COVID travel restrictions impacting business aviation

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IMPORTANT: The impact of the global COVID travel restrictions on business aviation is fluid and evolving by the minute. While we do our best to keep this article current by adding additional information once it is received and confirmed, always check with your Universal Trip Support Team and local authorities for the most current information.

The top section of the blog will feature weekly insights and trends. Scroll down to see a list of country restriction changes and visit the individual region blog articles for full details. Note: Older updates will now be kept at the end of the country sections.


COVID-19 Restriction Trends

April 8, 2021

Restrictions remain mostly stable, with some countries retightening or extending lockdowns in response to outbreaks – everything is basically the same while we wait for vaccination numbers to increase and a major int’l vax pass program to materialize.

We’re continuing to field lots of inquiries for trips to Europe – for both leisure and business flights. The number of planned EU and UK trips in the backlog continues to grow. If you’re considering one, I can help you navigate best options.

On a related note, I was just informed that we’ll be hosting another ops webinar meetup next Wednesday. Lorena Carraro, our regional director for our FBO offices in the Mediterranean area, will share the latest local intel and tips for preparing for this year’s Mediterranean summer season. Eric Rodriguez with U.S. CBP will also be on the call to provide an update for the U.S. I’ll have the official invite to send to you tomorrow.

Our country-by-country summary is below. More detailed information is available through our Feasibility Guides.


