April’s Visa Free Digest 2020

A Comprehensive Analysis of Last Month’s Changes to Visa-Free Travel Across the Globe.

African UnionEgyptMaldivesSaudi Arabia
AlbaniaEl SalvadorMaltaSerbia
AndorraEthiopiaMarshall IslandsSenegal
ArgentinaEuropean UnionMauritaniaSeychelles
ArmeniaEquatorial GuineaMauritiusSingapore
AustriaFijiMexicoSolomon Islands
AzerbaijanFinlandMoldovaSouth Africa
BahamasFranceMonacoSouth Korea
BahrainGabonMongoliaSpain
BangladeshGambiaMontenegroSri Lanka
BelarusGeorgiaMoroccoSt Kitts and Nevis
BelgiumGermanyMyanmarSt Lucia
BhutanGreeceNamibiaSudan
BoliviaGrenadaNauruSweden
Bosnia & HerzegovinaHondurasNepalSwitzerland
BrazilHong KongNetherlandsSyria
BruneiIcelandNew ZealandTaiwan
BulgariaIndiaNigeriaThailand
CameroonIndonesiaNorth MacedoniaTrinidad and Tobago
CanadaIranNorwayTurkey
Central African RepublicIraqOmanTurkmenistan
ChadIsraelPakistanTuvalu
ChileItalyPanamaUkraine
ChinaJamaicaParaguayUnited Arab Emirates
ColombiaJapanPapua New GuineaUnited Kingdom
CommonwealthJordanPeruUnited States
Costa RicaKazakhstanPhilippinesUruguay
CroatiaKenyaPolandUzbekistan
CubaKosovoPortugalVanuatu
CyprusKuwaitQatarVenezuela
DenmarkLa FrancophonieRepublic of CongoVietnam
DjiboutiLebanonRomania 
DominicaLiechtensteinRussia 
Dominican RepublicMacauRwanda 
EcuadorMalaysiaSan Marino 

Due to the unexpected magnitude of the COVID-19 outbreak, countries across the world have implemented unprecedented travel restrictions. Many countries, which have yet to implement complete travel bans, have instead implemented entry restrictions on individuals of any nationality who have recently been in, or transited through, countries deemed most affected by the outbreak. The countries taking such an approach include: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Macao, Madagascar, the Maldives, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Somalia, South Korea, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkey, and the United States.


Europe

Named relevant countries: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, European Union, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Schengen Area, Serbia, Ukraine, United States

In early March, it was revealed by a spokesperson for the European Commission that the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), previously due to be fully implemented in 2022, had been delayed and will now be implemented from 2023. The ETIAS will affect people from visa-exempt countries seeking to visit the Schengen Area. They will be required to obtain ETIAS authorisation prior to their trip and pay a €7 fee.

On 23 March, the European Commission produced a Communication reporting on the progress made in the last year towards achieving full visa reciprocity with the United States for all European Union member states. The Commission concluded that “as soon as the exceptional situation regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic returns to normality,” the Commission would continue its negotiations with the United States to accelerate progress towards visa exemptions for citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania.

 

COVID-19 Responses

 

On 2 March, following a previous decision to close Armenia’s land border with Iran for 14 days, Prime Minister Nikol Pahinyan announced his country would temporarily suspend its visa-free regime for nationals of Iran and would extend the closure of its land border. It was not specified for how long Armenia would remain closed to Iranians.

On 15 March, Serbia suspended the entry of all foreign nationals with the exception of full-time residents and holders of diplomatic passports. The suspension affects citizens of 94 visa-exempt countries.

On 15 March, the Ukraine barred the entry of all foreign nationals to the country for a period of 14 days. The entry ban affected citizens of 72 visa-exempt countries, and was, at the end of March likely to be reconfirmed in April 2020 for at least until 24 April 2020.

On 16 March, Montenegro imposed a complete entry ban on foreign nationals to the country. The entry ban affects citizens of 97 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 17 March, following a Communication by the European Commission, the Heads of State or Government of the EU+ area applied a coordinated 30-day restriction on non-essential travel from third countries. The EU+ area encompasses all Schengen Area and Schengen Associated member states and Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania. The restriction does not apply to family members of European Union citizens and citizens of the Schengen Associated States or resident third-country nationals.

