details here.
From the 16th of March, Ghana has barred entry for all foreigners except Ghana citizens and permanent residents who have been t a country with more than declared 200 cases in the previous 14 days. Everybody entering Ghana needs to place themselves in self-quarantine for 14 days.
UPDAE: As of the 23rd of March, Greece moves to ban all non-essential movement.
Greece orders hotels to close until the 30th of April to delay the start of the tourism season and prepare for the virus outbreak. It had also announced a pause to asylum applications for a month from the 2nd of March.
The Central American country has banned all nationals of Еurореаn соuntrіеѕ, Іrаn, Сhіnа, Ѕоuth Коrеа аnd Nоrth Коrеа from entering the Guatemala from the 12th of March.
UPDATED: As of the 19th of March, Haiti is on full lock-down.
Haiti has suspended all flights from Europe, Canada, the Dominica Republic and Latin America for two weeks starting on the 16th of March. Only flights from the US are allowed and the Haitian Government has agreed that these will be tested before boarding. The border with the Dominican Republic is also closed.
Honduras is banning entry to those coming from Europe, China, Iran and South Korea. Cruises from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) are still allowed to dock.
UPDATE: From the 26th of March, all non-residents will be banned from entering Hong Kong. Those coming from Macau, Taiwan or mainland China will be allowed in as long as they have not traveled abroad for the previous 14 days and they will have to self-quarantine themselves.
From the 19th of March, all arrivals into Hong Kong, nationals or foreigners, will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Hong Kong has imposed home quarantine of 14 days for all arrivals from Korea, Iran, Hokkaido in Japan, the Schengen Area in Europe, Ireland, the UK, the US and Egypt.
Hungary has closed its borders to all non-Hungarians from the 17th of March indefinitely.
UPDATES: India is going into lockdown for 21 days from the 26th of March.
India has suspended all tourist visas until 15 April and imposed a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals. Those with history of travel to China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK and banned from entering.
More details here.
UPDATE: The country declares a public health emergency on the 31st of March and will implement social distancing measures.
Indonesia is suspending visa-free travel and visa on arrival for foreigners for 30 days from the 20th of March.
Visitors who have been to affected regions of Italy, Iran or South Korea in the last 14 days are not allowed into or in transit through Indonesia.
UPDATE: On the 27th of March Ireland has announced a nation-wide lock down until the 12th of April
Ireland is one of the few countries which have not announced any travel bans, for now, despite being in Europe.
More details on the Irish Government website for COVID-19.
UPDATE 19th of March: Israel moves to close the borders to all foreign nationals with immediate effect. Land borders with Egypt and Jordan are also affected. The country has also required its citizens to stay home for 7 days.
Italy has been hard hit and has quickly become the second country in terms of infections. The country is on lockdown until the 3rd of April with most businesses closed and residents asked to stay at home and avoid all contact.
More details here.
Jamaica has announced that travelers from UK, China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, France, Spain, Germany and Iran will have to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival.
UPDATE: Japan announced a ban on travelers from 73 countries and regions from the 3rd of April until the end of the month.
On the 15th of March, Japan announced that all visitors who have been to affected regions of China, South Korea, Iran or Italy or in San Marino in the last 14 days will not be allowed in Japan. Residents and their spouses and children will be allowed back.
Travelers and nationals returning to japan from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or South Korea will have to stay at designated facilities for 14 days and avoid using public transportation. All visas issued before the 8th of March to Chinese or South Koreans will be cancelled. Visa exemptions will be cancelled for nationals of Hong Kong, Macau or South Korea.
All details of the measures announced in Japan and of the closures of public spaces are in this centralised Government website here.
Jordan has closed all air, sea and road borders until further notice from the 17th of March and only those with diplomatic or international organizations will be allowed in and will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
It has also sealed off all internal governorate borders as of the 18th of March and internal movement is restricted to the army and those whose work justifies it.
Kenya closes its borders to any foreign arrivals from any country with reported cases of Coronavirus as of the 16th of March. Nationals returning home will be placed on self-quarantine.
