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Coronavirus: Which countries have travel bans?

New travel advisories introduced in a bid to curb global pandemic

Helen Coffey,Qin Xie
Tuesday 17 March 2020 12:00 GMT
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Foreign Office tightens travel advice to the US

As increasingly extreme measures are being taken to halt the spread of coronavirus, or Covid-19, new travel bans and advisories are being introduced on a daily basis.

Here are the key travel bans you need to know about.

US

A new travel advisory issued by President Trump on Wednesday night has banned entry to the US for foreign nationals who have visited European countries in the last two weeks.

The ban, which is aimed at quelling the spread of coronavirus in the States, applies to those who have been to countries within the Schengen Area, but not to the UK and Ireland.

The 26 Schengen countries are: 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.

However, the US has since expanded its travel ban to include the UK and Ireland. As a result, the FCO has advised against all non-essential travel to the USA.

Legal permanent US residents and the immediate family members of US citizens will still be permitted entry back into the States.

The advisory is in place for 30 days, starting from 11.59pm on 13 March (3.59am on 14 March in the UK).

It follows the entry ban on all foreign travellers who have been in China or Iran in the last 14 days.

Canada

Canada is barring most foreign nationals, including Brits, from entry. Only those who are Canadian citizens, residents or immediate families are allowed in.

Health checks will be carried out before all inbound flights, and anyone showing symptoms will not be allowed to board.

Spain

The Spanish government declared a State of Emergency on 14 March, which includes restrictions on movement throughout the country from 16 March for 15 days.

All public gatherings have now been banned in the country, with public transport operating at a reduced level. Most businesses will be closed during this time as well.

Spanish citizens have been told to stay at home, except to buy food and essential items, to hospital or health centres, or to work if they cannot work from home.

In response, the FCO has advised all but essential travel to the country.

Spain is currently the worst affect country in Europe after Italy, with 4,231 cases as of 14 March.

Italy

One of worst-affected countries in the world, Italy has been on lock-down since 9 March, when a national quarantine was imposed. The Italian authorities have advised against travel for tourism purposes throughout Italy, and said that tourists already on holiday in Italy should limit their movements to those necessary to returning home.

Although airports remain open, airline schedules are subject to change and flights are being cancelled all the time, with the majority of carriers ceasing to operate direct flights between Italy and the UK after 13 March.

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The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Italy and says: “British tourists in Italy should contact their airline operators as soon as possible to arrange return to the UK.”

Train companies are also reducing services, including to Milan Malpensa airport, and some cross-border bus companies are cancelling their services. Although ports remain open, cruise ship passengers are barred from disembarking.

As part of the new measures, many businesses are closed, including ski resorts.

Malta

Malta is asking all tourists and returning residents to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

In response, the FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the country.

Montenegro

Montenegro is introducing a number of restrictions, including temporary suspension of all international passenger air, rail and bus traffic.

All foreigners, with the exception of residents, will be banned from entry.

In response, the FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the country.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has declared a State of Emergency, which will last until 13 April. British nationals are banned from entering the country from midnight 17 March.

The country is also closing all bars, restaurants and shops (except food shops and pharmacies). All of its ski resorts are now closed.

In response, the FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the country.

Poland

The Polish government is closing all borders from 14 March for 10 days. International rail and air transport has been suspended for 10 days as well. The travel ban could be extended.

There may still be flights in and out of Poland to return citizens home.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Cyprus

As off 1am local time on 15 March, Cyprus has banned all tourists, including those from the UK.

British nationals who are legal residents or who are working or studying there are still permitted to enter. However, they must carry a medical certificate showing they are free of Covid-19 that's issued within four days. They would also need to go into state quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

The FCO is advising against all but essential travel to the country.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has closed its borders to travellers from 15 nations, including the UK, amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis declared a 30-day state of emergency, with foreign nationals travelling from Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Norway, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, China, South Korea, Iran and the UK all banned from entering the country.

Czech citizens have also been barred from entering the above nations.

Foreigners with permanent Czech residency and cross-border workers will be exempt from the ban.

The ban comes into effect at 11pm GMT on 13 March.

Slovakia

Slovakia is stopping all international travel to and from the country and introducing border checks.

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said that the country’s international airports would close and international bus and train travel would also be halted.

Norway

Anyone arriving in Norway from outside the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, plus Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands) is being told to self-isolate for two weeks, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, according to the Norwegian Health Directorate.

