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

20 October 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:

  • It is not possible to obtain visa on arrival, visa will have to be obtained before entry. To apply for a visa prior to arrival the following must be documented 
  • Provide a negative Covid 19 test not older than 72 hours (easy too as most of the countries provide drive-in testing or testing are done at hospital and clinics).
  • Purchase a health insurance package for Covid-19 treatment, with a cost of USD90 and is valid for 20 days. This insurance package can be purchased from FORTE Insurance Company that can be reached through; https://www.forteinsurance.com/covid-19-insurance/
  • Upon arrival you must take another Covid test and even if the test is negative you will still need to self isolate in your accommodation for 14 days. And undergo a second test on the 13th day.
  • All travelers are requested to deposit 2000US$ on arrival in cash or by credit card to cover all expenses, ea. tests, accommodation, transport to the center and food. Quarantine facilities have been arranged at hotels close to the airport, where you await the result of the tests on arrival, this takes maximum 2 days. If any traveler from your flight was found positive, you will be obliged to stay in 14 days quarantine before being tested again on the 13th day. These costs will be deducted from your deposit. If on the 13th day your test is negative you’ll be able te get the balance from your deposit refunded at the bank.

 

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

8 September 2020, 12:00 hours

 

Recovery Movement Control Order in Malaysia

On the 28th August 2020, our Prime Minister had made an announcement regarding Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a televised speech announced the extension of the RMCO which was initially supposed to end Aug 31.

The Prime Minister said based on the latest development, Malaysia has been able to successfully control the spread of Covid-19 infections, but sporadic outbreaks continued to occur.

 

Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is now extended for another four months with the end date of 31st December 2020.

According to him, with the extension of the RMCO period, enforcement action under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, or Act 342, could still be taken.

This is to ensure that all parties comply with the Standard Operating Procedures and health protocols set.

The government is also looking at green-zone destinations, instead of just countries, as part of its consideration for a travel bubble to boost the nation’s tourism industry.

Such announcement is expected to be made within the next few days on the listing of “Green-zone/Green-countries”.

It goes by different names, such as travel bubble, travel corridors and air bridges, but essentially means the same thing – to lift the ban on border closures.

The bubble or corridors denote a safe or protected perimeter between two travel destinations, countries or states already declared green zones and ready to receive tourists, which is expected to help the tourism sector recover.

We will continue to keep you well informed on the next development.

Meanwhile, please rest assured that myself and all colleagues in Diethelm Malaysia are here to support whenever the needs arise.

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

1 September 2020, 11:00 hours 

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

  • Yangon, Bago, Mandalay region, Mon State and Ayeyarwaddy region are under stay-at-home orders meaning trips outside are limited to work, shopping or medical treatment.
  • All government and private schools, universities and entertainment centers are still closed. Supermarkets 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 October, while most switch to working from home or partially.
  • All the temporary lockdown measures are extended until 31 October 2020.

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 the 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

28 October 2020, 09:00 hours 

Further to my 1st October update, I am pleased to advise that the Singapore government will extend and add the border reopening to Indonesia and Hong Kong, below is an updated summary of countries so far based on various categories:

Australia – Travel entry open 8th Oct : For Leisure & Business
Brunei –  Travel entry open since 1st Sep: For Leisure & Business
China- Travel entry open since 28th May: For Business and 6 provinces
Japan- Travel entry open since 11th Sep: For Business
Malaysia- Travel entry open since 14th July:  For PCA pass holders & Business
New Zealand- Travel entry open since 21st Aug: For Leisure/Business
Korea- Travel entry open since 2nd Sep: For Business
Vietnam- Travel entry open 8th Oct: For Leisure & Business
Indonesia – Travel entry open since 12th Oct: For Business
Hong Kong- Travel entry –Date -TBC : For Leisure & Business

It has also been announced that effective 2 November 2020, travellers from selected countries will be able to opt out of serving their stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated government facilities, for arrivals on or after 4 November 2020.

This will apply to travellers from Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Finland, Estonia, Fiji and Norway, apart from the above countries that Singapore has “unilaterally opened up to”. This however is subject to travelers fulfilling below criteria:

  • They have not travelled to any other country apart from the above-mentioned countries, in the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry; and
  • They are occupying their place of residence alone, or only with household members who are also serving SHN with the same travel history and SHN duration.

All travellers should also note that they must present the approval to opt out upon arrival in Singapore. The Taskforce also highlighted that as the list of countries allowed will be updated from time to time depending on the public health risk assessment, all travellers must be prepared to be subject to the prevailing border measures upon entry, including stay in dedicated SHN facilities and payment, where applicable.

Further, all travellers who opt to stay at their place of residence for SHN must remain in their declared place of residence at all times. They will be subject to close monitoring of their whereabouts, through electronic monitoring as well as physical spot-checks. Strict enforcement action will be taken against those who breach the requirements of the SHN or make false declarations.

This group will also be required to utilise specially designated transport services from the checkpoint to their place of residence and to their respective testing facilities, and bear the costs for these transport arrangements.

For more detailed information please click on : https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/

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

15 October 2020, 14:00 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 the 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 operating 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

19 October 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.

The large majority of COVID-19 patients have recovered and were released from the hospital. Vietnam has not had any new community transmission cases since 2 September 2020. The latest confirmed cases involve people who arrived in Vietnam with COVID-19 and were sent directly to quarantine and isolated for treatment. 

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. 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 Vietnamese government continues to suspend entry into Vietnam to all foreigners.  There are limited exemptions for diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers and foreign investors.

Recently Vietnam has decided to resume commercial air routes to specific airports (Guangzhou, Taiwan, Seoul, Tokyo, Phnom Penh and Vientiane), only Vietnamese nationals and individuals in the aforementioned exempted categories and their family members may enter Vietnam.  Individuals in these categories will have to present a certificate of negative COVID-19 RT-PCR testing report issued within the three days prior to departure.  For detailed information about flight frequency and designated quarantine sites, please see the Vietnamese government’s website here.

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 now until the end of March 2021 with the option to cancel for a full refund – no questions asked – for travel through 31 October 2021.

 

  • 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.