Lockdowns and travel bans: which countries have COVID-19 restrictions
Travel bans, lockdowns and partial shutdowns are being implemented as countries work to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is rapidly evolving, and checking the most up-to-date government sources is always advised, but here is a list of how countries are dealing with the outbreak.
Ethiopia's state-carrier Ehiopian Airlines suspended flights to 30 countries with high numbers of reported COVID-19 cases on 20 March. From 23 March, all travellers arriving into the country are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. See here for more information.
On 17 March, Ghana banned entry to foreign visitors who have been in the worst affected countries (those with 200 cases and more) in the last 14 days. Ghanian citizens and permanent residents are exempt. There is a mandatory self-quarantine for anyone entering the country. From 30 March, it imposed a lockdown on the capital Accra, and the cities of Kumasi and Tema. See here for more information.
On Sunday, 15 March Kenya announced its denying entry to non-citizens or permanent residents. Anyone arriving into the country in the last 14 days must self-isolate. On 28 March, it introduced a 7pm to 5am curfew. See here for more information.
On Friday, 20 March, Madagascar banned all commercial passenger flights to and from Europe for 30 days. All passengers arriving into the country must self-isolate for 14 days. See here for more information.
Mali has suspended commercial passenger flights from affected countries from 19 March. See here for more information.
Effective 15 March 15, all commercial international flights have been suspended, as well as passenger ferry services. Morocco also closed its land borders with Ceuta and Melilla. See here for more information.
Nigeria had banned entry to citizens of 13 countries who have all reported more than 1000 cases, including the US, UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. On Saturday, 21 March, it took the measure further by closing its airports to all international travel for one month. A lockdown has been imposed on its two main cities, Lagos and Abuja. See here for more information.
Rwanda has enforced a lockdown, banning all unnecessary movements outside the home for two weeks as of midnight on Sunday, 22 March. See here for more information.
Somalia has banned all international flights. See here for more information.
On Sunday, 15 March, South Africa declared a "state of disaster" and announced that it will close its borders to all foreign visitors from high-risk countries. On 28 March, it imposed a three-week nationwide lockdown. See here for more information.
Uganda has closed its borders to all travel and commercial traffic, except for cargo. See here for more information.
On 16 March, Tunisia closed public buildings, land borders and suspended international flights. A curfew from 6pm to 6am was introduced on 18 March. See here for more information.
As of 16 March, Argentina closed its borders for 15 days to non-residents. A mandatory quarantine was introduced on 20 March to last until mid-April. See here for more information.
As of 17 March, Bolivia has closed its borders to all non-residents and suspended all international flights. The measures are in place until 31 March. See here for more information.
On Monday, 16 March, Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau announced it is closing its borders to non-citizens and non-residents. As of 18 March, that has been extended to its land border with the US in a mutual agreement between the two countries. See here for more information.
Chile closed its borders on Wednesday, 18 March. See here for more information.
Colombia has banned the entry of foreign visitors from Monday, 16 March. Returning Colombian citizens and residents returning must self-isolate for two weeks. Schools and universities are also closed. See here for more information.
Costa Rica will close its borders to all international visitors from 18 March. Costa Rican citizens and residents will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. See here for more information.
On Saturday, 14 March, Ecuador announced it will close its borders to all foreign visitors. Ecuadorean citizens and permanent residents have been advised to return to the country before Monday. Restrictions will apply thereafter. See here for more information.
El Salvador declared a state of emergency on Sunday, 15 March, despite having no confirmed cases at present. Restrictions on entry to and exit from the country are in place, as well as curbs on public gatherings. See here for more information.
On Friday, 12 March, Guatemala announced a ban on citizens from Europe, Iran, China, South and North Korea from entering the country. On Saturday that ban was extended to cover the US and Canada. See here for more information.
Honduras has closed its borders for one week, effective 16 March. See here for more information.
