Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Countries and territories in Northeast Asia enforcing travel restrictions as of April 7 due to COVID-19 activity. Defer travel if affected.

This alert affects Taiwan

This alert began 07 Apr 2020 18:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Northeast Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Entry bans, transport disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine

Summary
Several governments in Northeast Asia continue to enforce travel restrictions to prevent the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Measures vary throughout the region; as of April 7, the following restrictions are in place:

  • Mainland China: Authorities have banned all foreign nationals from entering since March 28; exceptions are in place for diplomatic personnel and C visa holders, which officials generally issue to members of flight and shipping crews.

 

  • Hong Kong: The government has banned all nonresident foreign nationals from entering the territory since March 25. Travelers from Macau, Taiwan, and mainland China are exempt from restriction but will be barred if they have a recent travel history elsewhere. Arriving passengers from these areas, including Hong Kong residents, will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entry into Hong Kong. Authorities continue to require all passengers from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea; Iran; and the Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, and Veneto regions in Italy to quarantine for two weeks in government facilities. Hong Kong continues to restrict land border crossings with mainland China to the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint and along the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

 

  • Japan: Officials have banned the entry of foreign nationals with recent travel history in certain countries and regions, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, all of mainland China and South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the UK, Bahrain, Israel, Turkey, Cote d'Ivoire, the DRC, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco, Iran, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Italy, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, and Vatican City. Any inbound passenger allowed into Japan is required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, either at home or in a government-designated facility.

 

  • Macau: Officials have banned nonresident foreign nationals from entering the territory. Travelers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China - except Hubei Province - are exempt from the measure but will not be allowed to enter if they have traveled elsewhere in the previous two weeks. Residents and allowed travelers that have visited "high-risk" countries, including the Schengen Area, the UK, the US, Canada, Brazil, Egypt, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Iran, and New Zealand, within 14 days of arrival will face mandatory quarantine at designated hotels. Residents and travelers who visited Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries may be allowed to self-isolate at home.

 

  • Mongolia: The government has effectively banned international travel. The country closed its last open border crossing with Russia from March 28. Commercial flights connecting Mongolia with Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey remain suspended. International train services with Russia have stopped through at least April 30. Authorities are placing arriving Mongolian citizens who have recently traveled in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, or Iran under a 14-day quarantine at their own expense.

 

  • North Korea: Authorities canceled all inbound tourist visits Jan. 22 and have closed the Dandong-Sinuiju border crossing to foreign travelers. Officials are conducting increased health screenings and have imposed quarantine periods on foreign nationals, along with North Koreans arriving in Pyongyang.

 

  • South Korea: Officials to require inbound passengers, regardless of nationality, to self-quarantine for 14 days. Authorities will send arriving passengers that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms to designated quarantine facilities for testing. Arriving passengers at most ports of entry undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing. Staff could send patients that test positive to designated quarantine facilities. Citizens and residents that test negative must self-isolate, while short-term travelers will go to designated facilities. The government continues to ban all foreign travelers who have visited China's Hubei Province within 14 days of arrival from entering the country. South Koreans who traveled to Hubei Province will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. Officials have revoked visas and suspended visa-free entry for Japanese citizens. Authorities have also halted visa-free travel for Chinese nationals to Jeju Island.
  • Taiwan: Officials have banned foreign nationals from entering the island since March 19, though some exceptions are in place for foreign residents, diplomats, and business travelers executing contracts. All arriving passengers, regardless of nationality or residency, must self-quarantine for 14 days.


Governments could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country or imported cases continue to rise. The measures may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from locations with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases. Government flight bans and airline flight reductions due to decreased demand are likely to continue in the near term. The operational status of flights can change without notice.

Advice
Postpone plans if affected by travel restrictions. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int