In view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO), many countries have imposed several travel restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
In the view of the same, countries like the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Germany, France, and Singapore are have imposed new regulations to do as much damage control.
United States (US)
Starting December 6, all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States.
- You must be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply.
- You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 when you travel to the United States by air.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant, and not fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed to enter the United States. Only limited exceptions apply to the requirement to show proof of vaccination.
United Kingdom (UK)
The Govt of the United Kingdom (UK) has announced new travel rules and removed the pre-departure testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. Starting from 4 am on Sunday 9 January, all eligible fully vaccinated travelers and over 5s will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR on or before day 2 of their arrival in England.
Lateral flow tests for travel can be booked from Friday 7 January and taken upon arrival, by the end of day 2.
Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and under 18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England from 4 am on Friday 7 January but must continue to take their post-arrival tests.
Starting 23rd December 2021, Every person over the age of six is obliged to carry proof of their COVID‑19 status when entering Germany.
Entry from any other country for any purpose (including visits and tourism) is only possible for fully vaccinated People. The traveler must have received the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination at least 14 days before the date of travel.
Travelers who are only transferring at an airport in Germany are also required to present proof of their COVID‑19 status. This applies both to non-Schengen transit from or to third countries outside the EU and to transit from or to Schengen states.
Starting 18th December 2021 at 00:00 in France (GMT-1), all travelers aged 12 and over, from the United Kingdom, regardless of their vaccination status, must:
- Provide proof that they have one of the imperious reasons for travel.
- Tourism and business travel are not pressing grounds for travel;
- Present upon boarding a negative result of a PCR or antigen test taken less than 24h prior;
- Register before departure on the digital platform éOS-COVID;
- Self-isolate upon arrival in France in the place of their choosing. This self-isolation, following the receipt of a prefectoral order generated on the digital platform éOS-COVID, could be lifted 48 hours after arrival in France if a negative result of a PCR or antigen test is provided. Checks will be conducted to ensure that these measures are properly implemented.
In a bid to contain an Omicron outbreak in the city, the Hong Kong authorities have decided to suspend all inbound flights from eight countries starting January 8.
As per the details shared by the Hong Kong authorities, it has banned all incoming flights from;
- United Kingdom and
- United States
Singapore has suspended all quarantine-free travel in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants. International travelers must take a PCR test upon travel as well as a daily rapid antigen test for the first week in Singapore.