World Travel Updates – March 17, 2020

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Thanks to our friends at GANT Travel Management for the following update:

WORLDWIDE

COVID-19
On March 11, the World Health Organization officially classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, indicating that every location is likely to be affected, though the exact timing and impact cannot be predicted. A growing number of countries have imposed public health measures to reduce the spread of the virus, including border closures and restrictions on international travel. Internal measures include restrictions on internal movement, bans on mass gatherings, closures of some non-essential facilities, and community lockdowns. The availability of commercial and charter flights and other forms of international and domestic transportation is growing increasingly limited, and restrictions on mobility have been proven to occur at short notice.

Authorities in several countries have introduced travel restrictions and health screening measures at various airports amid the COVID-19 outbreak. While measures initially applied primarily to travelers arriving either directly or indirectly from China, some countries have now extended restrictions to travelers from high risk areas around the world. Meanwhile, some airlines have temporarily suspended flight operations. Travelers should anticipate related disruption at airports and reconfirm their itineraries, as well as the overall feasibility of their journeys, given the increased restrictions.

For more information on confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, refer to the latest Situation Report on the World Health Organization (WHO) website by clicking here. For more general information on the outbreak and WHO’s response, click here.

Countries around the world are implementing entry restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information on current entry restrictions, please visit IATA’s “Government Measures Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)” website by clicking here.
 

AMERICAS

United States
Travelers should anticipate disruption and consider implications for in-country and onward journeys due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated containment measures. A national State of Emergency has been declared to facilitate additional funding for efforts to combat the disease. Local, state, and federal authorities have also imposed restrictions on travel, public gatherings, and the closure of non-essential businesses and educational institutions in several locations.

Cases of the novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in people in the United States. Cases have been detected in most states, with California, New York and Washington the most impacted. For more information on cases in the US, visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing, and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. To prevent infection, travelers should pay attention to hygiene, wash hands frequently, avoid touching their face, and avoid close contact with other people.

Travelers should reconfirm their itineraries and be prepared for short-notice changes to entry restrictions linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. All entry for non-US Nationals who have been in the UK or Ireland at any point in the past 14 days before arrival in the US will be suspended through April 16. The same restrictions are in place for travelers who have been in Europe’s Schengen Area, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Non-US citizens or permanent residents transiting through or laying over in a Schengen country, the UK or Ireland, will be temporarily denied entry to the US. Meanwhile, US Nationals and permanent residents arriving in the US after traveling from or through China, Iran, Schengen Area countries, the UK or Ireland should expect heightened screening measures and must stay home for 14 days after their return.  

Travelers arriving to the US after traveling from or through China or Iran should also expect heightened screening measures for COVID-19 and related disruption. All flights from China are being re-routed through 11 airports, while additional entry restrictions for travelers from China and Iran remain in effect. The states of Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania have asked those returning from travel to China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea to self-isolate for 14 days.

Today, travelers in Las Vegas, NV should anticipate heightened security presence and associated disruption in the vicinity of 7200 Arroyo Crossing Parkway, where an individual wearing a hazmat suit entered a retail store and sprayed about 13 people with an unidentified liquid yesterday. The store was evacuated as a result, and the suspect is currently in custody. Heightened police activity and residual disruption in the area should be expected.

Argentina
Yesterday, the government announced that it would close all borders to foreign visitors through March 31 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Argentinian Nationals and residents will still be permitted to enter the country. There are currently no restrictions for those seeking to leave the country. Travelers without residence in Argentina should defer all travel while the measures are in place.

Canada
​​​​​​Cases of COVID-19, currently causing an outbreak have been confirmed in Canada. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, who is or has been in an affected location should seek medical attention.

