COVID-19 ASEAN Digital Dashboard

Understanding COVID-19's Impact on Business

The US-ASEAN Business Council is closely tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic  This interactive report provides a resource for our members and the public on the national responses of ASEAN Member States and timely analysis on the consequences of these measures on business.

Situation by Country

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
151 3 145
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

No restrictions on cross-border delivery of goods. Discussions to reopen the borders to Singapore, China and Malaysia are ongoing. No decision has been reached at the moment. Brunei bans all non-essential travel to and from its borders.

Known Closures:

N/A

Cross Border Issues:

N/A

Known Exceptions:

Special exemptions for work and family related non-essential travel to and from the borders is to be evaluated by the government through an application.

Additional Information:

Operating hours of Temburong Bridge revised to 6:00am to 6:00pm

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

Travel to Brunei is still restricted and anyone seeking to enter or exit Brunei must apply for a permit from the Prime Minister’s Office. On September 2, Brunei and Singapore established Reciprocal Green Lane facilities, enabling travel between the two nations. On September 3, the Sultanate announced that travelers entering the country must provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, which must be obtained within 72 hours of travel. On September 14, Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) declared plans to operate a commercial flight to London’s Heathrow Airport. RBA has still suspended most of its routes till October 25, with limited service continuing to Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Manila. Brunei’s temporary flying program has started from August until October 24, 2020, including direct flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, Manila, Melbourne, and London (in September). Starting September 1, Singapore waives the home quarantine requirement for travelers from Brunei. As of August 31, Brunei’s borders remain closed to leisure travelers.

Foreign workers in the oil and gas industry entering Brunei are required to undergo COVID-19 swab test in their country prior to their arrival in Brunei and in Brunei upon arriving. Starting October 1, citizens and foreign nationals will be charged a $3 entry and exit fees at land border checkpoints.

The entry ban to Brunei and transit ban at Brunei International Airport are still in place for all foreign nationals including those who have visas. In addition, all visitors arriving into Brunei must take COVID-19 test and undergo a 14-day self-isolation at the monitoring centers. All citizens and permanent residents of Brunei are restricted from leaving the country. Exception can be given to those who travel for medical care, attending court hearings, or resuming study abroad, upon approval by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Foreign workers in the oil and gas industry entering Brunei are required to undergo COVID-19 swab test in their country prior to their arrival in Brunei and in Brunei upon arriving.

Restricted Locations:

Starting May 16, restrictions on six types of premises will be lifted: restaurants, gyms and sports facilities, driving schools, and stalls and markets.  Entrance to these facilities will be monitored via BruHealth app.  Many facilities subject to 30% capacity limit. On March 18, dine-in services banned in food premises, cinemas, sports facilities, museums, mosques closed. Schools online.

Gatherings of People:

As of September 28, authorities have further eased local restrictions. This includes some sports events being able to resume with no spectators if they have a permit, including badminton, golf, sepak takraw, squash, table tennis, and tennis. Additionally, swimming pools can reopen with a user limit of 100 people. Additionally, playgrounds and arcades can operate at 80% capacity. Number of people permitted at mass gatherings increased from 100 to 200 people. Since August 3, places of worship other than mosques and suras are allowed to operate as normal. Group religious activities are permitted to resume with no more than 100 people for 2 hours. Several activities including special needs centers, childcare facilities, eateries, public transportation, and driving schools have resumed operations at full capacity. Other activities are resuming at the following capacity starting August 17: cinemas at 80%, swimming pools at 80%, and internet cafes at 90%. Team sports are now permitted for no more than 15 individuals participating in one training session. Organized sports games are still prohibited. Schools nationwide increased their capacity for in-person classes and resume their academic session at full capacity.

Known Exceptions:

Takeout from food establishments are permitted.

Security/Safety Issues:

Individuals who violate Ministry of Health protocol can face a fine of up to BND10,000 and/or six-month imprisonment for the first offence. For subsequent offences, a fine of up to BND20,000 and/or up to one year imprisonment

Additional Information:

On May 20, the government announced that BruHealth contact tracing app will be mandatory in the near future.  On March 24, government launched COVID-19 app that provides information and resources for reporting symptoms for citizens of Brunei.  On April 2, the government announced that the app will now include SMS authentication, a direct reporting tool, a health education tool and FAQs, government press statements and COVID-19 hotspot tracing.  On April 15, government announced tracking bracelets for discharged patients and those under quarantine to monitor movement during self-isolation. 

Fiscal spending:

Government will pay wage subsidies (25%) for employees of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who earn $1500 and below. Six-month deferment of Employees Trust Fund and Supplementary Contributory Pension contributions for SMEs in all sectors. On April 18, government announced $300 monthly payments over three months for over 2,000 market vendors, small business owners, taxi drivers, and tour guides.

Tax measures:

SMEs in tourism, hospitality, food and beverage, and air and water transport will receive up to 50% corporate tax discount. SMES in these sectors will also receive 15% discount on water and electricity bills and 30% discount on rental fees in government buildings. On May 7, the government announced cuts of up to 50% on annual building tax for landlords who cut or waive their commercial tenants’ rent. Landlords who reduce their monthly rent by at least 10% will have their building tax lowered by 20%. Those who decreased their rent by 20% and above will receive a 50% tax cut.

Financial measures:

Effective April 1, businesses in the tourism, hospitality/event management, restaurants/cafes, air transport sectors, and importers of food and medical supplies will receive six-month deferment on principal repayments of financing/loans. These sectors will also not be required to pay bank fees/charges (except for third party charges) for trade and transaction payments for six months. Banks encouraged to review lending rate, all customers will not have to pay online interbank transfer fees for six months.

Trade measures:

Temporary exemption of customs and duties on personal hygiene products

Additional Measures:

Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) providing online business courses to SMEs via Industry Business Academy program, also launched Co-Matching Scheme of up to BND20,000 focused on assisting business; DARe contributes 70% of funding required for business. On April 15, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced special monthly B$400 allowance for healthcare workers.

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
331 0 304
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

PM Hun Sen announced the continued opening of cross-border trade with neighboring countries

Known Closures:

Sao Kaeo checkpoints are currently closed.

Cross Border Issues:

Trade with neighbors remains open.

Known Exceptions:

N/A

Additional Information:

57 factories have closed due to raw material shortage

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

As of September 11, Cambodia’s Ministry of Health announced zero active cases of COVID-19 for 11 consecutive days.  As of now, there are 274 identified cases founded and all 274 of the patients have completely recovered.  All of the cases were imported, and there has been no reported community transmission in the country.  Cambodia has resumed international flights but still with strict screenings, testing and contact tracing, and proper quarantine and safety measures.                                                                                                                                                                                        

(May 20) Several travel restrictions have been lifted-this includes travelers from U.S, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Iran. The travelers are required to show Covid-19 medical certificate, proving negative status, granted up to 72 hours before entry. They are also to obtain medical insurance covering at least $50,000 in expenses and pay US$3,000 deposit to cover Covid-19 costs. This excludes embassy officials and international organization staff holding type A and B visas. Upon arrival, all passengers are to undergo a Covid-19 testing. If one or more passengers are tested positive, all accompanying passengers will be going through a 14-day facility quarantine. If not, travelers will be put under self-isolation at homes. On the 14th day of self-isolation, there will be a second Covid-19 test. The suspension of all visa free entry and issuance of e-visas and visas-on-arrival remains unchanged. For urgent travel, all foreigners can obtain visa in advance (only official and diplomatic).

Restricted Locations:

(May 27) Cambodian citizens will no longer be held to the same stringent entry requirements as foreigners (medical certificate and insurance). (June 29) The requirement of providing US$ 3,000 deposit to cover Covid-19 costs and compulsory US$ 50,000 health insurance has been removed, but ONLY specifically for Cambodian citizens with foreign passports and have a Visa K entry permit.

Gatherings of People:

(March 31) PM Hun Sen banned all religious gatherings. Closure of all schools until further notice. Slowly planning reopening of public spaces- National Museum in Phnom Penh again allowed to accept visitors from May 15. (May 22) Inter-Ministerial Committee to Counter the Covid-19 Disease also issued a statement on May 22 allowing the reopening of sport events, as long as no spectators can attend and no more than 100 players and officials are involved.

(August 2020) Large meetings and gatherings (parties and religious gatherings) are banned until September 2020. Domestically, grocery stores, restaurants, and other services remain available, while having restrictions on operation of certain businesses such as cinemas, karaoke, and entertainment clubs (bars, discos, beer gardens).

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Cambodia team.

Known Exceptions:

(May 27) Cambodian citizens will no longer be held to the same stringent entry requirements as foreigners (medical certificate and insurance). (June 29) The requirement of providing US$ 3,000 deposit to cover Covid-19 costs and compulsory US$ 50,000 health insurance has been removed, but ONLY specifically for Cambodian citizens with foreign passports and have a Visa K entry permit. (On November 11), Cambodia’s Ministry of Health has revised prevention measures for travelers entering the country. This announcement will be effective from November 18 onwards.

The new provisions state travelers entering as business investor, employee, expert and technician with a sponsor, general traveler or foreign traveler that has valid Visa A and B or Cambodian travelers with Cambodian or foreign passports will be permitted to enter the country. However, all these travelers must abide the following requirements: Travelers arriving from China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, America and European Union (with sponsorship) must provide:

-Before arrival:

Must possess health certificate;

Negative COVID-19 test result issued by health authority of their resident within 72 hours before departure;

Certificate of payment guarantee that is valid for 30 days and may only be applied by the Sponsor. The applicant must provide details for travel schedule, purpose of travel, activities of the first 14 days, people they will interact with, travel locations, places of residence;

Valid entry visa.

