Last Update: 9 January 2022
At Phoenix Voyages, we are continuing our crusade through this spatiotemporal rift to tell you about our remarkable stays to offer your clients in the near future. Here is our latest news on the current situation of our destinations.
REOPENING OF THE BORDERS:
Last 2nd November 2021, the Government approved a plan on receiving foreign travelers to Vietnam. This is a 3-phase pilot plan proposed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) as follows:
Since November 2021, foreign travelers to Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Danang and Quang Ninh, who have COVID-19 negative testing results, are able to participate in packaged tours immediately without having to undergo a 7-day quarantine.
Under the plan, Vietnam would receive foreign travelers in 3 phases.
✓ Phase 1: from November 2021. Vietnam will receive foreign travelers who come under packaged tours, on chartered and commercial flights to selected areas in Phu Quoc City (Kien Giang province), Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh.
✓ Phase 2: from January 2022. Vietnam would expand the scope of connecting destinations. Travelers can book tours with multiple destinations after finishing the tour programs at the first destination within seven days.
The destinations connected are Kien Giang, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ninh.More destinations will be approved if these provinces can meet the requirements and have demand for foreign travelers.
✓ Phase 3: The tourism market will be fully reopened to foreign travelers. The time for full reopening will be determined after considering the pandemic situation and the results of receiving foreign travelers in the first two phases.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recognizes vaccine passports granted by 72 countries and territories. They are also discussing with about 80 other partners on mutual recognition of vaccine passports.
In the meantime, the rest of the borders are still closed to non-nationals except holders of highly qualified work permits. Visa exemptions are still suspended.
Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has issued guidelines for a five-step immigration procedure for arriving Vietnamese, as well as non-national passengers, who are holders of highly qualified work permits, amid the emergence of the Omicron variant from January 2022 in Vietnam, as follows:
✓ Step 1: Register a ‘Personal QR code’, which can be created using the PC-COVID app or the HCM City COVID-19 Safety Portal at Click Here.
It is advised that passengers should register for the code before boarding their plane to Vietnam.
✓ Step 2: Test for SARS-CoV-2 immediately upon arrival.
Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport will set up a rapid-testing area for SARS-CoV-2, and coordinate with international airlines to instruct people to test for the coronavirus at the airport. If the result is positive, the passenger will be taken for RT-PCR testing. If the test result is negative, the airport and the airlines will guide the person to continue with the procedure to leave the airport to their residence.
✓ Step 3: Transfer from the airport to the residence.
The transporting vehicle must only include the driver and the passenger. In the case when there are people who come to pick up the passengers, they must not sit in the same vehicle (except for when the passenger is a foreigner who needs an interpreter).
✓ Step 4: Monitor and declare health conditions on a daily basis.
The place of accommodation must register the new arrivals’ ‘Personal QR Codes’ immediately upon arrival. Health declarations and confirmation of accommodation must be reported on a daily basis during the quarantine period.
✓ Step 5: Conduct RT-PCR testing during the quarantine period at the residence.
If the test result returns negative for SARS-CoV-2, the person will have to continue monitoring their health status for 14 days after their arrival. If the result returns positive, the testing unit must report to the HCM City CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to transfer the sample to HCM City Pasteur Institute for genomic sequencing.
Some notes for passengers before entering Vietnam:
✓ When doing health declaration via Click Here, please choose “Tan Son Nhat or Noi bai airport” from Gate drop-down.
✓ Download app PC-COVID to use during quarantine.
✓ Vaccine certificate/COVID-19 recovery certificate must be ready to present to the authority on arrival.
✓ Must have a Negative result from the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test by the Real-time PCR method before entering Vietnam.
✓ HCDC will do a COVID rapid test upon arrival. The person will be responsible for the testing fee. Current fee is around US$5.
For fully vaccinated person:
✓ Vaccine certificate (last dose must be at least 14 days) or COVID-19 recovery certificate (within 6 months)
✓ Approval from the People’s Committee
✓ Approval from the Immigration Authority
✓ Passenger can take taxi to get home or use their private car.