The restrictions run until 26 March.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country due to the restrictions in place.

Latvia

From midnight 16 March, the Latvian government will be closing its borders.

According to the FCO: "Organised international passenger transport by air, sea, and land will be suspended."

British nationals already in the country who want to leave should make travel arrangements as soon as possible. The FCO has advised against non-essential travel to the country.

Estonia

Estonia is closing its borders to anyone who isn't a citizen, resident or visiting their family in the country from 17 March.

With some exceptions, everyone entering the country must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Strict border checks will be enforced.

Hungary

Hungary has closed its borders. Only Hungarian citizens and foreign nationals with resident permits would be allowed entry.

While Budapest Airport remains open, British travellers who want to leave are advised to make plans as soon as possible.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country due to the restrictions in place.

Australia

Australia has imposed travel bans on foreign nationals from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy, and requires Australians and permanent residents returning from those countries to self-isolate for a fortnight.

Citizens are also being asked to “reconsider your need to travel overseas at this time, regardless of your destination, age or health”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “Only essential travel should be considered if you are going overseas from this point forward.”

New Zealand

New Zealand is asking visitors from all nations except the Pacific Islands to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. They must also register with the New Zealand healthline on 0800 258 5453.

Those from China and Iran will be barred from entry.

Japan

Japan has banned entry to passengers who have been in affected regions of China, South Korea or Italy within the last 14 days. Japanese nationals, their spouses and children are exempt.

Thailand

Thailand has suspended its visa exemption policy for travellers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy.

Visa on arrival has also 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.

Travellers must apply for visas in advance and present a medical certificate to show they don’t have coronavirus.

Singapore

All new visitors who have travelled to mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) within the last 14 days, will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This will include travellers who transit in mainland China to Singapore regardless of the duration and whether they had cleared immigration in China.

As of 4 March 2020, all new visitors with recent travel history to Iran, northern Italy or the Republic of Korea within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter into or transit through Singapore.

From 11.59pm on 15 March 2020, all new visitors who have travelled to France, Germany, Italy and Spain within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government has announced that people arriving from the UK or who have travelled through the UK will not be allowed into the country from midnight local time (6.30pm GMT) on 16 March.

From 17 March, the country is also suspending all inbound flights. This could affect outgoing flights as well and the FCO is warning British nationals to contact their airline.

The FCO has now advised against all non-essential travel to the country.

India

Travellers from the UK, EU and Turkey are now banned from entering India and will not be permitted to board flights from 18 March.

The travel restrictions will be in place until at least 31 March.

All existing tourism visas will be suspended at the point of departure until 15 April.

Philippines

These Filipino government has introduced a travel ban for all foreign nationals coming from countries with local transmissions of coronavirus, and this includes the UK.

There are also travel restrictions in place in the country.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Vietnam

Vietnam has announced that from noon Vietnam time on 15 March foreign nationals will be refused entry if in the previous 14 days they have been to the UK, or any Schengen country, even in transit. This restriction will be in place for 30 days.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Myanmar

Travellers who have recently visited France, Italy, Iran, Spain and Germany will be placed into the government's quarantine facilities on arrival for 14 days. Those who have been to the US will be under surveillance for 14 days. And those who have been to China or South Korea will be banned from entry.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country due to the risk that British nationals will be quarantined on arrival.

Israel

The Israeli Authorities have advised that from 11 March they will extend their entry restrictions to include travellers from the UK. This means no UK travellers will be able to enter Israel unless they can prove they will be placed in home quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

Jordan

All commercial flights to Jordan have now ceased, while all land and sea borders have been closed. This will be in effect until 30 March.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country due to the extensive restrictions in place. All residents are banned from leaving their homes except in extreme cases and are not allowed to travel between cities and governates.

It added: “British nationals in Jordan or intending to travel to Jordan are strongly advised to immediately review their travel plans and consult their insurance provider; tour operator, and transport or accommodation provider about the impact on their plans.”

Oman

Only Omani, GCC nationals and foreign nationals with valid resident visas will be allowed to enter Oman from 17 March. Everyone will be required to self-quarantine on arrival.

Jamaica

Jamaica is only permitting entry to Jamaican citizens and residents as well as their children and spouses.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country due to the restrictions in place.

St Lucia

St Lucia has announced that anyone who's not a citizen of the country, and who has been to mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Iran or the UK in the last 14 days will be banned from entry.

