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Coronavirus Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel updates

Information is changing every day, which can make it hard to keep up with the facts that are most relevant to you.  

We’re continually keeping this page up-to-date regarding the current outbreak of Coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19. Whether you need it now, or in the near future, this could be worth a bookmark. Note that this page was last updated on 9 Aug 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. Given the nature of the crisis, information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time.

The information here is intended for general guidance only and has not been designed for you or any specific circumstances relevant to you. We strongly recommend reading the Coronavirus travel advice from official local sources like gov.sg or the Ministry of Health, as well as the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), a reliable and trusted source of global news and information. 

Coronavirus travel restrictions and bans

When can I travel again?

Singaporeans and residents of Singapore are still advised to defer all travel abroad.

However, the government has announced that it will gradually re-open Singapore’s borders. Essential business and official travel to China are already permitted under the “green lane” arrangement. The country is also exploring similar bilateral arrangements for safe travel with other countries such as Malaysia and Japan. This will allow essential travel in limited numbers.

If you’re returning to Singapore from abroad, you’ll be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SNH) and tested for COVID-19. Find out more here.

The latest travel bans and restrictions

To mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, many countries are placing entry restrictions on travellers or closing their borders entirely. If you’re travelling during this period, it’s important to be updated on entry requirements so you won’t run into customs problems at the airport. 

Here are the latest Coronavirus flight updates:

  • Malaysia: Non-nationals and non-residents are banned from entering the country until 31 August 2020. Limited cross-border travel with Singapore will resume on 10 August.

Coronavirus travel bans and restrictions by country 

We have summarised the Coronavirus travel restrictions that currently apply to a number of popular countries.

  • Thailand: Foreigners are not allowed to enter Thailand until 31 August 2020. Exceptions allow to special groups like students.
  • Indonesia: Indonesia has banned most foreign nationals from visiting or transiting in the country. Those with a visa issued after 31 March 2020 are exempted.
  • Philippines: The Philippines has suspended all visa exemption and visa on arrival facilities. Foreigners are not allowed to enter the country. Spouses or children of nationals, as well as some long-term visa holders, are also exempted.
  • Vietnam: Vietnam has imposed an entry ban on foreign nationals, except for experts, business managers and highly-skilled workers, as well as those on diplomatic or official duty.
  • Japan: The visa exemption for Singaporeans has been suspended. Also, foreigners who have been in Singapore within the past 14 days are denied entry to Japan.
  • Taiwan: Foreigners are allowed to enter Taiwan for non-tourism purposes such as business. Transit through Taoyuan International Airport is also allowed. The connecting flight must be operated by the same airline and the transit time must be no more than 8 hours.
  • South Korea: South Korea has invalidated short-term visas issued on or before 5 April and halted visa-free entry to 90 nationalities including Singaporeans.
  • Hong Kong: Non-residents and non-nationals are not allowed to enter Hong Kong. Exceptions include those with a residence or study visa issued by Hong Kong.
  • China: Foreign nationals coming to China for necessary activities (eg. economic, trade, scientific or technological) can apply for visas at Chinese embassies or consulates.
  • India: International passenger flights to India are suspended until 31 August due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Australia: Australia has banned the entry of non-nationals and non-residents. Exceptions apply to immediate family members of Australian nationals and permanent residents.
  • New Zealand: Foreigners are not allowed to enter New Zealand, with the exemption of the immediate family members of permanent residents and nationals. Transit is allowed for a maximum of 24 hours in Auckland.
  • United States: As a result of the Coronavirus, travel to the USA has been highly restricted. Those who have transited or been to several countries – including China, France, and the United Kingdom – in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the United States. This does not apply to nationals and permanent residents of the U.S. and their spouses.

For more information on travel bans and restrictions, you can check IATA’s website.

Have you been impacted by Coronavirus flight cancellations? Get more useful advice on what to do if your flight is cancelled. We also have a dedicated article on what to do if your hotel booking is cancelled.

Latest information about airlines & Coronavirus flight cancellations

Singapore Airlines

Flight cancellations

Singapore Airlines and its regional wing SilkAir have reinstated several services and increased the frequencies of some flight routes in August, September and October 2020. The list of planned routes can be found here.

