Travel restrictions

Snapshot: Countries ease travel restrictions in bid to revive tourism industry

As Hong Kong remains closed to tourists, various countries including the UK, US, Thailand and Japan are easing travel restrictions in a bid to revive their tourism industries hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here is a list of popular destinations and their travel policies.

From March 18, travelers to the UK no longer need to be tested or quarantined, whether vaccinated or not. Tourists do not need to declare travel details and vaccination records upon entry.

United States
The United States has lifted previous travel bans, but visitors must have received two doses of a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) 14 days before leaving. Travelers do not need to quarantine, but must provide a negative result or proof of recovery 24 hours prior to entry.

As of April 1, Canada does not require visitors to be tested if they have received two doses of a government-approved Covid-19 vaccine 14 days before departure. Visitors should always provide personal information through the Canadian government’s “ArriveCAN” website or app. Passengers may be randomly sampled for nucleic acid testing upon arrival.

Australia allows visa holders who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with an Australian government-approved vaccine to be exempt from quarantine by providing negative rapid test results within 24 hours of departure, or a negative nucleic acid test result within 72 hours of departure. The policy began on February 21.

European Union
From March 1, passengers traveling to any of the 27 member states of the European Union must have received two doses of a WHO-approved vaccine between 14 and 270 days before entry. Those who have been infected with Covid-19 and have recovered within 180 days of entry may be exempt from quarantine and testing.

New Zealand
From May, visitors from the UK, USA, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and other countries or regions that have visa-free agreements with New Zealand will not be quarantined upon arrival. But they must provide negative test results and undergo two rapid tests in the first week after arrival.

From April 1, fully vaccinated travelers to Thailand can apply for a quarantine-free entry visa and are not required to be tested before arrival. Travelers can be exempted from quarantine if they test negative twice upon arrival and on the fifth day after entry.

On April 8, Japan lifted entry restrictions to 106 countries or regions, allowing people traveling for business, study or employment to apply for entry visas. However, tourists are still not allowed to enter the country.

For now, Hong Kong remains closed to tourists. Only vaccinated residents are allowed to return from foreign countries. Returning residents must stay in quarantine hotels for at least seven days.

Arrivals will be required to undergo a Covid-19 test at Hong Kong International Airport and quarantine.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests will be performed on the 5th and 12th day of quarantine. Those who test positive with a RAT or PCR test will be sent to a designated isolation facility.