On 17 March, Moldova closed its airspace and terrestrial borders to all foreigners, with the exception of diplomats and permanent residents. Previously, citizens of 102 countries and territories were able to enter Moldova without a visa for a period of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

On 18 March, Russia closed its borders to foreign nationals with the exception of permanent residents of Russia, persons holding diplomatic, official, or ordinary private visas issued in connection with the death of a relative, employees of diplomatic missions and consular offices in Russia, and various international transport employees. The entry ban is effective until 1 May 2020 and affects citizens of 62 visa-exempt countries.

On 18 March, Georgia banned the entry of all foreign nationals, with some exceptions including representatives of diplomatic missions and international organisations. The entry ban affects citizens of 93 visa-exempt countries who were previously able to enter Georgia without a visa for a period of one year.

On 21 March, North Macedonia closed its borders to all foreigners with the exception of holders of a special permit issued by the Ministry of Interior of the country. The border closure affects citizens of 85 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 23 March, after previously closing the land borders it shares with visa-exempt countries Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, Albania suspended all inbound flights with the exception of flights operated by Air Albania to and from Istanbul. The suspension affects citizens of a further 81 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 25 March, Kosovo banned the entry of all foreign nationals with the exception of representatives of the NATO-Kosovo Force and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. The entry ban affects citizens of 110 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 27 March, Bosnia and Herzegovina extended its entry restrictions and imposed an entry ban on all foreign nationals, with exceptions including diplomatic and consular staff, civil servants seeking employment in the country, and passengers in transit returning to their country of residence. The entry ban affects citizens of 97 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

Caribbean

Named relevant countries: Bahamas, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, S

COVID-19 Responses

On 19 March, the President of the Dominican Republic ordered the closure of all borders. He also ordered the suspension of all inbound flights until 12 April 2020. Before the travel restrictions, nationals of 108 countries and territories were able to visit the country for 90 days without a visa.

On 19 March, Trinidad and Tobago closed its borders to everyone other than nationals of Trinidad and Tobago. Airports in Trinidad and Tobago were closed until 30 April 2020. The closures affect nationals of 100 jurisdictions eligible to visit the country without a visa.

On 23 March, two days before entering into a State of Emergency, Grenada imposed entry restrictions for all passengers and closed Maurice Bishop International Airport and Lauriston Airport. The travel restrictions affect citizens of 104 countries with visa-free access to Grenada.

On 24 March, Cuba closed its borders to all non-nationals and non-residents, affecting citizens of 19 visa-exempt countries.

On 24 March, St Lucia imposed entry restrictions on all foreign passengers by closing its airports until 5 April 2020. The closure affects citizens of 160 visa-exempt or visa-on-arrival eligible countries.

On 26 March, Dominica suspended all flights to the country. As Dominica allows nationals of any country except the Dominican Republic to visit visa-free, the suspension will be felt worldwide.

On 26 March, Jamaica imposed a complete entry ban, with the exception of passengers with an authorisation from the Government of Jamaica. The entry ban affects citizens of 106 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 26 March, St Kitts and Nevis suspended all flights to the country until 7 April 2020. The suspension affects citizens of 125 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 28 March, the Bahamas closed its borders to all foreign nationals until 15 April 2020. The border closure affects citizens of 120 visa-exempt countries and territories.

Americas

Named relevant countries: Andorra, Argentina, Bahamas, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Europe, European Union, Grenada, Honduras, Iceland, Jamaica, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, San Marino, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela

COVID-19 Responses

 

On 11 March, the President of El Salvador announced the imposition of entry restrictions on all foreign nationals, with the exception of accredited diplomats and legal permanent residents. The travel ban affects citizens of 86 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 12 March, Venezuela announced the suspension of all flights from Colombia and Europe for at least 30 days. The suspension therefore affects citizens of the following countries: Colombia, all 27 European Union member states, Andorra, Belarus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

On 13 March, President Trump suspended travel to the United States from the 26 Schengen Area countries for a period of 30 days, subject to adjustment. Further, as of 16 March, the ban was extended to apply to travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland. All 26 Schengen Area member states – as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland – currently participate in the United States Visa Waiver Programme. The restriction does not apply to United States legal permanent residents (that is, Green Card holders) and United States citizens, as well as persons travelling on the following visas: IR-4, IH-4, C-1, D, C-1/D, A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, E-1, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, and NATO-6.