Lebanon first announced a 2 week lockdown for the country which will extend until the 12th of April. It will close all borders by sea, road and air and everyone will be asked to stay at home.
UPDATE: As of the 26th of March, non-residents will be banned from entering Macau. Those coming from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who have not traveled outside the country will have be allowed in but will have to be in medical observation for 14 days.
As of 18th March, Malaysia will go into full lock-down until the end of March. This means the cancellation of all religious activities and social activities and for all shops except for grocery stores to close.
All Malaysians are banned from traveling overseas and returning Malaysians will have to go on self-quarantine for 14 days. Visitors are banned from entering.
Malta has imposed a blanket 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from all destinations.
Morocco has announced that it will suspend all international flights to and from Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Senegal, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, China, Spain, Italy, France and Algeria until further notice.
More details here.
From the 14th of March, Nepal has announced that all visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days. Visas on arrival are suspended until the end of April. Visitors with prior visas must prove negative results to a Coronavirus swab test that took place a maximum of 7 days before arrival.
Nepal’s land borders will remain closed to foreigners from third countries until the end of April. Flights from China has been restricted. Trekking permits issues to anyone arriving after the 15th of March have been suspended until the end of April.
More details here.
UPDATE: As of the 24th of March, all non-essential travel within the country will be suspended as New Zealand increases its alert level to 4.
New Zealand has banned all foreign citizens from entering the country from the 20th of March, including those coming from the Pacific. Travel to and from Australia will also stop.
New Zealand has a 14-day self-isolation for all arrivals except for those from the Pacific islands starting 16th March
More details here.
UPDATE: From the 24th f march and for four weeks, Nigeria is also closing its land borders. All international flights except for essential or emergency flights are also banned.
From the 20th of March and for an unlimited period, Nigeria has banned entry to people from countries with more than 1,000 cases including China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.
UPDATE: Pakistan has extended its lockdown until the 14th of April.
Flights to and from Pakistan are suspended until the 14th of April with the exception of some repatriation flights to Canada and the UK. The country has also suspended train and air travel within the country.
Panama suspends all international flights to and from the country from the 22nd of March for 30 days.
Papua New Guinea
As of the 17th of March, Papua New Guinea has announced that those who have been to or transited via the US, China, European Union, Iran, Japan, South Korea and the UK in the 14 days prior to their arrival will not be allowed entry into the country and must complete a 14-day self-quarantine outside the country. There is also a 60 day ban on cruises since the 17th of March.
More details here.
Paraguay has canceled all flights to and from Europe from the 13th of March until the 26th of March.
As of the 18th of March, Philippines has declared state of calamity for six months. On the 19th of March, the country suspended visa issuance and imposed a total ban on foreigners of all nationalities.
Metro Manila has been placed under lockdown and all internal flights have been canceled. Some international flights from the Philippines still operate. Residents have been ordered to stay home and practice social distancing.
More details here.
Poland closed its borders to foreigners effective 15th of March and all returning national will have to go into self-quarantine for 14 days. All flights and trains to Poland have been suspended and border controls reinstated.
Portugal declares a 15-day state of emergency on the 18th of March starting on the 19th of March but has not declared any bans except for the closure of the land border with Spain.
UPDATED: On the 30th of March, Russia will close its borders to anyone except for the media, diplomats and officials.
Russia has closed all its border points with China, Poland and Norway and suspended all train links to and from Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova, Berlin, Paris as of the 14th of March.
It has also banned Italians or travelers from Italy and canceled flights to and from Italy, Germany, France and Spain since the 13th of March. From the 16th of March, all flights from the European Union, Norway and Switzerland will be channeled through Moscow and capital cities only.
All arrivals who have been to China, France, Germany, Spain or South Korea and staying in Moscow must report to the authorities and stay in self-isolation for 14 days.
More details here.
Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries in the Middle East to impose bans essentially self-isolating themselves.