Panama is one of the hardest-hit countries in Central America. As of 16 March, it has banned the entry of non-residents. All non-essential businesses have been shut. On 24 March, it introduced a 5pm to 5am curfew and announced it would issue fines of up to US$100,000 for any confirmed cases breaking self-quarantine. See here for more information.
As of 17 March, residents have been ordered to stay at home in mandatory self-isolation, and Peru's borders are closed for 15 days. See here for more information.
From 13 March, Uruguay has required that all passengers arriving from China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Spain, Italy, France and Germany go into mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. See here for more information.
The US has imposed a travel ban for all of Europe, and the border between Canada and the US is closed to non-essential traffic as of 18 March. On March 19, the US State Department issued a level-4 global travel advisory, recommending that all Americans abroad either return home or stay in place.
Domestically, as of Monday, 16 March, Americans have been asked to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and to limit non-essential travel within the United States. For a full breakdown of state-by-state restrictions see here.
On 15 March, Venezuela ordered a mandatory quarantine on those living in nine states, including the capital Caracas. See here for more information.
On 14 March, Cambodia issued a 30-day ban on entry to visitors from the US, France, Germany, Italy and Spain from 17 March. See here for more information.
China introduced strict containment measures, which have managed to slow down the number of new COVID-19 cases. Those measures include a lockdown of nearly 60 million people in Hubei province (the source of the outbreak) and mandatory quarantine instructions, which have started to ease in recent days. On 28 March the Chinese government introduced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors to push back on imported cases. See here for more information.
From 25 March, all foreign arrivals into the country are banned, with some exceptions including the immediate family of Hong Kong residents and those returning from China, Macau and Taiwan ,though they must self-quarantine for 14 days. See here for more information.
On 24 March, India announced it would tighten its containment measures by introducing a nationwide 21-day lockdown, effective from midnight on 25 March. The prime minister Narenda Modi announced on a television address that "nobody is allowed to leave their homes" during this time. As of 13 March, the Indian government suspended most travel and tourism visas until 15 April. See here for more information.
Japan has banned entry to passengers who have been in affected regions of China, South Korea or Italy within the last 14 days. Japanese nationals and their immediate families are exempt. Major attractions like Tokyo Disney Resort have been closed for a number of weeks, while the country is under partial shutdown. As of 29 March, Japan expanded its entry ban to include citizens from the US and most of Europe. See here for more information.
On 16 March, the Malaysian government announced a nationwide lockdown, effective 18 March until the end of the month. See here for more information.
Travel in and out of the capital Manila is prohibited until 14 April and some areas are under a curfew from 8pm until 5am. From 22 March, foreign visitors are barred from entry. See here for more information.
From 23 March, Singapore banned all international travellers except for those working in healthcare or essential services. All arrivals must present health certificates. Large gatherings have been banned but schools and workplaces remain open. See here for more information.
Visitors who have been in China's Hubei Province in the past 14 days, and citizens from that region are not permitted to enter South Korea. See here for more information.
On 17 March, Sri Lanka announced it would ban all incoming flights for two weeks from Wednesday, 18 March. No cruise passengers and crew are allowed to enter. See here for more information.
As of 15 March, there is a ban on entry on foreign nationals who have visited China, Hong Kong and Macau in the last 14 days. See here for more information.
On 13 March, Thailand said it would suspend its visa exemption policies for travellers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy, while visa on arrival would be stopped for 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China. On 23 March, Bangkok went into lockdown and borders have been tightened. See here for more information.
From 22 March, there is a ban on all foreign entry until further notice. See here for more information.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia will close its borders to foreign visitors from Friday, 20 March. Only Australian citizens, their immediate family and permanent residents will be allowed to enter. On Monday, 23 March, the government announced that most public places will temporarily close, including beaches, cafes, restaurants, places of worship, bars and casinos in a further set of restrictions on businesses and individual behaviours. See here for more information.