The government has announced that it will indefinitely close its borders to international travelers beginning tomorrow. Canadian Nationals and their immediate family members, residents, accredited diplomats, air crew, and US citizens will be exempt; however, they will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. All international flights will be redirected to Calgary (YYC), Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR) airports, with the exception of flights from Caribbean nations, Mexico and the US. Any traveler showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be barred entry. There are currently no restrictions in place for those wishing to depart the country. Non-residents should defer all travel while the measures are in place.

Chile
President Sebastian Pinera recently announced that the country will close its borders to foreign travelers for a 14-day period beginning tomorrow. The restrictions do not apply to Chilean Nationals or residents, although they may be asked to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon returning to the country. There are currently no known restrictions on individuals seeking to depart the country.

Colombia
The government has announced that it will close its land and sea borders through May 30 in an effort contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This will restrict the entry and exit of all nationals and foreign travelers. All travel should be deferred while the measures are in place. Travelers n-country should follow all official directives.

Costa Rica
Yesterday, President Carlos Alvarado declared a National State of Emergency and announced Costa Rica will close its borders to foreign nationals and non-residents from 11:59 PM local time tomorrow through April 13. The measure will not apply to Costa Rican Nationals or residents, both of whom will be asked to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon returning from abroad. Travelers will also still be allowed to transit through Costa Rica’s airports while the new restrictions are in effect. There are currently no restrictions on individuals seeking to depart the country.

Ecuador
In an effort to curb the spread of the global COVID-19 outbreak, authorities in Ecuador have announced the closure of the country’s borders to foreign travelers. The borders will also be shut to Ecuadorian Nationals and residents beginning at 11:59 PM local time today. There are currently no restrictions on individuals seeking to depart the country. Travelers planning to undertake essential travel to Ecuador must do so before the aforementioned deadline. The border closures will be in place for at least 21 days.

Guatemala
The government has announced that all borders will be closed to foreign visitors today through April 2. Guatemalan Nationals and residents, as well as accredited diplomatic personnel, will still be permitted to enter the country via land crossing only; however, they will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine. All arriving flights were suspended at 11:59 PM local time yesterday. Travel to Guatemala should be deferred while the measures are in place.

Haiti
The government has closed the country’s border with the Dominican Republic to all travelers, with the exemption of trade movement. All arrival and departure flights between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Canada, Latin America, and Europe will be suspended for 14 days. Flights between Haiti and the US will continue; however, travelers from the US will be required to have an official document stating negative test results for COVID-19 before boarding their flight. Non-essential travel to Haiti should be deferred while the measures are in place.

Paraguay
​​​​​​Yesterday, the government announced that all borders are closed to foreign visitors through April 1. Paraguayan Nationals, residents, and accredited diplomatic personnel will still be permitted to enter the country; however, they will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. Additionally, all flights from Europe will be suspended from March 14-26; however, airports will continue to operate. A curfew will be in place from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM local time every night, with exceptions for people doing “vital work,” such as delivering food or providing transportation. Travel to Paraguay should be deferred while the measures are in place.

Peru
On March 15, President Martin Vizcarra declared a National State of Emergency and announced that Peru will close its borders beginning at 11:59 PM local time yesterday. At the same time, operations at Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) will be suspended, and citizens will have to undergo a 15-day mandatory quarantine. Exceptions to the quarantine will only be allowed for those seeking to obtain food or medical care.

St. Maarten
Beginning tomorrow, travelers from the United States, Canada, Europe, the UK and Ireland will be restricted from entering St. Maarten. These measures will not apply to residents or nationals of surrounding islands, who will continue to be able to enter the country through Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). Travelers from around the Caribbean region are not restricted unless they have traveled to the listed areas in the past 21 days. The current travel restrictions will apply for two weeks beginning on Tuesday, March 17.