On 15 March, Argentina suspended the entry of all non-residents into the country for an initial period of 30 days. The travel restriction affects citizens of 90 countries who previously benefitted from visa-free entry to Argentina.

On 16 March, Colombia closed its borders completely until 30 May 2020. The border closures affect citizens of 99 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 17 March, Peru implemented a complete entry ban on all foreign nationals to the country. The entry ban affects citizens of 97 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 18 March, Canada closed its borders to all travellers, with exceptions including Canadian citizens and residents, and citizens of the United States. The border closure therefore affects citizens of 53 countries including citizens of the United Kingdom.

On 19 March, Chile imposed a complete entry ban on foreign nationals travelling to the country, with exceptions including residents of Chile and passengers bringing humanitarian help. Before the entry ban, citizens of 93 jurisdictions were able to visit Chile for up to 90 days without a visa

On 19 March, a complete entry ban entered into force in Costa Rica following declaration of a State of Emergency on the island. The entry ban affects citizens of 97 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 19 March, Panama suspended the entry of all foreign nationals to the country, with the exception of foreign residents of Panama. The entry ban affects citizens of 118 visa-exempt countries.

On 19 March, Paraguay imposed a complete entry ban. It also suspended flights until 12 April 2020. In so doing, it affected citizens of 61 visa-exempt jurisdictions.

On 22 March, Honduras imposed a complete entry ban for all passengers, with the exception of nationals and residents of Honduras who are required to land at specific ports of entry. Before the ban, holders of passports from 83 jurisdictions were able to visit Honduras for 90 days without a visa.

On 23 March, Uruguay suspended flights from Europe to the country until 19 April 2020. Previously, citizens of 40 European countries were able to access Uruguay without a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

On 25 March, Ecuador updated its travel restrictions and closed its borders. Flights to Ecuador were suspended until 30 April 2020. Previously, all but 25 countries were afforded visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Ecuador.

On 26 March, Bolivia updated its travel restrictions and suspended the entry of all foreign passengers to the country. Flights from Europe to Bolivia were suspended until 15 April 2020. Previously, citizens of 49 countries and territories were able to enter Bolivia without a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.

On 30 March, Brazil imposed a total entry ban on all passengers, with some exceptions including Brazilian nationals and their immediate family members and residents of Brazil. Before the entry ban, citizens of 100 countries could enjoy visa-free access to Brazil.

Middle East

Named relevant countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Croatia, Ethiopia, European Union, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

On 2 March, unilateral visa exemptions for citizens of the following 11 countries entered into force in Turkey: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The visa waiver allows for tourist and business trips to Turkey for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. Previously, nationals of the aforementioned countries were required to apply for an e-visa.

On 3 March, the Ambassador for Turkey to Azerbaijan, Erkan Ozoral, announced that Turkey and Azerbaijan had increased the period of visa-free stay for citizens of the two countries. The visa-free period was increased from 30 to 90 days.

On 5 March, the Government of Bahrain welcomed a delegation led by State Minister of Ethiopia, Ambassador Birtukan Ayano. Representatives of the two countries discussed measures to enhance relations between Ethiopia and Bahrain, including the possibility of signing visa waiver agreements for holders of diplomatic passports of the two countries and the opening of Ethiopia’s consulate general in Bahrain.

On 12 March, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, urged the European Union to grant visa-free entry to citizens of Turkey in order to resolve the refugee crisis at the Turkish-Greek border. The Foreign Minister highlighted that visa liberalisation was part of the migration agreement between Turkey and the European Union, signed in 2016.

 

COVID-19 Responses

On 12 March, Israel suspended the entry of all foreign nationals into the country, with the exception of foreign nationals from certain countries who are able to prove that they “have a place and are able to go into a 14-day isolation.” The travel ban affects citizens of 99 visa-exempt countries.

On 13 March, Kuwait halted all commercial flights to and from the country until further notice. The travel suspension affects citizens of 59 countries eligible for visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Kuwait.