Visitors who have been to or through Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkey or the United Arab Emirates in the previous 14 days will be banned from entering. Nationals can return home.
All Umrah visas for pilgrimage are also temporarily suspended except for nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates who already had them.
Serbia declared the state of emergency on the 15th of March. This prohibits all foreigners from entering the country excluding residents. Anyone entering the country is forced to go into a 14-day self-quarantine. Travelers from Switzerland, Iran, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia and Greece will be quarantine for 28 days.
More details on the situation in Serbia in the Government’s COVID-19 page.
Sierra Leone has declared a Public Health Emergency for 12 months starting on the 24th of March.
UPDATE: Singapore goes into lock down from the 7th of April until the 4th of May to contain the wide spread of the virus among workers dormitories and beyond.
As of the 22nd of March, Singapore announces further closures in effect from the 24th of March. All short-term visitors will not be allowed entry or transit, Singaporeans and residents will have to stay at home for 14 days. Those coming from Hubei province are to self-quarantine for 14 days.
No entry/transit through S’pore
More details in the Government site.
Slovakia has stopped all international travel to and from the country and will start border checks. The Government announced that all arrivals from the 13th of March will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days.
UPDATE: From the 27th of March South Africa will go into a lockdown that will last 3 weeks until the 16th of April.
Nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the US, UK and China are banned from entry into South Africa from the 18th of March. Nationals coming from the above countries will be tested and quarantined or self-isolated. Those returning from medium risk countries (Portugal, Singapore and Hong Kong) will be screened on arrival.
More details here.
UPDATE: From the 1st of April, all travelers into South Korea will be quarantined for two weeks.
Visas issued in Hubei Province as well as in Japan before the 9th of March are invalidated. Visitors with a history of travel to Hubei Province in the previous 14 days or from that province are banned from entry to South Korea.
As of the 16th of March, South Korea has announced that all European travelers will be required to go through temperature checks, a medical survey and download an app so their temperature can be monitored daily from the 22nd of March.
UPDATE: On the 22nd of March, Spain announced a 30-day restriction of non-essential flights from the country with the exception of European residents starting on the 24th of May. The state of emergency measure has been extended until the 11th of April.
Spain declared a state of emergency on 14th March and the country is on lockdown with all non-essential services closed with the exception of hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, supermarkets and petrol stations.
Residents are on lockdown and have been asked to stay at home and avoid all contact with others.
More details here.
UPDATE: Sri Lanka has suspended all international arrivals for two weeks from the 19th of March.
Sri Lanka has canceled visas on arrival and has imposed flight bans for two weeks until the 29th of March from South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and Austria.
Airlines have been instructed to prevent travelers who have visited any of the above countries in the previous 14 days from boarding a flight to Sri Lanka.
Sudan has closed all its borders, land, sea and air as of the 16th of March.
On the 14th of March, the Swiss government announced that all borders with Italy, Austria, Germany and France will remain open only to those living in Switzerland or traveling for necessary business, everyone else will be turned away.
More details on the situation in Switzerland here.
UPDATE: As of the 19th of March, Taiwan has banned all foreigners from entering the country except for residents, business travelers, diplomats and otehrs with special permission.
Taiwan has done pretty well in containing the spread of the virus and announced, on the 14th of March, that travelers from 26 countries in Europe (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Malta, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) and from Dubai will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.
Related: Is Taiwan a country?
UPDATED: On the 26th of March, Thailand has declared the state of emergency until the 30th of March.
Thailand has removed visa on arrival rights for visitors from Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu and removed the visa waiver for nationals of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran and South Korea.
Nationals of those countries now have to apply for Thai visas and present airlines with a health certificate to prove they are not at risk of COVID-19 infection before boarding.
More details here.
Passenger flights to or from Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and South Korea have been suspended.
Visitors who have been to or transited through any of the above countries in the previous 14 days will not be allowed in or through Turkey. Nationals will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. Land borders with Iraq and Iran are closed.
More details in the Turkish Government COVID-19 website.
