Travel Updates

COVID-19 SITUATION & TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IN ASIA

2 March 2020

 

COVID-19 Cases Worldwide: 114,987,929

Deaths: 2,549,743

Recovered: 90,696,595

Active Cases: 21,741,591

Vaccination: 236,000,000 doses administered in 103 countries

 

Our hopes are up – we are on the road to recovery. Many countries in Asia and around the world have already started mass inoculations of WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Among our destinations, Singapore was the first to start a vaccination program and was highly considered a model country in its effective containment of local outbreaks. Vietnam, just recently, welcomed its first batches of vaccines which will be dedicated to frontline health workers and workers involved in essential services. China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan and South Korea have also started rolling out vaccines to those who are at high-risk of contracting the virus. 

However, international borders remain closed as of now. There are limited flights available from and to Asia, with mandatory COVID-19 tests and quarantines implemented.

As your partner in this part of the world, we believe the whole of 2021 will all be about vaccination and recovery. Come 2022, we hope we can welcome you back and give you a trip of a lifetime!

Here are the latest updates from our destinations:

VIETNAM

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 2,448
Active Cases: 537
Death: 35               

  • A third outbreak emerged in the northern provinces late January, but the government declared the situation under control after one month; affected localities have just started lifting lockdown restrictions
  • The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on February 24, with more doses coming throughout 2021 through deals with the manufacturer and COVAX
  • Vietnam is only allowing entry to those foreign experts, and those travelling for official or diplomatic purposes, who must undergo medical checks and 21-day quarantine at their own cost upon arrival in Vietnam
  • Tourist attractions, hotels, resorts, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open but at limited capacity

CAMBODIA

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 820
Active Cases: 343
Death: 0

  • The country is dealing with the third wave (and by far the largest) of community infections, forcing Cambodia to impose stricter health policies
  • The government announced that vaccines – AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovax – are free for both locals and expatriates
  • Phnom Penh closed businesses and schools identified as COVID-19 clusters
  • Some hotels remain closed or were asked to close, with other operate at limited capacity

LAOS

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 45
Active Cases: 3
Death: 0

  • Lockdown measures have been eased; locals can now travel domestically
  • International borders and ports remain closed. People are forbidden from entering and exiting the country, with limited exceptions
  • The government now requires foreign visitors to buy COVID-19 insurance to be granted entry
  • Laos has received 300,000 vaccine doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China, while it has also been carrying out trials on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The country will also receive vaccine support from COVAX

THAILAND

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 26,031
Active Cases: 624
Death: 83

  • Thailand continues to register dozens of domestic infections daily since a second wave emerged in December
  • Thailand started its vaccination program on February 28 with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul as first person to get the jab of Chinese-made CoronaVac
  • AstraZeneca vaccines already arrived in Thailand on February 24, but it has yet to be endorsed by the country’s health department
  • Thailand seeks to reopen country by July 1, waiving quarantine for vaccinated tourists

MYANMAR

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 141,916
Active Cases: 7,230
Death: 3,199

  • Myanmar’s COVID-19 situation has been worsened by the ongoing armed conflict in the country
  • Schools remain closed, and frontline health workers have announced a walkout in response to the putsch
  • Myanmar ordered 30 million vaccine doses from India, and has received 1.5 million doses to date. It also approved the use of Russia’s vaccine while China pledged 300,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine
  • According to COVAX, Myanmar is expecting to receive nearly 4.2 million doses over the first half of 2021

 

INDONESIA

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 1,341,314
Active Cases: 153,074
Death: 36,325

  • Indonesia is one of the hardest hit Asian countries, tallying thousands of cases daily
  • There are 40 COVID-19 red zones in the country
  • COVID-19 vaccination in Indonesia is compulsory. The country already administered more than 1.7 million shots, with main focus on workers at hospitals and clinics, tourism, transportation, media and security
  • Indonesia currently uses vaccine developed jointly by state-run pharmaceutical company Bio Farma and China’s Sinovac Biotech