-Upon arrival:

In addition to the documents listed above, the traveler will be undergoing a COVID-19 test and be quarantined until the test result is released. If the test is confirmed negative, the traveler will be allowed to enter the country freely. (Note: The sponsor is responsible for all expenses related to travel restrictions and must facilitate with Ministry of Health (MOH))

General Travelers must abide the following:

14-days mandatory quarantine in a designated area;

Deposit USD 2000 that accounts for all expenses (test fees, accommodation, transportation) during the period;

Purchase the Health Insurance valid of 20 days (Cost- USD 90) to cover for COVID-19 treatment;

Undergo COVID-19 test on the 13th day of quarantine.

Expenses: Accommodation costs USD 60-75 per night. Other expenses are subjected to MOH Announcement No. 564 dated 11 June 2020

Traveler with Visa A or Visa B must:

Comply with requirements of MOH Announcement No. 170 dated 5 August 2020 on Revised Health Measures to be applied to Diplomats and International Organizations Representatives.

Cambodian Travelers (Cambodian or foreign passports) shall:

14-days mandatory quarantine in a designated area;

Not required to deposit or purchase health insurance for COVID-19.

Expenses: The travelers will not be responsible for any expenses in the designated facility unless they request to be quarantined in a different facility.

Cambodian Travelers (Cambodian or foreign passports) shall:

14-days mandatory quarantine in a designated area;

Not required to deposit or purchase health insurance for COVID-19.

Expenses: The travelers will not be responsible for any expenses in the designated facility unless they request to be quarantined in a different facility.

Security/Safety Issues:

N/A

Additional Information:

The Ministry of Tourism implemented measures to be undertaken by foreign tourists.

Grocery stores, restaurants, and other services remain generally available. The Cambodian government has restricted the operation of certain businesses, such as cinemas, karaoke, and entertainment clubs (bars, discos, beer gardens).

The Ministry of Education is planning to reopen education institutions through a three-phase plan, starting with 20 private schools which reopened in August. On October 12, the Ministry of Education made an announcement to reopen public universities while practicing strict social distancing and other safety measures. (November 2) The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport highly praised schools for following Covid-19 protocols during the third phase of school reopening throughout the Kingdom. During this phase, the ministry has allowed all state and private schools ranging from preschools to high schools to resume studies as normal. The number of students is limited to 25 per classroom. All public schools can also resume student transport and library services, physical education, artistic activities and canteen services, but are required to carry out SOPs seriously.

Fiscal Spending: 

The Government put aside between US$800 million to US$2 billion for economic relief, which includes state revenue reductions through various tax relief measures for affected sectors like travel and tourism and 20% wage subsidies for minimum wage workers in the tourism industry. US$600 million have been allocated to prop up banks and MFIs. The Ministry of Economy and Finance has been developing economic stimulus packages, and so far, distributed US$ 78 million to underprivileged families suffering from the pandemic. The cash support program for the poor and vulnerable families is expected to maintain the balance of business for economic recovery. 

Monetary Policy

To reduce barriers to borrowing, National Bank of Cambodia lowering the interest rate on the Liquidity-Providing Collateralized Operation up to 0.5%, reducing the local and foreign currency reserve requirement interest rate to 7% for a six-month period, and postponing the rollout of the Capital Conservation Buffer to next year

Tax Policy

Tax relief for impacted businesses: monthly exemptions for hospitality businesses from February to May, tax holiday lasting from 6 months to a year for garment factories, suspension of stamp duty tax worth less than US$70k, minimum tax exemptions to airline companies to provide support from March to May.

Government Resources:

  • http://www.cdcmoh.gov.kh/

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
549508 17199 458880
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

A national public health emergency was declared by President Jokowi on March 31, whereby the Ministry of Health coordinates with regional leaders to implement appropriate health and safety protocols including social distancing measures.

Known Closures:

Temporary ban on all live animal imports from China effective on February 7

Cross Border Issues:

N/A

Known Exceptions:

N/A

Additional Information:

N./A

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

The Directorate General of Immigration has updated immigration regulation through Circular No. IMI-GR.01.01-1102 of 2020, effective July 13.  Stay Permits (ITK, ITAS, ITAP) holders currently residing in Indonesia can apply for an extension at the immigration offices. However, holders of Permanent Stay Permit (ITAP) and Temporary Stay Permit (ITAS) need to obtain an approval letter from the Ministry if they wish to extend then apply in-person at the immigration offices within 60 days of July 13. Visitors with 2B21, 2B11, D212 visas who hold Emergency Stay Permits (ITKT) can extend this status.  Similarly, visa-on-arrival holders can extend their ITKT within 30 days of July 13, while free visit visa holders must depart within 30 days from July 13.

Beginning July 17, passengers arriving to Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CKG), and Banten and Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport (HLP) are no longer required to present their exit and entry permit (SIKM).

Domestic flight passengers are required to present the following prior to departure:

– personal identification

– health certificate showing no flu-like symptoms/a negative RT-PCR result/ health certificate proving non-reactive COVID-19 Rapid Test Results. Certificates must be valid for 14 days on the day of departure.

– download & activate ‘Peduli Lindungi’ app on smartphone

– complete the electronic health awareness card (e-HAC) available for download on smartphone

– if Jakarta is final destination, passengers must fill out Corona Likelihood Metric (CLM) on the JAKI app.

Restricted Locations:

N/A

Gatherings of People:

Jakarta re-implemented large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) between September 14 and October 11. The measures included the shutting down of “non-essential” workplaces, limitations on the services offered by public transport, and a ban on public activities. The measures were intended to halt the city’s growing rate of COVID-19 infections. After the city had “flattened the curve,” the PSBB restrictions began to be scaled back between October 11 and October 25.

After officially declaring COVID-19 a public health emergency on March 31, President Jokowi issued Government Regulation No. 21/2020 on large-scale social distancing (PSBB). Local governments will be able to implement PSBB subject to the approval from Ministry of Health. The minimum requirements comprise closure of schools and offices, as well as limitation of religious and public activities.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Indonesia team.

Known Exceptions:

Travel exemptions are given to VVIPs from government institutions and international organizations, Indonesian repatriates, as well as for law enforcement and emergency services – all subject to permits from Ministry of Transport.

Exemptions will also be given to those who travel not for mudik, for example if they have essential urgencies such as work, sick family, or family weddings.

Indonesian Citizens, Foreigners who possess permits, and essential workers are allowed to enter the country.

Security/Safety Issues:

President Jokowi ordered the national police “to take proportionate law enforcement steps” for violators on social restriction.

Additional Information:

On March 23, 150,000 rapid test kits arrived from China and GoI is buying more kits from South Korea On Mar 14, National Task Force on COVID-19 was formed and led by Lt. General Doni Monardo, Head of the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB)

Stimulus:

In March, the Government Issued a Rp.62.3 trillion ($3.9 billion) fund on health care, social funds and financial incentives for enterprises.

Another Rp.120 trillion ($7.4 billion) fiscal stimulus plan was released in the form of mortgage aid, tax cuts for manufacturers and income tax exemptions for workers.

In February, Rp 10.3 trillion ($620 million) released in February through mortgage subsidies for low-income families and tax breaks for tourism, airline, and property sectors.

Based on the emergency status, the government pledged to evaluate additional Rp 3.3 trillion fund requested by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) to for this pandemic.

Fiscal spending:

1) Rp 3.9 trillion stimulus package for tourism

consist of Rp98.5 billion ($ 6 million) incentives to airlines and travel agencies, Rp 103 billion  ($7.1 million) for tourism marketing and promotions, RP 72 billion (US$5 million) to social media influencers,  Rp 443 billion ($ 27 million) for domestic tourists discount for 10 promoted destinations for 3 months. The government will waive taxes for hoteliers and restaurants in the 10 promoted destinations for six months. Local governments will receive for total $230 million to compensate the loss of taxes.

2) Rp 10 trillion for the newly launched pre-employment card program

3) Rp 6.1 trillion for insurance and compensation for medical workers including doctors and nurses.

4) Increased social safety net from 10 million to 15 million families under Family Hope program (PKH), with a maximum of 4 people per family. According to Ministry of Social Affairs, the subsidy consists of: a) Permanent Assistance: Rp. 1,550,000/family/year, and b) Component Assistance for Everyone in PKH Family (including for Pregnant women: Rp 2,400,000; Toddlers: Rp 2,400,000; Primary School: Rp 900,000; Middle School: Rp 1,500,000l; High School: Rp 2,000,000; Severe disability: Rp 2,400,000; Seniors: Rp 2,400,000)

5) Rp 4.6 trillion rupiah ($324 million) for the Affordable Food Program (Sembako Murah) for 15 million low-income households to purchase staple food products at discounted prices. As part of the package, low-income households will also receive Rp 200,000 ($13.97) per month in financial benefits, an increase from IDR 150,000 ($10), for the next six months.

6) Rp 1.5 trillion subsidy for low-cost housing program for an addition of 175,000 new homes. Rp 800 billion ($55 million) for interest subsidy.