Uganda encourages travelers from 17 countries including the US, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Malaysia, China, France, Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Italy, South Korea, San Marino, and Spain to postpone non-essential travel to Uganda. If they still travel, they will have to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days. More details here.
All travel into Ukraine by air or road into Ukraine will be suspended from the 17th of March. All foreigners are banned from entering the country from the 16th of March.
More details on the Ukraine Government COVID-19 site.
United Arab Emirates
UPDATE: Dubai announced a 2 week lock down starting on the 4th of April.
Shopping malls and markets will close for two weeks starting 26th of March.
As of the 22nd of March, the UAE has announced it will suspend all its passenger flights to and from the country as well as through the country for two weeks starting on the 25th of March.
United Arab Emirates has restricted entry to anyone from the 19th of March for two weeks, residents included. It has also banned its citizens from traveling abroad and suspended the issuance of visas.
The United Kingdom has not imposed any travel bans on any nationalities or travelers. However, this may change at short notice so you should stay up to date on developments. The UK Government has nonetheless given ample advice for travel to several regions and on staying safe while traveling.
More details here.
UPDATE: South Korea will start quarantining passengers coming from the US from the 30th of March for 1 days. Residents will stay home, foreigners will go into a designated Government facility.
As of the 19th of March, the US has issues a worldwide Level 4 Do not travel advisory against all travel. Those abroad with commercial links are asked to return unless they are ready to spend time abroad indefinitely. As of the 21st of March, anyone arriving in Hawaii will be placed in 14 day quarantine.
The United States has banned all travel from Europe’s Schengen zone, the UK and Ireland for 30 days from March 14th. Passengers returning home from these areas will have to go through enhanced screening including medical screening and if a red flag is raised the person is referred to CDC personnel on site.
More details here.
Uruguay announced on the 15th of March that is is suspending all flights from Europe from the 20th of March. Until that time, only nationals or residents will be allowed back. Flights from the US will be suspended from the 18th of March.
On the 12th of March, Venezuela declared the state of emergency of the healthcare system and announced that it would suspend all flights from Europe and Bolivia for a month.
UPDATE: As of the 1st of April, Vietnam will stop incoming flights for two weeks.
As of the 22nd March, Vietnam has closed its borders to all foreigners and even Vietnamese abroad and their families who have visa exemptions.
Vietnam had previously announced on the 21st of March, a forced 14 day quarantine for all travelers in government owned facilities. It had also removed the visa on arrival options for all nationalities for 30 days from the 15th of March.
Business travelers are excluded from these bans. Vietnam Airlines announced on its website on the 14th of March that it would not carry passengers from London, Paris and Frankfurt to Vietnam from the 15th March.
More details here.
Zimbabwe closes borders to anyone but residents from the 24th of March. The country has also gone into lockdown from the 30th of March.[/vc_column_text]
Cancellation and refund policies of tour companies, airlines and hotels
Numerous airlines and hotel chains have announced cancellation fee waivers and options for travelers to defer their plans at no extra cost. Below you will find a compilation of announcements from hotels and airlines on their cancellation policies in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Will my airline give me a refund?
The Lonely Planet has a great resource with a list of all refunds per airline. If you (unfortunately) have a reservation with IcelandAir that is not covered on the previous article but here is a personal story of a family trying to refund their tickets that might shed some light on how to get an answer from them (or discourage you from trying!).
This website is tracking all flight cancellations in the US live.
G Adventures has announced that all tours will be suspended until the end of April. Here are detailed FAQs. If your tour is scheduled to depart from the 16th of March until the 30th of April, you will receive 110% credit on your booked value to be used on tours scheduled to depart before the 30th of April 2022.
Additional updates on safety here. G Adventures will continue to honor its Lifetime Deposit option where any bookings can always be changed or cancelled up to 60 days before departure without losing the amounts given as deposit which can used for any future bookings. All terms and conditions are here.
The Intercontinental Hotel Group will refund all bookings for travel dates between the 13th March and the 30th of April.
More details here.
Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
All reservations until the 30th of April can be cancelled without any penalties. More details here.
Windham Hotels & Resorts
Instead of a blanket approach it has country specific cancellation and wave-fee rules. Direct Windham reservations in China, South Korea and Italy until the end of March will be refundable. Direct reservations that are affected by a travel ban will also be refunded without penalties.
Globally, all direct reservations can be moved to a future travel date up until 48h before the arrival date at no extra fee provided they are for the same number (or more) of room nights.
Bookings made using third parties need to be cancelled through them. The hotel has not made clear what the refund policy is for those. More details here.
All reservations from the 13th of March until the 30th of April can be cancelled without penalties 24h until arrival.
For reservations made with Advance Purchase Rate (non-refundable) made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for arrivals before June 30, 2020 for guests who have decided not to travel, may opt, at least 24 hours before their stay, to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation. More details here.
Marriott International is waiving cancellation fees until the end of April if the request is made at least 24h before arrival. This policy excludes DesignHotels. More details here.
Hilton group allows its guests to cancel a reservation until 24h before the booking without penalties until the end of April. More details here.
Airbnb has defined Coronavirus extenuating circumstances under which guests can request a full refund. It also announced extraordinary flexibility measures for travelers and hosts to offer during this difficult time.
Guests with bookings in affected areas will be reimbursed automatically if their booking qualifies and those who don’t automatically qualify but can claim extenuating circumstances can reach out to Airbnb and get a full refund.
More details here.
Travel insurance coverage updates
Coronavirus, like all other extraordinary circumstances and situations of Force Majeure, are not covered by insurance companies if you purchased your coverage after the outbreak was a known fact.
When the outbreak became a known fact is usually determined by when the country issues a ban or when your foreign office declared that non-essential travel should be suspended. At that point, it is understood that if you choose to still travel you do so at your own risk.
However, all those who purchased travel insurance before the outbreak will still be covered as per the policy’s standard terms and conditions.
Each travel insurance company is different so check directly for more details. Below are updates and announcements from top travel insurance companies.
World Nomads has Coronavirus updates and FAQs ready to answer your most commonly asked questions.
SaetyWing is a great insurance company for digital nomads. Their coverage details under Coronavirus circumstances are detailed here.
If you find yourself in an affected area traveling or living, below are some additional pieces of advice to bear in mind.
- Call your travel insurance company and verify it will cover you in those destinations. Some plans have clauses that will void coverage when you purchase insurance to travel to a destination that the Government advises against all travel to.
- Regardless of where you are when the outbreak started, never travel without insurance especially now. The coverage may be void for Coronavirus-related illnesses or cancellations but it is not void for the rest of the possible injuries or accidents you may face.
- Use a mask only if you are sick. Transmission from the disease is via contact with droplets from sneezing so wearing a mask will protect others if you are sick. Do not wear it if you are not.
- Buy and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wash your hands with soap often and for 20secs, and avoid touching your face.
- Practice social distancing and stay at home if you can or if your Government has asked you to.
Insurance companies we recommend:
- SafetyWing, designed for longer-term travel and digital nomads. Purchase your coverage starting at $37 here.
- World Nomads, a reputable and well-established global company that specializes in travel insurance. They also cover things like adventure sports and flight cancellations. Book your travel insurance coverage here.
Global news coverage and updates
Below are some of the available resources you can read to inform yourself.
- World Health Organisation situation reports published daily with the latest information here and a newly launched Whatsapp service ou can signup for here.
- WHO twitter account where they share updates and bust myths here
- This website reports the number of cases live globally – click on the Google translate icon to get an English version here and Worldometer has in-depth analysis and details per country on cases and their typology.
- Advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
- Live updates from the Financial Times here.
- Live updates from the NY Times here.
- Live updates from CNN here.
- Coverage on the BBC here.
- Italian newspapers covering the situation in Italy (use the Google translate function): Repubblica.it, corriere.it and open.online (-> provides frequent and short updates)
- Live updates on the situation in Spain (in Spanish) here.
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