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Bali, Phuket or Phu Quoc? Where trips to Asia are possible again in winter


For a long time, the borders of most Asian countries were closed to foreign holidaymakers. Now one after the other announce extensive openings - Thailand and India are also there. An overview.

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Hanging out on Ko Muk in Thailand: possible again soon

Photo: Marco Bottigelli / Getty Images

The cold season is approaching, the longing for a vacation under palm trees is growing.

However, the traditionally most popular travel destinations in Asia kept their borders tightly closed for months during the corona crisis.

Now some countries in the region are gradually opening up to tourists from abroad;

the economic importance of the branch is too important.

Thailand and India have already announced new rules that will soon allow German travelers to stay in the whole country again.

Other countries are opening up (e.g. Indonesia), but not yet for Germans.

Some have been receiving guests for a long time under strict conditions (such as the Maldives).

And some still seal themselves off completely - like Japan, China or Cambodia and Laos.

An overview:


From November 1st, fully vaccinated air travelers from Germany can go on vacation anywhere in the country again.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha announced this on Monday; he made no statement about those who have recovered.

The same goes for tourists from nine other countries that are considered low-risk countries in Thailand, including the US, China, UK and Singapore;

From December the regulation will be extended to other countries.

Then the serving of alcohol in restaurants, which has been banned for months, could be allowed again.

So far, only a few regions - such as Phuket and Ko Samui - have been able to receive fully vaccinated guests, but the bureaucratic requirements have been high.

The prerequisite for entry is that the travelers present a negative PCR test on arrival in Thailand and then have themselves tested again.

"After that, they can travel as freely as Thais," said Prayut.

The decision could lead to an increase in corona infections.

But it is important to give the people in Thailand an economic perspective again.

The important tourism industry has been on the ground for a year and a half, more than seven of the 70 million Thais worked in the sector before the crisis.

Thailand closed its borders at the end of March 2020.

For many months, the country was considered a model state in the fight against the pandemic - until the numbers suddenly rose massively this April due to the contagious Delta variant.

In August, the authorities reported more than 20,000 new cases a day.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has classified the country as a high-risk area since then, and the Foreign Office (AA) issued a travel warning.

In many parts of the country there have since been strict measures, including night exit restrictions.

The number of infections is slowly falling: On Tuesday, the authorities reported around 9,400 new infections and 84 deaths in connection with Covid-19.

As of November, many rules could therefore be dropped.

Risk area?

Yes, high risk area since the beginning of August


From November 1st for vaccinated Germans

The best travel time?

Thailand is generally easy to travel to in the dry season between December and February.

During the day it is then up to 25 degrees Celsius, at night it is considerably cooler.

November and March can still be almost dry and not too hot.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Thailand from the Federal Foreign Office


German holidaymakers still have to wait for a trip to Indonesia - even if the island state is slowly opening up to international tourism again this week, initially in Bali: From October 14th, visitors from some states should be on holiday on the island again, including from China, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, government pandemic commissioner Luhut Pandjaitan said on Monday.

Flights from these countries directly to Bali should then start again.

The visitors would have to book a hotel for an eight-day quarantine beforehand, it said.

The politician did not initially mention European countries.

The Southeast Asian island nation has long been one of the worst hit countries in the region.

A total of 4.2 million cases have been confirmed so far.

About 142,000 people have died in connection with Covid-19.

Because of the spread of the Delta variant, the country with 270 million inhabitants experienced a severe wave of infections in June and July.

In some cases, more than 50,000 new infections per day were reported.

However, the numbers have been falling for weeks.

They are now less than 1,000 a day.

Since last Friday, the country is no longer a high-risk area.

Risk area?



Not yet for Germans

Best travel time?

In Indonesia, the rainy season is from November to March, so April to October is more suitable for a vacation - but the best time depends on the specific travel destination.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Indonesia from the Federal Foreign Office


Whether with Goa, Rajasthan or Kerala - from October 15, after a year and a half of the corona break, tourists will also be allowed to return to the country.

As of the date, new tourist visas for foreigners who arrive on charter flights will be issued again, the Ministry of the Interior in New Delhi announced last week.

Anyone arriving with other than chartered aircraft can do so from November 15th.

However, the government has not yet announced the requirements for entry.

Up until now, flight passengers - such as business travelers or students - traveling to India were only allowed to have a negative PCR test on board; after arrival at the airport, another, chargeable corona test had to be carried out.

India experienced a violent corona wave in April and May due, among other things, to the Delta variant, which was first discovered in India.

Since then, the corona numbers have been stable at a relatively low level, and life is increasingly returning to normal.

The country is not considered a risk area.

Risk area?



From October 15th for charter passengers, from November 15th for everyone else

Best travel time?

In the large country there is a destination with pleasant weather in every season.

From October to March it is South India.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on India from the Federal Foreign Office

Sri Lanka

Anyone who is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and tested negative in a PCR test before departure is allowed to enter Sri Lanka again without having to observe any further strict rules.

After arrival, the foreign guests are allowed to move freely, according to the Ministry of Tourism in the capital Colombo.

Long-distance travel in the corona crisis

Where can I find information about travel destinations? Expand

The Foreign Office (AA) provides safety and travel advice for every country in the world on its website.

There travel warnings, entry conditions and the location in the country are listed and the websites of the authorities of the respective countries are linked.

Especially in the corona crisis, the rules and the documents required for entry can change quickly.

Unfortunately, the instructions from the AA are often confusing and cumbersome, exceptions to rules can only be discovered by reading carefully.

Lufthansa and Iata have compiled the entry requirements for flight destinations here and here.