April 1, 2021

United States

  • On Jan. 12, 2021, the U.S. CDC issued a new order requiring proof of a negative viral COVID-19 test (NAAT/PCR or antigen), or medical proof of recovery, for anyone arriving from a foreign country to the U.S. The order went into effect Jan. 26, 2021 for ALL flights, including private flight and GA aircraft. Key points:
    • Only ACTIVE crew members are EXEMPT. You can find the full definition of ACTIVE CREW and some analysis on the various exemption scenarios that we’ve been asked about on our website.
    • Passengers must show aircraft operator proof of negative result, taken with 3 days of boarding, or of recovery prior to boarding.
    • Operators of private flights and general aviation must maintain passenger Attestations (i.e., declaration forms) for 2 years. Note: While the operator needs to see the test result, only the Attestations (which can be captured digitally) must be kept on file. We are providing free pre-populated Attestation forms on Universal-managed trips in-bound to the U.S. Ask us for details.
    • The CDC’s website has more information on the order, including the official announcement and FAQs.
    • Note FAA NOTAM reinforcing the CDC order.
    • This article on our blog has more information, including a comprehensive list of FAQs we’ve received such as vaccines exemptions (not allowed), types of tests accepted, enforcement, “active crew” definition, impact to air ambulance missions and more.
  • U.S. Presidential Proclamations: On Sunday, Jan. 25, the Biden Administration re-instated the U.S. travel restrictions on all non-U.S. travelers who have been in Brazil, South Africa, and most EU countries, including the UK and Ireland.
    • All stops in suspended regions, overnight or just tech stops, are treated the same.
    • Entry by any non-U.S. foreign national (that includes Canadian and Mexican citizens) who has been in a suspended region over the past 14 days is HIGHLY RESTRICTED and will be denied, with few exceptions.
    • CDC guidelines RECOMMEND quarantine; they don’t mandate it. CDC spokespeople have confirmed the same. While a new Presidential Proclamation concerning quarantine on arrival is likely, details and possible exemptions (e.g., vaccine passports) are still TBD.
  • Non-U.S. nationals needing to enter the U.S. should start their visa applications/renewals sooner than later. We’ve heard multiple accounts of U.S. Embassies in various countries being slow to process these.
  • U.S. APIS Update: All GA travelers are now required to provide additional details, including primary phone number and email address, for contact tracing purposes when coming from Guinea or the DROC in response to Ebola. Scheduled airlines have already been doing this. Airport funneling from these destinations is also in effect. While these destinations aren’t the most popular for GA travel, it’s not unlikely that we could see the APIS data collection portion of this requirement expanded to cover arrivals from more countries (e.g., for contact tracing other diseases). Note that Private and Charter flights will have different processes for complying with this based on how APIS information is currently transmitted for each of these two flight types. Read more about this on our blog.
  • Applications for signatory carrier status under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are still being processed. All U.S.-based operators (including some international companies with U.S. subsidiaries) and non-U.S. commercial operators are eligible to apply. If you are not a signatory carrier and qualify, we recommend you apply to increase your operating flexibility. We can help.
  • The National Interest Waiver (NIW) is another avenue foreign nationals can seek for entry into the U.S. and can be an effective means of entry. Allowed purposes of visit include Business, Education, Training, and Medical. Application for entry is available for the following U.S. AOEs: KLAX, KEWR, KDFW, KJFK, and KIAH, as well as through the U.S. Embassy in France and the UK. Our Global Regulatory Services team has worked out the repeatable process to apply at each of these and can provide support.
  • The U.S. STEP Program is an important risk mitigation program that U.S. nationals should be using on every international trip, especially now with COVID. When the first wave hit and we saw the massive wave of lockdowns, this program helped get people on the U.S. Embassy’s evacuation list to return home. It has a whole host of other benefits like if you lose your passport or have medical issues, if there is a terrorist incident or civil unrest, etc. Our Global Regulatory Services team offers an optional, turnkey STEP Registration Service for your trips with us.
  • Any operator entering the U.S. from the south should be taking advantage of the CBP’s Border Overflight Exemption (BOE) program to avoid having to make an extra stop at the first designated AOE when returning home. A BOE is good for 2 years, and it greatly increases your operational flexibility. We can take care of this for you.
  • Non-U.S. charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators flying to/from the U.S. with less than 12 flights per year MUST have a DOT Part 375 Ops Permit and/or Special Authorization. We can assist.
  • The U.S. remains excluded from the EC’s Safe List. However, many European countries are still accepting U.S. flights and/or passengers under substantiated business conditions.
  • Advise passengers and crew to continue maintaining a 14-day travel history log of the countries, states, and cities they visit. This is critical for both travel into the U.S., within it, and abroad.
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico land borders remain in place until March 21, 2021. We are in close communication with U.S. CBP for updates since this date is coming up.
  • Hawaii – The pre-arrival testing program began Oct. 15, allowing visitors to bypass quarantine. Read more online. Hawaii has a specific list of approved C19 testing providers and tests that you must use, and this supersedes the CDC pre-testing order. All travelers arriving in Hawaii are still required to have a temperature check and complete a Travel Declaration Form. U.S Presidential Proclamations restricting flights apply. People traveling interisland can find additional information and the interisland limited quarantine request by visiting county webpages. Note that each island has its own requirements and rules, so check beyond the state level. The state’s vaccine passport program which woudl allow inter-island travel is now delayed to at least July.
  • Puerto Rico – Open to foreign tourism. Both U.S. and international pax need a COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of travel); otherwise, traveler will be tested on arrival. Complete a digital Travel SAFE Declaration Form and submit at www.travelsafe.pr.gov or www.viajaseguro.pr.gov. Proof of negative COVID test required to avoid quarantine.
  • USVI – International leisure hotel guests are allowed. U.S Presidential Proclamations restricting flights apply. Since this is a U.S. territory, CDC testing requirements for int’l arrivals do not apply for U.S. citizens. Visit the USVI Travel Screening Portal and fill out the info requested in advance. Additional information and testing requirements available on https://usviupdate.com/. Note that testing requirements DO apply to the crew, unless crew is on the ground less than 24 hours. Our preferred ground handler at TIST, Standard Aviation, has parking availability and can provide air transfers to neighboring Caribbean islands.
  • Alaska – Alaska’s travel mandates and orders are now just travel advisories. Full entry details online.
  • Various U.S. states and cities have implemented varying degrees of quarantine and testing requirements. Enforcement is often not in effect. Please check with your Universal Trip Support team for any specific domestic restriction that may impact you, as these change rapidly.