New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Arden announced on 14 March that "New Zealand will have the widest-ranging and toughest border restrictions of anyone in the world." All international passengers, including returning citizens, were subject to self-isolation for 14 days; cruise ships are not permitted to dock in New Zealand's ports until at least 30 June and residents have been advised to avoid all non-essential travel for now. From 25 March, those measures were extended to a month-long nationwide lockdown with the country progressing to a 'level 4' alert, which means people must stay in their homes unless they are working in essential services. See here for more information.
On 14 March, the Government of the Virgin Islands announced a 30-day ban on entry to cruise ships calling into the British Virgin Islands. Mass gatherings and festivals have also been postponed or cancelled. See here for more information.
From 19 March, the Dominican Republic will suspend all commercial flights and ships, as well as close schools and entertainment centres for 15 days. The government is making arrangements to evacuate tourists over the coming days. See here for more information.
Haiti has closed its land border with the Dominican Republic. See here for more information.
On Sunday, 15 March, Jamaica declared a state of disaster. All public events have been postponed for the month of March, until further notice. Jamaica has also banned entry to visitors from the UK - except for Jamaican citizens and their immediate family, and residents of Jamaica travelling from the UK. See here for more information.
On 16 March, Puerto Rico imposed a nationwide curfew from 9pm until 5am to last until 29 March. During the day, people can only leave their home to buy food, medicine or gasoline. See here for more information.
On 17 March, Trinidad and Tobago closed its borders to international visitors for 14 days. All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. See here for more information.
On 17 March, EU leaders issued a 30-day travel non-essential ban on those travelling from outside the EU. The 26 member states of the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Austrians are being asked to self-isolate as major restrictions on movement were imposed on Sunday, 15 March. All non-essential shops are closed from Monday, and restaurants from Tuesday. People are advised to only leave their homes when necessary and gatherings of more than five people are banned. The government has banned entry to people travelling from the UK, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine without a medical certificate. All rail and flight connections from Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Spain and France to Austria are also suspended. See here for more information.
All schools and universities will be closed from Monday, 16 March until 3 April. All recreational and sporting events have been cancelled or postponed. Cafes, pubs and restaurants have closed, while shops have been advised to shut at weekends. Pharmacies and supermarkets remain unaffected. See here for more information.
On Thursday, 12 March, the Czech Republic declared a 30-day state of emergency. Schools, universities and cultural institutions are closed; gatherings of more than 30 people are banned and restaurants and pubs must close between 8pm and 6am. On Saturday morning it extended its measures to close all retail businesses, including shopping centres, for at least 10 days, and announced a shutdown of its borders to foreign visitors. See here for more information.
Denmark announced it is closing its borders to all international visitors from midday on Saturday, 14 March until 13 April, only returning Danish citizens and documented residents will be allowed into the country. People have been asked to restrict their movements and only leave home when it's necessary. See here for more information.
France imposed a lockdown on the evening of Monday, 16 March, to last for 15 days. Citizens can only leave their homes to go to the supermarket, pharmacy or work. President Emmanuel Macron said borders would be closed from Tuesday, although French citizens and residents would be allowed to return home. On 23 March, restrictions were tightened with citizens instructed they could only exercise alone or with their children once a day and for no more than an hour, staying within one kilometre of their home. See here for more information.
Nationwide all schools, universities and non-essential shops are closed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for a ban on gatherings with more than two people. Germany has also temporarily closed its borders Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg. See here for more information.
On 16 March, Greece announced all international arrivals must undergo a 14-day quarantine. It also closed its borders with Albania and North Macedonia. See here for more information.
Passengers arriving from China, Italy, Iran, Israel or South Korea must self-quarantine for 14 days. Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours; health screenings on arrival likely. See here for more information.
Italy introduced nationwide quarantine measures that are in place until 3 April 2020. The country is under lockdown and all shops – except for supermarkets and pharmacies –are closed. Citizens can only leave their homes with a form that provides a justified reason for doing so, such as buying food, medical supplies, or assisting those in need. The form can be accessed here. On 22 March, restrictions were tightened in Lombardy with outdoor sports and other physical activities banned. See here for more information.
