Following the end of the “Zero COVID” policy and a wave of new infections in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), several countries have implemented new COVID-related restrictions on travelers from the PRC mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau. Thus far, these restrictions mainly consist of pre-departure testing requirements, but they represent a departure from the previous global trend, which saw most countries relax or eliminate all COVID-related entry requirements.

*This post was updated with additional information on January 9 and 10, 2023.

Continue Reading More Countries Institute COVID Requirements for Travelers from China

Effective January 5, 2023, the United States will require nearly all air travelers from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong, and Macau to present a negative COVID test or documentation of recovery before boarding their departing flight, according to a press release from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The test must be taken within two days of departure. The new precaution applies regardless of the traveler’s nationality, and only individuals under age two are exempt. The move represents the first new COVID-related travel restriction imposed by the United States since the rollback of pre-travel testing requirements earlier this year. The United States joins a growing number of countries that are considering COVID-related precautions for travelers from China following the abrupt end of the PRC  government’s “Zero COVID” strategy.

Continue Reading United States Imposes COVID Testing Requirements on Travelers from China

Effective October 1, 2022, Singapore will only require certain applicants for work pass renewals to be fully vaccinated. Specifically, only Work Permit and S Pass holders employed in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors, or those staying in dormitories, will be required to be fully vaccinated to apply for renewal passes. All applicants for new passes must continue to be fully vaccinated. The announcement from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is expected to ease the renewal process for many MOM pass holders.

Continue Reading Singapore Updates COVID Vaccination Requirements for Work Passes

*This blog was originally posted on September 9, 2022. It has been updated with additional information on September 26, 2022.

Effective September 29, 2022, Taiwan will fully reinstate visa-exempt travel authorization for all previously eligible foreign nationals. The move represents one of Taiwan’s most significant steps toward normalizing international travel procedures and reflects a growing trend toward relaxing entry restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. While COVID-related entry requirements remain relatively strict in East Asia compared to the rest of the world, countries including Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have begun rolling back obstacles to international travel.  

Continue Reading Taiwan to Fully Restore Visa-Free Entry

On August 24, 2022, Singapore’s Ministry of Health announced a relaxation of the country’s COVID-related entry restrictions for international travelers. Specifically, as of August 29, travelers who are not fully vaccinated are no longer required to complete a seven-day home isolation period after arrival or complete post-arrival PCR testing. Singapore’s announcement is part of a recent rollback of COVID-19 entry requirements by various countries in East Asia, including Japan and South Korea.  

Continue Reading Singapore Relaxes COVID-19 Entry Requirements

On September 1, 2022, the Chilean government announced a reduction of entry requirements for visitors entering Chile, including eliminating the requirement of the International Travelers Affidavit and vaccine standardization.

Entry Requirements Reduced for Visitors

As countries around the world have begun to loosen or even eliminate entry requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has maintained comparatively stringent restrictions on entry by foreign nationals. However, the Japanese government is increasingly easing these restrictions, allowing larger numbers of foreign nationals to enter the country through several different visa pathways. While major restrictions remain in place, foreign nationals seeking to enter Japan now have greater opportunity to do so than at any point in the last two years.

Continue Reading Japan Begins Easing COVID Entry Restrictions for Foreign Nationals

On June 10, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the rescission of the Order titled “Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving in the United States from any Foreign Country.” This rescission takes effect for flights departing

Effective June 1, 2022, the Italian government has lifted all COVID-related entry requirements for international travelers. Under the new rules, travelers are no longer required to conduct pre- or post-arrival testing, complete pre-departure registration, or demonstrate proof of vaccination. The elimination of COVID-related entry requirements makes Italy part of a growing number of countries that have loosened or eliminated COVID-related entry requirements on international travelers, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.

Continue Reading Italy Eliminates All COVID-Related Entry Requirements

Effective May 23, 2022, South Korea has loosened its pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements for foreign nationals. Specifically, foreign nationals seeking to enter the country can now present either a negative PCR test or a supervised rapid antigen test (RAT). Previously, only PCR tests were accepted. The RAT must be conducted by a health care provider such as a hospital or clinic; at-home RATs are not accepted. South Korea’s move represents another incremental relaxation of the country’s COVID-19 entry requirements and follows the easing of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers in April.

Continue Reading South Korea Updates COVID-19 Entry Requirements