For NOT fully vaccinated:
✓ Approval from the People’s Committee
✓ Approval from the Immigration Authority
✓ Hotel (7 days) or the Local CDC’s approval for home quarantine
✓ Passenger will use the designated exit line to go for quarantine, so transportation must be confirmed on arrival.
Period of quarantine
✓ 3 days quarantine:
For arriving passengers, who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, they can have self-quarantine (including homes, hotels, offices, ...), but they must monitor their own health status, must not contact with other people, and must not leave their residence for three days after the arrival date.
✓ 7 days quarantine:
For those who are not fully vaccinated, they must be quarantined at the Hotel or Local CDC’s approval for home quarantine for seven days after the arrival date. Passengers will use the designated exit line to go for quarantine, so transportation must be confirmed on arrival.
For arriving passengers who are under 18 or over 65, pregnant women, or have underlying health conditions (but don’t have to be monitored and receive treatment from medical facilities), they can go into quarantine with their guardians/caretakers. The guardians/caretakers must be fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. They are also required to sign a statement on their voluntary quarantine after receiving an explanation on the risk of transmission. They must also comply with the regulations on testing and pandemic prevention and control, the same as the new arrivals.
From January 2022, Vietnam has some regular international commercial flights to connect to Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan and the USA. However, these flights are open only for Vietnamese to come back to the country, and the foreigners who are experts, highly qualified workers or diplomats.
Meanwhile, domestic flights have resumed its operation.
If you need more information on the current conditions to enter Vietnam, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Recently, Covid-19 cases have increased in Vietnam. Most of the cases are located in Hanoi, but there are considerable cases everywhere in the country. On 5th January 2022, the Health Ministry confirmed 17,017 local COVID-19 patients and 230 deaths.
However, Ho Chi Minh City has started resuming gradually the reopening of schools for some grades from early January 2022.
As of 5th January 2022, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 1,817,721 cases and 33,475 deaths across the 63 provinces of the country since 27th April 2021, the date of the 4th wave of the pandemic. However, 1,436,046 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospitals.
BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM VIETNAM
To those travelers needing a PCR test done a day before their departure from Vietnam, Phoenix Voyages can arrange such service with a supplement. Please contact us for more information.
Vietnam continues to receive vaccines regularly from several donors.
The country is doing its best to accelerate the vaccination process as quickly as possible. The children 12-17 years old have been vaccinated all around the country. Moreover, Vietnam plans to buy vaccines for the children 5-11 years old. Vietnam is also currently doing the booster shot all around the country for all adults from 18 years old.
As of 5th January 2022, Vietnam has administered 156,902,083vaccines doses, with 69,803,846 people fully vaccinated. So far around 72.3% ofthe adults (18 years old and above) have been fully vaccinated. Also, as of 5th January 2022, around 7,400,000 people have received a 3rddose (booster), meaning around 7.7% of the population.
There is a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand. On 4th January 2022 there were only 3,091 new COVID-19 cases and 12 fatalities reported. However, Omicron variant cases are increasing. As of 5th January 2022, there were a total of 2,062 Omicron variant cases, with Bangkok reporting the most cases. However, most patients have fully recovered after a two-week quarantine.
Thailand has decided to stop temporarily the “no quarantine” policy for fully vaccinated foreign tourists.
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) ordered the temporary suspension of the “Thailand Pass” for all new “TEST&GO” and “Sandbox” applications (except Phuket Sandbox, and Krabi, Phang-Nga, Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao Sandbox destinations from 11th January 2022), effective from 22 December 2021 until further notice, citing the rising number of Omicron variant cases in the country.
New registration for “Thailand Pass” under the “Exemption from Quarantine” (TEST&GO) and “Living in the Blue Zone Sandbox” programmes are no longer accepted. From now on, all travelers entering the country have to stay in quarantine for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination history.