Change and cancellation policy

To provide customers with more flexibility, SIA has enhanced its travel waiver policy. Those who have purchased flights on or before 15 March 2020, for travel up to 30 November 2020, are eligible for a refund or flight credits. If you opt for the latter, you will be awarded bonus flight credits worth between SGD 75 and SGD 500, on top of the full value of your ticket.

If you’ve purchased tickets that are not covered under the travel waiver policy, you may be able to make complimentary changes to your travel dates via the “Manage Booking” section on SIA’s website. 

The latest information on SIA’s policies with regards to COVID-19 can be found here. To request for COVID-19 related assistance, to rebook your flights or to seek a refund, use this online form.

AirAsia

Flight cancellations

After a temporary suspension, AirAsia has resumed domestic flights in several countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and India. They are gradually restoring their international flight network. AirAsia will begin flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on the week of 17 August, subject to further announcements from the Singapore and Malaysia governments.

If AirAsia has cancelled your flight, you will be notified via email or SMS. 

Change and cancellation policy

AirAsia is providing flexible options to all affected customers. 

If you made bookings for flights departing from 23 March to 31 August 2020 which were cancelled by the airline, you can choose to either retain the value of the flight in a credit account with a two-year validity period or make unlimited flight changes for flights departing up to 31 October 2020. Read the details here.

More information on flight changes on AirAsia can be found here. The best way to submit a request or enquiry is through the AirAsia AVA chatbot.

Jetstar

Flight cancellations

Jetstar Asia is operating flights from Singapore to Manila, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. On top of that, Jetstar will be reintroducing weekly services to Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Penang from 10 August. Get more information here.

These flights are available to citizens and permanent residents who are returning home or those with the necessary approvals for travel.

Change and cancellation policy

Affected customers will be offered a travel voucher in the full value of their booking as a refund. This credit voucher can be used to redeem Jetstar flights within 12 months of issue. 

To seek reimbursement, visit Jetstar’s “Manage My Booking” page.

Scoot

Flight cancellations

Scoot is operating a reduced flight schedule in August 2020. Routes connecting Singapore to Australia, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are available. The airline will continue to adjust its network in response to developments in the Coronavirus outbreak. Check the full list of planned routes here.

All customers whose flights are affected by cancellations will be notified through email.

Change and cancellation policy

If you’ve purchased a Scoot flight on or before 15 March 2020 for travel up to 30 November 2020, and if this flight is cancelled, you have two options for a refund. The first is a refund via the original method of payment and the second is a refund in Scoot vouchers. The latter will offer you 120% of the original itinerary value. Find out more about Scoot’s travel waiver policy here.

To contact a customer representative of Scoot, you can fill up this request form or submit a message through Facebook Messenger.

Turkish Airlines

Flight cancellations

Turkish Airlines resumed its domestic and international flights in early June 2020. They are offering flexible bookings to customers. View their flight plans here.

Change and cancellation policy

Those who purchased their ticket on or before 20 March 2020 can change their ticket for same cabin class until 31 December 2021 without any change fee even if the flight is not cancelled. You may reach more detailed info here.

Those with cancelled flights are offered different options.

Coronavirus FAQs

While this is a fast-developing situation, here are four Coronavirus travel need-to-knows: 

How can I stay safe when travelling during the Coronavirus outbreak?

There’s lots of practical steps you can take. Regularly wash your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel), avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and stay at least a metre away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. Read more.

I want to cancel my travel plans due to the Coronavirus. How do I do this and can I get a refund?

First of all, call the airline, hotel or online travel agent you booked with. Not sure which company you used? You’ll see their name on your bank or credit card statement as well as the email you received from them to confirm the booking. You’ll find more details, including contact information, on our help page.

My flight has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. How do I get a refund?

Call the airline or online travel agent. With so many travel plans changed, it may take longer than usual to speak to someone who can help but keep trying. If the airline or online travel agent tells you that a refund isn’t available or they’ve stopped trading, it might be worth getting in touch with your credit card company if that’s how you booked. If you have travel insurance, get in touch with your provider as well.

Will my travel insurance cover Coronavirus flight cancellations?

It all depends on your policy. Check the website of your travel insurer or give them a call to find out more. 

For more answers to commonly asked questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19), click here. We have also responded to the top questions from our traveller community in a Q&A which is available here.