Tax measures:

  • GoI has started to implement Digital taxation. This took effect on March 31st under the Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1 of 2020. A ministerial regulation is being drafted by the Ministry of Finance
  • Gave tax breaks and allowances for tourism, airline, and property sectors. Exempted six month of income tax for manufacturing workers with incomes below Rp 200 million/year Waived Import taxes for raw materials for six months for 19 manufacturing industries. Cut corporate tax rate by 30 percent for six months for 19 manufacturing industries. Sped up repayment of overpaid tax without initial audits with Rp 5 billion limit, but no limit for exporters 

Financial measures:

OJK relaxed credit scoring requirements Relaxed loan restructuring requirements for MSMEs Bank Indonesia (BI) cut its interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) to 4.75 percent Lowered Deposit Facility rates by 25 bps down to 3.75% Lowered Lending Facility rates by 25 bps to 5,25% GoI is preparing a “recovery bond.” that can be bought by BI or Export/import companies that have no layoffs and maintain salaries for at least 90 percent of their employees. 

Trade measures:

GoI sped up import recommendations for food products to maintain supply and stabilize prices. Reduced import restrictions for fisheries and forestry goods (749 HS code). No Health certificate and V-legal documents required. Relaxed import restrictions for raw materials, e.g. steel, alloy steel, animal, medicine and food. Export-import processes to be sped up for reputable traders. National logistics ecosystem development to be improved. 

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
39 0 26
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

Imports of consumer goods remain normal

Known Closures:

On May 15, Laos’ National Taskforce for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced that more restrictions will be eased, effective from May 18. Restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, massage parlors and spas, fresh markets, beauty salons, barbershops, shopping centers, and malls have been permitted to resume services. Construction projects, plants, and factories have been authorized to resume operations.

Cross Border Issues:

Known Exceptions:

Additional Information:

Prevention measures and guideline issued by the National Taskforce must be strictly followed. COVID-19 prevention measures remain in place until December 31. The easing of restrictions remains temporary. If an infected case is found in more than two or more provinces, stricter lockdown measures may be reimposed.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

Following the easing of restrictions effective on May 18, inter-provincial travel is now permitted for all people throughout Laos. Inter-provincial transportation via land, water, or air is permitted.

Restricted Locations:

Since May 18, tourism sites have been permitted to reopen while prevention measures and guidelines issued by the taskforce must be strictly implemented. On May 29, the Prime Minister’s Office of Laos released a notice detailing lockdown measures. All types of sporting events and competitions may now be held while spectators are still prohibited to attend. Night markets may now be allowed to reopen and a ban on bars and karaoke venues will be eased. Cinemas may resume operations while social distancing and prevention measures must be strictly followed.

Gatherings of People:

Weddings and traditional events of up to 50 people have been permitted.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Laos team for more information.

Known Exceptions:

N/A

Security/Safety Issues:

Minister of Labor and Social Welfare has ordered local and health authorities to monitor the self-quarantine of workers returning to Laos.

Additional Information:

Fiscal Spending:

(March 23) Government adopted a 13 measure stimulus package, not all details disclosed. Acceleration of fiscal spending projects such as Laos-China railway and expressway construction.

Tax Measures:

Tax exemption for all Laotian citizens for three months, from April to June. SMEs across all business sectors will also be exempt from income tax for three months, three-month salary tax exemption for monthly salaries below US$550, deferment of payments for affected firms.

Financial Measures:

On March 20, Bank of Lao PDR lowered reserve requirements to 8% (a 2% decrease) for foreign currencies and to 4% (a 1% decrease) for domestic currency. On March 26, BOL released guidelines that encourage lenders to restructure financing of affected debtors, provide one-year grace periods for such affected debtors, and lower interest rates as needed.

Trade Measures:

Tax and tarriff exemptions for all imported products used to combat COVID-19, proposed lowering of electricity tariffs.

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
68020 365 56969
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Government Resources:

  • http://www.moh.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/2019-ncov-wuhan
  • https://www.pmo.gov.my/special-contents/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

Intelligence & Analysis

Current Status:

On November 7, 2020, Senior Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that all but three states in the Peninsular will be placed under the CMCO from November 9 to December 6, 2020. States under the CMCO also have to adhere to the previous standard operating procedures (SOP). The three states excluded from the CMCO are Perlis, Pahang, and Kelantan. While Perlis, Pahang, and Kelantan do not fall under the CMCO, they are under the RMCO, which only allows inter-district travel within the three states. On August 28, 2020, the Malaysian federal government announced that the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) will be extended until December 31, 2020. This RMCO was originally implemented on June 10, 2020 and was intended to end on August 31, 2020.

Known Closures:

The current CMCO, lasting until December 6th, has resulted in the restriction of wedding receptions. Additionally, participating in any sports, recreational, social, cultural activities, and entering night clubs has all been prohibited. Inter-district travel has also been barred during this period. Public parks, mosques, and non-Muslim houses of worship have all been closed. Starting November 9, all educational institutions are closed. On January 21, 2021, all primary school students will start face-to-face learning on that date. Students in Forms One, Four, Five, and Six, as well as those in vocational colleges will also begin in-person classes on January 20, 2021. However, students in Form Two and Form Three will start classes on the same date, but with home-based learning. These students will only return to school on March 8, 2021 for face-to-face classes. Educational institutions in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya will be closed until November 9. Starting June 10, most economic sectors and businesses including the ones restricted under CMCO are allowed to resume operations during RMCO. Previously, hair salons, barbershops, night markets, and farmer markets were ordered to suspend operations. Restrictions remain in place for crowd-inducing activities such as team sports, religious parades, theme parks, nightlife, and other entertainment outlets. Relevant standard operating procedures are in place for all permitted activities.

Cross Border Issues:

Issues reported at beginning of Movement Control Order regarding supplies coming into and out of Malaysia at borders with Singapore and Thailand

Known Exceptions:

The new CMCO introduced on October 14, has varying restrictions for the different location it is implemented in. In regard to economic activities, in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya, restaurants, food stalls, food trucks, and more are allowed to be open from 6AM to 10PM. In Sabah, restaurants, arteries, and convenience stores are open from 6AM to 8PM. Pharmacies and shops selling medicine in Selangor, KL, and Putrajaya are open from 8AM to 11PM; in Sabah they are open from 6AM to 8PM. As of April 29, imports and exports of both essential and non-essential goods are now permitted.  Previously, only imports of essential goods were allowed – food and beverage items, agriculture and fisheries, household products, personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, packaging materials, medical and surgical devices, medical device parts, oil and gas, petrochemicals, fertilizer and pesticide, electrical and electronics (including semiconductors). On April 10, MITI announced reopening of various sectors following economic consultations: automotive industry, aerospace industry, machinery and equipment industry, construction industry, science, professional, and technical services, social health services including registered traditional medicine, full-service laundry, and hardware store services, electrical and electronic stores, and spectacles stores. Non-essential goods were moved from Port Klang, Port of Penang, and Johor Port to increase port capacity for essential goods the weekend of March 27.  Non-essential goods will be transported from Port Klang and ports in Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu, Sarawak, and Padang Besar bordering Thailand over the weekend of April 3 to reduce port congestion for essential goods.  Non-essential goods to be removed between April 13 and April 15 from ports at Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu, and Padang Besar bordering Thailand. The fourth round of port clearing exercise on April 20-April 23 was communicated to ports operators in Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu, and Padang Besar, also communicated to government-owned ports.

Additional Information:

As of April 13, twenty districts across the country remain categorized as “red zones,” areas with at least 41 positive COVID-19 cases.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

On October 6, 2020, the Malaysian government banned interstate travel to and from Sabah beginning October 12 until October 25, 2020. On September 10, 2020, it was announced that expatriates and professional visit pass-holders from the 23 countries that were previously under the enforced entry ban were now allowed to enter the country. Expatriates and professional visit pass-holders must obtain approval from the Immigration Department before they can enter the country. Their application must also have a support letter from the Malaysian Investment Development Authorities or related agencies. Furthermore, permanent residents, as well as spouses of Malaysian citizens may enter Malaysia, under the regulation that it is a one-way trip and they will remain in Malaysia. Student pass holders are now also allowed to enter Malaysia as long as they have approval from Immigration. Also, on September 14, 2020, it was announced that foreign spouses and children of Malaysian citizens who do not have a long-term visit pass can apply for permission to enter the country. On August 17, Malaysia and Singapore have opened their cross-border travel under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) schemes. 400 people per week (RGL) and 2,000 people per day (PCA) are allowed to travel between Malaysia and Singapore for essential business or official purposes. As of June 24, expatriates in EP I, RP-T, and PVP pass categories from the Green Zone countries are permitted to enter Malaysia without an advance entry permission from the Immigration Department. International students studying in Malaysia and foreigners seeking medical treatment are also allowed in. Discussions are underway with the Green Zone countries (Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea) to reopen the borders. Outside of these exceptions, foreign tourists are still barred from entering Malaysia.

Restricted Locations:

As of June 3, Kuala Langat District is under semi-enhanced movement control order (EMCO). From Aug 3 to Aug 30, a targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) in Kedah is in effect. The areas covered under Kedah’s TEMCO include those within a 1km radius of Restoran Nasi Kandar Salleh in Pekan Napoh (Mukim Hosba, Kubang Pasu), Kampung Pida Satu, Megat Dewa (Mukim Ah, Kubang Pasu), Kampung Bendang Dalam (Mukim Binjal, Kubang Pasu) and Kampung Ulu, Padang Sanai (Padang Terap). Mosques and places of worship are closed for all activities except for Friday prayers, which is limited to three people in each mosque. Perlis is also put under a semi-enhanced MCOs due to emerging COVID-19 clusters at the beginning of August.