However, registration for “Thailand Pass” under the “Phuket Sandbox” programme and “Happy Quarantine” remain open, but the government will be reviewing the situation periodically. This means that foreign tourists can still enter Thailand under the “Phuket Sandbox”, and “Krabi, Phang-Nga, Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, and Ko Tao Sandbox programs” from 11th January 2022 without quarantine, but they have to spend 7 nights in any of these above beach destinations, before being able to travel somewhere else in the country.
Protocol for “TEST&GO” and “Sandbox” Arrivals from 24 December 2021, is as follows:
Travelers who have obtained their “Thailand Pass” QR code before 22 December, 2021, with scheduled arrival dates in Thailand from 24 December 2021, onwards will be subject to the following added requirements:
1. Travelers must complete the TM6 Immigration Form (while on the plane).
2. Upon arrival at the airport’s terminal, travellers must complete and sign the Quarantine Form before proceeding to the Health Control screening point. Children under 12 years of age can use the same form as their parents/guardians. *Soon this step will be conducted while on the plane.
3. Present the required documents, including the “Thailand Pass”, arrival date and RT-PCR test results to the Communicable Disease Control officers to carry out the checks. Provided that all documents are in order, the officers will then affix the Quarantine Form with the official seal of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, along with instructions on either to be under a quarantine or mandatory stay, and the 2 required RT-PCR tests.
4. Travelers will receive a copy of the affixed Quarantine Form, along with a QR code indicating the list of government-designated hospitals/lab centres for their second RT-PCR test (no additional cost).
5. Travelers can then proceed to the Immigration counter. When going through the Immigration procedures, travellers must also present their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form and passport to the Immigration officer to carry out the checks. Provided that all are in order, travelers will then be allowed to proceed to a prearranged transfer and to the reserved hotel.
6. Upon arrival at the hotel, travellers must present their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form to the hotel staff to carry out the checks on the type of entry scheme permitted to the travellers. The travellers’ information will then be registered on the COSTE system. Afterwards, travelers must undergo the first RT-PCR test (except for those who have already taken the test at government-designated hospitals/lab centres prior to their arrival at the hotel.)
7. If receiving a negative RT-PCR test result, travelers must inform the hotel staff of their intended accommodation on Day 5-6 to be registered on the COSTE system.
8. On Day 5-6, travelers must go to their appointment at the government-designated hospitals/lab centres to undergo their second RT-PCR test, and must bring along their affixed Quarantine Form.
9. Travelers must give their copy of the affixed Quarantine Form to the hospitals/lab centres for billing. (There will be no additional cost for travellers who have obtained their “Thailand Pass” before 22 December, 2021.)
If you need more information on the current conditions to enter Thailand, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Since 1st December 2021, the State Railway of Thailand has reopened 68 rails services, including South and North Eastern (Surathani & Nongkai) after lifting the ban on curfew in all provinces across the country.
VISA EXEMPTION AND BILATERAL AGREEMENT
Thai authorities are allowing travelers from 56 countries to enter the country without visas. Nationals from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg are permitted to enter Thailand on a visa exemption scheme for a period of 45 days. A passport with a validity of more than 6 months and a plane ticket to exit Thailand within 45 days of arrival are requested when applying for the mandatory “Certificate of Entry” (COE) at the Thai Embassy of their home country.
If you need more information on the conditions to obtain the “Certificate of Entry” (COE), please don’t hesitate to contact us.BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM THAILAND
To those travelers needing a PCR test done a day before their departure from Thailand, Phoenix Voyages can arrange such service with a supplement. Please contact us for more information.
Thailand has administered at least 102,681,943 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have about 73.7% of the country’s population vaccinated.
COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Cambodia, with only about 7 new infections reported on average each day. On 4th January 2022, the Ministry of Health reported only 10 new COVID-19 cases. As of 4th January 2022, Cambodia has recorded a total of 120,526 COVID-19 cases with 116,963 recoveries and 3,015 fatalities. Meanwhile, there are around 10 cases per day of Omicron variant, but all are imported, they are put under quarantine and treated separately to avoid the spread of this variant.
Despite the lifted restrictions all around the country, to avoid COVID-19 infections, every entrance at touristic places or supermarkets has to follow the health condition protocol such as: body temperature monitoring and QR code scanning.
REOPENING OF THE BORDERS:
Siem Reap airport is now open to receive fully vaccinated foreign travellers without quarantine. Likewise, visa-exempted countries, especially from the ASEAN regions is also welcomed in Cambodia.
Since 17th December 2021, Singapore Airlines has resumed 7 flights weekly between Singapore and Siem Reap.
In addition, there are more and more international flights reopening between Southeast Asian countries and Cambodia.
For more information about flight availabilities and bookings, please feel free to contact us.
However, travelers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated may still enter the country but must remain in quarantine for 14 days at approved centers designated by the Ministry of Health.
Documents for quarantine-free travel include:
✓ An Electronic Visa Certificate (E-visa)
✓ A Flight Reservation
✓ Hotel Reservation
✓ Vaccination Certificate (2 doses) or a COVID-19 Recovery Medical Certificate
✓ A Medical Certificate of a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure.
In addition, travelers are no longer required to have COVID-19 health insurance coverage.
After completing a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival, fully vaccinated individuals may stay in their hotel of choice and are free to travel around the country if the testing result at the airport is negative.
For more information about the conditions to enter Cambodia and reservations, please feel free to contact us.
Since 19th October 2021, Cambodia has reopened its electronic visa scheme (e-visa certificate) for foreign tourists entering the country. Visa exemptions for business people and "sponsored" persons are now authorized.
BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM CAMBODIA
To those travelers needing a PCR test done a day before their departure from Cambodia, Phoenix Voyages canarrange such service with a supplement. Please contact us for more information.
The vaccination campaign has reached around 88% of the total targeted population (aged 6 years and above) in just under eight months, with more than 95% of adults being fully vaccinated. So far, around 15% of the population has received a third dose or booster dose.
These numbers put Cambodia as one of the top countries in the world for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.
Covid-19 cases have decreased in Laos. On 5th January 2022, the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has reported only a total of 836 new cases and 6 deaths across the country. To-date, Laos has 409 confirmed deaths, and 114,787 total cases.
Under the anti COVID-19 measures, contact tracing and coordination between local authorities and health officials, as well as testing and vaccinations continue.
COVID-19 prevention measures, such as temperature checks, social distancing, wearing face masks, and using hand gel, remain in place for all retail shops, minimarts, and supermarkets, as well as fresh markets and any areas of risk.
REOPENING OF THE BORDERS:
From 1st January 2022, Laos has reopened its borders to foreign travelers.
Under the three-phase reopening scheme, tourists may travel within the “Green Travel Zones”and “Green Travel Trails”, allowing them to visit provinces and cities in the country designated as “green zones.”
During this first phase, from 1st January to 30th March 2022, tourists can enter Laos on packaged tours and visit Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang Province, and Vang Vieng District in Vientiane Province.
The provinces from the “Green Travel Trails” include Oudomxay, Xayaboury, Xieng Khouang, Khammouane, and Champassak.
The conditions to enter Laos include:
✓ A COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (2 doses)
✓ A health insurance policy with a coverage of no less than USD 50,000 (EUR 45,000)
✓ A negative RT-PCR test result taken within the last 72 hours
✓ Downloaded LaoKYC and the LaoStaySafe mobile applications
Travelers will be tested again upon arrival and quarantined for 24 hours in their hotel until the test result is negative.
The second phase will be from 1st April to 30th June 2022, and the third phase from 1st July 2022.