On Thursday, 12 March, Ireland entered a period of partial shutdown with schools, universities and cultural institutions closed. Bars and restaurants closed on 15 March and large public gatherings were banned. Restrictions on movement have gradually been introduced since. As of 29 March, all non-essential businesses have been shut. People have been advised to stay at home unless shopping for food or medicine and they can only engage in outdoor exercise within 2km of their homes. See here for more information.
All schools, cafes, restaurants and sports clubs were ordered to be closed on Sunday, 14 March. Public places such as museums, concert venues, theatres and sports clubs are also closed. See here for more information.
International travellers arriving in Norway from outside the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, plus Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands) are subject to 14-day self-isolation. See here for more information.
Poland is banning all foreign visitors from entering the country from Sunday, 15 March and is imposing a 14-day quarantine on returning citizens. On 26 March, the government announced a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, with the exception for families and religious gatherings. See here for more information.
On 21 March, Romania introduced a ban on foreign visitors from entering the country; exceptions will be made for those transiting through Romania. See here for more information.
Russia has banned the entry of foreign visitors from 18 March until 1 May. Returning Russian citizens and permanent residents are exempt. Moscow has closed restaurants, bars, parks and non-essential retail outlets. See here for more information.
Serbia closed its airports, road and rail borders on 19 March and suspended all internal transport. See here for more information.
Slovakia is stopping all international travel to and from the country and introducing border checks. Schools, leisure centres and some cultural attractions are closed. See here for more information.
From midnight on Sunday, 15 March all shops, other than supermarkets, newsstands, petrol stations, pharmacies, banks and agricultural shops, were ordered to close. Schools are also closed and public transport has been halted. Special travel advisories are in place for Italy, Serbia, Spain, Iran, South Korea, the US and China. See here for more information.
Spain is the second-hardest hit country in Europe, after Italy. In order to contain the spread of infection, Spain's prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced a 15-day partial lockdown on 14 March. On 22 March, it was announced the ban could be in place for a further 15 days. All non-essential shops have been shut and citizens can only leave their homes when necessary, such as when buying food, going to work, seeking healthcare and assisting those in need. Citizens can be fined if they're found outside without justified reasons. Schools, restaurants, entertainment facilities and bars are closed. See here for more information.
Switzerland has closed schools, banned public gatherings of more than 100 people, and limited access to restaurants, bars and clubs to a maximum of 50 people. Numerous ski resorts have also temporarily shut. At the borders, additional screening procedures have been implemented, and a number of borders between Italy and Switzerland have closed. See here for more information.
On Tuesday, 17 March, the UK government advised people to avoid non-essential travel, to avoid social gatherings and to work from home where possible. On Monday, 23 March, the government announced a plan to further reduce coronavirus transmission by only allowing people to leave their homes to shop for basic necessities, go to doctor appointments and to travel to work only when absolutely necessary. See here for more information.
As of 23 March, Azerbaijan closed its borders to all foreign visitors except for those with work permits. See here for more information.
From Thursday, 18 March, Egypt will suspend all incoming and outbound flights for two weeks. See here for more information.
Israel initially banned citizens or visitors of Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Andorra and San Marino unless they have proof they have to a place to self-isolate for 14 days. On 9 March that was extended to a 14-day quarantine on all visitors and returning citizens. The country has also entered into a partial shutdown with non-essential public places closed. On 17 March, Israel went one step closer to total lockdown by instructing people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary and avoid public transportation. See here for more information.
As of March 17, Jordan has closed its land and sea borders and suspended all international flights. See here for more information.
As of 15 March, Oman suspended tourist visas for all foreign visitors for one month. See here for more information.
As of 17 March, the UAE suspended issuing foreign visitors, except diplomatic visas. To facilitate a deep clean campaign, an 8pm to 6am curfew was introduced on 26 March, to last until 5 April. See here for more information.
This article was first published on 13 March and updated on 30 March, 2020.
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is now a global pandemic. Find out what this means for travellers.