Gatherings of People:

As of October 28, 2020, all entertainment and reflexology centres in Sarawak are closed until further notice due to the SDMC. As of October 22, 2020 onwards, workers in the industrial and public sector living in red zone areas will be instructed to work from home. The red zone areas impacted include Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and seven sub-districts in Selangor.  Only 10% of management and supervisory staff can attend their workplace for limited hours (10AM-2PM) for three days a week. There are specific industries, such as finance department employees, enforcement, and other individuals whose jobs require being present at the workplace. Exemptions apply for these employees and they are allowed to be in the office, however if they live in a COIVD-19 red zone, they must undergo a COVID-19 swab test.  As of August 1, face masks are mandatory in crowded public places where physical distancing cannot be observed. Selected social, educational, and religious activities are allowed as of June 10. Religious activities such as Hari Raya Aidiladha celebration and Qurban are now permitted. Social gatherings including wedding involving up to 250 people will be allowed from July 1. Strict SOPs are in place for these activities.  Crowd-inducing activities such as group sports, religious parades, nightlife, and entertainment outlets are still restricted. However, cinemas are allowed to operate at a capacity of 250 in closed venues starting July 1. Outdoors sports and co-curricular activities in schools will also be allowed starting September 1.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Malaysia team.

Known Exceptions:

As of June 10, interstate travel is permitted, with the exception of areas under the CMCO lasting until November 9. However, in Klang Valley and Sabah, only two people are allowed in a private vehicle to buy food and essential goods. In Selangor, KL, and Putrajaya, vehicles carrying essential goods and services that are part of the economic chain are allowed to enter/exit. Private vehicle, government vehicles, and company vehicles for travel to and from the workplace/official government business allowed. Taxis are allowed with a maximum of two passengers and food delivery is available from 6AM to 12AM. Public transportation is currently allowed; however, police approval is needed for flights through KLIA, KLIA2, and Subang airport. Police approval is also required to travel past Selangor KL, and Putrajaya to go to other states and to return to areas under the CMCO.  Movement in and out or across districts is not allowed. Only workers with work passes or with an employers’ letter are allowed to work. In Sabah, taxis with the maximum of two passengers and food delivery is available from 6AM to 8PM. Entry to Sabah is currently not allowed except for Sabahans, holders of passes issued by Sabah’s immigration department, spouses providing essential services, or those who obtained special permission from Sabah government. Negative RT-PCR test results three day before entry required. Movement in and out or across districts not allowed, except for workers with work pass or employers’ letters. Vehicles with essential goods allowed to cross districts, number of persons allowed depends on business vehicle’s registration. (Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan considered one same district).

Security/Safety Issues:

Under MCO4 regulations and before, commuting employees in approved sectors must carry an employer’s authorization letter should they be stopped by authorities.  In addition, approved employers are encouraged to provide additional authorization documents for employees such as the company’s name and address, as well as the names, IC/passport numbers, position/job designations, contact information, work schedules, and necessity justifications of employees.  Firms should also provide supporting documents that include the list of essential services approved by the National Security Council and evidence of the company as included in that list.  Should an approved company’s employee be stopped from commuting even after providing these documents or an approved company in essential services be forced to cease operations by law enforcement despite compliance to Ministry of Health guidelines, employees and employers are encouraged to contact the 24-hour National Security Council Command Center Hotline at 03-88882010. Over 4,000 people have been arrested for violation of MCO and 1,500 have been charged in court.

Additional Information:

Sarawak has made compulsory for all Malaysians coming from Peninsular Malaysia, Saha and Labuan to undergo quarantine, effective from October 4, 2020 to November 15, 2020. Effective on August 25, Sarawak is allowing venues to accommodate 50% capacity for social and official events. Previously, a maximum of 250 people were allowed in a venue.

Current efforts:

Government announced a RM35 billion stimulus package on June 5. Known as the short-term Economic Recovery Plan (ERP), the plan will is in effect until the end of 2020.

Fiscal spending:

RM 10 billion of the ERP to be injected as direct fiscal injection. ERP aims to support SMEs and workers over the remaining second half of 2020. RM9 billion is budgeted to help three million workers. RM2 billion is allocated to fund the upskilling programs for the youth and unemployed. RM50 million is allocated for supporting the gig-economy platforms. To help businesses, RM700 million is allocated to assist SMEs’ vitalizing efforts. RM225 million budgeted to support creative industries and RM350 million in loans for the farming industry.

Price Ceilings:

Between April 15 and April 28, government implementing price control measures for 12 goods including chicken, eggs, cooking oil, wheat flour, cabbages, and tomatoes.

Tax measures:

Income tax exemptions of up to RM5,000 are to be provided to employers who provide technology capabilities to enable their employees to work from home. The government is also granting income tax refunds of up to RM20,000 for three years for businesses set up between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021. Foreign businesses with an investment between RM300 million and RM500 million invested within the three year period will be exempted from tax for ten years. Tourism tax and service tax will also be exempted starting July 1 and September 1 respectively until June 2021. Sales tax exemptions for domestically assembled cars (100%) and imported cars (50%) are in effect from June 15 till the end of 2020. There is a 100% export duty exemption on the export of crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and refined bleached deodorised palm kernel oil, from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Personal income tax relief of up to RM1,000 for domestic tourism expenses has been extended to December 31, 2021. Businesses in the tourism industry are allowed a deferment of corporate income installment payments for three months from October 1, 2020 till the end of 2020.

Financial measures:

On July 29, the government announced a three-month extension to the loan repayment moratorium for those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

On July 7, Bank Negara Malaysia lowered the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75 percent from the previous 2.00 percent. This marked the fourth OPR cut this year to combat the negative economic impacts of the pandemic.

On May 5, Bank Negara Malaysia lowered the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 50 basis points to 2%, its lowest level since 2010. Previously, on March 3, BNM lowered the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2.50 percent.

BNM lowered the Statutory Reserve Requirement (SRR) Ratio by 100 basis points to 2 percent effective 20 March 2020.

On March 23, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bursa Malaysia suspended short-selling until April 30 to mitigate risks arising from heightened volatility and global uncertainties. The SC also waived annual licensing fees for capital market licensed entities.

On March 25, BNM announced measures temporarily easing regulatory and supervisory compliance on banks to enable them to support loan deferment and restructuring. On April 16, Securities Commission Malaysia announced relaxation of PN17 and G3 classifications for publicly traded companies, raised equity crowdfunding limits from 5 million to 10 million, stated Malaysia Co-Investment Fund will raise funding ratio from 1:4 to 1:2. The Covid-19 Fund managed by the National Disaster Management Agency has been extended until December 31, 2020. This fund aids Covid-19 victims and assists with preparing the necessities to control the impact of the pandemic.

Trade measures:

N/A

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
93600 1998 72601
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Intelligence & Analysis

Current Status:

No restrictions on goods and services.

Known Closures:

Exit and entry of people from neighboring China, India, Thailand, Laos and Bangladesh have been temporarily banned.

Cross Border Issues:

N/A

Known Exceptions:

N/A

Additional Information:

N/A

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

1) The following precautionary restriction measures have been extended until November 30, 2020.

– Temporary suspension of issuance of visa-on-arrival and e-Visa.

– Temporary suspension of all international flights operating to and from Myanmar.

Before arriving to Myanmar, all foreign nationals are to undergo self-quarantine in their countries of origin for 7 days. Upon arrival, travelers will quarantine at a government facility for 7 days followed by self-quarantine at home for additional 7 days.  Travelers are also required to present a proof of negative COVID-19 test issues within 72 hours before boarding. Travelers who arrived without test results will undergo 14-day government facility quarantine.

2) As of September 10, all domestic flights within Myanmar have been suspended until October 31

3) A nationwide curfew is set from 12am – 4am.

4) Due to the recent outbreak in Rakhine State, travelers from Rakhine State to Yangon and other locations may be required to conduct 14 day quarantine upon arrival (14 days quarantine in government facility and to undergo two PCR nasal swab tests).

5) Since September 21, the Government of Myanmar announced stay-at- home orders for all of Yangon Region.

6) Nay Pyi Daw: (September 21) All visitors to Nay Pyi Daw are required to quarantine and undergo COVID-19 testing, at the visitor’s expense. Visitors will be asked to present a proof of residency letter issues by their respective wards or townships. Visitors coming in from the township currently placed under stay-at-home order will be subjected to 2 day quarantine and one nasal swab test on the second day). Business Travels to Nay Pyi Daw: The foreign travelers must present a recommendation letter from the relevant Union Ministry. The letter needs to have the purpose of the visit, names and positions of travelers, name of vehicle driver, vehicle license plate number, office and residential address. Myanmar citizens are also mandatory to provide a recommendation letter from their ward administrator.

7) Mandalay: All travelers to Mandalay region must obtain a recommendation letter from their ward administrator. Myanmar has extended it COVID-19 preventive measures till November 15th, 2020. Pagoda festivals, meditation camps, praying ceremonies, donation ceremonies, wedding receptions and other festivals and events, social works and religious gatherings have been prohibited. Pilgrimage to famous pagodas and temples in the region is still under the ban. Mandalay Region Government has extended the prevention measures till November 30 as the number of cases has increased since the election. Starting from November 20th, people who have come to contact with COVID-19 positive patients will be going into home quarantine instead of facility quarantine.

Gatherings of People:

Gatherings of 30 or more are banned, till further notice.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Myanmar team for more information.

Known Exceptions:

1) Stay-at-home orders have been reestablished for residents of Yangon Region.

2) Employees of private organizations and businesses are required to telework except for employees of banks and financially related tasks, food and refrigeration services, production and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment production, distribution of drinking water and personal hygiene and gas stations. These businesses must register online to obtain a QR code which allow to different Yangon townships.

3) Diplomats accredited to Myanmar, UN officials with resident in Myanmar, or foreign nationals requiring to visit on urgent matters can contact Myanmar missions abroad for possible exceptions.