LIST OF ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES / TERRITORIES TO ENTER LAOS IN THE FIRST PHASE
However, there are very few international flights connecting to Laos at the moment. There is only one flight Vientiane – Bangkok, and one flight Vientiane – South Korea per week. More flights should be added soon.
For more information about the conditions to enter Laos, flights, and reservations, please feel free to contact us.
BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM LAOS
To those travelers needing a PCR test done a day before their departure from Laos, Phoenix Voyages can arrange such service with a supplement. Please contact us for more information.
On 23rd December 2021, Laos received a total of 1,275,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility. This shipment consists of individual dose-sharing donations from France, Japan, Greece, and the Netherlands.
The vaccination program is currently progressing well, with at least 7,570,152 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered so far. As of 5th January 2022, the first dose vaccinations have reached 62.56% of the eligible population, while the second dose vaccinations have reached 49.65%.
Borders (land and air) are still closed to non-nationals. The ban on all international flights to Myanmar has been extended until 31st January 2022 with the exception of special and cargo flights, certain regional flights and those reserved for medical evacuations.
Issuance of visas remains suspended until 31st January 2022 except for diplomatic or special visas.
Since 1st February 2021, the Myanmar Army has seized power following a coup d'état. Restrictive measures have been adopted and telecommunications and Internet networks were disrupted. A nationwide curfew from 22h00-04h00 is in effect due to the ongoing anti-coup protests.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Myanmar, with only 191 new infections reported on average each day.
Due to the political situation in Myanmar, it is currently impossible to know the exact evolution of COVID-19 epidemic. In any case, the wearing of masks and the respect of barrier gestures as well as social distancing are required throughout the country.
VACCINES: Myanmar has administered at least 31,859,036 doses of COVID vaccines so far, meaning about 29.5% of the country’s population. During the last 2 weeks, Myanmar reported an average of about 281,334 doses administered each day.
Myanmar is aiming to vaccinate 50% of the country’s population against COVID-19 this year.
Although South Korea is still struggling with COVID-19 virus resurgence (since its fourth wave), the numbers of new cases are decreasing a bit since a few days. On 3rd January 2022, South Korea reported 3,024 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total caseload to 645,226, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). The country added 51 more deaths from COVID-19 on that day, raising the death toll to 3,705.
Since 1st November 2021, the “With Corona” scheme allows 10 to 12 people to gather socially and most businesses to operate 'round the clock’.
Under the first stage of Korea's three-phase “With Corona” strategy, the equivalent of the outside world's “With Covid” measures’, the limits on operating hours were removed for most businesses, which includes restaurants and cafes, theaters, PC bang (internet cafes), noraebang (singing rooms) and indoor sports facilities.
However, due to the number of COVID-19 cases around the country, the 1st stage of “With Corona” scheme has been temporarily suspended and the 4th grade of social distancing (the strongest restrictions all over the country) was implemented, for at least 2 weeks, meaning until 16 January 2022.
Also, a “vaccine pass” policy is conducted from 10th January until further notice. The policy is that people, who have not been vaccinated, are not able to enter most multi-use facilities (restaurants, cafés, gym, etc.), and even, for private gatherings, it is prohibited to gather more than 2 people not vaccinated. Moreover, unvaccinated people are forbidden to enter the public places.
Clubs and bars that allow dancing are required to close at midnight, and even this will be lifted in the second phase. Curfew on hagwon (cram schools), set at 9 p.m. in the greater Seoul area, was lifted since 22nd November 2021, after the Korean CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test). The greater Seoul area consists of Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon.
Social gatherings are allowed for up to 4 people all over the country, regardless of vaccination status.
Places where the virus could spread more easily require a “vaccine pass”, a “COVID health pass” system similar to those used overseas, for entry. This includes noraebang (singing room), bathhouses, indoor sports facilities, clubs and bars that allow dancing, casinos, nursing homes and senior citizen communities.
