updates 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.

 

Travel Traffic Light

Access our “Travel Traffic Light” anytime online which is an at-a-glance listing of international border updates, visa and travel regulations, and country operations:

 

 

Summary of Temporary Hotel Closure

For summary information of temporary hotel closure across 13 countries in Asia, please click HERE or see the details below:

 

 

Bhutan

9 June 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

2 June 2020, 14:00 hours 

Travel restrictions in Cambodia

The Royal Government of Cambodia has decided to impose , in addition to the recent travel measures of the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, the following temporary entry restriction into the Kingdom of Cambodia , until further notice:

  • Visa on arrival is not available and visa will have to be obtained before entry.
  • All foreign visitors would still need to have a health certificate no more than 72 hours and proof of USD 50,000 worth of health insurance while in Cambodia.
  • All passengers both Cambodian and foreigners who are travelling to Cambodia, are admitted to waiting centers for the COVID-19 tests and waiting for results from the Pasteur Laboratory.
  • In case one or more of the passengers have been found for positive COVID-19, all of the passengers who travelled together are required to quarantine 14 days at government designated place.
  • In case all passengers have confirmed for negative COVID-19, they are allowed to quarantine 14 days at their own home or other accommodation under control by local authority and health officer by requiring to test again on the 13th day of the quarantine.

 

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

 

China

25 May 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

27 May 2020, 12:00 hours

Travel restrictions in Hong Kong

Travel Restrictions:

  • Only Hong Kong residents with following documents will be permitted to enter Hong Kong:
  • Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
  • Hong Kong SAR passport or British National (Overseas) passport (with right of abode in Hong Kong)
  • Hong Kong Identity Card (this needs to be accompanied with a valid work or study visa)
  • Non-Hong Kong residents will be denied entry into Hong Kong.

Entry restriction exemptions:

The following passengers are exempt from the entry restrictions:

  • Passengers travelling from Mainland China, Taiwan or Macao SAR, and have not been to other country/region in past 14 days
  • Diplomatic/official passport holders (subject to prevailing visa requirements)
  • The spouse and children of Hong Kong residents
  • Local government personnel performing official duties
  • Personnel approved by the Hong Kong SAR government to carry out anti-epidemic work
  • Passengers holding a new entry visa to work, study, establish or join in any business, or to take up residence in Hong Kong

Passengers falling into the above exemption category must still meet the minimum 14 days intended/permitted limit of stay in order to meet the 14 days of compulsory quarantine requirements – otherwise entry will be refused.

Transit at Hong Kong Airport

Air transit/transfer services at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will be resumed gradually. From 1 June 2020 until further notice, only transit/transfer passengers who have been checked through at the origin port and take transit/transfer flights operated by the same airline group are accepted at HKIA. Passengers should confirm in advance that they are able to enter the final destination. Please check with airlines for details.

Additional entry requirements for entry

A health declaration form must be completed and submitted to the Hong Kong Department of Health on arrival. These forms are distributed onboard all flights to Hong Kong. All passengers arriving into Hong Kong will be required to undergo a medical test for COVID-19 upon completion of all health, immigration, customs and quarantine clearance requirements. The test, which involves providing a saliva sample, will be conducted by medical professionals at the Department of Health Temporary Specimen Collection Centre at the Asia World Expo building. Passengers will receive directions and assistance when leaving the baggage claim area. Additionally, passengers will be required to wait for their test results.

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

 

Laos

27 May 2020, 13:00 hours 

Situation updates in Laos

Life in Laos is getting back to normal. However, many businesses remain closed or are operating limited hours. Restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, massage parlors and spas, fresh markets, beauty salons, barbershops, shopping centers and malls, and tourism sites, are permitted to open but prevention measures and guidelines issued by the taskforce must be strictly implemented. Limited domestic flights are now operating. International borders remain closed until further notice.

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

 

Malaysia

10 June 2020, 10:30 hours 

Recovery Movement Control Order in Malaysia  

As the number of COVID-19 positive cases declines, the Prime Minister announced that Malaysia is set to enter the Recovery MCO phase (RMCO) from 10 June  to 31 August 2020.

The MCO, first imposed on Mar 18 to control the spread of COVID-19, was previously extended four times until 9th June 2020.

The Prime Minister said the recovery phase is part of the country’s exit strategy from the MCO, following a downward trend in the infection rate.

As Malaysia has successfully contained the spread of the pandemic and will now enter the recovery phase. While infections rose in immigration detention centres, the number of new daily local transmissions involving Malaysians have dropped to mostly single digits.

Under the RMCO, more relaxations will be given to citizens to conduct their daily activities while adhering to existing standard operating procedures (SOP).