CHINA

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 89,923
Active Cases: 200
Death: 4,636

  • China has recently welcomed the arrival of WHO team to investigate on the origins of coronavirus
  • The country has manufactured several vaccines such as Sinovac and Sinopharm. It just granted a conditional market approval to a recombinant novel coronavirus vaccine that requires only one shot
  • As of February 22, the country already managed to inoculate 40.5 million shots (2.89 doses per 100 people)
  • Government says COVID-19 situation in the country is largely under control, with relatively small clusters of new local infections in recent months

JAPAN

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 432,773
Active Cases: 14,282
Death: 7,887

  • Tokyo reported 121 new cases on March 1, the lowest daily total since November
  • Six prefectures – Aichi, Gifu, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka – exited the coronavirus state of emergency amid signs of improvement in the infection situation
  • Inoculation of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines started in mid-February for 40,000 medial workers at 100 hospitals
  • The third batch of Pfizer vaccine arrived in Japan on March 1. Full-scale inoculation for 4.7 million health care workers will begin this week
  • Around 36 million people aged 65 and older are expected to get jabs from April 12, followed by those with preexisting conditions such as diabetes and workers at elderly care facilities, and then finally the general population
  • Japan remains full committed to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in July


SINGAPORE

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 59,948
Active Cases: 89
Death: 29

  • New cases reported are all imported, and had been placed on stay-home notice
  • Of the active cases, 20 are still in the hospital, the others are being isolated and cared for at community facilities
  • Singapore rolled out its vaccination program in December. The forecast is for 1.25 million to be vaccinated by the end of April
  • Singapore’s borders are reopening gradually to allow safe travel in limited numbers, with the necessary safeguards in place
  • Short-term visitors are still not allowed entry into Singapore, except those coming in under Green-Fast Lane arrangements, the Air Travel Pass or with special prior approval

SOUTH KOREA

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 90,372
Active Cases: 7,428
Death: 1,606

  • South Korea has extended social distancing rules nationwide, including ban on private gathering of more than four until March 17
  • The government hopes to reach herd immunity by November
  • More than 18,000 people already received their first doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on February 27. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have also been rolled out for mass inoculations
  • South Korea also expect to receive vaccines from Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson
  • Foreign nationals entering Korea are required to have a Korean visa
  • Non-urge travels, including tourism, remains suspended

PHILIPPINES

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 578,381
Active Cases: 31,708
Death: 12,322

  • Philippines has recently detected a South African variant in the country. The variant is said to be more infectious and may have an impact on vaccine efficacy
  • At least 2,000 news cases are recorded daily
  • Vaccination program launched on March 1, but country is facing supply problems and public resistance 
  • More vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca expected in March
  • Health workers and military and police personnel were among the first to be vaccinated by a China-donated vaccine
  • Nationwide MGCQ to be implemented in May with vaccine rollout
  • Local travel ban has been lifted

MALAYSIA

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 302,580
Active Cases: 25,542
Death: 1,135

  • The government has allowed reopening of MICE sector under the movement control order effective March 5. The number of participants is set at 25% of the venue capacit
  • Tourism, arts and culture activities already resumed, with strict SOPs in place
  • Malaysia’s national immunization program started on February 24, with Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin receiving the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Vaccines are given free to both Malaysians and foreigners residing in the country
  • The program is divided into three phases: 1) medical and non-medical frontliners from February to April; 2) senior citizens and other high-risk groups from April to August; 3) general adult population from May to February 2022

HEALTH & SAFETY MEASURES POST COVID-19


Our passion for discovering and introducing Southeast Asia is as strong as ever, and we remain committed to providing you experiences of a lifetime. The purpose of the following guidelines is to help mitigate the spread of contagious diseases on trip.

 

HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE

Trails of Indochina has appointed a health & safety committee to oversee and implement these new health & safety measure in all destinations. The committee will meet regularly to review the policies and vendors to ensure we are doing everything possible to achieve the necessary health & safety preparedness.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

In accordance with travel restrictions and health advice offered by government advisories worldwide Trails of Indochina will work with partners and customers to apply social distancing where possible.

