Inspiration

A Complete Guide to Where You Can Travel in Asia Now, Including Each Country’s Covid Rules

From newly open Laos to coming-soon Japan, the atolls of the Maldives to the temples of Thailand, here are the rules (or not) for where and how you can get back to Asia.

Singapore Waterfront

Singapore Waterfront. Photo by Baxternator/Getty Images Signature/Canva

By Alison Fox

May 23, 2022

ASIA IN GENERAL HAS been more cautious than Europe, for example, in welcoming back tourism. But now, just in time for summer travel season, it seems Asia is flinging open its doors, and many countries now have minimal Covid-related arrival rules in place.

It’s true: some countries have yet to welcome visitors back, and others maintain strict testing and contact tracing efforts for tourists. So we’ve put together this comprehensive guide of where you can travel now in Asia, including each country’s Covid restrictions and entry rules — if any. Beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, amazing culture and so much awesome food await!

Bangladesh

Amiakhum Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bangladesh
Amiakhum Waterfall. Photo by ZHC_Anando/Getty Images/Canva

Fully vaccinated travelers to Bangladesh are exempt from pre-arrival testing, while unvaccinated travelers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure. Children under 12 are exempt from testing.

All travelers must complete a Passenger Health Declaration Form within three days of arrival in the country. Check with the embassy in your country regarding visa requirements.

Brunei

The Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
The Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan. Photo by urf/Getty Images/Canva

This tiny Sultanate in Southeast Asia is open to travel for tourists who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the government. Travelers must arrive with a PCR test taken within two days of their departure or a rapid test taken within one day of their departure, submit an E-Health Arrival Declaration Form within 24 hours of their trip, download and register on the BruHealth App, and have a sponsoring agency or family member apply for an Entry Travel Pass. Travelers who contracted Covid-19 and recovered within 90 days of their trip are exempt from pre-arrival testing.

Upon arrival, travelers will be given rapid testing kits for purchase and must take a test on the day of their arrival, on day 2, and then again on day 3. Travelers who test negative on their arrival test will be exempt from self isolation. Travelers who contracted Covid-19 and recovered within 90 days of their trip only have to undergo a rapid test on the day of their arrival.

Travelers must also have proof of travel medical insurance that includes Covid-19 coverage of at least BN$50,000 (just over US$35,900).

Cambodia

Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat. Photo by KulikovaN/Getty Images Pro/Canva

Cambodia welcomes all vaccinated travelers without the need to get tested before coming or upon arrival. Unvaccinated travelers must undergo a 7-day quarantine and take a rapid antigen test on the last day.

Cambodia has also reopened its visa-on-arrival program, so check with the embassy for the rules for your country.

India

Marketplace in Hyderabad India
Marketplace in Hyderabad. Photo by 12019/pixabay/Canva

India started allowing regularly scheduled international commercial flights to resume flying to the country in March. All travelers to India must show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Travelers must also complete a self-declaration form online before traveling.

Indonesia

Mount Merapi at night is decorated with small eruptions, Indonesia
Mount Merapi. Photo by Mas Peot/Getty Images/Canva

Indonesia has opened to vaccinated touristsaccording to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia. Travelers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure.

Additionally, vaccinated domestic travelers must either show proof of a booster shot, proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of traveling, or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of traveling within Indonesia.

Japan

The World's Most Beautiful Destinations - Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji and sakura cherry blossom in spring season. Photo by Torsakarin/Getty Images/Canva

Japan in May announced a test program to allow triple-vaccinated tourists from Australia, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S. to visit the country as part of a curated tour and be accompanied by their tour operators at all times. Business and student travelers may obtain special permission to visit Japan, but arrivals are limited to 10,000 per day.

Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo by Aaron Joel Santos

As of this writing, Laos is the latest country in Asia to allow international travel, with minimal Covid rules. Laos has fully reopened its air, land and water borders, resuming e-visas (laoevisa.gov.la) and visas-on-arrival for most nationalities, exactly as in the pre-pandemic era. Fully vaccinated travelers can simply show a vaccination card and then roam about the country. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers over 12 years old can show a rapid ATK test result issued within 48 hours of departure to Laos.

Malaysia

Petronas Tower, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Zukiman Mohamad/Pexels/Canva

Malaysia reopened to fully vaccinated travelers without pre-departure testing, on-arrival testing, or required travel insurance on May 1, according to the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. Travelers who contracted Covid-19 and recovered within 60 days of their trip are subject to the same rules.