Venezuela
​​​​​​Travelers should minimize non-essential movement during a government-mandated social quarantine beginning at 5:00 AM local time today. Individuals in Caracas and at least six states have been ordered to stay home, though exceptions have been made to allow transportation, health, and food delivery sectors to function. The measure has been enacted in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
 

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional
Non-essential travel to Israel should be deferred through March 23, and travel to the West Bank should be deferred through April 6, due to entry restrictions and flight cancellations amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Israeli officials have announced that travelers arriving from all foreign countries will be denied entry unless they are able to self-quarantine for 14 days. The Palestinian Authority imposed a 30-day State of Emergency on March 6, limiting movement within the West Bank and banning all public gatherings. Bethlehem was put on lockdown on March 5 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Central African Republic
On March 12, clashes occurred in Ndele between the Patriotic Front for the Revival of the Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Patriotic Rally for the Renewal of the Central African Republic (RPRC). Initial reports estimate at least 13 fatalities, with the majority of victims being civilians. This latest incident underscores the need to defer all travel outside Bangui.

Egypt
All travel to Egypt should be deferred through March 31 after the government announced a suspension of all international air traffic to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure will take effect at 12:00 PM local time on March 19 and will last through March 31. Authorities have confirmed that the suspension does not apply to domestic flights, and charter options will be permitted to transfer foreign nationals out of the country during this period. Although the security environment remains unchanged, travelers who are either unable or unwilling to stand fast during the suspension should consider departing by commercial means, while they remain available.

Ghana
​​​​​​Travelers in the Northern and Oti regions should exercise caution and abide by official curfews that are currently in effect for the following areas: 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM local time in Bimbilla, 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM local time in Kpatinga, and 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM local time in the townships of Alavanyo and Nkonya. The carrying of weapons and ammunition is also banned in these locations. Curfews are routinely announced in rural areas of the Northern and Oti regions due to recurrent episodes of communal violence.

Iran
An outbreak of COVID-19 is underway in Iran. In response, several countries have closed their land borders with Iran and suspended flights. COVID-19 can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Travelers are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are sick. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should seek medical attention according to the local procedure. On February 26, the US Department of State issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory, stating that all non-essential travel to Iran be deferred due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Iraq
Yesterday, authorities announced that all airports across Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region would close to commercial passenger flights at 6:00 PM local time today through 6:00 PM local time on March 24 amid the global COVID-19 outbreak. Baghdad will also be placed under curfew from 11:00 PM local time today through 11:00 PM local time on March 24. Additional curfews are also in place. All travel should be deferred during the suspension of commercial flights.

Jordan
Non-essential travel to Jordan should be deferred due to a reduction in inbound and outbound travel options. On March 14, the government announced the indefinite cancellation of all international flights beginning tomorrow. Exceptions will be applied to cargo flights and those carrying diplomatic personnel and/or staff of international organizations. Land border crossings with Egypt, Israel, Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, and Syria also remain closed until further notice. Jordanians abroad willing to return to Jordan will be allowed to do so, though they will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Kenya
Non-essential travel to Kenya should be deferred after authorities introduced a travel ban effective today through April 17 for all travelers coming from any country with reported COVID-19 cases. Kenyan citizens and residence permit holders are exempt from the ban, provided they self-quarantine or stay at a government-designated quarantine facility. All travelers who have entered Kenya in the last 14 days must also self-quarantine. Travelers currently in Kenya should minimize nonessential movement and avoid gatherings, in line with measures imposed by the government. All international meetings and conferences are banned. Flight cancellations and travel disruption should be expected.

Lebanon
Foreign nationals should defer all inbound travel to Lebanon from March 18-29 after authorities announced a “State of Medical Emergency” on March 15. All air, land, and seaports will be closed during this time. Lebanese citizens, their families, diplomats, UN peacekeepers, and employees of international organizations will be permitted entry through Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) through March 18, provided they have a health certificate proving they are free of COVID-19. Entry restrictions remain in place for a number of foreign nationals.

Libya
Travelers should reconfirm the feasibility of journeys following the imposition of new entry restrictions linked to the global COVID-19 outbreak. On March 14, the Government of National Accord (GNA) declared a State of Emergency and announced that all air, land, and sea border crossings will be closed for three weeks beginning today. All foreign nationals will be denied entry to Libya; however, those already in the country will be permitted to depart from Misrata International Airport (MRA).

