Several Southeast Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct health screenings as of March 6 due to COVID-19 activity.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia

This alert began 06 Mar 2020 07:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Enhanced health screenings, travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Southeast Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Flight disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Countries in Southeast Asia have intensified health screenings and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Screening measures vary across the region, and the following health and transport restrictions are in effect as of March 6:

  • Brunei: Authorities announced that foreigners with travel history to Iran and Italy within the last 14 days would not be able to enter Brunei. Officials have earlier also barred foreign visitors coming from mainland China's Hubei, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces from entering Brunei. The measures exempt Bruneian citizens and permanent residents. Brunei citizens and PRs returning from mainland China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea will have to undergo self-quarantine for two weeks. Additionally, authorities have suspended flights to several destinations in mainland China, including the aforementioned provinces. Officials have also reduced flights to and from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Cambodia: Officials have increased health screenings for incoming passengers at ports, though the effectiveness of the checks remains unclear.
  • Indonesia: Starting from March 8, authorities will bar foreigners with recent visits to parts of Iran, Italy, and South Korea, from entering Indonesia. The affected regions are Gilan, Qom, and Tehran in Iran; Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, and Veneto regions in Italy; as well as Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. Indonesian citizens entering from the aforementioned places will need to undergo enhanced health screenings. Authorities have earlier banned foreigners who have been in China within the past 14 days from entering Indonesia and suspended flights to and from mainland China. Authorities have also increased health screenings, such as the use of thermal scanners, for visitors from all international flights, especially those from mainland China, Iran, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea.
  • Laos: Officials have suspended most flights to and from China. Immigration officials have also increased health screenings at checkpoints, especially for foreign visitors who have been to mainland China and South Korea in the previous 14 days. Additionally, reports indicate that authorities have asked airlines to obtain passengers' temperatures before flying to Laos. Officials reportedly also require travelers who show physical symptoms, such as flu and coughing, to undergo medical observation and testing at hospitals.
  • Myanmar: Officials have stopped providing visas on arrival for Chinese citizens, and suspended flights with mainland China. Authorities have also increased screenings at overland border checkpoints.
  • Vietnam: Officials require all travelers entering from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea to undergo quarantine for two weeks. Authorities have also banned flights to and from mainland China. Officials have also revoked visas for visitors who had been in mainland China within the previous 14 days and suspended visa-free travel for Italian and South Korean citizens. Reports indicate that authorities are increasing health screenings for visitors who enter from Cambodia and Laos as well. Additionally, officials have lifted a lockdown at Son Loi Commune in Vinh Phuc Province.


Countries could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from mainland China and other locations with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or Thailand. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, 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. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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