Canada

  • Canada has this online tool to help you assess if you can enter the country.
  • Airport Funneling in Effect – All international passenger flights, including those from the U.S., are required to enter Canada through one of the following four funneling airports: CYYZ/Toronto, CYVR/Vancouver, CYUL/Montreal, and CYYC/Calgary. Medevac, ferry and crew repatriation flights, cargo-only flights, and tech stops where no passengers disembark are exempt. For now, you may continue on to your final destination in Canada with no delay, as long as your passengers quarantine per federal or provincial rules upon arrival at your final destination.
  • Mandatory 3-Day Quarantine in Gov’t Sanctioned Hotel – Coming soon, all air travelers arriving in Canada, with very limited exceptions, must reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost, and take a COVD-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost. (CYYZ has already implemented this requirement.) Exact implementation date TBD.
  • Canada’s airlines have canceled services to/from Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean until April 30.
  • Officials in Canada extended a ban on entry for most nonresident foreign nationals until further notice as part of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
  • All airline passengers from abroad aged 5 years and over must present a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure to Canada. Persons with a negative PCR test result and who are authorized to enter Canada must still complete the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.
  • As of Nov. 21, travelers will be required to submit contact and quarantine information via ArriveCAN app. Fines of $1,000 CAD may be placed upon any traveler for not complying.
  • On Oct. 22, Canada was removed from the EC’s recommended Safe List. Remember, these are just recommendations. Portugal also has Canada on its non-approved list.
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico remain in place until April 21, 2021. CANPASS / CBSA (CANADA) is by far the most stringent enforcer of this policy in regards to air travel.
  • Flights from the U.S. are being allowed on a case-by-case basis. Some are getting through without issue; others are getting denied. Canada is very strict on vetting “essential” vs. “non-essential” travel between the U.S. and Canada. Best practice is to gather all relevant documentation (e.g., travel history, medical declarations, purpose of flight, etc.) and seek approval from CANPASS well in advance. Canada is still restricting entry to 4 ports. Consult with us for any planned mission.
  • Note that Canada has very strict quarantine requirements for anyone entering the country. Active crew are exempt but need to follow these contact collection guidelines.

Mexico

  • Mexico is open and accessible. Popular tourist destinations like Los Cabos, Cozumel, PV, and Cancun are active with flights.
  • Our ground handing teams in Mexico (Mexico City/TolucaLos CabosCancunCozumelPVMonterrey, etc.) are available to support your missions.
  • AFAC remains closed but is processing AOC renewals and modifications, one time permits, blanket permit modifications, and blanket permit verifications remotely/online. Note that AFAC is working under reduced staffing hours, so application processing will take longer than normal. For assistance with your Mexico permits, we can help.
  • There is a no-touch Covid-19 health assessment form, which is required on arrival/departure. After completing the form, print or screen cap the QR code that is generated for easy access. You’ll need to present this to the health inspectors upon arrival into Mexico. Here is the link: https://afac.hostingerapp.com – Note that you need to actually copy/paste it into your browser; just clicking it will throw an error. A 14-day quarantine at residence may be necessary; however, popular tourist zones in the typical vacation cities (e.g., Cancun, Los Cabos, PV, Cozumel) are excluded.
  • Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico remain in place until April 21, 2021. CANPASS / CBSA (CANADA) is by far the most stringent enforcer of this policy in regards to air travel.
  • The Mexican government has established an epidemiological traffic light monitoring system based on the number of cases and risk of contagion to manage the relaxing of restrictions. The status of it varies from state to state.

Caribbean

Summary info only. Detailed intelligence available – Pre-arrival testing requirements, health forms, quarantine details, local curfews, and scenario-specific info have been omitted from this overview. Ask your Universal Trip Support team for a Feasibility Guide to get detailed intelligence for your destination of interest.

Travelers from variant virus hotspots – Many countries are restricting entry for travelers who have visited a variant virus hotspot, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Travelers from neighboring countries may also be restricted.

