Despite initial fears regarding Omicron, most of our destinations have only experienced a mild surge in cases. In light of this, Thailand has reinstated its popular Test & Go scheme. Additionally, Vietnam and Indonesia have made clear their intentions to reopen by Q2 this year. Overall, Asia continues to accelerate its reopening.
2022 BOOKING RECOMMENDATIONS
COUNTRIES OPEN FOR TOURISM
Thailand is fully open for travel without quarantine for vaccinated guests. Furthermore, the country has just reinstated the popular Test & Go scheme with a few notable changes: 1. it now applies to ALL fully vaccinated travelers (previously only ‘COVID-safe’ ones 2. a second PCR test will be required on day 5. For both the PCR test upon arrival and on day 5, guests will need to remain in their hotel while waiting for results to come back. Afterwards, they are free to explore Thailand unimpeded. Read more about Thailand’s Reopening here.
Cambodia is fully open to vaccinated travelers without quarantine. Guests need only have a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to departure to Cambodia, a negative RTK test upon arrival and health insurance covering $50,000. Once these conditions are met, they are free to explore all of Cambodia. Furthermore, daily international flights between Singapore and Siem Reap, the access point to Angkor, have resumed, making it easier for to access for visitors. Overall, Cambodia is now the easiest country in Southeast Asia to visit. Read more about Cambodia’s Reopening here.
Laos is officially open for tourism. Currently in Phase 1 of a 3-phase ‘Lao Travel Green Zone Plan’, fully vaccinated travelers from 30 countries (listed below) may now enter Vientiane and, after a 24h quarantine, explore ‘Green Zones’ of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng before being able to explore ‘Green Trails’ including Oudomxay, Xataboury, Xieng Khouang, Khammouane and Champasak. More details below. . Read more about Laos’ reopening here.
Singapore has reinstated their Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme allowing fully vaccinated visitors from select countries to enter and explore the country after a PCR test upon arrival. Read more about Singapore’s reopening here.
Malaysia is open to fully vaccinated travelers from all countries with a ‘Sandbox-style’ entry scheme called the Langkawi International Travel Bubble (LITB). In it, visitors can enter the island of Langkawi for a minimum stay of 3 days, with no quarantine. After 7 days in Langkawi and a second PCR test, guests are then free to explore the rest of Malaysia. This pilot reopening is expected to operate for three months, at which point success will be evaluated and potentially lead to a full reopening. Below are the requirements as they are currently. These may change in the weeks ahead, so please check back to stay up to date with the latest information.. Learn more about Malaysia’s Reopening here.
Indonesia is technically open for tourism. Although there still are still no commercial flights available to Bali, only to Jakarta and Manado, there has been some positive momentum recently. The length of quarantine has been reduced from 10 days to 7 days, and the ban on 14 countries previously associated with Omicron including France and other African nations has been lifted. Additionally, there are rumours going around that the quarantine period will be further reduced to 5 days 4 nights, and Singapore Airlines will resume international flights to Bali mid-February. These details are not official and should not be depended upon, however. Read more about Indonesia’s reopening here.
NOT YET OPEN FOR TOURISM
Due to the Omicron variant, Japan remains closed for tourism until further notice and reopening plans have been delayed. It is expected they will review the situation again in February. We will reach out with further details as they arise.
A phased reopening plan allowing vaccinated travelers to enter Phu Quoc Island, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Danang, and Halong Bay under a ‘Sandbox-style’ scheme is currently underway, allowing visitors quarantine-free travel. In the first phase would allow 2-3,000 monthly visitors arriving by chartered flight to enter and explore the five destinations. The second phase would begin January 2022 and would raise this number to 5-10,000 visitors who can then enter via commercial flights and, after 7 days in the ‘sandbox’ destination, can then explore other ‘sandbox’ destinations. In both phases, visitors will mostly be traveling for essential reasons, so this isn’t quite the return of tourism we are hoping for, but details are subject to change based on how conditions play out over the coming months. There have also been talks of a vaccine passports with he UK, although nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet. Realistically, we don’t expect a substantial opening of the country to tourism until Q2 2022, though plans are definitely gaining momentum. We will reach out with further details as they arise.
Myanmar has recently announced aspirations to reopen to vaccinated travelers in early 2022, though details remain scant at this point and, of course, the political situation provides complications for travel of their own. Turbulence in the country, however, has mostly simmered down. We remain in close contact with our staff on the ground there, all of whom have been vaccinated. For those curious about the situation on the ground in Myanmar, we update this blog regularly with news.
If you have guests considering travel to Asia before then, keep in mind that we’re offering flexibility for bookings to be changed or cancelled free of charge up to 14 days before arrival. So feel free and confident to make bookings for travel to Asia, particularly during periods of moderate or low likelihood of impacts from COVID.