Explainer | What tourists need to know about Covid restrictions in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan
- Fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore without a Covid test and no quarantine. Malaysia allows all tourists to enter regardless of vaccination
- Removal of hotel quarantine measures for ‘zero-Covid’ holdouts Taiwan and Hong Kong means outbound travel will be easier during the holiday season
In fact, bookings for trips to Japan’s Osaka by Hong Kong travellers soared 7,300 per cent from the previous weekend, according to the travel website.
Face masks are not required in indoor settings, except in healthcare facilities, public transport and on board some flights and ferries.
Unvaccinated short-term visitors aged 13 or older will also be able to enter the country with no need to apply for approval. However, they will be required to provide a negative test 48 hours before arrival in Singapore and must buy travel insurance to cover the duration of their stay.
There are stipulations to not being fully-vaccinated, as you will not be allowed to enter events with more than 500 attendees.
All visitors will also need to download the TraceTogether app to verify their vaccination status and submit their electronic health declaration form at least three days before arrival.
Malaysia also does not require tourists to use the country’s contact tracing app, MySejahtera.
How is Malaysia doing this? The Health Ministry said they will increase the monitoring of traveller’s health symptoms at all international points of entry. The government is also trusting travellers to self-monitor their health and go to a medical facility if they are unwell.
Malaysia has also scrapped its rule requiring masks indoors, but they remain mandatory on public transport and in healthcare facilities.
Travellers to Thailand can show their proof of vaccination on entry, or for those who aren’t fully vaccinated, a negative Covid-19 test issued within 72 hours of departing for the country.
Visitors no longer need to apply for the Thailand Pass – an online platform to submit documents – before entry into the country.
Masks are now voluntary in the popular tourist destination, and nightlife venues have begun operating at pre-pandemic levels, remaining open for longer hours.
Since June, Japan has allowed some tourists to visit on package tours organised by travel agencies.
Japan will allow individuals to enter and reinstate visa waivers for travellers from some countries. It will also scrap its cap on daily arrivals, currently set at 50,000.
Travelling to the island country might still be a bit of a doozy for the uninitiated. Only those who have received their third vaccine shot are exempt from providing proof of a negative Covid test on entry. For all other travellers, a Covid test conducted within 72 hours before departure is required.
Incoming travellers will still be required to go through three days of home medical surveillance, and tourists can stay in a hotel for this period.
During the monitoring period, visitors will be able to go outside but will be restricted from entering places such as bars or restaurants.
Incoming travellers also need to take a PCR test on days 2, 4 and 6 after arrival, and a rapid test every day for seven days.
Face masks continue to be mandatory both indoors and outdoors in Hong Kong, and a vaccine pass will still be required to visit most premises and to dine out in the city.
Travellers must undergo a three-day quarantine followed by four days of self-monitoring.
Like Hong Kong, the mask mandate remains in place in Taiwan, but contact tracing and vaccinations checks are no longer required.