4) Relief flights, medical evacuation flights, cargo flights, and special flights which have received approval from the Department of Civil Aviation will not be affected.

5) Myanmar Airways International continues to operate limited relief flights to and from Seoul.

6) (July 10) The Ministry of Health and Sports’ National Health Laboratory (NHL) in Yangon has started COVID-19 tests to provide travel-fit certificates for urgent overseas travel with a cost of Ks 200,000 (USD $147).

7) (July 19) Making “fast lanes” through which essential businesses and officials can enter Myanmar upon request.  Currently, the plan has started with China and Japan and eventually will be extended to other countries. Quarantine Requirements: Take RT-PCR test and obtain COVID free health certificate 36 hours before boarding to Myanmar. Require 5-day quarantine at pre-arranged facility or hotel after tests given negative. Medical expenses to be borne by returnee in which the health check costs $US$140.                     

Security/Safety Issues:

N/A

Additional Information:

1) Due to surge of local transmissions, the Burmese government has reestablished stay-at-home orders, curfews, and bans on public gatherings, closure of and public events as well as closures of, entertainment venues, and religious institutions.

2) Only one person per household is allowed to go grocery shopping.

3)Two people per household is allowed to go out for medical treatment.  

4) Masks must be worn at all times when outside of home.

5) Only vehicles that are transporting people of above permitted activities are allowed to go and pass through other townships. (October 7) Taxis in Yangon are allowed to operate between townships without the need for a QR pass, following proper health and safety guidelines.

6) Approval from the respective ward administration is needed ahead of time for any activity necessary to be done outside of permitted activities.

7) Some of the factories and small businesses have started resuming operations since October 12.

8) Construction works were halted since the third week of September, however the government has recently allowed projects to resume if the sites are compliant with safety measures.

9) Most of the mass election campaigns are currently suspended in virus-stricken areas of Myanmar, but the Union Election Commission stated that the November 8 elections will continue as scheduled while taking health and safety measures. The Union Election Commission is also devising a plan (Advance Voting Scheme) that would allow elderly people over 60 years old, to be able to vote advance and from home, especially those from areas where COVID-19 infection rate is high.

10) To ease the burden on government hospitals overloaded with patients, the government has allowed private hospitals and clinics to treat the virus.

11) (November 4) Myanmar is also planning to adopt a new community-based containment strategy on the idea of “Know Early, Report Early, Benefit early”.

12) Highway bus services are to be resumed after travel restrictions are lifted between townships. The passengers will be permitted to travel if they have a health check and quarantine on arrival.                         

Current Efforts:

April 28- The  Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry published a comprehensive stimulus plan called “Overcoming as One: COVID-19 Relief Plan”, outlining budget allocation, stronger ties between government and businesses via public-private partnerships, and cooperation with international financial institutions.

June 10-the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has announced a Covid-19 Tourism Relief Plan to help troubled tourism businesses navigate the repercussions of the pandemic. The plan is set to implement in three phases and aims to rebuild Myanmar’s tourism industry.

August-  The COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) Committee launched an additional Kyat 100 billion fund on July 29 which is said to give out to agricultural and livestock businesses, export/import, manufacturing, supply chain, F&B, foreign job agencies and vocational schools.

October-The Ministry for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations (MIFER) has approved more COVID-19 funds totally Ks 21 billion and distributed to 1200 businesses.

(October 18) Myanmar government is drafting a new Myanmar Economic Recovery and Reform Plan (MERRP).” The new plan will focus on macroeconomic and financial stability and prioritize growth strategies that are sustainable for the economy in the long run, such as investments in energy sources that are renewable. It will also include support for agriculture, infrastructure that boots connectivity as well as human capital and innovation.” (Myanmar Times)

 (November 20) The government gives out the third round of COVID-19 loans to nearly 700 businesses at a total of over Ks. 22 billion.

Fiscal Spending:

April 28- The Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry published a comprehensive stimulus plan called “Overcoming as One: COVID-19 Relief Plan”, outlining budget allocation, stronger ties between government and businesses via public-private partnerships, and cooperation with international financial institutions.                      

June 10- the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has announced a Covid-19 Tourism Relief Plan to help troubled tourism businesses navigate the repercussions of the pandemic. The plan is set to implement in three phases and aims to rebuild Myanmar’s tourism industry.

Reallocation of up to 10% of 2019-2020 budget directed to government entities.

Tax Measures:

1) Defer corporate income tax to Q2 and Q3 to September 30, 2020.

2) Defer commercial tax to September 30, 2020.

3) Waive 2% Withholding Tax on exports.

4) Waive Special Goods Tax on medical supplies and products required to prevent, control and treat Covid-19.

5) Waive Customs Duty and Commercial Tax related to import of medical supplies.

Financial Measures:

Soft loans are disbursed at 1% interest for a one-year period for SMEs, and businesses in the garment and tourism sectors. The Central Bank of Myanmar will reduce policy interest rates from 9.5 to 8.5 effective April 1. Bank deposit rates stand at 6.5%, and lending rates have an 11.5% ceiling for collateralized loans and 14.5% for unsecured loans. Ministry of Investment reduces investment application fees by half for both national and foreign investors. 

Trade Measures:

1) Waive import licensing and FDA approval process as long as a foreign FDA has approved the products; expedite and facilitate importation processes for medical supplies required for COVID-19 response

2) Promote trade financing by establishing MMK 100 billion fund to designated commercial banks.

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
434357 8436 399005
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

From December 1-30: The National Capital Region (Manila), the provinces of Batangas and Lanao del Sur as well as the cities of Iloilo City, Bacolod, Iligan and Tacloban City will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The rest of the country will remain under modified GCQ

Known Closures:

At present, many parts of the country are already under MGCQ. Apart from Metro Manila, other areas under GCQ until the end of the month are Bulacan, Batangas and Tacloban City.

Meanwhile, those under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine are Lanao del Sur, Bacolod City and Iligan.

President Duterte is expected to announce the updated quarantine classifications before Oct. 1. The government has agreed to implement quarantine classifications for one month instead of two weeks to ensure continuity in the enforcement of safety protocols.

All HUCs of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Municipality of Pateros under GCQ. Under GCQ until 15: for Luzon: Baguio City, Pangasinan, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vezcaya, Quirino, Santiago City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueve Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City, Olongapo City, Cavite, Laguna, Batancas, Rizal, Quezon, Lucena City and Albacy. Visayas: Iloilo City, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City. Mindanao: Zamboanga City, Davao City.

Cross Border Issues:

Baguio City and Boracay to Partially Reopen for Domestic and Foreign Tourists.

Known Exceptions:

N/A

Additional Information:

The PEZA issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-0019 (Rev 1) and directed the continued online validation of electronic import permits (eIP) and online endorsement of validated eIP to the Bureau of Customs Manila International Container Port, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and Port of Manila.

Joint Administrative Order No. 1 was released adopting processes for expedited release of refrigerated containers and dry vans during the ECQ.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Memorandum Circular 02-14 listing down allowed movement of goods and personnel for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies and export enterprises, and their service providers during the ECQ.

The DTI issued Memorandum Circular 20-17 for the extension of expiring Philippine Standard (PS) licenses until July 31. However, extension is still subject to the licensee’s submission of application for renewal. PS licenses are issued for wiring devices, cement, steel, plastic pipes and conduits, sanitary wares, ceramics, etc.

The Philippine Ports Authority issued 8,000 IATF IDs to ensure movement of cargo. 

The IATF approved a prototype of a Supply Chain Analysis dashboard application to address bottlenecks in supply, distribution, and movement of goods.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

From 1 August, foreign nationals with existing long-term visas are allowed to enter the Philippines, subject to certain conditions:

The visa must be existing at the time of entry – no new entry visas will be accepted. Visas must fall under one of the following categories:

  • A non-immigrant visa issued under Section 13 of the Immigration act (Section 13 series visa: a,b,c,d,e,g)
  • Anyone who acquired resident status under Republic Act 7919 or Alien Social Integration Act (RA 7919 visa)
  • Anyone who falls under Executive Order 324 or Alien Legalization Program (EO 324 visa) Native-born foreign nationals (Native-born visa)

Starting November 1, the government has reopened the country’s doors for certain foreigners, particularly those with investor visas.

Foreigners allowed to enter the country must still abide by certain conditions set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF):

Having valid and existing visas as well as a pre-booked quarantine facility. Among the foreign nationals allowed are those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756 also known as the investor’s visa.

Also allowed entry to the Philippines are foreigners with the 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice as well as those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. The ordinary tourist visa holders are not yet allowed to enter.

Starting Nov. 1, Filipinos traveling abroad will no longer be required to undertake antigen testing 24 hours before departure. However, it is expected that travelers still secure a negative diagnostic test if required by the country of destination or the airline.

From 9 August, new categories of travelers are permitted to enter, based on the condition that a valid visa is secured through the Embassy of the Philippines located in your country of residence:

  • A foreign spouse of a Filipino national
  • A minor child of a Filipino
  • Children of a Filipino with special needs, regardless of age
  • Foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs, regardless of age.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 to open for international flights on July 8 for the following airlines: Nippon Airways, Air Asia Berhad, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Royal Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. Terminal 2 will continue to service international arrival flights from Philippine Airlines (PAL), while Terminal 1 will continue to service international departures for (PAL).

Restricted Location:

Please see note on “Restriction in movement of goods”

Accommodation business can operate under CATEGORY II sectors with 50% to 100% operations for  BOTH ECQ and GCQ but limited to guests who have existing bookings for foreigners as of May 1 (for areas outside Luzon), guests who have existing long-term bookings, distressed or repatriated OFWs, stranded foreign nationals, non-OFWs who are required to undergo a mandatory facility-based quarantine, and healthcare workers and other employees from exempted establishments approved by the national government.