What are the consequences of assessing a travel destination as a risk area? Expand

The individual risk of a long-haul trip should be carefully weighed up.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) updates its list of international risk areas on a weekly basis.

As soon as a region or a country is classified as a high-risk area or virus variant area, the Federal Foreign Office issues a travel warning.

Anyone returning from a risk area must observe certain rules.

This ranges from digital entry registration through testing to a quarantine requirement for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

The federal government has presented a brief overview here.

The coronavirus entry regulation can be read here.

Which aspects have to be considered when planning a trip? Expand

This SPIEGEL text provides some help.

Most recently, entry and residence were complicated for tourists.

They could only stay in certified hotels, had to do several PCR tests there, and traveling was only allowed in groups with a guide and then only to certain places.

Contact with locals was minimal.

In some cases, the rules still apply to unvaccinated visitors.

Until recently, the island state also had a six-week lockdown in the face of a violent corona wave.

The wave has now weakened again.

However, the RKI still classifies Sri Lanka as a high-risk area.

The AA warns against unnecessary tourist trips.

Tourism is very important for the island state south of India, it made up around 13 percent of the gross domestic product before Corona 2019.

Risk area?

Yes, high risk area since the beginning of September


Yes, for vaccinated people

Best travel time?

The island nation experiences two rainy seasons depending on the region.

On the west or south coast, the weather is most suitable for a holiday from December to April, on the east coast from April to September.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Sri Lanka from the Federal Foreign Office


The Maldives have been open to foreign guests for a long time.

Anyone who spends their entire vacation in one of the island resorts does not need to be vaccinated.

According to the AA, travelers who stay on one of the inhabited islands need a vaccination.

A negative PCR test is always required for entry.

Holidaymakers may only spend the night in a resort, otherwise an exemption must be applied for.

This also applies to a stay in the capital, these and uninhabited islands are currently not allowed to be visited by tourists.

Risk area?




Best travel time?

For the island nation, the dry season between November and April is considered the best time to go on vacation.

The rainy monsoons hit the area especially between May and October.

Current information:

Travel and security advice on the Maldives from the Federal Foreign Office


It is still unclear when international tourists will be able to visit Vietnam again.

However, there are plans that the largest island, Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Thailand, could again receive foreign guests in a pilot project from November.

Other destinations could follow from December, such as Halong Bay and the coastal city of Hoi An, once the largest port in Southeast Asia, directly on the Silk Road.

A full resumption could take place in June next year.

more on the subject

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  • Fled to Thailand from Corona: »I'm still here.

    And I don't have a return flight «A protocol from Sophia Bogner and Paul Hertzberg

  • Working remotely: Home office on the palm beach A podcast by Lenne Kaffka

Domestic flights have now been allowed to resume operations for the first time - almost three months after air traffic in the country on the Mekong was completely paralyzed.

The Vietnam Airlines flight VN213 started on Sunday from the capital Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, many more connections would follow, reported the state newspaper "VnExpress".

However, only fully vaccinated, convalescent or passengers with a negative corona test are allowed to board the machines.

In addition, strict rules still apply: Anyone traveling in the country must then go into quarantine at home for seven days and undergo health tests during this time.

For months, life has stood still in Vietnam because of the spread of the delta variant after the country had come through the crisis very lightly for a long time.

Since the start of the latest wave, however, almost 850,000 infections and more than 20,400 deaths related to Covid-19 have been recorded.

At the same time there is a lack of vaccines: so far only about 15 million of the 98 million Vietnamese have been fully vaccinated.

This is one of the lowest vaccination rates in Asia.

Risk area?

Yes, high risk area since mid-August



Best travel time?

In the north and center of the country, the weather is most suitable for a holiday between May and September, in the south between December and April.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Vietnam from the Federal Foreign Office


Singapore allows fully vaccinated travelers from Germany back into the country without quarantine.

A special travel corridor (Vaccinated Travel Lane) has been set up for this purpose, which, among other things, requires the booking of certain direct flights from Singapore Airlines or Lufthansa.

A PCR test must be presented prior to departure, further tests must be carried out on the third and seventh day.

On Saturday, the island nation, with a population of 5.45 million, reported a daily record of 3,703 cases and 11 deaths due to an outbreak of the Delta variant, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As a result, some local restrictions were re-imposed on October 1st.

Stricter measures included limiting social gatherings to two people and suspending face-to-face classes or moving them to online for students 12 and under.

Singapore has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with more than 80 percent of the population fully vaccinated, according to the US Johns Hopkins University.

Risk area?



Yes, for vaccinated people

Best travel time?

The rainy season in Singapore is from November to January.

If you want to run dry through Singapore, it is best to arrive between February and September.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Vietnam from the Federal Foreign Office


It is still unclear when tourists will be allowed to return to the popular holiday destination.

However, a major reopening is being considered.

On Monday, easing of a strict lockdown imposed in May came into force, as a high percentage of the adult population has now been vaccinated twice against the coronavirus and, on the other hand, the number of infections continues to fall.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Sunday that people who have been fully vaccinated will be able to travel again within Malaysia and abroad without the need for authorization from the authorities.

The borders have been closed since March 2020.

In the state with 33 million inhabitants, more than 2.3 million infections have been confirmed so far.

Around 27,000 people have died in connection with Covid-19.

The country is still considered a high risk area.

Risk area?

Yes, high risk area since mid-June



Best travel time?

On the east coast with its tropical islands, monsoons prevail in winter, and the region is best visited from mid-March to mid-October.

Current and further information:

Travel and security advice on Malaysia from the Federal Foreign Office

With material from dpa.

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-12

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