Travel Bans That You Need To Be Aware Of

Xceltrip|5 min read|Mar 31, 2020

The European Union on Tuesday introduced temporary restrictions on nonessential travel to and from the EU, as part of its efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Monday.

This follows the United States’ decision to suspend travel into the US from 28 European countries.

With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic last week, countries around the world have been revising their entry policies.

Below are the restrictions in place at some key destinations. We’ll be updating this story as the situation develops.

The European Union

Following a meeting Tuesday, members of the European Council along with the ECB President, the President of the Eurogroup and the High Representative agreed to reinforce the EU’s external borders by restricting nonessential travel to the EU for 30 days.

There will be some exemptions, including family members of European nationals, essential staff such as doctors and nurses, and people transporting goods to the European Union. Citizens who need to get to their home countries will also be exempt from the closed borders.

United States

On Saturday, US Vice President Mike Pence announced that travel from the UK and Ireland will be suspended starting Monday night.

This is in addition to the previous US ban applying to the 26 countries in the Schengen Area free movement zone: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Trump said last week that there would be “exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.”

Later, guidance issued from the Department of Homeland Security clarified the ban did not apply to American citizens or their family members.

The US already has other restrictions in place.

Passengers who’ve been in China and Iran in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter.

US citizens who’ve been in China in the past 14 days can enter the US, but will be directed via one 11 airports where they’ll undergo health screening. The airports include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.

President Trump confirmed on Twitter on March 18 that Canada and the United States will close their border to non-essential traffic.

In the US state of Hawaii, Governor David Ige asked at a news conference on March 17 that travelers reconsider their vacation plans. He said:

“I am strongly encouraging our guests to postpone their vacations for at least the next 30 days and reschedule it for a later date.”

Residents of California, the nation’s most populous state, have been ordered to stay home.

The US State Department issued a worldwide Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory on March 19.

A ban on non-essential travel across the US-Mexico border will be announced March 20, said Chad Wolf, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary, on March 19.


Argentina is in lockdown. Residents are allowed to leave for basic needs such grocery shopping or doctor’s appointments but police will be patrolling the streets and those without a valid reason to be outside will be penalized.


From 9 p.m. on March 20, Australia will no longer allow entry to non-Australian citizens or residents, unless they are direct family members of Australians, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Wednesday.

He added that people with travel plans to Australia should use these next 24 hours to make alternative arrangements.

Australians overseas can still return to the country, but will be subject to a 14-day isolation upon arrival.

On March 18, Morrison declared a “human biosecurity emergency” and announced new restrictions, including an upgraded travel advice to Level 4 — meaning “do not travel.”

He added that this travel restriction is because the biggest risk comes from imported cases — “Australians returning from overseas.”


Austria has introduced border checks and placed a ban on all arrivals from Italy, China’s Hubei Province, Iran and South Korea, with the exception of those with a medical certificate no more than four days old that confirms they are not affected by coronavirus.

However, travel through Austria is possible, as long as no stops are made in the country.


International and national flights into Bolivia will be suspended starting March 20. The country’s borders will be closed from March 19, with only Bolivian citizens, residents, and trade allowed to enter.


Starting March 17, Cambodia has imposed a ban on foreign nationals arriving from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US for 30 days.


Canada will deny entry to people who are not Canadian citizens, US citizens or permanent residents, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a news conference in Ottawa on March 16.

President Trump confirmed on Twitter on March 18 that Canada and the United States will close their border to non-essential traffic.

Cape Verde

On March 17, Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva announced a three-week suspension of all incoming flights from Portugal and all EU countries affected by the pandemic, and from the US, Brazil, Senegal and Nigeria. The exception is for flights with returning citizens.


All passengers arriving in Beijing from destinations abroad must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities. This process will be at the traveller’s own expense.

Meanwhile, international business travellers are required to stay at a select number of designated hotels in Beijing where they will be tested for the virus. They will not be allowed to leave until their test results have been returned.

Countrywide, passengers arriving from Iran, Italy, Japan or Korea and traveling to Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai are subject to quarantine for 14 days.

Shanghai has listed 12 countries from which arriving travellers will be quarantined for 14 days.

“From now on, all travellers who have been in South Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium will have to self-quarantine for 14 days,” said a statement from the city’s municipal government.

On March 19, Chinese authorities announced that some Beijing-bound international flights will be diverted to nearby cities for health screenings in the coming days.

Passengers will clear immigration and customs at their first point of entry and only those deemed healthy will be allowed to board the same aircraft again to fly to Beijing.


Colombia is denying entry to people who are not Colombian citizens, permanent residents or diplomats.


Apart from Croatian nationals, passengers and airline crew who have been in China’s Hubei Province, Germany’s Heinsberg County, Iran, Italy, or South Korea’s Daegu City and Cheongdo province in the past 14 days will be placed in quarantine for 14 days. Nationals will be required to self-isolate.