Morocco
All travel to Morocco should be deferred amid a significant reduction in inbound and outbound travel options linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. Authorities have banned all international flights and ferries until further notice, though minimal commercial or charter flights are still operating to transport foreign nationals out of the country. Border crossings with the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla remain closed on the Moroccan side.

Mozambique
There is an outbreak of cholera affecting Cabo Delgado Province. Cholera spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers staying in quality accommodations with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Travelers should ensure food and water are safe for consumption and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.

Oman
Travelers, with the exception of Omani Nationals and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens, should defer inbound travel to Oman beginning today due to new travel restrictions linked to COVID-19. On March 15, authorities announced that all non-Omani and non-GCC citizens will be barred entry beginning today and until further notice, at its air, land and seaports. The ban applies to those holding valid tourist and business visas. Transiting of Omani airports will still be permitted. Foreign nationals with Omani residency will also be permitted entry. In addition, Omani and GCC citizens as well as Omani residents entering the country will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

Qatar
On March 15, authorities announced that all incoming international air traffic would be suspended tomorrow through April 1. Foreign travelers will be banned from entering Qatar beginning today. The ban applies to those holding valid tourist visas, business visas, and residency permits. While Qatari Nationals are exempt from the ban, they will be required to selfquarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Qatar Airways will continue to operate during this time, and foreigners will be allowed to transit through Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH). There is no requirement for travelers currently in Qatar to depart, and travelers transiting through the country should reconfirm their itineraries.

Saudi Arabia
Non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia should be deferred to minimize inconvenience following a reduction in inbound and outbound travel options. In order to prevent the potential importation of COVID-19, authorities temporarily suspended air and sea traffic between the kingdom and more than 20 countries. All foreign nationals who have been in these countries in the 14 days prior to arrival will be denied entry. Saudi Arabia’s land border crossings with Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates remain restricted to commercial trucks only. There is no directive for travelers and expatriates already in Saudi Arabia to depart; however, travelers should monitor developments and remain prepared for the possibility of a further reduction in outbound travel options.

South Africa
Non-essential travel to South Africa should be deferred after the country declared a State of Emergency due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. Authorities have introduced a package of restrictions, including suspending new visas for nationals from Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the US, the UK, and China effective March 15; a travel ban on nationals from the above-mentioned countries effective March 18; and the closure of 35 land borders as well as two sea ports effective today. Travelers currently in South Africa should restrict non-essential domestic travel, in line with measures imposed by the government. Flight cancellations and disruption at airports should also be expected, with the risk of further expansion of the outbreak and subsequent restrictions coming into place at short notice.

Sudan
All travel to Sudan should be deferred until further notice after authorities declared a State of Emergency linked to the global COVID-19 outbreak and closed the country’s airports, seaports and land borders yesterday. Humanitarian and cargo flights will be exempted from the restrictions. Authorities have said that arrangements will be made for Sudanese Nationals abroad to be repatriated, though the exact details are unclear. Returnees may be subject to self-quarantine upon arrival, depending on their recent travel history. Travelers currently in Sudan should review their visa status and ensure they have sufficient provisions to last at least several weeks.

United Arab Emirates
Travelers should reconfirm the feasibility of journeys after authorities announced a temporary suspension of entry visas for most nationalities, as well as a suspension of flights to and from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey beginning today. Passengers transiting Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) should note all flights are operating via the airport’s Terminal 1, following the closure of Terminal 2 yesterday. Travelers are advised to contact the relevant Emirati Embassy for visa- specific information.



ASIA & THE PACIFIC
 

Regional
The Hong Kong government has implemented restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Travelers should continue to reconfirm the overall feasibility of travel to Hong Kong and plan journeys accounting for restrictions between Hong Kong and the affected countries, including mainland China, Italy, Iran and certain regions of France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Spain. The Hong Kong government has also closed most routes to mainland China.

