How Countries in Asia Are Reopening Amid Travel Restrictions – Condé Nast Traveler

By on July 16, 2020

At the end of last year, the COVID-19 outbreak hadn’t yet become a pandemic—and, as far as we knew, the virus was contained to the continent of Asia. A lot has changed. Nearly every country in the world has been touched by the virus, there are travel restrictions at most borders and, for the imminent future, we’re all staying pretty close to home.

But because countries in Asia like China, Japan, and South Korea were impacted early on, they’ve also been earlier to peak, earlier to flatten their curves, and, generally, earlier to reopen. (Some places, including Singapore and Taiwan, took enough preventative measures to avoid a full lockdown altogether.) When the U.S. was extending shelter-in-place orders in May, Hong Kong was already reopening bars.

Across the whole of Asia, the reopening statuses vary greatly. India, for example, is still battling one of the worst outbreaks in the world—while the Maldives is eagerly welcoming travelers back starting July 15. Borders in East Asia remain largely closed, though there’s talk of travel bubbles with neighboring countries, while Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia are hoping to reopen to travelers in the next month or two. Turkey, straddling West Asia and Europe, was among the first countries to remove its travel restrictions, but neighbors like Israel, Jordan, and Georgia, are proceeding more cautiously, with international flights still on pause.

Of the open borders, travelers entering these countries are expected to do everything from self-quarantine, to submit health questionnaires and negative COVID-19 tests, to even, in Cambodia, putting down a $3,000 deposit should any medical needs arise. As we said, things vary greatly.

To help you help track of how different parts of Asia are reopening, and when and how they’re welcoming back travelers, read on for our extensive regional breakdown. We’ve got intel on more than twenty countries, and will be updating this frequently.

East Asia

In East Asia, destinations including China and Hong Kong have reopened internally, with talk of travel bubbles as a means of beginning to reopen closed borders.

China, the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, has been cautiously reopening businesses since May. Though international borders remain closed to most foreign nationals, domestic travel restrictions have been lifted, and businesses and local tourist attractions have largely reopened. Some Chinese cities are exploring travel bubbles with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea, and one such partnership has already been established, allowing business travelers to move between Singapore and six Chinese cities.

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