On 15 March, Oman imposed a complete entry ban, affecting citizens of the following visa-exempt countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

On 15 March, the Government of Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights, inbound and outbound, for two weeks. The suspension affects visa-exempt citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, and citizens from 51 countries and territories who were eligible for visa-on-arrival access to Saudi Arabia.

On 16 March, Kazakhstan entered into a State of Emergency and the entry of all foreign nationals into the country was suspended. Further, the exit of all Kazakh citizens from the country was barred. The entry ban affects citizens of 73 visa-exempt countries, as well as Kazakh citizens themselves.

On 17 March, Jordan suspended all passenger flights, and closed its land and sea borders to foreign nationals. Before the travel restriction, all but 59 jurisdictions benefitted from visa waivers and visas-on-arrival to Jordan.

On 18 March, Qatar suspended the entry of all foreign nationals for a 14-day period. The entry ban includes citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who previously benefitted from freedom of movement in Qatar. The ban also affects citizens of 90 visa-exempt or visa-on-arrival eligible countries.

On 19 March, the United Arab Emirates imposed a complete entry ban on all foreign nationals, with the exception of family members of foreign nationals. Flights to the country have been suspended from 24 March to 7 April. The entry ban affects nationals of 54 visa-exempt countries and 20 countries and territories eligible to obtain a visa-on-arrival.

On 23 March, Azerbaijan imposed an entry ban on all foreign nationals, with the exception of persons possessing a work permit issued by Azerbaijan or persons with special permission issued by the Government. The entry ban affects citizens of 11 visa-exempt countries.

On 23 March, Iraq closed all airports in the country for a period of 5 days. On 29 March, Iraq extended the closure of its airports until 11 April 2020. The closure particularly affects citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, who were previously able to obtain visas-on-arrival at specified ports of entry to Iraq.

On 27 March, Lebanon suspended all flights to the country until 12 April 2020, with exceptions including for the purpose of carrying diplomatic staff working in the country and international organisations’ personnel. The suspension affects citizens of 89 countries eligible for visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Lebanon.

Asia

Named relevant countries: Andorra, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Bulgaria, Brunei, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Ethiopia, European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Norway, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Uzbekistan

On 1 March, a visa exemption came into effect in Uzbekistan, establishing visa-free entry for up to 90 days for citizens of Japan holding diplomatic and official passports.

 

COVID-19 Responses

On 4 March, at a press conference at the Bangladeshi Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research, it was confirmed that citizens of Italy, Japan, Kuwait, and South Korea who were previously able to obtain visas-on-arrival upon entering Bangladesh, are now unable to do so without medical certificates declaring them free of COVID-19.

On 9 March, South Korea implemented a temporary suspension of its visa waiver programme with Japan and introduced a mandatory two-week quarantine period for visitors travelling from Japan. The measures were taken in response to Japan’s decision to implement similar restrictions on South Korean citizens.

On 10 March, the Foreign Ministry of China temporarily suspended its visa exemption for nationals of Japan. Previously, Japanese citizens benefited from a 15-day visa waiver.

On 12 March, Vietnam suspended its visa exemption scheme for citizens of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Further, on 21 March, Vietnam extended the suspension to Belarus, Japan, and Russia. Citizens from these countries were previously permitted to enter Vietnam for 15 days without a visa.

On 13 March, restrictions entered into force in India suspending all visas (except diplomatic visas and visas for international organisations, employment, and projects) until 15 April 2020. The suspension also covered Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders – that is, people of Indian descent who hold citizenship of a nation other than India.

On 13 March, Thailand opted to suspend its unilateral visa waiver policy for citizens of Italy and suspended visa-on-arrival applications from the following 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Vanuatu, until 30 September 2020.

On 14 March, Nepal suspended the provision of visas-on-arrival for all foreign nationals until 30 April 2020. Previously, Nepal issued visas-on-arrival to most citizens of foreign nations, with the exception of holders of refugee travel documents and citizens of 12 countries. The visa-on-arrival facility granted to Non-Resident Nepalese card holders was also suspended.

On 16 March, visa-free travel through the Kartarpur corridor was suspended until further notice. The Kartarpur corridor was inaugurated in November 2019 to allow Sikhs in India to make the pilgrimage to the Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The site is of historic, cultural, and religious importance to Sikhs, as it is where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, settled until his death.

