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

25 May 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

22 May 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:

  • Abrogate the banning on entry of visitors from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and USA. It means allow those nationalities to come to Cambodia.
  • 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 designate place.
  • In case all passengers have confirmed for negative COVID-19, they are allowed to quarantine 14 days at their own home under control by local authority and health officer by requiring to test again at the 13th day of the quarantine.

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

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

Passengers will be permitted to transit through Hong Kong International Airport from 1 June 2020 onwards.

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

13 May 2020, 11:00 hours 
Movement Control Order in Malaysia  

The Malaysian government has extended the current Movement Control Order from 18 March to 9 June 2020 across the country to slow down the spread of COVID-19.  The Health Ministry and medical specialists advised that the extension of the MCO was to give space for medical personnel to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent its re-emergence in the community.

The first phase of MCO, implemented to break the COVID-19 infection chain, was scheduled to end on 31 March.  It was later pushed back to 14 April, later for the second phase to 28 April 2020, third phase to 12 May 2020 and now the MCO is extended towards 9 June 2020 under “Conditioned Movement Control Order” for another four more weeks.

In a special address on Sunday (May 10), the prime minister said even though the country saw many positive developments in its fight against COVID-19, the efforts have not fully succeeded. Based on public request, Malaysians requested the government to continue to take necessary steps in curbing the epidemic. There are signs that the restrictions have successfully brought down the number of new infections in Malaysia. From the initial three-digit hike, new cases slowed to mostly two-digit increase beginning mid-April.

Under the partial lockdown, non-essential businesses and schools are shut while domestic and international travel was prohibited. With interstate travel still banned, citizens will not be allowed to cross states to celebrate a few upcoming festivals, including Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai, the latter two being harvest festivals in East Malaysia.

The government has eased some COVID-19 curbs by allowing some essential businesses to resume their operations beginning on 4 May under a “conditional MCO”.  Sectors allowed to operate must adhere to standard operating procedures set by the authorities.

All rules and standard operating procedures (SOPs) introduced during the conditional MCO will remain in place until 9 Jun. Changes to the SOPs or list of sectors allowed to operate, if any, will be announced from time to time.However, businesses involving crowds such as cinemas, night clubs, entertainment centres, bazaars and exhibitions would not be allowed. A list of the kinds of business and activities still banned during the MCO period can be found on the National Security Council website.

Sports activities that involve close contact such as football, rugby, swimming and indoor sports will not be allowed, although outdoor activities that do not involve close contact or mass gatherings will be permitted.

People are urged to stay at home to minimise contact as health authorities rush against the clock to contain the spread of the virus.

Current operational hours imposed during MCO are still in place. Wet markets will be allowed to operate from 6:00 hours to 14:00 hours in the month of Ramadan throughout the MCO period, an additional two hours compared to 6:00 hours to noon previously. The government had also decided to allow public transport services to start operating an hour earlier, from 16:00 hours to 22:00 hours, compared to 5:00 hours to 22:00 hours previously. These said changes in operating hours is to assist Muslims to prepare to break fasting (iftar) during the holy month of Ramadan, which started on the 24 April 2020.

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

14 May 2020, 08:00 hours 

Situation updates in the Maldives

The Government of Maldives implements a complete 14-day Lockdown of Male’ and nearer islands:

When will the Maldives open for tourism? – In the last week, there have been many discussions between the health officials and the tourism ministry. As of now the tentative plan is to open the destination by July 2020. However, a further review would be conducted in the last week of May to evaluate the ground situation.

What immigration procedures would be implemented for incoming tourists? – Currently, all concerned authorities are in discussion on what measures need to be implemented. The airport and health authorities are also awaiting to understand what our tourism source countries requirements are so that the procedure implementations could be in accordance. Additionally the major airlines too are sharing insight and the destination expects to have all measures in place by July. We expect to have a draft of these measures by the 1st week of July.

What airlines would fly to the Maldives? – As of now it is expected that all the major airlines that were flying to the Maldives would restart with a lesser frequency. The airport intends to be fully compliant with all social distancing norms and is currently been enhanced to serve accordingly. Currently it is not known when each of the airlines would return however Qatar Airways and Emirates airlines have indicated they would start towards the mid and latter part of June.

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

 

Myanmar

15 May 2020, 11:00 hours 

Quarantines in Myanmar

Myanmar Government extended measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak including the restrictions on movement, a night curfew and semi-lockdown measures in parts of the country will remain in effect until further notice. A ban on  international commercial air traffic will be extended until 31 May 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 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

21 May 2020, 09:00 hours 

The Singapore authorities have announced the easing of “Circuit Breaker” and it will be at a gradual pace via 3 phases:

1st Phase Start on 2 June will last for 4 weeks

  • Only certain businesses are allowed to re-open with social distancing, cleanliness and hygiene measures in place.

Meanwhile, below remain unchanged:

  • Entry ban to visitors are still in effect
  • Tour operators and Travel agents remain under lockdown and to continue to work from home
  • Bars, Pubs, night clubs , Theatres and cinemas remain under lockdown
  • Restaurants can remain open but dining-in is still not allowed- only for take aways
  • Department stores and retails outlets remain closed
  • All outdoor sports facilities eg: Basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, gym will remain closed
  • All gated attractions remain closed, only gardens are open

 

2nd Phase will be in 4 weeks ( July) after Phase 1

We will advise further updates once able

3rd Phase depend on how well we progress with 1 &  2

For information can be found from the Ministry of Trade and Industry here or click here for a daily updates from the Ministry of Health.

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

 

Sri Lanka

10 May 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

19 May 2020, 17:00 hours 

Travel Restrictions & State of Emergency in Thailand

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has issued a notification extending temporary ban on
international incoming passenger flights to Thailand. The earlier flight ban was for 4 – 18 April and is
now extended until 30 June.

The Prime Minister declared a State of Emergency starting from 26 March – 30 April 2020 and now extended to 31 May. The below restrictions are being implemented and followed with new announcements made regularly:

  • Thailand has announced the 23.00 – 04.00 hours curfew, effective from 3 April 2020 until 31 May,
    with the exception for medical and banking personnel, transportation of medical supplies and goods, people who work night shifts, transportation of people to the designated quarantine areas, and people who travel to and from the airport – all of whom must provide proof of their journey.

 

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

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 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.