A lot of people want to know when will Bali, Phuket and other destinations in Southeast Asia reopen for quarantine-free travel. With COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out globally, the hope is this will happen sooner rather than later. In fact, Bali and Phuket are tentatively expected to welcome tourists in July.
However, many countries in the region are currently dealing with a third wave of infections that could delay this timeline. The situation is fluid and, as we have seen firsthand, can change at a moment’s notice.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at when several destinations in Southeast Asia will reopen for quarantine-free travel.
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When will Bali, Phuket and other destinations in Southeast Asia reopen for quarantine-free travel?
The Indonesian government is scheduling a soft reopening for Bali and Bintam in July. Tourists would be allowed to visit and stay in what it is calling “green zones” on each island. While plans are still being formulated, it does appear that movement is set to be restricted to these areas, at least for a few months.
Exactly who can travel to Bali may also be limited. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said the country is looking to create travel bubbles with pre-approved countries as opposed to welcoming anyone that has proof of vaccination.
Phuket is still targeting a July 1 reopening, although these plans now hinge on Thailand finding a way to control a third COVID-19 outbreak. The local government continues to monitor the situation and a decision will likely be made by the end of May.
Bangkok/Hua Hin/Samui/Chiang Mai
Most other tourist destinations in Thailand will reopen for quarantine-free travel on October 1 assuming the country’s vaccination efforts prove to be successful. A limited number of tourists are going to be allowed to travel to Samui in July as part of a highly regulated pilot project.
Several areas around Cebu are already welcoming foreign tourists who have been fully vaccinated and tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to their arrival. Overseas arrivals also require a valid visa and pre-booked accommodation for at least seven nights in an accredited hotel in order to travel to region. It must be stressed that anyone without a valid visa will be turned away.
There isn’t a lot of clarity as to when other parts of the Philippines will reopen with several areas across the country still under quarantine orders. In May, the government allowed those with a Philippine retirement visa to return throughout the country as long as they followed all safety regulations.
Malaysia had been gearing up plans for a regional travel bubble with Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, but these have been shelved with the country entering another nationwide lockdown. Whenever Malaysia does open for tourists, it does look like it will be a staged approach as opposed to letting any vaccinated visitor enter.
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A travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong have been delayed for a second time with Singapore now dealing with another COVID-19 outbreak. Originally scheduled to begin on May 26, the two countries will likely try to launch it again once the situation improves. The Singaporean government hopes to reopen its border to quarantine-free travel by the end of the year assuming its vaccination program is successful.
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