Additional resources and FAQs regarding COVID-19

Below are additional resources and FAQs regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as they specifically relate to Diethelm Travel, our destinations, clients and guests.

This page will be updated with new information and announcements as necessary.

If you have any questions or require more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at sales@diethelmtravel.com.

 

Bhutan

18 March 2020, 10:00 hours 

Travel restrictions in Bhutan

From the Tourism Council of Bhutan, the tourist ban implemented on 6 March 2020 will continue until further notice. The restriction applies to all tourists regardless of nationality.

Travellers who were planning to visit Bhutan in March must postpone their trip until later this year.

Email bhutan@diethelmtravel.bt for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Cambodia

18 March 2020, 17:30 hours 

Travel restrictions in Cambodia

The Cambodian government has banned entry for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Iranian and U.S. passport holders until 17 April 2020.

For anyone entering the country who has been travelling in these countries, there is an automatic 14-day quarantine in a pre-determined location.

Additionally, the following protocols are in place:

  • Temperature checks at all airports
  • 14-day automatic quarantines for those who test positive for COVID-19
  • The land border with Vietnam is closed and there is no transit via Vietnam airports for long-haul flights. Vietnam Airlines has stopped all flights between Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • Cruise ships and river cruises are not allowed to disembark in Cambodia
  • The land border with Vietnam is closed and there is no transit via Vietnam airports for long-haul flights
  • All public schools are closed
  • The Royal Palace, Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh, as well as Phare The Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap are closed
  • Museums, shows, karaoke clubs, cinemas, religious gatherings and concerts are also being closed down and we expect there will be an increasing number of social gatherings and events cancelled in the coming days

 

Diethelm Travel Cambodia is currently assisting agents with cancellations and arranging on-the-ground services for guests still in the country.

Email dt_cambodia@kh.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

China

31 March 2020, 10:00 hours

Situation updates in China

Things are beginning to open up and return to normal across the country. Many open spaces, natural sights, public cultural sites and low-risk areas nationwide have reopened. Some museums, such as the Shanghai Natural History Museum, have reopened with new virus protection procedures. Hotels and restaurants are also gradually opening up, while many provinces are planning to open schools beginning as early as the end of March.

Starting 15 March, travel agencies have been allowed to organise trips for local tourists within their province.

Any travellers entering China from COVID-19 areas need to self-quarantine at home or in designated place for 14 days.

While in public, all people must wear a face mask and access to public places requires disinfection and registration.

China has decided to temporarily close the borders for foreigners with a valid visa or residence permit from 28 March. Entry with diplomatic passports, official, honorary or C visas is still possible. Foreigners wishing to enter China for economic, scientific, technological and humanitarian purposes should still apply for visas at Chinese embassies and consulates.

Email reservation@cn.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Hong Kong

23 March 2020, 16:00 hours

Travel restrictions in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Government will implement travel restrictions for all foreign tourist and also transit arrivals to the city from 00:01 hours on Wednesday, 25 March and would last for 14 days.

All non-Hong Kong residents who arrive at the airport will be refused entry, along with anyone from mainland China, Macau or Taiwan who has a recent travel history elsewhere.

Those arriving from Macau or Taiwan directly will be allowed in, but subject to quarantine orders, as has been the case for mainland arrivals for some weeks.

Email operation@hk.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Laos

19 March 2020, 10:00 hours 

No e-Visas or visas on arrival in Laos

Starting 19 March, no foreign tourists are able to receive an e-Visa or visa on arrival when entering the country until further notice. Travellers must contact the Laos embassy or consulate in their home country to apply for a visa before travelling. There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases nor travel restrictions in Laos, however Laos nationals returning to Laos from outbreak countries are required to impose self-isolation for 14 days. All entertainment venues as well as all schools have also been closed .

Email info@la.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Malaysia

18 March 2020, 06:00 hours 
Movement Control Order in Malaysia  

The Malaysian government implemented a Movement Control Order from 18 – 31 March 2020 across the country to slow down the spread of COVID-19 through increased social distancing. This includes:

  • A ban on all religious, sporting, social and cultural gatherings. All business and religious premises are closed except for groceries, public markets and provision stores.
  • Nationwide travel restrictions on all citizens. Those who have just arrived from abroad must undergo self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • All tourists and visitors are barred from entering the country.
  • All public and private schools are closed.
  • Closure of all government and private premises except essential services such as water and electricity, telecommunication, postal service, transport, fuel, gas, lubrication, broadcasting, banking, health, pharmacy, fire-fighting, ports, airports, prisons, security and defence, sanitary services, provision and food supply.
  • Closure of all museums, parks, tourist attractions and to cease all tour and sightseeing activities.

 

The Diethelm Malaysia reservation team is contacting all agents with confirmed bookings that are scheduled to arrive Malaysia in the next two weeks for further action and decision as well as assisting guests currently in Malaysia regarding changing their programme and finding options to fly home.