Unvaccinated travelers must undergo a PCR test within two days of their departure as well as undergo a professionally-administered rapid antigen test within 24 hours upon arrival in Malaysia. Unvaccinated travelers 18 and older must quarantine for five days.

Maldives

Diving with anemonefish, Maldives
Diving among the anemone. Photo by insure/Getty Images/Canva

The Maldives welcomes travelers from all over the world, and does not require visitors to get tested before coming, according to the government. All arriving and departing passengers must complete a Traveler Declaration form within 72 hours of their flight.

That the Maldives is made up of far-flung isolated islands made it the logical first nation in the Asia region to restart international travel, back in 2020 when Covid was fairly new; nearly all rules have been eliminated since then.

Mongolia

Traditional Yurts (Gers) Tent Home of Mongolian Nomads
Traditional yurts (Gers). Photo by Chanwit Whanset/500px/Getty Images/CanvaPhoto by Kanenori/pixabay/Canva

Travelers are allowed to enter Mongolia without any pre-arrival testing or quarantine measures in place, regardless of their vaccination status, according to the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia. Travelers must fill out a medical declaration form upon arrival at the border checkpoints.

Nepal

Nepal
Photo by IkaJen/pixabay/Canva

Nepal welcomes travelers and offers visas on arrival, regardless of vaccination status, according to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal. Arriving travelers must show proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR or NAAT test taken within 72 hours of their departure.

Philippines

Oslob Whale Shark Watching in Cebu Island, Philippines
Oslob Whale Shark Watching in Cebu Island. Photo by alexeykornylyev

The Philippines has reopened to all vaccinated travelers with the stipulation that they show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure or proof of a negative laboratory-based antigen test taken within 24 hours of their departure, according to the government. Children under 12 traveling with their fully vaccinated parents are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Travelers must also have travel insurance that covers potential Covid-19 treatment with a minimum coverage of US$35,000.

Singapore

Singapore Waterfront
Photo by Simone Gramegna/500px/Getty Images/Canva

Singapore welcomes fully vaccinated travelers to visit the country quarantine-free without any pre-departure or on-arrival tests, according to the Singapore Tourism Board. Children 12 and under are exempt from the vaccine requirement.

Travelers must upload their vaccination certificate onto the Vaccination Check Portal and download the TraceTogether app. Three days before their departure, travelers must submit an SG Arrival Card and e-health declaration through the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.

South Korea

Kyonju, South Korea
Kyonju, South Korea. Photo by Hyunwoo Yoon/Getty Images/Canva

South Korea welcomes most tourists who are fully vaccinated, according to the Korea Tourism Organization, provided they completed their regimen of shots at least 14 days prior to arrival but not longer than 180 days.

Travelers must also arrive with a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure, take a second PCR test within 24 hours of arriving, and then take a rapid antigen test on the 6th or 7th day of their trip. Travelers have to fill out a Q-CODE form with their passport information, vaccine record, and travel information before arriving in South Korea and will receive a QR code to scan.

(Exceptions include those from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Myanmar, who must quarantine for seven days regardless.)

Sri Lanka

Train ride from Ella to Kandy among tea plantations in Sri Lanka
Train ride from Ella to Kandy among tea plantations. Photo by blueorangestudio/Canva

Sri Lanka allows fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country quarantine-free and without any pre-arrival testing, according to the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka. All travelers must purchase Covid-19 insurance, which costs US$12 per month.

Unvaccinated travelers are also exempt from quarantine, but must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of their trip, according to the tourism site. Children under 12 are exempt from testing.

Thailand

Landmark Pagoda in Doi Inthanon National Park at Chiang Mai
Landmark Pagoda in Doi Inthanon National Park at Chiang Mai. Photo by tawatchaiprakobkit/Getty Images Pro/Canva

Thailand has reopened to international travelers with zero testing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers can skip quarantine if they arrive with a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

All travelers to Thailand must register for a Thailand Pass online and obtain an insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$10,000, though those rules are expected to change this summer.

Vietnam

Vietnam incense sticks
Vietnam incense sticks. Photo by Vinh Dao/Canva

Travelers to Vietnam are allowed, but required to arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their departure, according to the Viet Nam Government Portal. Travelers must also make a health declaration before arriving, download a coronavirus-related app, monitor their own health for 10 days, and obtain insurance that covers at least US$10,000 in expenses.

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