China
Non-essential travel to mainland China, excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, should be deferred due to strict quarantine measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. All travel to Hubei Province should continue to be deferred amid ongoing stringent restrictions. In-country restrictions vary, depending on the county-level three-tier (low-mediumhigh) COVID-19 risk rating announced in February and local authorities’ policies. Officials in Beijing and various other cities have imposed additional measures, such as a quarantine requirement, on travelers from countries with high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

French Polynesia
The first imported case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in French Polynesia. This new coronavirus can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Although transmission from human-to-human has occurred in other countries, there is no suggestion at this stage of any further spread in French Polynesia. Travelers in affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, should seek medical attention.

Today through March 31, all passengers, including airline crew, traveling to or transiting through French Polynesia must present a medical certificate or doctor’s certificate, dated within 5 days of departure and certifying the travelers’ state of health is free of any clinical sign of detectable infection.

India
India has imposed further visa restrictions and quarantine orders to contain the spread of COVID-19. Authorities have announced that most existing visas will be suspended from 5:30 PM local time today through April 15, with the exception of visas issued to diplomats, officials, UN and other international organizations, as well as employment and project visas. Visa-free travel granted to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders, as well as citizens of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland), Turkey and the United Kingdom, will also be suspended. No airline shall board passengers from these nations to India beginning tomorrow. These restrictions will be enforced at the port of initial departure.

Travel to the Kashmir division, as well as Jammu’s Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri and Ramban districts, can resume following further normalization efforts by the government. Unrestricted 2G mobile internet and broadband services have been restored, while former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13 after a seven-month preventive detention at his residence in Srinagar; however, while the security environment in the region has improved, the risks posed by militancy and social unrest persist, and heightened security measures remain in place.

Japan
Non-essential travel to Hokkaido should be deferred after the local government declared a non-legally binding “State of Emergency” through March 19. Additional travel restrictions will be implemented through March 31. All travelers, including Japanese Nationals, arriving from China (including Hong Kong and Macao) and South Korea will be requested to stay at a designated facility for 14 days. Furthermore, all visas issued by Japanese diplomatic missions in China and South Korea will be suspended. Travelers arriving from the identified worst-affected regions in China, Iran, Italy, San Marino, and South Korea are currently being denied entry.

Kazakhstan
Non-essential travel to Kazakhstan should be deferred, and travelers in country should consider departing after authorities declared a State of Emergency due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. The official decree states that entry and exit restrictions, among other regulations, will be in effect from 8:00 AM local time today through April 15; however, the exact nature of these restrictions has yet to be clarified beyond a confirmed exemption for diplomatic personnel and delegates from international organizations. There is a possibility that restrictions may include barring entry to foreign nationals or particular nationalities, as well as banning international travel to affected countries, both of which would likely lead to a rapid reduction in commercial outbound options.

Malaysia
All travel to Malaysia should be deferred through March 31 following the government’s announcement of further restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions under the “Movement Control Order,” which will be in effect tomorrow through March 31, will ban all foreigners from entering the country and ban all Malaysian citizens from leaving the country. Returning citizens and residents will be subject to a health inspection and 14-day quarantine. Travelers who are unable to stand-fast in country for at least a two-week period should consider departing before 11:59 PM local time today, prior to the restrictions taking effect. The government has not yet specified if foreigners are able to leave the country beginning tomorrow.

Maldives
Travelers should reconfirm itineraries and the overall feasibility of travel to the Maldives due to restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19. Authorities have declared a Public Health Emergency through April 11 and have extended travel restrictions to include parts of Germany, France, and all of Spain. Authorities had previously banned the entry of travelers with recent travel history to Italy, Iran, South Korea or mainland China.

