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COVID-19/Coronavirus - limits on travel between SE Asian countries?

Posted by rachledez on 25/2/2020 at 10:30

Hey everyone,

I'm flying out to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, and my itinerary over the following three months currently looks like this:

Malaysia > Thailand > Laos > Vietnam > Cambodia > Philippines

I've checked the FCO advice for each of these countries and can see that I'm currently fine to travel, but I wondered if there are currently restrictions on the borders of any of these countries for people who have been to any of the previous countries on my list?

For example, are Vietnam/Cambodia/Philippines restricting entry for people who have just visited Malaysia/Thailand/Laos?

Any guidance appreciated :)

#1 rachledez has been a member since 9/7/2019. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 4

Posted by DLuek on 26/2/2020 at 11:32 TF writer

No restrictions for travel between those countries, at this time.

The greater concern is that, if there ends up being an outbreak in one or more of those countries over the next few months, the UK could require quarantine for all travellers entering (or re-entering) the country who have travelled over here. Or it could ban travel from certain countries outright, but UK citizens would be allowed entry after quarantine in that case. Other thing to think about is where you're transiting -- if it's Japan, South Korea or other countries that have been more heavily affected, you might face quarantine both when entering SE Asian countries and when returning to the UK.

Israel and UAE have issued bans on travellers entering from Thailand, but UK and others have not. Personally I think any decision to ban travel from Thailand is an overreaction at this point. The situation out here is a bit hard to gauge b/c nobody really trusts these governments to adequately test for infections or report them in a transparent way. But based on the numbers that have been released, infections in SE Asia have not constituted anything close to a serious outbreak. The exception appeared to be Singapore, although they seem to have it under control with very few new infections reported in last few days and more than half of total infected already recovered and discharged from hospital.

Here in Bangkok, I've seen no credible evidence that the number of infections is significantly higher than what's been reported. I would however assume that infection numbers are at least somewhat higher than officially released numbers in all of these countries.

Some international, domestic and inter-region flights may be cancelled, but as of now that's due to lack of demand rather than travel bans or other official health guidelines. You should also give your travel insurance company a call to see what their policy is regarding Covid-19 while travelling in the region.

Travel/tourism-wise, the region remains very much open for business and the money you spend here will be much appreciated.

#2 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,348

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