 

GROUP VEHICLES

For larger vehicles and coaches, we will have the option for larger vehicles and less guests per vehicle thereby creating more personal space for each guest.

 

FIT VEHICLES

For smaller vehicles, we will approach this on a case by case basis. As smaller FITs are normally family members, there is no requirement for social distancing. There will be different requirements.

 

BOATS

We aim to provide appropriate social distancing for our guests when using boats while on tour. There are many considerations, so each trip & booking must be reviewed on a case by case basis. For private charter vs join-in, day boat & overnight boats we are working with these vendors to understand their on-board procedures and will act accordingly to ensure safety consideration for our guests.

 

HOTEL LOBBY DURING CHECK-IN

We will ask hotels to ensure physical distancing will be implemented in the event of queues or waiting and all keys and pens used to complete the check-in procedure should be sanitized. Where possible and appropriate, our guide can assist guests checking in and keep an eye for social distance
and hygiene.

 

SIGHTSEEING

Trails of Indochina have always aimed to avoid the crowds when we do our sightseeing to popular locations. We will continue to visit at off-peak areas, use alternative entry & exit points and apply other measure to avoid crowds.

 

PLANES

Different airlines apply their own policy for social distancing and hygiene. We are currently working with all airlines in Asia to advise and collect this information and make it available for all business partners.

 

HYGIENE IN VEHICLES

At a minimum, clean & disinfect all hard non-porous surfaces within the interior of the vehicle such as hard seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belt buckles, light and air controls, doors and windows, and grab handles.
Empty any waste baskets regularly. TOI will provide hand sanitizer in the vehicles for guests to use during the trip, before and after visiting sightseeing locations.

 

MASKS & SANITIZER

We will aim to make Masks & Hand sanitizer available for all guests traveling with us in 2020 and 2021.

 

RESTAURANTS

Trails of Indochina will work with restaurants who have appropriate and strict health & safety guidelines including cleanliness & hygiene. Where possible, TOI will keep a copy of the hygiene certificate on file.

 

BOATS & HOTELS

Trails of Indochina will work with overnight boats and hotels who have appropriate and strict health & safety guidelines including cleanliness & hygiene. Where possible, TOI will keep a copy of the hygiene certificate on file.

 

DAILY HEALTH CHECKS FOR GUIDES & DRIVERS

Guides and Drivers will be required to take their temperature each morning and report to the operations manager before starting their day. If they have a fever, they cannot work and the company will find an alternative.

 

GUIDE & DRIVER HYGIENE

Guide and driver will wash their hands frequently throughout the day and use hand sanitizer each time they get in the vehicles with guests. Guides and rivers should do this in view of guests so guests will feel secure that hygiene is being taken seriously. Drivers should also wipe down and sanitize the hard surfaces in vehicles at each stop. This includes hard seats, arm rests, door handles, seat belt buckles, light and air controls, doors and windows, and grab handles.

 

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Guides and key Customer Care Staff will be briefed and trained on how to respond to travelers with symptoms of COVID-19. These measures are also covered in TOI’s Crisis Management Plan which is
updated regularly.

 

GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR TRAVELERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Guests are encouraged to take sensible precautions against COVID-19 during their trips with Trails of Indochina. The World Health Organization outlines these basic practices to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
1. Avoid travelling if you have a fever and cough. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, alert health care services and share with them your recent travel history.
2. Maintain social distancing. Where possible, stay a metre or more away from others, especially those who are sneezing or coughing, or have fever.
3. Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to spray your hands as often as you like.
4. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of dirty tissues immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
5. Avoid contact with live animals. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch live animals or animal products in markets.
6. Eat only well-cooked food. Make sure your meals especially animal proteins and dairy products are thoroughly cooked and prepared in a sanitary environment.
7. Discard single-use masks. If you choose to wear a single-use mask, ensure it covers your nose and mouth, avoid touching the mask, and wash your hands after removing it. Bring masks from home as they can sometimes be difficult to buy in Southeast Asia.

