With the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, international flights got temporarily banned, leaving no choice to travelers all over the world but to stay where they are. Things aren’t exactly getting better, but the increase of cases and mortality rate has become relatively slower as compared to the first few months of quarantine. Given the comparatively finer situation, airlines have found their own compromises in order to make travelling in the sky much safer, while, of course, preventing the spread of the virus from one place to another.
Here are the countries that released their updated lists of travel restrictions for passenger flights on the third week of October.
Updated: October 21, 2020
Only the foreign nationals, Overseas Filipino Workers, permanent visa holders, and students enrolled abroad and participants accepted in exchange visitor programs, shall be allowed to exit the Philippines.
The requirements that are also important to be noted for outbound Filipinos effective October 21, 2020, are confirmed round-trip tickets; travel and health insurance to cover travel disruptions and hospitalization in case of COVID-19 infections during their allowable period of stay abroad; Bureau of Immigration Declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including risk of delay in their return trip; A NEGATIVE test result taken within 24 hours before departure, in accordance to the guidelines and protocols as may be issued by DOH or whenever required by the country of destination, a negative test result taken in accordance with the health and safety protocols of the destination country.
Updated: October 12, 2020
The Chinese government asks for the Chinese and foreign travelers who are to fly from the Philippines to China take Nucleic Acid Tests and Serum Antibody Test for COVID-19 within 3 days (72 hours) before boarding and only those who test negative will be allowed to board the plane.
For Chinese passengers, each person will get a green health code with an “HS” mark in advance through Wechat (mini program COVID-19 Prevention Health Code International Version). This health code has a validity period and will turn gray when expired. Passport or other travel document number (with some digits in the middle replaced by asterisks) shown on the top of the above-mentioned health code can be used to verify whether a passenger is presenting his or her own code. For foreign travelers, each person will apply and get a Certified Health Declaration Form from the Chinese Embassy or Consulates. The samples of the green health code with “HS” mark and the Health Declaration Form are attached below for your reference.
For passengers ultimately bound for China who transfer via other countries, the above-mentioned procedures for checking health codes or the Certified Health Declaration Forms should also be strictly followed. Otherwise, they may not be allowed to board the connecting flight.
Updated: October 19, 2020
The Government also posted a revised Gazette Notice (GN) under Cap 599H, to add the France and Russia as listed specified places, with effect from October 26, 2020.
Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States of America; are also the other countries listed as specified places.
Head on to the Government’s thematic webpage for more details. (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/high-risk-places.html).
Updated: October 20, 2020
While passengers from New Zealand can enter Australia without having to undergo quarantine, passengers from Australia coming to New Zealand will still be strictly controlled.
The requirements and eligibility to enter New Zealand are not affected by the announcement from the Australian government.
Updated: October 21, 2020
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance, strongly recommending the “wearing of face masks while on public conveyances and at stations, ports, and similar transportation hubs”, last October 19, 2020.
The CDC strongly recommended that appropriate masks be worn by all passengers in air transportation, and by all airline personnel while on an aircraft and within an airport. The CDC also recommended that carriers refuse boarding to anyone not wearing a mask and require all people onboard, whether passengers or airline employees, to wear masks for the duration of travel except when people are eating, drinking, or taking medication; if unconscious, incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance; and when necessary to temporarily remove the mask to verify one’s identity such as during Transportation Security Administration screening or when asked to do so by the ticket or gate agent or any law enforcement official.
However, the use of masks may be exempted for children under the age of 2 (masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2); persons with written instructions from a licensed medical provider to not wear a mask; persons with a disability, mental health condition, or sensory sensitivity that prevents that person from wearing a mask; person who is hearing impaired, or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication; persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations; and persons operating or essential to operating a conveyance for whom wearing a mask would interfere with that person’s ability to safely operate the conveyance.
Updated: October 20, 2020
All passengers, who have travel history to India, Indonesia or the Philippines within the last 14 days prior to entry into or transit/transfer through Singapore, will be required to take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before their departure. This is effective on October 19, 2020,
A valid NEGATIVE COVID-19 PCR test result is required to be presented to be allowed to board. Airlines operators are assigned to check these. The test result memo or certificate must be from recognized laboratories in India, Indonesia and the Philippines that are internationally accredited or recognized by the respective governments. It must also be in English, and state the following: the test result, the date that the test was taken, and the name, date of birth, nationality and passport number of the passenger as indicated in his/her passport.
Updated: October 19, 2020
The Minister of Law and Human Rights (MOLHR) has issued MOLHR Regulation No. 26 of 2020 on Visa and Stay Permit in the New Normal.
Foreign nationals holding a legal and valid Visa and/or Stay Permit will be allowed to enter the Indonesian Territory through designated Immigration Border Controls after undergoing the health protocol procedure.
Visa and/or Stay Permit consist of the official visa, diplomatic visa, visitor visa, temporary stay visa, official stay permit, diplomatic stay permit, temporary stay permit, and permanent stay permit.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card holder and Traditional Border Crossing pass/card holders will be allowed to enter Indonesia.