Mongolia
Travelers should follow official directives and stay within their current location through March 29 due to stringent restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The government has cut air, road, and railway connections between Ulaanbaatar and the rest of Mongolia through today. Residents are banned from leaving their location. All flights to and from Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey South Korea, Japan, and China (including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) have been suspended, with the earliest resumption expected on March 28. There are extremely limited options to leave the country during this period. All travel to Mongolia should be deferred until flights resume.

Philippines
All travel to the Philippines should be deferred through April 13 amid an “enhanced community quarantine” on Luzon Island (including Metro Manila) to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The measure is in effect until 11:59 PM local time on April 12. Air, land, and sea travel is restricted during this period. Travelers intending to depart the Philippines via airports in Luzon, including Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), have until 11:59 PM local time on March 19 to do so. The quarantine may be extended to other parts of the Philippines in the coming days. Travelers remaining in-country should ensure they have provisions at their accommodation and work sites to support a stand-fast period of at least one month. If they are not able or willing to stand fast, they should consider departing the country on or before March 19.

Today through April 12, Philippine Airlines has canceled all domestic flights in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Singapore
​​​​​​Yesterday, authorities implemented additional travel restrictions, in addition to pre-existing entry bans, amid the COVID-19 outbreak. People’s Republic of China and Iranian passport holders, as well as travelers who have visited Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, mainland China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland or the UK in the past 14 days should reconfirm the overall feasibility of travel prior to departure. A number of countries have also issued travel advisories for Singapore since the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Level was raised to Orange (second-highest on a four-tier scale). Measures imposed include entry restrictions and mandatory quarantine. Travelers should comply with all advisories issued by their national authorities.

South Korea
Non-essential travel to Gyeongsan City, Daegu City, and Cheongdo County should be deferred, and travelers should consider deferring non-essential travel to the rest of the country. An outbreak of COVID-19 is underway, and the South Korean government has raised the alert level to Red, the highest on a four-tiered system. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing, and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. This new coronavirus can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Travelers are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are sick. Anyone with symptoms of respiratory illness who may have been exposed to COVID-19 should seek medical attention according to the local procedure.

Thailand
Thailand has imposed further visa restrictions and additional quarantine measures linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is now mandatory for travelers coming from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Iran, Italy and South Korea to present a medical certificate, issued no more than 48 hours before departure, confirming they have not been infected by COVID-19 in the past 14 days. These travelers are also required to implement self-quarantine for at least 14 days after their arrival. The plan to cancel visa on arrival services for 18 countries and suspend visa exemptions for South Korea, Italy, and Hong Kong passport holders has been temporarily put on hold.

Today, travelers in Yala City should continue to avoid the vicinity of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) following an explosion at around 10:30 AM local time. At least 18 people were injured, including soldiers and police officers, when two bombs exploded in the area. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and police investigations are ongoing.

Turkey
Non-essential travel to Turkey should be deferred after authorities announced additional suspension of flights, effective at 8:00 AM local time today. Turkish officials previously announced that travelers who had been to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the 14 days prior to travel to the country would be barred entry and prohibited from transiting. Authorities have yet to clarify if recent travel to other destinations would also warrant a ban on travelers from entering or transiting through Turkey. Travelers are advised to contact the relevant Turkish Embassy for visa-specific information.

Uzbekistan
The Uzbek government announced that all land borders will be indefinitely closed, and international flights suspended beginning today. This restriction is accompanied by a ban on mass gatherings. Uzbek Nationals currently abroad will reportedly be able to repatriate through chartered flight options, though all foreign nationals will be barred entry until further notice. Foreign nationals who choose to remain in-country should review their visas and consider the implications for potentially overstaying the expiration date.

Vietnam
Authorities have made it mandatory for all travelers to declare their health status, which can be completed online before arrival in Vietnam, as part of the effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The temporary entry ban for travelers with travel history to mainland China remains in effect, except for those on official or diplomatic missions. Visa-free travel has also been suspended for citizens of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, South Korea, and Italy. Travelers from mainland China who are permitted to enter Vietnam, as well as those from South Korea, Iran and Italy, are required to undergo 14-day quarantine upon entry. Travelers should abide by official directives and reconfirm their itineraries and the overall feasibility of travel prior to departure.