 

DEALING WITH SICKNESS (FOLLOWING ECDC GUIDANCE)

TOI representatives to look for symptoms

  • Fever (person feels warm to the touch, gives a history of feeling feverish, or has an actual measured temperature of 100.4°F [38° C] or higher) that has persisted for more than 48 hours OR
    • Fever AND one of the following: persistent cough, difficulty breathing, appears obviously unwell https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/COVID-19-
    resourcesfor-contact-tracing-2-March-2020.pdf

Guidelines established for trip representatives with Medical input on what action should be taken and when. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/COVID-19-resourcesforcontact- tracing-2-March-2020.pdf

  • Identify sick passenger who meet the above description.
  • Discuss situation with that passenger immediately and arrange for medical services. Depending on the location of the trip, this could be either arranging for the passenger to go to a doctors’ office/hospital, have a doctor come to the hotel or the most suitable medical review based on local conditions.
  • Offer a facemask, if available for the sick person. If a facemask is not available, ask the sick person to cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing.
  • Minimize contact between the sick person and everyone else. If possible, separate for mothers (2 meters or 6 feet is ideal).
  • Wear disposable gloves when tending to a sick traveler or touching body fluids or potentially contaminated surfaces. Remove gloves carefully to avoid contaminating yourself, then wash hands.
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces according to transportation protocol.
  • Determine what actions should be taken based on the information/status of the medical services:
    • Self-Isolate – passenger agrees to avoid contact with other passengers and trip representative until a more comprehensive medical prognoses can be received.
      o Mandate quarantine – limiting movement and access to sleeping quarters until government/medical expertise can evaluate.
      o Exit from the trip / refusal to rejoin
      o Soliciting assistance from local government officials

 

 

We encourage our guests to stay up to date on government advice from their own countries. Here are some helpful links to get started:
• USA, CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
• Public Health England: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
• Australia Dept of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novelcoronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
• New Zealand Ministry of Health: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-andconditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

 

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia, some hotels and resorts have temporarily closed down. These hospitality companies are taking this time to renovate their properties, upgrade facilities and train their workforce to serve guests better in the future. View the list of hotels from this LINK.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is Asia now open to international leisure travelers?

As the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise in Asia, international borders and ports remain closed for general tourism as of this time. The World Health Organization and all local governments do not encourage non-essential travel to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. However, countries such as Japan, Vietnam and Singapore have already allowed business travelers to enter their ports, with COVID-19 tests and quarantines implemented. Thailand is also now allowing travelers into Phuket through a special 90-day visa.

How do you ensure the safety of your guests?

The safety of our guests is out top priority. As such, we have established a detailed Health & Safety Policy in all of the destinations we offer. These precautionary measures are in accordance to World Health Organization policies. Social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitation and many other measures will be implemented for guests, tour guides, drivers and everyone involved in your trip.

Is it safe to travel to Asia this year?

While some destinations in Southeast Asia have the health crisis under control and have started offering special visas for travelers, the global pandemic is still very much present. Therefore, it is really not safe to go on leisure trips this year. Several restrictions are still in place, which may hinder you from enjoying your holiday. We will definitely inform you of when our part of the world will reopen to international travelers.

What are your booking and cancellation policies?

We offer most flexible terms at the moment with no cancelation charges. However, we do not recommend to book any trips between now until Q4 2021 to avoid wasting our resources for booking and then canceling due to border closure and on-going pandemic in the world. For further information, please contact our Sales Team.

When is the most practical time to travel?

We don’t know yet but we hope our borders will reopen towards the end of 2021. We will continue to update you on this  through our monthly newsletter, social media updates and virtual meetings.

 

Responsive To Our Client's Needs

Our team of Travel Experts are dedicated to responding to client's needs and requests in a timely manner. With our 24/7 Customer Care Hotline, travelers can be assured that assistance is available for any last minute requests and emergency