Baguio City will start to receive visitors starting October 1. However, only tourists from Region 1 will be allowed to visit the city and a capacity of 200 visitors per day will be issued by the Local Government Unit (LGU).

Following the COVID-19 protocols, open-air tourism will be the concentration for most of these places. This includes Paoay Sand Dunes and Pagudpud white sand beaches in Ilocos Norte, the outdoor museum and heritage houses in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, surfing areas in La Union, and the pilgrimage sites in Pangasinan for Boracay area. Moreover, Major airlines are resuming daily to twice daily flights between Manila and Caticlan to cater to Boracay-bound tourists

On August 17, Philippine President Duterte approved the recommendation of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to place the following areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from August 19 to August 31:

Luzon – National Capital Region (Metro Manila), and provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, and Quezon

Visayas – Cities of Iloilo, Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and Talisay; and Cebu Province: Municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion

The rest of the country is under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Gatherings of People:

Prohibited to operate under ECQ and GCQ: Gyms and sports facilities; entertainment-related mass gatherings such as theaters, cinemas; concerts; business-related mass gatherings such as trade shows, conferences, conventions; politically-related mass gatherings; sports-related mass gatherings; libraries/museums; gambling and betting activities; travel agencies, tour operators, reservation services; activities of membership organizations and religious mass gatherings. Those ages below 21 those 60 and above may not enter commercial areas except to obtain essential goods and services.

Religious gatherings up to 10% capacity in GCQ zones will be permitted beginning on July 10. Religious gatherings at 50% capacity in MGCQ zones had previously been permitted in June.

September 1: Duterte kept partial restrictions in the capital region for a month starting Tuesday (09/01). Other areas under GCQ include:  Bulacan, Batangas, Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas and Bacolod City in Western Visayas. He also placed Iligan City in Northern Mindanao under modified enhanced community quarantine. The rest of the country, meanwhile, would remain under modified GCQ—the most relaxed form of community quarantine.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Philippines team for more information.

Known Exceptions:

Overseas travel will be limited to Overseas Filipino Workers, permanent residents, student visa holders, and foreign nationals.

Security/Safety Issues:

Local government units implementing varying regulations are confusing to businesses and people. Government agencies may contradict each other in issuing policies. There are varying responses of police in enforcing the ECQ policies (different penalties). There are reported instances of violent dispersals.

There are issues at checkpoints regarding passes being required by different LGUs. Government and private sector are developing a RapidPass system for easy passage of at checkpoints.

Government opted to place Metro Manila and other urban areas under general community quarantine until end-September.

Additional Information:

Government, together with volunteers from private sector, launched FASSSTER, a user-friendly tool for modeling disease spreads in the Philippines to aid in disease surveillance efforts.

RapidPass went live. It will allow frontliners and cargo to pass through checkpoints faster with the use of a QR code.

The DTI issued Memorandum Circular 02-14 listing down allowed movement of goods and personel for BPOs, export enterprises, and their service providers during the ECQ.

Health professionals who have existing contracts abroad can be leave the country. This comes after a deployment ban which prevented doctors and nurses from leaving the country.

Current Efforts:

(August 24) The House of Representatives ratifies Bayanihan 2 which aims to align national budget to further support government fund for COVID-19 relief. P165 billion is expected to be allotted primarily to help badly hit sectors recover, while allotting also funds for other vital pandemic measures like contact tracing and quarantine facilities. The bill provides for a 60-day moratorium for paying debts, including salary loans, business loans and insurance premium. As for water and power bills, house rental or lease for business space, a 30-day reprieve will be provided for those in areas covered by ECQ and MECQ. The Bayanihan 2 will be in effect until December 19, 2020.

Bayanihan 2 has been signed by President Duterte on September 11.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will begin hiring today, September 14, 50,000 more contact tracers after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan 2 law. As of now, 25,767 contact tracing teams and 227,648 contact tracers.

As of September 1, Philippines reported that it’s inflation has climbed up 2.7%  in July, faster than the 2.5 percent in June and 2.4 percent in the same month last year. But despite the uptick, the July inflation remained within Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast range of 2.2 percent to 3.0 percent.

Tax measures:

Emergency legislation empowers president to direct all financial institutions to implement a minimum of a thirty (30)-day grace period for the payment of all loans and to move the statutory deadlines for filing and submissions of documents, payment of taxes, fees and charges

Imported donations of medical supplies shall be exempt from donor’s tax, VAT, excise and other fees

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) released RR 07-2020 implementing the extension of statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing and submission of any documents and the payment of taxes (including refunds)

BIR released RR 08-2020 implementing the directive unto banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, and financial institutions to implement a minimum 30-day grace period for payment of all loands, including salary, personal housing, motor vehicle loans, credit card payments falling due within the ECQ

BIR further extended filing of income tax returns until May 30 under RR 10-2020.

BIR extended tax returns until June 14 under RR 48-2020

The BIR issued RR 11-2020 on the extension of statutory deadlines for the submission and/or filing of documents and/or returns as well as payment of taxes.

The government is looking to implement an enhanced net operating loss carryover of five years.

Financial measures:

(March 20) Monetary Board decided to cut the interest rate on the Central Bank’s overnight reverse repurchase facility by 50 basis points to 3.25%

(April 6) The President directed the Finance Minister to implement measures in order to generate more funding

Central Bank’s Monetary Board granted of regulatory and rediscounting relief measures for financial institutions.

Central Bank purchased Php300 billion worth government securities in a repurchase agreement to inject cash.

The Central Bank trimmed the minimum liquidity ratio (MLR) requirement of smaller lenders until the year’s end.

It was reported that the Finance Department is eyeing to borrow US$6 billion. The World Bank approved of a $500 million loan.

The Central Bank is eyeing to cut interest rates further.

The ADB signed a $1.5-billion loan for its COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support program. It also approved a $200 million loan.

May 5: The Monetary Board approved measures to assist the MSME including (a) temporary reduction in the credit risk weights of loans granted to MSMEs that are current in status, and (b) assignment of a lower risk weight for MSME exposures that are covered by guarantees.

Central Bank will keep interest rates steady at 2.75% in case crisis worsens.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved a US$750 million loan.

Trade measures:

Entry of imported donations of medical supplies will be excise exempt.

Ensuring enough supply of rice for 14 days; Coordination between national government and local to allow unhampered movement of essential goods; Price freeze for essential goods.

According to the President’s April 6 report, the National Economic Development Authority is creating a national supply chain plan for essential products

Government Resources:

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
58230 29 58144
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

The city-state is open to the flow of essential goods and services. “Circuit breaker” rules are in place and most workplaces are shut down. The Circuit breaker period has been extended to June 1. Food manufacturers, hairdressers, specified food retail outlets and laundry services have been permitted to resume operations starting Tuesday, May 12.

Singapore is currently in phase 1 reopening, with certain conditions. For businesses, the following can begin to reopen: Most manufacturing and production facilities, eg. semiconductors and medical technology; and most businesses with employees working in offices and setting that do not require interactions with large groups of people, eg. finance & insurance, and IT & info services. Tele-commuting must be adopted to the maximum extent in businesses that re-open. Most retail outlets will not reopen, dining at F&B outlets is not allowed, hairdressers and barbers can resume operations, home-based businesses with delivery services can resume.

Singapore will begin Phase 2 reopening on June 19. The following activities and businesses are permitted to reopen with safe distancing measures: retail outlets, dine-in at food and beverage outlets, personal health and wellness activities, home-based services, tuition and private enrichment activities, sports, parks and other public facilities, registered clubs and societies, all healthcare services.

Known Closures:

Prohibited activities: use of condominium facilities including pools and gyms, public sports facilities, dining in, socializing in group settings, alternative medicine such as Indian traditional medicine and chiropractic care, and any activity leading to congregating in groups.

Prohibited activities: religious congregations, large cultural venues such as museums and libraries, large-scale events and venues such as conferences, concerts and trade fairs, entertainment venues such as bars, nightclubs, karaoke outlets, cinemas, theatres, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions.

Cross Border Issues:

(March 25) There is the Enhanced Movement Control Order of Malaysia until April 14 which affects the Malaysia-Singapore border crossing.

Singapore and Malaysia will establish the Periodic Commuting Arrangement and Reciprocal Green Lane to allow some cross-border travel for certain groups of cross-border travelers. Exact date for implementation of these measures has not been announced.

Singapore and Malaysia will resume limited cross-border travel on Aug. 10. Singapore residents and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country may enter that country for work. They may return to their home country for short-term home leave after three consecutive months in their country of work, and thereafter re-enter their country of work to continue work for at least another three consecutive months

Known Exceptions:

Exempt from work closure/suspension: those necessary to support the daily living needs of the population. From May 5, these activities shall be allowed: Acupuncture for pain management, sale of retail products by traditional Chinese medicine halls, exercise within common areas of strata-titled residential buildings. From May 12, these activities shall be allowed: Manufacturing and onsite preparation of all food, retail food outlets for take away and delivery, home-based food businesses for delivery or collection, laundry services, salons for haircuts, retail of pet supplies. From May 19, schools may conduct lessons face-to-face or informal sessions with graduating batches given priority. Student attendance will not be compulsory.

