EXO COUNTRIES AND COVID
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current situation, many of our staff are working remotely from home or are on leave. While we are working around the clock, please be patient while waiting to hear back from us regarding questions, requests and changes. Thank you for understanding.
HEALTH & HYGIENE PREPARATIONS
Hygiene and security will be major factors to take into account for travel going forward.
To this end, we have set up standard operation processes (SOPs) across our supply chain, in accordance with guidelines set out by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This starts with measures that will be taken by our staff, ground teams, guides, and drivers and we are communicating with suppliers (hotels, restaurants, sites, airlines) regarding their best practices and participating in a panel of tourism companies who are focused on corona-safe travel.
Please see the details of our safe travel efforts here on our blog.
THAILAND: July 1 Thailand began Phase 5 of the reopening which sees the biggest leap yet towards normality including a resumption of schools across the country, opening of national parks and public venues with restrictions in place and much more. Hotels have also opened their doors for domestic tourism which is expected to surge in the coming weeks and during the summer.
The reopening to international air travel for leisure tourists, however, may very well be delayed until September until rules on how to handle incoming travelers have been set. Preparations are starting to get in place with 90 mins COVID test facilities being set up at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. News articles 4 July 20 Testing on arrival and 27 June 20: Travel relaunch Thailand?
Thailand has been included in a Green List by the European Union AND by the UK and its citizens are allowed to travel to. However, for UK citizens they still need to self-isolate 14 days on return. We are not there yet but the first steps in the right direction are taken!
MALAYSIA: July 1, as part of Malaysia’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) which will remain in place until 31 August, Malaysia will be relaxing restrictions on MICE venues, spas and wellness centres and swimming pools and cinemas and more. Furthermore, there has been a surge in domestic tourism in Malaysia as freedom of movement is reinstated. Strict precautionary and sanitation measures remain in place.
Malaysia is on the Green List of countries allowed to travel to set by the UK FCO on Friday 3 July 2020 BUT 14 days self-isolation is still required on return.
MYANMAR: 29 June 20. Myanmar has extended its measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 until 15 July 2020. This includes a temporary suspension of international flights, a ban on issuing all visas and visa-exemption services, as well as a three-week quarantine for Myanmar nationals returning home by relief flights. A temporary ban on foreigners’ entry will be extended to July 31.
INDONESIA: 5 July 2020. Bali is planning to re-open its beaches and tourist sites on the 9th of July for people currently in Bali and an opening for domestic tourism in August as 2nd phase, ideally followed by international tourism in September in the 3rd phase, if all goes according to current plans. News article 6 July 2020 Reopening planned for 11 September 2020
CAMBODIA: On 16 June 2020, Civil Aviation in Cambodia issued new rules for arriving travelers into Cambodia. Among these, proof of insurance for the amount of $50,000, as well as a $3,000 deposit on arrival for potential fees during the stay, stand out. The fees cover items from COVIDtests (100 USD per time) in case the traveler has a fever or anyone on the same plane has a fever to a quarantine, medical treatment, and even funeral. However, entry to the Kingdom is currently NOT possible except for diplomats and for some business travelers. We believe that by the time the country reopens its doors for leisure tourists, these rules will have been amended to be more welcoming while still covering the very important safety and health aspects.
Meanwhile, businesses across Cambodia have been operating mostly as usual but with safety precautions in place since mid-April. Domestic travel in including flights between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have resumed. An opening towards Vietnam and Laos is being mulled.
JAPAN: Japan’s nationwide curfew has been lifted and, as of 19 June, all coronavirus-related curbs on domestic travel have been lifted and is easing restrictions on incoming business travel. Indoor and outdoor events are now able to resume with 1,000 people or less. A $12 billion dollar injection of funds for domestic travel incentives and a $1.2 billion dollar injection in inbound travel incentives to help restart the travel industry does NOT apply for international travelers at this stage. A travel bubble for business travel is being discussed for Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand as first steps for an international reopening.
Japan is on the Green List of countries allowed to travel to set by the UK FCO on Friday 3 July 2020 and NO self-isolation is required on return.
VIETNAM: Vietnam has carefully ended most restrictions and life is almost back to normal. Domestic tourism is booming and the island of Phu Quoc may possibly become the test destination for a reopening to foreign tourists all the while a wider opening doesn’t seem likely before September.
Vietnam is on the Green List of countries allowed to travel to set by the UK FCO on Friday 3 July 2020 and NO self-isolation is required on return.
LAOS: Similar to Vietnam, Laos has begun allowing businesses to reopen with certain restrictions. A possible opening of borders to neighboring countries with low infection rates like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand will be considered and the opening of the country will heavily depend on the opening of neighboring countries and the air links via Thailand and Vietnam especially.
SINGAPORE: From 1 July, some tourist attractions will reopen with the capacity of visitors capped at 25%. These include Marina Bay Sands Sky Park, Gardens By The Bay Flower Dome, Singapore Zoo and some attractions on Sentosa Island. The country is in its second phase of three phases of reopening. Talks are underway for business travel bubbles with some countries while leisure travel remains closed.
Singapore is on the Green List of countries allowed to travel to set by the UK FCO on Friday 3 July 2020 BUT 14 days self-isolation is still required on return.
EXO COUNTRIES AT A GLANCE
With all of the uncertainty going around, we know there are a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the more common ones.
LINKS TO CURRENT TRAVEL ADVISORIES BY SELECTED COUNTRY
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