On 18 March, Malaysia banned the entry of all foreign nationals and implemented travel restrictions preventing its citizens from travelling abroad. The entry ban affects citizens of 162 visa-exempt countries, in addition to Malaysians themselves.

On 19 March, Macao prohibited the entry of all non-residents with the exception of residents of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The entry ban therefore affects citizens of 82 visa-exempt countries. Macao is one of China’s Special Administrative Regions known for its ties to Portugal, under whose control it remained until 1999, and its attractiveness as one of the world’s top gambling destinations.

On 19 March, Mongolia imposed an entry ban on all foreign nationals. Three days later, it confirmed that the entry restrictions are set to be in place until 30 April 2020. The travel restrictions affect citizens of 44 visa-exempt and visa-on-arrival eligible countries.

On 19 March, Taiwan banned the entry of all foreign visitors to the country, with some exceptions including persons holding an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC), diplomatic officials, and businesspeople with special entry permits. The entry ban affects visa-exempt and visa-on-arrival-eligible citizens from 66 countries.

On 20 March, Indonesia suspended its visa-free and visa-on-arrival facilities, including diplomatic visa exemptions, effective for a period of one month. The suspension affects passport holders of 170 visa-exempt countries and 68 visa-on-arrival eligible countries.

On 22 March, the Government of the Philippines barred the entry of all foreign nationals, excluding foreign spouses and children of Filipinos, after temporarily suspending the issuance of visa-free entry privileges to all foreign nationals on 19 March. The suspension affects citizens of 157 visa-exempt countries.

On 22 March, following earlier visa exemption suspensions, Vietnam suspended the entry of all foreign nationals until further notice. Temporary suspension of entry was also applied to all overseas Vietnamese nationals, as well as their spouses and children eligible for visa exemptions. The suspension affects passport holders from 24 visa-exempt countries, COVID-19 restrictions aside.

On 23 March, Singapore prohibited the entry and transit of all foreign nationals, with the exception of those working in essential services such as healthcare and transport. Previously, citizens of any country (apart from the 35 countries included in Singapore’s ‘Assessment Level I’ and ‘Assessment Level II’ lists) benefitted from visa-free entry to Singapore.

On 24 March, all flights to Uzbekistan were suspended until further notice, affecting citizens of 86 countries eligible for visa-free access to the country without conditions.

On 24 March, Hong Kong updated its entry restrictions policy to the effect that foreign nationals are not permitted to transit through or enter the Special Administrative Region, with some exceptions including persons who have only been in China, Macao, or Taiwan, in the last 14 days. The entry restrictions therefore affect citizens of 146 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 26 March, following earlier suspensions of visa exemptions and visas-on-arrival, Thailand suspended the entry of all foreign passengers with some exceptions, including airline crew with pre-existing schedules and diplomats and their family members. The travel suspension affects citizens of 64 visa-exempt countries.

On 27 March, Japan suspended its visa exemption scheme for citizens of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Further, on 28 March, Japan temporarily halted its visa exemption scheme for citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam until 30 April 2020, and extended its visa-free travel suspension for citizens of China, Hong Kong, and South Korea until 30 April 2020.

On 28 March, China temporarily suspended the entry of foreign nationals with the exception of those holding diplomatic or service passports. The suspension also included foreign nationals with residence status – a move that is more radical than those taken by many other countries worldwide. The travel ban affects citizens of 18 countries who were previously able to benefit from visa-free access to China.

On 29 March, Sri Lanka extended the closure of its airports until 7 April 2020. The closure particularly affects citizens of the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore, all of whom were able to obtain visas-on-arrival to Sri Lanka at any port of entry.

On 30 March and at least until 13 April 2020, Myanmar suspended the entry of all international flights to the country, with the exception of certain special categories of flights. The entry ban affects nationals from 12 visa-exempt countries and 13 visa-on-arrival countries.

On 30 March, Turkmenistan updated its entry restrictions to the effect that flights to the country are suspended until 20 April 2020. The restrictions affect citizens of all countries who were previously able to transit through Ashgabat International Airport without a visa.

Africa

Named relevant countries: African Union, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Commonwealth, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Kuwait, La Francophonie, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles Singapore, Syria, Yemen

On 6 March, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, approved the provision of visas-on-arrival to citizens of member states of the African Union, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie for stays of 30 days. President Kagame stated that Rwanda plans to implement visa waivers for additional countries in the near future.