Other than Croatian nationals, passengers and airline crew who have been in all other regions of China and South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Czech Republic

On March 12, the Czech Republic declared a 30-day state of emergency and barred entry to non-residents from coronavirus-affected countries, as well as partially closing its borders. Outbound travel to high-risk countries is also banned.

The ban applies to visitors from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Norway, Denmark and France, and will come into force on Saturday, state broadcaster Radio Prague International reported in a tweet



A border closure is in effect in Denmark until April 13. Danish citizens and those transporting goods will still be able to enter the country.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the measures, saying: “We are in uncharted territory. We are doing something we’ve not done before.’ Adding ‘I’m sure we’ll get through this together.”


Egypt will suspend all flights in and out of Egyptian airports for two weeks starting March 19, state media reported.


EU citizens will no longer be allowed to travel to Germany by plane or ship from Austria, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark unless there is an “urgent reason to travel” , a statement by the interior ministry reads.

Travelers coming from an EU country may only land at a German airport if they are traveling from their original destination to their home country.

Germany reimposed border controls with Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg on March 15.


Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Twitter on March 1 that the country wouldn’t be accepting any new asylum applications for at least one month due to the coronavirus outbreak. This move was to “increase the level of deterrence” at the country’s borders “to the maximum.”


Beginning midnight local time on March 16, Haiti is suspending flights from Europe, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Latin America for the next two weeks, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe announced on Twitter.

Flights from the United States will still be permitted, “after an agreement with American authorities,” Jouthe tweeted.

Hong Kong

Starting March 19, Hong Kong will require all arriving travelers from foreign countries to be quarantined for 14 days at home.

The city will also issue a red outbound travel alert on all foreign countries with the exception of mainland China, Taiwan, and Macao, she said. The new measures will apply to both residents and non-residents.

Currently, Hong Kong requires anyone traveling from mainland China to the city to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.


Hungary has closed its borders to non-nationals.


All travelers from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom are banned from entering India from midnight March 18 local time.

Currently, all tourist visas are suspended and a 14-day quarantine is enforced on all travelers, including returning Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.


Apart from Indonesian nationals and residents, passengers and airline crew who have been in China, or affected regions of Italy, South Korea and Iran in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Indonesia.


Passengers arriving as tourists are not allowed to enter via airports in the following areas: Alessandria, Asti, Lombardy, Modena, Novara, Padova, Parma, Pesaro and Urbino, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Treviso-Venice, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli.


Japan is banning entry on passengers who have been in affected regions of China, South Korea or Italy within the last 14 days. Japanese nationals are exempt, as are their spouses and children, if the relations are verified.

Citizens are advised not to travel to all of Iceland, as well as some provinces of Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.


Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar al Razaz on Saturday announced the suspension of all air travel of incoming and outgoing into the kingdom starting March 17 until further notice with the exception of air cargo.

Razaz announced the closure of all the land, sea and air borders to travelers except the members of diplomatic missions and international organizations who will be exempt as long as they abide by the Ministry of Health stipulations for the 14 days of self-quarantine.


Laos has closed all land borders and suspended visa-on-arrival and e-visa application, Lao News Agency reports.


The Macau government has introduced several measures including denying entry to visitor who have been to China’s Hubei province within the past two weeks, unless they can provide a medical certificate stating they have not been infected with coronavirus.

Travelers who have visited South Korea, Italy or Iran in the 14 days prior to their arrival are required to undertake a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue.

Those who’ve traveled to Germany, France, Spain and Japan within 14 days of arriving will need to submit to a medical examination as well as a 14-day medical observation at a designated venue.

Residents of Macau currently in any of the affected areas will be requested to self isolate for two weeks upon their return.


From March 18, citizens will be banned from traveling abroad, with foreign tourists and visitors restricted from entering the country.


A ban on non-essential travel across the US-Mexico border will be announced March 20, said Chad Wolf, US Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary, on March 19.


Morocco has decided to suspend all international flights to and from its territory “until further notice” as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus, its Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday.

It came a day after the North African kingdom said it was suspending all flights to and from Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium. It was not immediately clear if the suspension went into immediate effect.

New Zealand

Starting the night of March 19, New Zealand will ban any foreign citizens from entering the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in a news conference on Wednesday.

The travel ban will now apply to those coming from the Pacific Islands, who had previously been exempt from restrictions.

It will also close off travel between New Zealand and Australia for the majority of citizens in the two countries, who are typically able to travel back and forth without a visa.

“A small number of exemptions to the new measures can be sought for humanitarian reasons, essential health workers and citizens of Samoa and Tonga who need to travel to New Zealand for essential reasons,” Ardern said.

New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children traveling with them may also return.


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control tweeted March 18 that the Nigerian government is “restricting entry into the country” for travelers from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the US, Norway, the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Visas on arrival would also be suspended for travelers from these countries.