  1. Almost all business are allowed to open, offices and shops, with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed.
  2. Schools will be reopened gradually based on the health ministry’s recommendations.
  3. Domestic travel is allowed
  4. Not allowed are pubs, bars and Clubs
  5. Not allowed is contact sport, i.e. football, hockey etc
  6. Swimming-pools remain closed
  7. It is not allowed to travel out of Malaysia or into Malaysia; borders remain closed until further notice

There are on-going discussion on possibility of opening International borders to countries that are on “GREEN” listing or countries that has not seen any radical spike in positive COVID-19 cases.

However, there is no official announcement made regarding this matter at the time being.

For more information and update, please visit: https://www.pmo.gov.my/2020/03/movement-control-order-faq-info/

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

 

Maldives

23 July 2020, 10:00 hours 

Procedures that need to be followed by all arriving and departing guests

Before your departure to the Maldives

  1. Tourist resorts, liveaboard vessels and hotels located on uninhabited islands are permitted to accept arrivals starting from 15 July 2020 after been certified by the Health Protection Authority (HPA).
  2. A confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism is mandatory.
  3. All Passengers should submit the online health declaration found at https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/ within 24 hours of arrival to the Maldives.
  4. Guesthouses and hotels located on inhabited islands will open for bookings starting from 1 August 2020.
  5. Tourists who are visiting the Maldives during Phase 1 of opening (Up to September 2020) shall book their entire stay in one registered establishment. Exemptions will be made for transit arrangements.

 

On arrival in the Maldives 

  1. All arriving passenger should wear a mask.
  2. Physical distancing should be ensured.
  3. Hand sanitization facilities available upon entry to the terminal and all guests must adhere.
  4. If a passenger has fever, cough, shortness of breath or shows any symptoms on board the flight it should be informed to the health officials at the airport.
  5. All arriving tourists will be provided a free 30-day tourist visa on arrival.
  6. It is mandatory for all arriving passengers must undergo thermal screening upon entry to the airport.
  7. A tourist who does NOT show any symptoms will not be required to present any medical tests or be subjected to any quarantine measures upon arrival.
  8. Tourists presenting symptoms of COVI0-19 will be subject to a PCR test at the traveller’s cost.
  9. If the result of the PCR test is positive, the tourist may continue Isolation at the resort (should the resort policy be to accept such guests) or guest/guests will be transferred to a designated state-run isolation facility.
  10. If the result of the PCR test is negative, the tourist will be released from Isolation and may travel to their destination.
  11. A Symptomatic tourist will have to follow restrictions on attending public places.
  12. Contact tracing should be done for the symptomatic patient. Contacts who are tourists can be quarantined in their destination resorts until the PCR test result of the patient.
  13. If any tourist gives a history of contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within 14 days before arrival (as per passenger health declaration card), the tourist must be examined at the airport clinic.
  14. If the person is asymptomatic. he/she will require to be quarantined. If the person is symptomatic. A sample would be taken for a PCR test for COVID-19 and the patient would be sent to a designated facility for isolation.
  15. Local health authorities may conduct random tests on tourists, this would be at no cost to the tourist.

 

Departure from the Maldives

  1. Tourists who are not in isolation or quarantine will have to undergo an exit screening before departure from the place of stay.
  2. The exit screening questionnaire should document any history of fever or respiratory symptoms within the prior 14 days. The temperature would be checked to exclude fever.
  3. Routine testing for COVID-19 is not required prior to departure, however during exit screening, if any tourist is found to have fever or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 within the prior 14 days, they would undergo PCR testing for COVID-19.
  4. Testing services are available in the Maldives for tourists who require COVID-19 test results to return to their countries of origin or another destination.

 

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

 

Myanmar

5 August 2020, 11:00 hours 

Myanmar Government extended measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak including the restrictions on movement, a night curfew in big cities. A ban on  international commercial air traffic and the temporary entry restrictions for travelers from all countries will be extended until 31 August 2020 .

  • All government and private schools, universities and entertainment centers are still closed. Supermarkets and shopping centers are opened. Restaurants, excluding under the stay-home measure, are allowed to reopen according to the ministry’s instruction.
  • Some private offices are closed until the end of August as the government temporarily extended the restrictions to 31 August 2020, while most switch to working from home or partially.
  • Public transport is still operating. The Express Bus Transportation reduce the number of passengers to half (i.e one person in two seats ratio).

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

 

Philippines

14 May 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 – 30 April 2020. It has been extended until 31 May as follows:

  • A strict home quarantine shall be observed in 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 implemented in 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 necessities and 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

6 July 2020, 09:00 hours 

Reopening of tourist attractions

As Singapore continue to ease measures in Phase 2, movie theatres and hotels in Singapore are getting a reprieve as the city-state gradually reopens its economy after a lockdown.

Cinemas will be able to open their doors to movie-goers starting on July 13, limiting the maximum capacity to 50 people in each theatre hall, according to a government statement. As many as five people from the same group will be allowed to sit together, and seats will be reconfigured to provide the 1 meter (3.3 feet) distance for other guests. Mandatory wearing of mask and temperature checks will be carried out before entry.