Additional Information:

For workplaces that are allowed to remain open, they have to operate with minimal staff on premises, implement strict safe-distancing measures, employees to avoid social interactions. Firms may be required to suspend operations if staff get infected. There are challenges in maintaining trade flow due to the shocks in global supply chain. There is a priority on diversifying food supply sources.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

From 23 March 2020, 2359 hours, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or to transit through Singapore. Singapore has also ceased port calls for all cruise vessels. From 9 April 2020, 2359 hours, all Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Pass holders entering Singapore will be – required to serve a 14-day self-isolation at dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facilities. From 27 March 2020, 0900 hours, returnees will also be required to submit a health declaration via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service, before proceeding with immigration clearance. The public is advised to defer all travel.

(March 25) Returnees from the UK and US will serve their 14-day SHN in dedicated facilities (under pain of fine and/or imprisonment for violations).

Work pass holders and their dependents will be allowed to return to Singapore only if they work in sectors that provide essential services and apply entry through the Ministry of Manpower.

No short term travelers allowed.

Changi Airport is now permitting limited transit of foreign travelers through the airport. Only travelers flying Singapore Airlines (SIA) from select cities in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand may transit through Changi Airport to any destination in the SIA group network.

Restricted Locations:

Prohibited activities: use of condominium facilities including pools and gyms, public sports facilities, dining in, socializing in group settings, alternative medicine such as Indian traditional medicine and chiropractic care, and any activity leading to congregating in groups.

Gatherings of People:

People are to stay home and are only to go out of their houses for essential services. Any group seen gathering in public will immediately be issued a written warning under circuit breaker measures. Second-time offenders will be fined and third time offenders will be charged in court.

Beginning in Phase 2, group gatherings with up to five people are permitted, with safe-distancing measures. The following gatherings are permitted with restrictions: weddings as solemnizations at home, and at ROM or ROMM, may take place with up to ten people, excluding the solemnizer. At other venues, they may take place with up to twenty people, excluding the solemnizer. Wakes and funerals may have twenty people present at any one time. For schools and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), students will return to school daily from 29 June 2020. IHLs will gradually increase the number of students back on campus for face-to-face learning

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Singapore team for more information.

Known Exceptions:

From May 5, these activities shall be allowed: Acupuncture for pain management, sale of retail products by traditional Chinese medicine halls, exercise within common areas of strata-titled residential buildings. From May 12, these activities shall be allowed: Manufacturing and onsite preparation of all food, retail food outlets for take away and delivery, home-based food businesses for delivery or collection, laundry services, salons for haircuts, retail of pet supplies. From May 19, schools may conduct lessons face-to-face or informal sessions with graduating batches given priority. Student attendance will not be compulsory.

Security/Safety Issues:

Singapore is in the midst of election preparations and the threat of the virus poses safety issues.

It is mandatory for everyone to wear a mask when they step out. Those who do not risk a $300 fine for first-time offenders.

Cases in foreign dormitories are increasing exponentially.

Additional Information:

The TraceTogether app was rolled out by the government whereby people in SIngapore who opt into the app can record other app users within the vicinity for the last 21 days. This is to help in contact tracing.

February 18 – National Budget 2020 included measures worth over S$6.4 billion in response to covid-19. March 26 – a Resiliency Fund was introduced with an additional S$48 billion. On April 6, it announced its third stimulus package S$5.1billion (US$3.55 billion).

Singapore passed a Temporary Measures Act to grant relief for parties unable to meet contractual obligations during the pandemic.

Fiscal spending:

The support to businesses shall be in the form of 3C’s: cash flow, cost, and credit. Support to workers and businesses in the form of the the Jobs Support Scheme, Wage Credit Scheme, Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme

Support to workers and businesses in the form of the the Jobs Support Scheme, Wage Credit Scheme, Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme, Temporary Bridging Loan Programme, Enterprise Financing Scheme – Working Capital Loan, and Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan

SGUnited Jobs initiative to create 10,000 jobs over the next year, SGUnited Traineeships, and the advance use of SkillsFuture Credit top-ups beginning April 2020.

There are additional targeted support for the following sectors: aviation, tourism, food services, land transport, maritime, arts & culture.

Tax measures:

Property tax rebates (up to 100% for non-residential; 60%-100% for affected sectors)

Automatic deferment of income tax payments for companies and self-employed persons for three months

Corporate income tax rebate of 25% of tax payable, capped at $15,000 for Year of Assessment 2020.

There is a freeze on all government fees and charges from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021; all student loan repayment and interest charges shall be suspended for one year from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021;all late payment charges on HDB mortgage arrears shall be suspended for three months

Wage support extended until May during the Circuit breaker period

Financial measures:

On March 26, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced it would begin utilizing its $60 billion dollar bilateral swap line with the US Federal Reserve to provide additional US dollar funding to banks in Singapore.

Banks and finance companies may apply for low-cost funding through a new MAS SGD Facility.

SMEs may opt to defer principal payments on their secured term loans up to 31 December 2020

Individuals with unsecured credit facilities from banks or other credit card issuers may apply to their respective lender to convert their outstanding balances to term loans at a reduced rate of interest, capped at 8%.

Cash flow shall be supported by increasing the maximum loan quantum (up to S$1 million, USD695K) under Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan

Wage credit scheme: Over 95,000 employers in Singapore will receive over $450 million in payouts by June 30, 2020. The Government will co-fund 20% of qualifying wage increases given in 2019, 2018 and 2017 to more than 800,000 Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to $5,000

Trade measures:

Initiated a Joint Ministerial Statement with like-minded countries that affirms commitment to keeping supply chains open and connected. Also includes commitment to work to identify trade disruptions and keep trade flows open amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Reaffirmed commitment with China to maintain supply chain connectivity between both countries for the flow of goods

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
4026 60 3822
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

Since July 1, Thailand has entered the fifth phase of lockdown easing. Meanwhile, the Emergency Decree has been extended until January 15, 2021.

Known Closures:

Thailand moved to the fifth phase of lockdown easing on July 1. Under the fifth phase, nearly all business activities have been allowed to reopen. Entertainment venues and nightlife services including pubs, bars, and massage parlors have been authorized to resume their operations under some disease control guidelines.

The sixth phase of lockdown easing is expected to begin in late July or early August.

Cross Border Issues:

Borders are open for the movement of goods and services.

Known Exceptions:

Thailand has opened four ports along the Mekong River to resume trade with China. Operation in the four ports will be limited to three days a week, and travelers are prohibited for the time being.

Additional Information:

On May 1, the Royal Gazette published an announcement allowing for the sale of alcohol starting on May 3, but consumption of alcohol in restaurants will still be banned. 

On June 3, Energy Minister, Sonthirat Sonthijirawong, announced that the electricity discount from March to May has ended and not been renewed.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has extended the ban on all incoming international flights until June 30. Foreigners are banned from entering Thailand at all points. As of June 24, Thailand will begin to allow the following five groups of foreigners to enter the country from the beginning of July: 1) business people and investors; 2) skilled laborers and experts; 3) foreigners married to Thais or permanent residents of Thailand; 4) educational personnel, teachers, and students; 5) medical wellness tourists.

The CCSA has tentative plans to allow more tourists to enter Thailand under the travel bubble in August under villa or state quarantine facilities if the virus situation shows improvement. Foreigners interested in registration are encouraged to contact the Thai embassy.

All temporary visa holders have been granted an automatic extension allowing them to stay in Thailand until July 31. The 90-day reporting rule for foreigners with a one-year visa is also suspended until July 31.

Travelers on domestic flights are subjected to quarantine measures put forth by different provinces.

Restricted Locations:

As of June 15, more activities and venues have been permitted to reopen. Science and culture centers may reopen with a limited number of visitors in groups. Amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds may reopen. Game booths in department stores, shopping centers and community malls have been permitted to open. International schools and schools with no more than 120 students are authorized to reopen. Prohibited venues and activities include entertainment places (pubs, bars, and karaoke venues), massage parlors, ball pools and bouncy castles. Bullfighting, cockfighting, fish fighting, and similar activities are to remain prohibited.

Gatherings of People:

As of June 15, group exercise in public parks is allowed for gatherings of up to 50 people. Film, television, and video shoots have been allowed with crew members not exceeding 150 and spectators not exceeding 50.

Procedures for Exemptions:

Please contact the US-ABC Thailand team for more information.

Known Exceptions:

The temporary travel ban does not affect work permit holders, shippers, diplomats, drivers, pilots and others permitted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Every person must possess a Medical Certificate to enter the Kingdom. Exceptions to the curfew include medical and banking personnel, logistic workers handling essentail goods, individuals working normal nigh shifts.

Security/Safety Issues:

Starting from 11 pm on June 14, the nationwide night-time curfew has been lifted. The Emergency Decree is to remain in place until the end of October.

Additional Information:

N/A

Fiscal Spending:

US$ 12.7 billion stimulus package, announced on March 12, aimed at assisting all sectors of the economy. There is THB 5,000 handout to each self-employed person affected by the economic challenges. Up to now 21 million people have applied to this scheme. On April 7, Thai cabinet approved third $58 billion stimulus package that includes US$18.4 billion in support for affected workers and the self-employed, an extension of US$153 monthly payouts to 9 million workers until September, and US$12.2 billion for infrastructure investment and creation of local jobs

Tax Measures:

Withholding taxes for businesses have been reduced to 1.5%. Personal income tax deadline has been moved to August 31.

