Several Southeast Asian countries continue to enforce travel restrictions, conduct health screenings as of Feb. 27 due to COVID-19 activity.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

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

This alert began 27 Feb 2020 06:33 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 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 novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although screening measures vary across the region, the following health and transport restrictions are in effect as of Feb. 27:

  • Brunei: Authorities have suspended flights to several destinations in mainland China, including Hubei, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces, as well as cruise ships to and from Singapore. Officials have also reduced flights with Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Cambodia: Officials have increased health screenings for incoming passengers at ports, though the effectiveness of the checks remains unclear.
  • Indonesia: Authorities continue to bar foreigners who have been in China within the previous 14 days from transiting or traveling to Indonesia. Officials have also suspended flights to and from mainland China.
  • Laos: Officials have suspended most flights to and from China. State airline Lao Airlines (QV) also plans to stop flights to and from South Korea from March. Immigration officials have also increased health screenings at checkpoints.
  • Malaysia: Authorities have stopped granting visas for people who have traveled to China's Hubei, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces in the last 14 days. Additionally, authorities in Sarawak State have banned foreign nationals with recent travel history to China.
  • Myanmar: Officials have suspended flights with mainland China indefinitely. Authorities have also increased screenings at overland border checkpoints.
  • Thailand: Travelers from China face health screenings at ports of entry. Airlines are reducing flights to several destinations, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan as a precaution. Officials have also denied docking rights to some international cruise ships.
  • Vietnam: Authorities have banned flights to and from South Korea through at least March. Media reports also indicate that authorities will ban entry from countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases, such as Iran and Italy. Officials earlier suspended flights to and from mainland China and revoked visas for visitors who had been in the country within the previous 14 days. Authorities are also increasing health screenings for visitors who enter from Cambodia and Laos.


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 countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Hong Kong, 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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