Email inbound@my.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Maldives

1 April 2020, 08:00 hours 

Situation updates in the Maldives

The total to 18 positive cases have been reported. The national alert level remains on Yellow.

All passengers and crew with travel history to the following countries or regions within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or to transit through the Maldives until further notice.

  • Mainland China
  • Iran
  • South Korean regions of:
  • North Gyeongsang Province
  • South Gyeongsang Province
  • Italy
  • Bangladesh, effective from 10 – 24 March 2020
  • Spain
  • France regions of:
    • Tle-de-France
    • Grand Est
  • Germany regions of:
    • Bavaria
    • Baden-Wuerttemberg
    • North Rhine Westphalia
  • United Kingdom
  • Malaysia
  • Sri Lanka, effective from 21 March 2020
  • The Maldives halts visa on arrival until further notice

 

Qatar Airlines continues to operate to the Maldives:

Qatar Airways continues it’s daily flight to the Maldives and intends to continue throughout the coming months.

 

82 resorts close temporarily:

As of 31 March, approximately 82 resorts are closing temporarily as the halt on visa on arrival continues.

 

Email carmen.k@mv.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Myanmar

30 March 2020, 11:00 hours 

Quarantines in Myanmar

Effective 21 March, all incoming travellers, including Myanmar nationals, arriving from or having visited the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the past 14 days will be subject to a 14-day facility quarantine. (This is in addition to the previous quarantine measures for high-risk areas listed below.)

Visa on arrivals and e-Visas have been suspended for travellers from all countries until 30 April.
As of 15 March 2020, all foreign nationals who have visited the high-risk areas of Hubei province in China and Daegu and Gyeongbuk in South Korea, are not permitted to enter Myanmar until further notice. Myanmar citizens who have visited these locations will be placed in a 14-day quarantine facility upon arrival in Myanmar.

All incoming travellers from other locations in South Korea, as well as Italy, Iran, France, Spain and Germany will be placed in a 14-day quarantine facility upon arrival in Myanmar.

In addition, entry of any foreign nationals through any border check point between Myanmar and its neighbouring countries has been temporarily suspended. Also, some of the hotels are temporarily closed until further notice.

Email leisure@mm.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Philippines

17 March 2020, 12:00 hours 

Enhanced community quarantine over the entire Luzon and further guidelines 

Enhanced Community Quarantine and stringent social distancing measures have been put in place over Luzon, including the National Capital Region (NCR), effective 17 March – 13 April 2020 as follows:

  • A strict home quarantine shall be observedin all households; movement shall be limited to accessing basic necessities; provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated; and there will be heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures
  • A work from home arrangement shall be implementedin the Executive branch, except the police, air force, health and emergency frontline services, border control and other critical services, which shall ensure a skeletal work force;
  • Only private establishments providing basic necessitiesand such activities related to food and medicine production, banks, money transfer services, power, energy, water and telecommunications supplies and facilities, shall be open; In all such open establishments, their respective managements shall ensure the adoption of a strict skeletal workforce to support operations, as well as all strict social distancing measures
  • Land, air and sea travel shall be restricted as follows:
    • Outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any of the international airports in Luzon shall be allowed to travel for a period of 72 hours from effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
    • Inbound international passengers, in transit upon effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions
    • All inbound Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of Permanent Resident Visa, and holders of 9(e) Diplomat Visas issued by the Philippine Government shall be allowed entry, subject to applicable quarantine procedures if coming from countries with existing travel restrictions

Please see this file for further details of the guidelines. The aforementioned measures shall be subject to daily monitoring and reassessment by the Inter Agency Task Force.

Email sales@ph.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Singapore

22 March 2020, 12:00 hours 

Entry bans

Effective 23 March 23:59 hours, all short term visitors are not allowed entry nor transit through Singapore.

Information can be found from the Ministry of Health here.

Email enquiry@sg.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Sri Lanka

29 March 2020, 12:00 hours 

Closure of International Airports in Sri Lanka for Inward International Passenger Flights

Dear Partners,

Please note that according to the instructions received from Sri Lanka Health Authorities, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Upul Dharmadasa, has released a directive stating that all international Airports in Sri Lanka will continue to be closed for the operation of inbound international commercial passenger flights (i.e. arrivals), until 23:59 hours on 7 April 2020 (local time in Sri Lanka).