The FCO is currently advising non-resident British nationals to leave St Lucia as soon as possible as there's the possibility that it will become harder to leave the country and the region in the coming days.

Belize

The FCO is advising against all non-essential travel to Belize.

This is in response to new travel restrictions introduced by the government of Belize, which states that travellers who have been to a number of high risk countries in the past 30 days will now be barred from entry.

The countries in the list include the UK, other countries in Europe, as well as China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan and South Korea.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is suspending all flights between it and the UK, rest of Europe, China, South Korea and Iran. Those who have travelled though any of the countries listed will need to go into quarantine on arrival.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Peru

Peru has said it is suspending all flights from Europe and Asia for at least 30 days. Flights to the US are still operating.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Ecuador

Visitors from a number of countries have been told to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to Ecuador.

The list includes: "France, China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Germany, USA (Washington, New York, Massachusetts and California), Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This includes anyone who has travelled to these destinations in transit.

The FCO has now advised against non-essential travel to the country.

Guatemala

Guаtеmаlа has аnnоunсеd іt іѕ bаnnіng citizens from Eurореаn соuntrіеѕ, Іrаn, Сhіnа, Ѕоuth Коrеа аnd Nоrth Коrеа from entering tо рrеvеnt thе ѕрrеаd оf thе соrоnаvіruѕ. The rules came into effect on 12 March.

In response, the FCO has advised against non-essential travel to the country. British nationals in the country who are not residents are also advised to consider leaving "to avoid difficulties they will face if flights out of the country and the region are further restricted and they are unable to get home".

Paraguay

All direct flights to and from Europe are cancelled from 13 March up to and including 26 March.

In response, the FCO has advised against non-essential travel to the country. British nationals in the country who are not residents should also consider leaving as the number of flights to the region falls.

Bolivia

In Bolivia, interim President Jeanine Anez said officials would suspend flights to and from Europe. Those from China, South Korea, Italy and Spain are banned from entry.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Colombia

Travellers who have been to Europe or Asia in the past 14 days are barred from entry to Colombia. Residents of the country are still permitted entry but must self isolate for 14 days.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Argentina

Argentina is suspending all flights from the UK, as well as the whole of Europe, the US, China, Japan, South Korea and Iran. Non-residents who have transited through the countries mentioned will be barred from entry as well.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country. The last direct flight from Argentina to the UK is due to depart on 16 March.

Honduras

Honduras is restricting entry of people coming from Europe, China, Iran and South Korea via air or ground transport. Only those entering via cruises from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) will be permitted entry.

Morocco

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to Morroco as the country is suspending flights to 31 countries including the UK. Ferry links between Morocco and Spain and Gibraltar have already been suspended.

If you are already in the country, contact your airline or tour operator and leave as soon as possible.

Seychelles

The FCO is now advising against non-essential travel to the Seychelles.

From 8pm GMT on 18 March, anyone who's travelled from or through the UK and the rest of the EU will not be allowed to enter the country.

South Africa

From 18 March, visitors from a number of countries affected by coronavirus will be banned from entering the country.

The list includes the United States, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Anyone who's entered South Africa since mid-February from this list will need to go through testing.

Those who have travelled through any of these destinations in the last 20 days are also banned from entry and their visas will be revoked.

Those from Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore will be required to go through high intensity screening.

The FCO is advising against non-essential travel to the country.

Lesotho

The FCO is now advising against non-essential travel to Lesotho due to the travel restrictions put in place in South Africa from 18 March.

The Foreign Office said that the restrictions may mean you can’t leave Lesotho by road, but British nationals are still able to transit through OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Eswatini

The FCO is now advising against non-essential travel to Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, due to the travel restrictions put in place in South Africa from 18 March.

The Foreign Office said that the restrictions may mean you can’t leave Eswatini by road, but British nationals are still able to transit through OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Botswana

The FCO is now advising against non-essential travel to Botswana.

The country is banning entry to those who have come from countries heavily affected by coronavirus, including the UK. Any existinsting visas are cancelled. The only exception is for those who are already in the country.

Gabon

The FCO is now advising against non-essential travel to Gabon, which has closed all of its land borders indefinitely.

In addition, tourist visas for those travelling from countries affected by coronavirus have been suspended.

Kenya

Anyone who from any countries with coronavirus will be banned from entering Kenya for 30 days from 17 March.

Anyone who entered Kenya before 15 March from a country affected by coronavirus must also self quarantine.

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