 

EUROPE

Regional
Travelers in countries within the Schengen Area, as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland, planning travel to the US should reconfirm flights and maintain flexible itineraries following the announcement of new restrictions on certain foreign nationals entering the US. The restrictions, which are for a 30-day period beginning which began on March 13, have been introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. US President Donald Trump announced that entry into the US would be suspended for certain non-US nationals who had been in certain areas of Europe at any time in the 14 days prior to their arrival to the US.

France
Travelers should anticipate disruption and consider implications for in-country and onward journeys due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated containment measures. Yesterday, President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide restriction on all movement except for proven work-related reasons, health reasons or emergencies, beginning at 12:00 PM local time today. The announcement follows restrictions on gatherings and public activities since March 14. While exact details have not yet been announced, cross-border travel is also expected to be severely disrupted.

Georgia
Foreign travelers, with the exception of certain categories, should defer all inbound travel to Georgia through April 1 due to the introduction of entry restrictions for foreign nationals beginning at 12:01 AM local time tomorrow. Georgian Nationals are exempt from the restriction. While the security environment remains unchanged, and travelers currently in country are not advised to depart at this time, in-country staff should review implications for potentially overstaying their visa expiration date in the event of further international fight suspensions and extended borer closures.

Germany
Travelers should anticipate disruption and consider implications for in-country and onward journeys, due to the spread of the COVID-19 disease and related preventative measures. Yesterday, Germany partially closed its borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Denmark; however, this does not affect commuter traffic or shipping. Restrictions have also been imposed on public gatherings, and several institutions have been closed to the public. Lufthansa has announced flight suspensions and reduction. Travelers should reconfirm flight schedules.

Italy
An outbreak of COVID-19 in northern Italy is growing with expansion within Italy, and cases being exported to other countries. An increasing number of locations are barring entry to travelers from Italy. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing, and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. To prevent infection, travelers should pay attention to hygiene, keep six feet away from others, and avoid large crowds.

Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA) is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Terminal 1 at Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) is closed, and all operations will be carried out of the facility’s Terminal 3 until further notice.

On February 29, the US State Department raised the Travel Advisory for Italy to Level 3: Reconsider travel due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19. A Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory is in effect for Lombardy and Veneto due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures.

Russia
Inbound travel to Russia should be deferred through May 1, due to the introduction of entry restrictions for foreign nationals beginning tomorrow, as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. Transiting passengers are not affected by these measures. The security environment remains unchanged, and travelers currently in Russia are not required to depart at this time. In-country staff should review the implications for potentially overstaying their visa expiration date in the event of further international flight suspensions and extended border closures.

Spain
The outbreak of COVID-19 cases continues with rising case numbers. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing, and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. Authorities are implementing movement restrictions and other measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Non-essential travel should be deferred through March 29 due to disruption and containment measures.

Ukraine
Foreign travelers, with the exception of certain categories, should defer travel to Ukraine through April 3 due to the introduction of COVID-19 related entry restrictions for foreign nationals beginning today. Ukrainian Nationals abroad and foreign nationals who are residents of Ukraine will be allowed to enter the country during this period, though they may be subject to screening and quarantine procedures upon arrival. Ukraine International Airlines will halt regular international flights through March 31, severely limiting the availability of outbound travel options.

United Kingdom
All non-essential travel to the UK should be deferred, and travelers should consider implications for in-country and onward journeys due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated containment measures. Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions related to the outbreak, requesting residents to self-quarantine for 14 days if they or someone in their household shows any symptom associated with the infection. These include cough and high temperature. While no movement or entry and exit restrictions have yet been imposed, Johnson also advised people to avoid non-essential contact with others.

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