However during the closure period, the following will be permitted:

  • Aircraft Departures with passengers originating from Colombo, Stop-overs, transit passengers or visiting tourists.
  • Emergency Diversions to Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
  • Freighter Operations and humanitarian flights to Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
  • Technical landings at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
  • Inbound ferry flights (without passengers) at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

 

Email sales@lk.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Thailand

31 March 2020, 13:00 hours 

Travel Restrictions & State of Emergency in Thailand

The Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency starting from 26 March – 30 April 2020 with the possibility of extension. The below restrictions are being implemented and followed with new announcements made regularly:

  • Land, sea, and air travels into Thailand will be denied with the exception of goods transportation, diplomatic missions or foreigners who hold work permits in Thailand
  • Restricted access or closure of risk areas (such as venues with high risks of infection in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon will remain closed, such as nightclubs, spas, gyms, sports stadiums, and massage parlors.
  • Closure of entry/access points to the country)
  • Restrictions/conditions on certain vulnerable groups (such as the elderly, the sick, and children) from leaving living premises (People under 5 and over 70 will be asked to stay home. They should only journey outside for medical appointments, banking activities, buying their food, contacting the police, carrying out law enforcement orders, among other essential activities.)
  • Restrictions on hoarding of consumer items and ensuring price controls on items
  • Restrictions on the deliberate dispensing of distorted information
  • Large gatherings are banned

In addition, Phuket has announced its plans to close the Phuket International Airport from 00.01 hours of 10 April 2020 until 30 April 2020

For more information an updates, visit https://www.thaigov.go.th.

Email sales@th.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

Vietnam

19 March 2020, 14:30 hours

Suspended visa exemptions for travellers to Vietnam 

Starting 19 March, all incoming travellers from the United States, European and ASEAN nations must undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam. 

Starting 15 March for 30 days, travellers from the 26 Schengen countries, the UK and Northern Ireland, or those who have visited or transited through these countries in the past 14 days, will not be issued visas or allowed entry into Vietnam. This also applies to those who currently hold visas or visa letters.

Vietnam has suspended visas on arrival for all foreign nationals. This applies to all new applicants, except those travelling for diplomatic or official purposes. Those who currently hold visas to enter Vietnam will need to undergo medical checks and maybe quarantined before being allowed to enter the country.

Email sales@vn.diethelmtravel.com for more information or help adjusting bookings.

 

FAQs

Last updated: 11 March 2020

Q: What is Diethelm Travel’s refund policy regarding booking changes or cancellations due to COVID-19?

A: We understand that travelling during this time is unpredictable and want to give you and your clients peace of mind when planning future journeys.

Book any Diethelm Travel product now and rest assured that you can cancel for a full refund – no questions asked – until 31 October 2020 (Cancellations must be made at least 7 days before travelling).

Alternatively, instead of cancelling upcoming trips, we’re happy to delay and reschedule clients’ journeys.

 

Q: Who can I contact at Diethelm Travel for more information regarding travel updates, booking changes or new developments? 

A: If you’re already in contact with one of our country-specific sales representatives, please feel free to reach out to them directly.

For all other questions, general enquiries or questions about our new booking and cancellation policy, please contact sales@diethelmtravel.com.

 

Q: What countries in Asia have travel restrictions?

A: Travel restrictions and recommended travel routes vary depending on a traveller’s home country, where they’re transiting through and what Asian country they want to enter.

As of posting, WHO “continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.” You can access their recommendations for international traffic in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak here or the IATA updates here.

 

Q: What health and safety precautions are Diethelm Travel taking?

A: The safety of our guests and employees across Asia is always our number one priority.  In addition to our already stringent health and safety procedures, we are:

  • Conducting increased team briefings, including with guides and drivers, on enhanced safety practices during the outbreak
  • Sterilising our vehicles
  • Providing guests with additional hand sanitiser
  • Providing guests with face masks if they wish to wear one
  • Regularly checking the wellbeing and temperature of on-the-ground staff. Any staff who have recently travelled to risky countries are staying home for 14 days.

 

Q: What should travellers do to protect themselves while travelling?

A: At this time, we recommend that travellers take general, common-sense precautions to minimise their risk. (They are smart practices any time when travelling!)

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use your elbow or a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze. Immediately throw the tissue away and wash hands.
  • Wear a face mask if you feel unwell or have a cough. (In Asia, wearing a face mask is in public is common but not necessary if you are healthy, according to WHO.)
  • Clean and disinfect with an alcohol-based disinfectant frequently touched objects and surfaces such as phones, computers or armrests.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you start to feel unwell, seek medical assistance, stay away from public areas and do not travel.

 

Q: How has airport travel been affected in Asia?

A: Most international and regional airports throughout Asia are taking various precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all travellers such as doing body temperature checks for all passengers at security or upon arrival.

 

Q: Where can I find trusted information regarding COVID-19?

A: We recommend the following international organisations:

 

Q: Where can I find more country-specific information regarding travel restrictions, country policies or on-the-ground updates?

A: Information, policies and procedures are changing daily. It is best to regularly check countries’ official government websites and tourism board websites for the latest information. We will also be emailing relevant important information and updating this page as necessary.