Financial Measures:

Soft loans will enable commercial banks to lend at 2%. Third package includes plans for Bank of Thailand to divert US$15.3 billion in soft loans toward mid-sized firms, BoT will also establish the Corporate Bond Liquidity Stabilization Fund, which will add US$12.2 billion to the corporate bond market

Trade Measures:

N/A

Intelligence & Analysis

Confirmed Cases Total Deaths Recoveries
1358 35 1201
Today 11:01 am (5 hours ago)

National Responses

Current Status:

On November 30, Vietnam confirmed the first community transmission case in Ho Chi Minh City since the second wave in late July. More than 200 people have been quarantined and two locations which the patient frequently visited have been locked down. The Ministry of Health has convened an urgent meeting and notified relevant agencies for COVID-19 Prevention including the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Security.

On September 24, 2020, Da Nang People’s Committee issued a legal document announcing the successful control of COVID-19 outbreak in the city and the city’s return to normal.

Following the new cases of COVID-19, on August 4, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam in a National Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control meeting said that Vietnam is determined to prevent the pandemic from spreading widely and avoid a nationwide social distancing.

April 24, 2020: Prime Minister’s Directive 19 on Continued COVID-19 Prevention and Control, lifted the lockdown.

April 1, 2020: Prime Minister’s Decision 447/QD-TTg 2020: Declaration of COVID-19 epidemic.

Known Closures:

N/A

Cross Border Issues:

Vietnam has approved the reopening of sub-border gates and border crossings in Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces connecting with China to ease trade between the two countries.

Known Exceptions:

Inter-province and intra-province transportation can resume operations under the Ministry of Transport’s instructions and with safety precautions. Domestic air transportation is to follow special procedures to ensure public health safety.

Additional Information:

On April 16, the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced different schemes for social distancing for each localities, based on risk factors. Localities other than “High-risk” (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Ninh Binh, Quang Nam, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Tay Ninh, and Ha Tinh) are to follow Directive 15 and 16 to April 22. Some manufacturing and business activites are allowed to resume after April 15 on the condition that epidemiological safety measures are taken.

Known travel restrictions on entry/exit:

Land borders with Laos and Cambodia are strictly closed for human movement. Domestic flights have been returned to pre-pandemic schedule. Land borders with Laos and Cambodia are strictly closed for human movement. International commercial flights have been suspended following the first community transmission confirmed case on November 30.

Restricted Locations:

Selected locations in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City is being locked down following patient 1347 being confirmed on November 30.

Da Nang on September 24 announced that it has successfully controlled the outbreak and is returning to normal after being placed on lockdown since July 28, following patient 416 being confirmed on July 25.

On April 16, the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced different schemes for social distancing for each localities, based on risk factors. On April 22, the Committee revised the category as followed: “At-risk” localities: Thuong Tin area of Hanoi; “High-risk” localities: Ho Chi Minh City, Bac Ninh, Ha Giang; “Low-risk” localities: the remaining provinces. At-risk location is to continue Directive 16 on limited lockdown.

For “at-risk” localities: Production sites and logistics operations are exempted but employers have to make sure that their employees follow all government-mandated hygienic protocols, including site disinfection, 2-m distance and wearing masks. Travel from virus-hit areas to other places is only exempted for emergency government duty, food and other essentials, commute by workers and engineers to and from work. Everyone is only allowed to go out on essential business such as to get food and medicine, to be hospitalized and to go to work in production sites and stores that are essential business. Each local government shall determine the list of the essential services and products which will remain open.

Gatherings of People:

For “at-risk” localities: Groups of over 2 people each are banned in public and outside of offices, schools and hospitals. Each room shall have no more than 20 people at the same time. 2m social distancing strictly enforced in all places. Schools are closed.

Groups of over 20 people (for high-risk) or over 30 people (for low-risk) each are banned in public and outside of offices, schools and hospitals. Each room shall have no more than 20 people at the same time. 1-m social distancing strictly enforced in all places. Schools are open at reduced capacity and alternate schedule.

Procedures for Exemption:

Please contact the US-ABC Vietnam team.

Known Exceptions:

Operation of commercial services such as retails, lotteries, hotel and lodging, restaurants, sport centers, heritage sites, and tourist attractions are allowed to resume as long as safety precautions are in places, including providing personal protective gears for staff, taking body temperature of guests, and installing public hand sanitizers. Inter-province and intra-province transportation can resume operations under the Ministry of Transport’s instructions and with safety precautions. Air transportation is to follow special procedures to ensure public health safety. Schools are to also disinfect facility and combine online learning to protect the students’ health. Factories and manufacturing facilities are to continue operations under safety precautions for employees and workers. As of May 7, non-essential businesses including bars, pubs, clubs and discos, beauty salons, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, barbers, and hairdresser have been allowed to resume under safety precautions. Religious activities in Vietnam were allowed to resume from May 8 but with preventive measures for large gatherings.

For incoming travelers, exemptions are made for diplomats, government officials and high-skilled corporate employees traveling on official business.

On September 23, the Ministry of Health has issued a temporary guidance (Document No 4995/BYT-DP) for incoming travelers including foreigners holding diplomatic passports, official passports, investors, highly skilled workers, business managers, international students and foreign relatives of Vietnamese citizens from countries where the pandemic is under control. The document outlines the procedure for incoming travelers to take to ensure their safety and control of the pandemic.

On September 1, Vietnam has lifted the 14-day quarantine requirement for incoming travelers listed above. However, they are to comply with safety guidelines and procedures, including taking a COVID-19 test.

Security/Safety Issues:

Punitive measures for non-compliance are not specified. Burden is on local government to enforce.

Additional Information:

All new arrivals at port of entry who are allowed in will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and sent to quarantine for 14 days or the hospital for treatment. Returning Vietnamese nationals shall be quarantined for 14 days in government-run facilities. People arrived in the country since March 8 but have not been quarantined will be screened for medical condition and tested.

Vietnam’s Immigration Department has announced that it will extend temporary residence permits for those that have entered before March 1 until the end of June 30. Foreigners that have entered on visa-free policies, e-visas, or tourist visas since March 1 will also be entitled to the same automatic extension program until June 30.

As of May 7, Vietnamese domestic carriers are allowed to remove social distancing restrictions on aircraft and limitations on the number of passengers from May 7. Passengers on planes are no longer required to sit one seat apart, but they still have to keep a distance of one meter from each other while going through procedures at airports until boarding.

Fiscal spending:

The government is preparing a second stimulus package.

On May 29, the government issued Resolution 84 unveiling a number of incentives for businesses affected by the pandemic, including reduction of certain fees and easing of various regulations related to trade, industries, and foreign employees.

On April 9, the Government approved a US$2.66 billion social welfare package for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on removing difficulties in production and businesses and accelerating the disbursement of public investment. Of the seven groups subject to the package, six will benefit from the State budget while the remaining group – businesses – will be allowed to access bank loans with a zero percent interest rate to support their workers.

Tax measures:

Tax deferment is being proposed for VAT, CIT and PIT to Q3 & Q4, for a total of $3.5 bn. On March 10, MOF released a draft decree on the extension of Value-added tax (VAT), personal income tax (PIT) and land rental fee for affected industries, including agriculture, forestry, fishery; manufacturing and processing food; weaving; costumes; shoes; products from rubber; electronic products, computers; transportation; accommodation and catering; activities of travel agents, tour operators and support services related to tourism promotion and organization. The deadline for payment of VAT will be extended to December 15, 2020 for individuals and business households in the listed affected industries and will be extended by 5 months for companies declaring VAT on a quarterly basis (Q1-Q2) or on a monthly basis (March-June). The deadline for the first payment of 2020 for those who directly lease land from the State, those who pay land rental fee on an annual basis, or in the listed affected industries, will be extended by 5 months. On April 3, the Ministry of Finance submitted a new proposal increasing the total value of tax deferment to US$7.82 billion and added new eligible sectors.

April 9, 2020: Prime Minister approved Decree No 41/2020/NĐ-CP: extending deadlines for tax and land use fee payments to support businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of USD 7.8 Billion The decree took effect immediately. The extension would be five months from the deadline for payments. 1. Agro-forestry-fishery 2. Food processing, Textile, garment, Construction industry 3. Transportation, Warehouse, Accommodation and catering, Education, Medical services 4. Part-supply industry 5. Small and micro – sized enterprises and credit institutions and branches of foreign banks which provided support to their customers who were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic following the requirements of the State Bank of Việt Nam.

Financial measures:

Following the new cases of COVID-19, on August 5, the State Bank of Vietnam announced its decision to cut the interest rate it pays on commercial banks’ reserves by 0.2-0.5 percentage points as part of its efforts to help the economy weather the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 13, the government has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to decrease the retail price of electricity by 10 per cent over the course of three months, in April, May, and June. On February 24, SBV ordered commercial banks to eliminate, cut, or delay interest payments on loans to companies facing losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 13, SBV issued Circular No. 01/2020/TT-NHNN directing the credit institutions, the foreign bank branches to restructure the repayment periods, waive and reduce the interest and fees, maintain the debt classifications in order to support those customers affected by COVID-19 epidemic (Circular 01).

Trade measures:

On February 28, the Government issued Resolution 20/NQ-CP on applying the export licensing regime on medical masks amid COVID-19 prevention and control. Pursuant to the Resolution, the MOH issued Decision 868/QD-BYT dated March 11 to apply the regime and only allows exports of medical masks for international aid and assistance purposes granted by the Vietnam Government (maximum of 25 percent of the output for exports and 75 percent for domestic use).

On March 24, Vietnam Customs has stopped issuing clearance for rice shipments to ensure food security, under the Prime Minister’s instruction as part of the wider COVID-19 response. The Prime Minister said the ban would be in place until March 28 as the government review the national stockpile and ensure domestic supplies can cope with the pandemic. As of March 30, the ban is still in place.

Intelligence & Analysis

Case data from WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC and DXY. Compiled by JHU CSSE