  • Anguilla – Entry is restricted. This form needs to be completed. Pre-arrival, on-arrival and post-arrival testing required. Quarantine and insurance required.
  • Antigua and Barbuda – Open to most travelers. Requires approval before operating. See official website for details on access to tourist zones and when quarantine comes into play.
  • Aruba – Aruba is accepting flights from all U.S. states. Aruba’s Digital Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (ED card) and health insurance are required.
  • Bahamas – Open. No quarantine required. This electronic health visa must be completed. Health insurance is required. More info at the Office of the Prime Minister and Reopen Bahamas.
  • Barbados – Open. Negative test must be uploaded at www.travelform.gov.bb in advance. Upon arrival take Rapid Antigen test and wear a tracer bracelet during quarantine. After 5 days take PCR test to exit quarantine. See details online.
  • Bermuda – Travel Authorization form required. Additional testing on arrival and throughout stay needed to bypass quarantine. Wearable tracer device required.
  • Bonaire – Open, but many countries restricted. Check with us for latest. Must complete a Health Declaration Form at www.bonairepublichealth.org. Quarantine is required.
  • British Virgin Islands (BVI) – Open for tourism. Testing pre-arrival, on-arrival, and on day 4 required. Details online. Form must be submitted in advance of arrival on the BVI Gateway Traveller’s Authorization Portal. Contact tracer app required.
  • Cayman Islands – Leisure travel allowed. You must apply at TravelTime for pre-approval. 14-day quarantine at hotel/villa (plus 48-hr testing period) required prior to freely roaming island. Can be reduced to 10 days with proof of a vaccine. Health form required. Wearable health monitoring device and tracer app install also required. See website for more details.
  • Cuba – Certain parts of country are open for tourism. U.S. sanctions still apply. COVID-19 test upon arrival. Quarantine is required.
  • Curacao – Passengers from the U.S. can enter with special permission from the Department of Health. Must complete digital immigration card and digital locator card. These travelers are permitted to enter Curacao without quarantine.
  • Dominica – Open; however, entry requirements, disembarkation, and quarantine protocols vary depending on the country of origin risk level (CARICOM Travel Bubble, Low Risk, Medium Risk, High Risk). An online health questionnaire is required. Upon arrival, passenger will undergo a health screen and a rapid COVID test. If negative, no quarantine required.
  • Dominican Republic – Open to international passengers. COVID-19 test not required for crew and passengers. Universal Aviation DR is open and supporting missions.
  • Grenada – Open. Apply for approval online. Expect to quarantine. Medical insurance required. Tracer app required. More information online.
  • Guadeloupe – French territory – Closed for tourism. See website (note: may not reflect the latest).
  • Haiti – Open. No quarantine required.
  • Jamaica – Open. All foreign crew and passengers must obtain travel authorization online prior to arrival. Travelers from six South American countries are prohibited. Quarantine required for length of stay or 14 days, in either a residence or tourist zone (“Resilient Corridor”). See full details online.
  • Martinique – French territory – Closed for tourism.
  • St. Barts – French territory – Closed for tourism.
  • St. Lucia – Open, with quarantine. More info online.
  • St. Kitts & Nevis – Open. All travelers must seek permission prior to travel. Quarantine is mandatory. Negative COVID test and tracing app install required. See website for details.
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch side) – The island is split between France and the Netherlands. However, TNCM falls on the Netherlands side. The Netherlands side is enacting stricter restrictions for passengers from “high-risk” countries. Travelers from the U.S. and Canada can enter. Check with us for details based on your specific flight scenario.
  • St. Martin (French side) – The island is split between France and the Netherlands. French side is closed for tourism.
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines – GA flights are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, regardless of passenger nationality. Travelers must quarantine in a private villa or bubble resort until receiving the results of an additional test taken on arrival (in additional to pre-arrival). View full requirements online.
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Now closed through April 30.
  • Turks and Caicos – Open. Travel insurance required.
  • USVI and Puerto Rico – See U.S. section above.

See our complete list of restrictions and feasibility insights for the Caribbean. >


Latin America

Summary info only. Detailed intelligence available – Pre-arrival testing requirements, health forms, quarantine details, local curfews, and scenario-specific info have been omitted from this overview. Ask your Universal Trip Support team for a Feasibility Guide to get detailed intelligence for your destination of interest.

Travelers from variant virus hotspots – Many countries are restricting entry for travelers who have visited a variant virus hotspot, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Travelers from neighboring countries may also be restricted.