Vaccine passes can be a digital vaccine certificate from the COOV mobile application, a paper certificate or a sticker from local community service centers on ID cards. An unvaccinated person must present a negative PCR test result from the previous two days to get into those places.
People under the age of 19, those fully recovered from COVID-19 and individuals who cannot get a vaccine for medical reasons are not required to present a vaccine pass or a negative result.
Mass events, including conferences, weddings, funerals and birthday parties for one-year-old, a common Korean custom, are limited to 100 people if they include unvaccinated people. If everyone has a “vaccine pass” or a recent negative test, the cap is eased to 499 people.
South Korea K-ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)
Since 1st September 2021, South Korea has launched a Korea Electronic Travel Authorization system, known as K-ETA. It is a new electronic authorization allowing visa-free travelers to visit the country.
Foreign nationals will only be able to enter South Korea without a visa by registering for a K-ETA. Upon acquiring the waiver, visitors will be exempted from submitting arrival cards, enabling them to clear immigration quickly.
It permits eligible travelers to visit South Korea for short stays for tourism, visiting family members, or business activities. In addition, the K-ETA is valid for 2 years, allowing the holder a stay of between 30 to 180 days per entry, depending on the nationality.
Visitors must apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours before boarding the flight. Those who apply now can also use the visa waiver for future trips to South Korea.
To enter the country for purposes other than those authorized with the K-ETA or for extended consecutive stays, travelers must contact the nearest South Korean Embassy.
How to get a K-ETA
Application form: Click Here
To complete the online form, applicants need to enter basic information including:
✓ Personal details: name, nationality, date of birth
✓ Contact information: including email address
✓ Passport data: passport number, issue, and expiry date
✓ Health and security information
✓ A recent individual photo
✓ A non-refundable application fee of 10,000 KRW (about 7,5 euros) is paid using a debit or credit card to finalize the request.
On approval, the travel permit is sent to the applicant by email.
✓ For a full list of eligible countries, please Click Here
✓ All travelers must stay in quarantine for 14 days on arrival in South Korea at designated facilities (at their own expense).
✓ A negative Covid-19 test is required for all passengers no more than 72 hours before departure.
For essential information and further details, Click Here
Meanwhile, Visa exemptions (for those who still need to apply for visa) are suspended for 90 countries, so it is mandatory to apply for a visa at the Korean Embassy of your home country prior to travelling. The Korean government will authorize the visa depending on the risk of infection and the country's alert status.
All foreign nationals will be required to provide a “consent for quarantine” as well as a PCR negative confirmation issued within 72 hours of departure.
All passengers on the flight to Korea will undergo fever check at the departure airport. Boarding will be rejected for those who have fever with temperature of over 37.5'C.
As of 3rd December 2021, due to the high number of new cases every day, all passengers (both foreign and Korean nationals) entering South Korea, regardless of their vaccination history, are tested on arrival at the airport and will be quarantined for 10 days at designated facilities (at their own expense) and must download and use the government tracing app. Failure to comply with these measures could result, among other things, in the cancellation of visa or residence permit and the imposition of significant penalties. This quarantine policy is applied at least until 3rd February 2022.
Persons transiting through an airport in South Korea for no more than 24 hours are not required to be tested for Covid-19. However, they are subject to temperature control.
BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM SOUTH KOREA
To those travelers needing a PCR test done a day before their departure from South Korea, Phoenix Voyages can arrange such service with a supplement. Please contact us for more information.
South Korea is currently administering booster (3rd) shot for the people who want to take it.
The government is trying to improve the total vaccination rate. Nine out of 10 South Korean adults have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, helping the country to get closer to a goal of creating herd immunity.
A total of about 44.26 million people had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, totaling 86.3% of the country's 51.3 million population. The number of fully vaccinated people stood at 42.65 million, or 83.1% of the adult population.
As it is so dear to us, the Phoenix Voyages team is at your disposal to prepare for your clients' future trips in Asia.
The Phoenix Voyages Team