The Minister temporarily suspends to grant a Visitor Visa exemption and Visa on Arrival to foreign nationals (non-Indonesian nationals) until the Covid-19 pandemic is declared over by the ministry or agency mitigating the Covid-19 outbreak.
The temporary suspension of Visitor Visa Exemption is not applicable for crew members arriving by their transports, while the Diplomatic Visa and Official Visa exemption are arranged by the minister administering government affairs in foreign affairs.
Visitor Visa is a single-entry Visitor Visa for the following purposes of an emergency and essential work; a business meeting; purchase of goods; a probationary period for foreign workers; a medical, food, and humanitarian aid worker; and a crew member who joins the vessel in Indonesia
Temporary Stay Visa may be granted to a non-Indonesian national for work activities as a professional or expert; someone who joins to work on ships, on vessels, or installations operating in the Indonesian maritime zone, territorial sea, continental shelf, and Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone; whose job is quality control of goods or products; who conducts workplace inspections and audit; whose work with an after-sales service; who installs and repairs machine; someone with a non-permanent work in constructions; and someone with a probationary period for skilled works.
For non-work activities, activities concerning a foreign investment, a family reunion, and retirement travel are allowed.
Visitor Visa and Temporary Stay Visa requires a Visa Approval from the Director General of Immigration and a Sponsor. A Sponsor is an individual or a Corporation responsible for the residency and activities of a Foreign National while residing in the Indonesian Territory.
To obtain a Visa Approval from the Director-General of Immigration, a Sponsor must make an online application in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations by completing: a health certificate in English declaring a free from Covid-19 by a competent authority at their home country; a declaration letter in English consented to do a mandatory self-isolation or undertake a medical treatment at an accommodation or a designated health facility by the Indonesian government at the traveler’s own expense when a PCR check upon arrival by the health authority at ports of entry results in a positive with the Covid-19 or with symptoms in accordance with the health protocol and provisions of law and regulations; a consent letter to be monitored during the quarantine or self-isolation in accordance with the health protocol and provisions of law and regulations; and a health insurance or travel insurance covering medical expenses, and/or a declaration letter of medical treatment at own expenses, if contracted with the Covid-19 during their stay in Indonesia.
In addition, a Sponsor must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds of at least US$10,000 to support their living expenses during stay in Indonesia.
Foreign nationals holding an expired Visa Approval or expired Visa must make a new visa application in accordance with the provisions of laws and regulations.
Updated: October 22, 2020
In accordance with the epidemic prevention and control requirements, Air China will suspend the transport of passengers from the Philippines to China via a third country from 00:00 Beijing time on October 22, 2020.
If you have purchased a ticket from the Philippines to China via a third country before October 21, 2020 (inclusive), and the flight from the third country to China is carried by Air China, you are eligible for a free refund before the flight takes off.
Updated: October 19, 2020
Travelers can go from New Zealand to Australia, quarantine-free, if the travelers have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated hotspot, and the travelers are travelling to Australia on a quarantine-free flight, effective October 16, 2020.
Travelers should not travel if you are feeling unwell or have signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
Travelers do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia quarantine-free if they meet the above criteria but will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia. If eligible, they will be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival.
Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand will initially be to New South Wales and the Northern Territory only. Other states and territories may be added later.
Travelling from New Zealand to Australia
Passengers that have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more prior to travel do not need to apply for an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions. On the other hand, passengers that have been in New Zealand for less than 14 days require a travel exemption to travel to Australia. This includes passengers who are transiting New Zealand to Australia.
Passengers arriving in New South Wales or the Northern Territory may travel to locations in those states. For other states and territories, travelers should check local requirements prior to travelling there as other states and territories may still require travelers from a green zone to quarantine on arrival.
Updated: October 21, 2020
Effective October 22, 2020, all passengers, regardless nationality with connecting flights via Air China (CA) coming from the Philippines will NOT be accepted for CA flights until further notice.
For Non-Japanese Nationals Including Filipinos With New Japan Visa/Sticker On Passport
For seafarers, pre-entry test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure is required. For non-seafarers, a New Japan visa, as well as a re-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, are required.
For Non-Japanese Nationals Including Filipinos Holding Re-Entry Permit
For Non-Japanese holding a re-entry permit as well as Filipinos who departed Japan before August 31, 2020, a re-entry permit, a letter of confirmation of after submitting Required documentation for Re-entry to Japan (Attachment 7-2) and a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, are needed.
For Non-Japanese holding re-entry permit and passengers who possess Receipt for request for re-entry and departed Japan on and after September 01, 2020; a re-entry permit, a receipt for request for re-entry (Attachment 8) (cc), and a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure (Attachment 7-2) or letter for guidance or re-entry (Attachment 9-2); are needed.
For Non-Japanese holding re-entry permit who do NOT have a Receipt for request for re-entry and departed Japan ON and AFTER September 01, 2020, they need a re-entry permit, a letter of confirmation after submitting the Required documentation for Re-entry into Japan, a pre-entry PCR test negative certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure, and documents certifying the need for humanitarian consideration or the presence of public interest (No need for foreign nationals who already have a Letter of Confirmation of Submitting the Required Documentation for Re-entry into Japan)