 

COVID-19 Responses

On 15 March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco announced in a press release the suspension of all international air routes to and from the country until further notice. The suspension affects citizens of 67 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 17 March, Sudan entered into a State of Emergency and closed its airports and land borders to foreign nationals. The closures affect citizens of the following visa-exempt countries: Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It also affects citizens of Kenya, Malaysia, and Turkey, who were eligible to obtain visas-on-arrival.

On 18 March, Cameroon suspended all internationals flights to the country until 17 April 2020. The suspension affects citizens of the following visa-exempt countries: the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria.

On 18 March, Kenya imposed a total entry ban on foreign nationals to the country. Further, on 31 March, all international flights to Kenya were suspended. The restrictions affect citizens of 43 visa-exempt countries.

On 19 March, Egypt suspended all inbound and outbound flights from the country until 15 April 2020. The suspension affects citizens of 48 visa-exempt and visa-on-arrival eligible countries, while citizens of Egypt would still be allowed in the country should a need arise.

On 19 March, Mauritius imposed a total ban on persons entering the country until 2 April 2020. The ban does not apply to nationals of Mauritius or their spouses and children. The entry ban affects citizens of 180 countries who were previously able to obtain visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Mauritius.

On 23 March, the Gambia closed its mutual land border with Senegal. On the same day, the Gambia also halted all air traffic, with the exception of medical and cargo flights. Previously, the Gambia granted visa-free entry universally, with the exception of 35 countries and territories.

On 24 March, all flights to Senegal were suspended until 17 April 2020. The suspension affects citizens of 59 visa-exempt countries. Citizens of all non-visa-exempt countries, with the exception of four, were previously able to obtain a visa-on-arrival for a stay of up to one month.

On 24 March, Djibouti suspended flights to the country. The suspension primarily affects citizens of Singapore, who are, in normal circumstances, eligible for visa-free travel to the country.

On 25 March, Namibia closed its borders to foreign nationals until 23 April 2020. The border closure affects citizens of 96 countries eligible for visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to Namibia.

On 26 March, the Republic of the Congo closed its airports, chiefly affecting citizens of 15 visa-exempt and visa-on-arrival eligible countries.

On 26 March, Nigeria ordered the closure of international airports and land borders for a period of four weeks. The travel suspension affects citizens of 17 visa-exempt countries.

On 26 March, all airports in Mauritania were declared closed. Previously, citizens of all countries were able to obtain a visa-on-arrival to Mauritania at Nouakkchot-Oumtounsy International Airport.

On 27 March, flights to South Africa were suspended. The suspension was set until 16 April 2020 and affects citizens of 80 countries and territories normally eligible for visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to the country.

On 29 March, Uganda extended the suspension of international flights to the country until 24 April 2020. The suspension does not apply to flights approved by the appropriate authority, but otherwise affects citizens of 37 visa-exempt countries.

On 30 March, the Seychelles suspended the entry of all foreign nationals. Previously, the Seychelles granted visa-free entry universally, with the exception of citizens of Kosovo.

Oceania

Named relevant countries: Fiji, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

On 18 March, the Marshall Islands extended its entry ban on foreign nationals until 5 April 2020. The entry ban affects citizens of 96 jurisdictions eligible for visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to the islands.

On 20 March, Vanuatu closed its ports of entry, affecting citizens of 120 visa-exempt jurisdictions. Currently, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Vanuatu.

On 23 March, an entry ban on all passengers, except those with prior written authorisation from the Prime Minister, was implemented in the Solomon Islands. The entry ban affects citizens of 76 countries and territories normally eligible for visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to the Solomon Islands without conditions.

On 26 March, Tuvalu closed its borders. The border closures particularly affect citizens of the Schengen Area member states, who were previously able to visit Tuvalu for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period.

On 30 March, Fiji imposed a total entry ban. The entry ban affects citizens of 107 visa-exempt countries and territories.

On 31 March, New Zealand closed its borders, with exceptions including New Zealand nationals, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions, and their immediate family members. The border closures affect passport holders of 60 visa-exempt jurisdictions.