Hotels will also be able to accept leisure visitors for staycations for now until the borders are re-open, although, most are closed till end July and August to support the government in housing SHN returnees to Singapore. Prior to re-opening, the hotels will have to receive permit from the government to ensure that all safe management measures and SG Clean certification have been completed.

For now, Theatres and Hotels will have to settle for domestic visitors until the authorities relax entry to short term overseas visitors which we hope will be soon.

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

 

Sri Lanka

30 July 2020, 12:00 hours 

Re-opening of Sri Lanka for International Travellers Postponed to September

As communicated on 13 July 2020 regarding the plans to postpone the re-opening of the airport, an official statement has now been received confirming the same.

According to a statement released by Airport Aviation Services (Lanka) Ltd. Vice President Rajeev Sooriyaarachchi, the reopening of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) for all incoming passengers has been postponed to September by authorities due to the upcoming General Election and sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in certain regions of the country.

Furthermore, it has been stated that no specific date has been declared to resume operations at BIA and the Health Ministry has been vested with the powers to announce the exact time of reopening the airport for all incoming passengers.

We will keep you informed of developments if any. Do not hesitate to contact your relevant Account Manager should you have any clarification on the above.

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

 

Thailand

21 July 2020, 17:00 hours 

Diethelm Travel Thailand obtains “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” certification

Diethelm Travel Thailand obtains Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” certification

Diethelm Travel Thailand obtains the new Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) “Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration: SHA” certification.

The certification initiative recently announced by TAT is being developed in collaboration with both public sector and private partners. It aims to elevate the country’s tourism industry standards and build confidence among international and domestic tourists.

The Amazing Thailand SHA certification will cover five key areas.

  • Tourism establishments and services must strictly follow the COVID-19 control guidelines by the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health.
  • The safety of attractions and facilities with development plans or operation procedures that focus on ensuring tourist safety while maintaining local culture and promoting interaction between local communities and tourists.
  • Hygiene and sanitation in tourism establishments and services; such as, homestays, lodges, souvenir shops and restaurants.
  • Convenience, cleanliness, and safety of linkages between communities and attractions, as well as the safety and health standards of transportation, including private cars, public buses, and airlines.
  • The confidence in tourism personnel in tourism establishments, including tourist safety and security protocol.

Achieving certification will prepare Thai tourism operators to be ready for the return of tourism post COVID-19.

 

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

 

Vietnam

10 May 2020, 13:30 hours

Since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Vietnam has closely monitored the situation and installed a series of proactive, comprehensive measures to combat the spread of the virus within the country and prepare its public health facilities.

As of 22 April 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 268 cases of COVID-19 with no new cases reported in the past six days. Besides, 216 of the affected patients have recovered and discharged from hospitals and not a single death from coronavirus.

The reason why Vietnam has managed to keep patients from death’s door is down to a three-pronged government strategy. Firstly, temperature screening and testing started in February. These measures are now mandatory for everyone entering major cities and some provinces by land too, and for everyone entering a government building or hospital. The second prong of Vietnam’s approach was quarantined for suspected cases from epidemic areas or have had direct contact with returnees from epidemic areas and lockdowns whole cities and specific areas in a city. Villages of 10,000 people have been fenced off on account of single cases. Bach Mai, a famous hospital of 3,200 people in Hanoi was even locked down in late March. Businesses, both state and private, are closed down. Travelling between cities is now highly restricted. Thirdly, it was the Vietnamese government’s constant communications widely to citizens about the seriousness of the coronavirus and the launch of online management and administration centre for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. The government has been creative in its communications methods with the launch of online management and administration centre for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. The three prongs of Vietnam’s strategy are working without a doubt.

Social distancing restrictions will be eased in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city from 23 April 2020. With the restrictions lifted, many non-essential businesses will be allowed to resume as long as the safe distance is adhered to.  However, activities like festivals, sports events involving a lot of people and operation of bars, karaoke venues, massage parlours, beauticians, flower shops and zoos are still banned. Sidewalk economic activities will also be forbidden.  Schools are slated to re-open in early to mid-May. Transport businesses are also allowed to resume but with reduced capacity, about 20-30 per cent. All international commercial passenger flights will remain suspended until further notice. The two local airlines plan to begin offering more domestic routes which had been suspended since 1st April 2020. Borders are remaining closed for all nationalities until further notice. The cities will not be receiving foreign tourists for the time being. All localities still enforce regulations on wearing face masks, avoiding mass gatherings, keeping a two-meter distance in social interactions, and observing strict hygiene standards.

 

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

 

FAQs

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 before the end of 2020 for travel through 31 March 2021 with the ability to cancel for a full refund. 

 

  • Cancel up to 15 days prior to travel – FREE
  • Cancel 14 or less prior to travel – regular charges are applied

 

Note: Some flights and select hotels/products with limited capacity may be exempt as well as travel during peak periods.

 

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 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, our enhanced health & hygiene protocols can be found HERE.

 

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: 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.