The restrictions will come into effect on March 20. The center tweeted, “All travelers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by NCDC and Port Health Services.”


Anyone traveling to Norway from outside the Nordic region must self-isolate for two weeks, according to the Norwegian Health Directorate. The restrictions put in place March 12 are scheduled to last until March 26.


Starting March 16, Peru is temporarily suspending flights from and to Europe and Asia for a 30-day period.


The Philippines has been placed under a state of calamity for six months.

The airline Cebu Pacific is canceling all flights — domestic and international — from March 19 through April 14.

In Luzon, the archipelago’s largest island, all mass public transportation has been suspended.


Nationals of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran and Italy are now allowed in Russia, but exemptions are made for airline crew and foreign nationals resident in Russia.

Passengers who have been in China, France, Germany, South Korea or Spain and are planning to stay in Moscow must report themselves to the authorities by phone and stay self-isolated for 14 days.

Russia will close its border with Belarus because of the pandemic, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said March 16, following the earlier closure of its land border with China.


National airline RwandAir is suspending all flights for 30 days, beginning midnight on March 20.


Samoa requires all arrivals, including residents, to undergo a medical examination within three days before arrival.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia will shut down all domestic flights and public transportation — including buses, taxis and trains — for 14 days starting from March 21, the country’s state news agency SPA reported.

The country has already suspended all international flights for two weeks beginning March 15.


All travelers entering the country will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine starting March 21.

Visitors will also be required to provide proof of the place where they will serve the quarantine.

Rules banning entry for travelers who have been in France, Germany, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea and Spain will continue to be enforced.

The Ministry of Health announced on March 18 that all Singaporeans “are advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect.”

South Africa

On March 20, South African Airways announced that it’s suspending all international flights until May 31, 2020.

South Korea

Visitors who have been in China’s Hubei Province in the past 14 days, and passport holders from that region, are not permitted entry.

Korean visas issued by the Wuhan Consulate in the Hubei Province are invalidated, as are visas issued to nationals of Japan (at Korean Diplomatic Missions in Japan) before March 9, 2020. This does not apply to airline crew.

All visitors are to undergo a temperature check when entering the country. Those exhibiting symptoms will be required to take a diagnostic test and quarantine for 14 days.

South Korea says it will test every person entering the country from Europe for coronavirus, starting March 22, the country’s health ministry has announced.


A state of emergency has been declared in Spain and strict lockdown policies including restrictions on travel in and out of the country are in place.

Borders between Spain and Portugal are closed, leaving only nine active crossings open to allow for the transit of products and workers who are required to cross the border.


All travelers entering Singapore with recent travel history to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days will be issued with a 14-day “Stay-Home Notice” and will have to provide proof of the place where they will stay.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has suspended all flights arriving into the country for two weeks, effective midnight on March 18.


Taiwan is banning entry to foreign nationals, except those with resident, diplomatic or business credentials or others with special permission, the island’s Epidemic Central Command Center announced on March 18.

Travelers coming to the island will be subject to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine. The restrictions will go into effect on March 19.


Thailand will require health certificates for all incoming travelers, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on March 19.

Airlines will need to check if passengers have recent travel histories to certain high-risk areas, a health certificate issued within 72 hours stating that the passenger is not at risk of infection, and proof of medical insurance covering at least $100,000.

Thailand has suspended its visa exemption policies for travelers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy, while visa on arrival has been stopped for 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China.

Under the new measures, travelers must apply for visas in advance and present a medical certificate proving they are free of coronavirus. Travelers arriving from countries with ongoing local transmission must allow the government’s tracking app to be installed on their phones.


Turkey has halted travel to and from nine European countries: Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. Nationals of those countries are not allowed to enter the country.

Passengers who have transited through or been in Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, South Korea or Sweden in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or transit through Turkey.

Turkish nationals and residents are exempt.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has suspended issuing all tourist visas and most work permits, and entry is also denied to residency visa holders.

Earlier this week, the UAE also suspended issuing all tourist visas and most work permits.

UAE nationals in the country are temporarily banned from traveling abroad.

United Kingdom

On March 19, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Borish Johnson said there was “zero prospect” of any restrictions on travel in and out of London, and that there were “no plans” to shut down its transport network. However, the city’s transport authority had already closed parts of London’s Tube network, and the government did not rule out introducing further social distancing measures in the coming days.


Ukraine International Airlines has suspended all international scheduled flights starting March 17 through March 31, following the Ukraine’s government decision to temporarily ban entry to people who are not Ukraine citizens or residents.


Travelers who have been in the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area, plus the UK, within the past 14 days will not be permitted to enter or transit through Vietnam.

Visas upon arrival will also no longer be issued for all foreign nationals, according to a government statement issued Saturday.


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