  • Our FBOs and ground handling offices in ArgentinaBrazilChileCosta RicaMexico, and Venezuela are still operational and supporting missions.
  • Argentina – Closed until April 9. Universal Aviation Argentina is staying on top of the latest.
  • Belize – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE. Travelers with proof of COVID-19 immunization are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test result for entry.
  • Brazil – COVID test and health entry form for both crew and passengers. Crew are not exempt. Universal Aviation Brazil is following our C19 Health and Safety standards to support you safely.
  • Bolivia – U.S. passengers allowed entry for business. Travel health insurance and quarantine required. Bolivia is restricting flight from Europe through May 31, 2021.
  • Chile – Until at least May 5th, entry is restricted to medical, humanitarian, cargo and foreigners who have been specially authorized to enter by the Chilean diplomatic mission in their country. Travel medical insurance required, quarantine and aircraft disinfection required. Universal Aviation Chile is staying on top of the latest.
  • Colombia – International passengers are now allowed to arrive in Colombia. Social security coverage or health insurance is required. CHECK MIG form required on the Colombian Immigration website. SKBO, SKCG, SKRG, and SKCL are open to accept flights from the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Curacao, and Panama. Flights currently suspended between Colombia and Brazil.
  • Costa Rica – Open. No quarantine is required. All passengers and crew must have travel insurance and complete this health form in advance.
  • Ecuador – Has partially opened its borders and citizens of the United States and certain countries in Latin America and Asia Pacific region may enter with an official permit. No quarantine. Health form required. No test required with proof of both vaccine doses.
  • El Salvador – Open. No quarantine.
  • Falkland Islands – Business flights require special invitation letter. Quarantine required, no exemptions. Leisure flights possible if transiting direct to a private vessel. Contact locator form required.
  • Guatemala – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE for entry, but local lockdown in effect. Open. No quarantine. Health screening on arrival. Health Pass required prior to arrival.
  • Guyana – Advanced screening on arrival. No quarantine.
  • Honduras – Open for business flights. Quarantine not required with proof of a negative test.
  • Nicaragua – Open. No quarantine. Local contact, aircraft sanitization certificate, and traveler declaration form required.
  • Panama – Open. Testing on arrival and quarantine are required. Quarantine not required for most who meet entry requirements. Must complete an online registration form. Travelers from South America are more restricted and will have to quarantine.
  • Paraguay – Paraguay is open for flights. Proof of Medical insurance required. Health card required.
  • Peru – Reopened for international flights with the exception of those who have been on Brazil, South Africa, or the UK in the past 14 days.
  • Suriname – Flights require government approval. Quarantine and health insurance required.
  • Venezuela – Accessible with approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Quarantine at government facility required.
  • See our complete list of country-by-country restrictions and feasibility insights for Central and South America. >

Europe

Summary info only. Detailed intelligence available – Pre-arrival testing requirements, health forms, quarantine details, local curfews, and scenario-specific info have been omitted from this overview. Ask your Universal Trip Support team for a Feasibility Guide to get detailed intelligence for your destination of interest.

Travelers from variant virus hotspots – Many countries are restricting entry for travelers who have visited a variant virus hotspot, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Travelers from neighboring countries may also be restricted.

    • Our FBOs and ground handling offices in IrelandUKFranceGreeceItalySpain and Turkey are all open and supporting missions.
    • HIGH LEVEL SUMMARY: Europe had been pretty much open to Europe, but recently more EU countries are restricting other EU countries/regions based on outbreak levels. Corridors previously open may no longer be viable. Please consult with us for the latest.
    • Golden Visa Countries – Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Spain and Ireland have golden visa programs that grant real estate owners and their families citizenship or residency status. For instance, Portugal requires a 500K Euro investment to qualify for citizenship, and having citizenship means other EU countries become accessible. Many aircraft owners and charter passengers are leveraging these programs.
    • Distant Lover Exemptions – A number of European countries had exemptions allowing unmarried partners to enter; however, those exemptions have changed in response to recent surges. Love Is Not Tourism is tracking these.
  • European countries that are accessible to passengers from the U.S. and other countries not on the EC’s list include:
    • Albania – Open. No quarantine
    • Austria – U.S. citizens with a business purpose are allowed entry directly. Or, U.S. citizens can enter via intra-Schengen without restrictions. Only business travelers are allowed to stay in hotels. No tourists. Authorities are imposing various lockdowns throughout the country through April 18.
    • Belarus – Accessible. Travelers from this list of countries will likely have to self-quarantine.
    • Belgium – U.S. citizens can no longer travel to Belgium for essential travel through April 18.
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina – U.S. citizens are allowed entry with an invitation letter.
    • Croatia – Allowing entry based on economic interest or tourism. Submit notice at https://entercroatia.mup.hr. Our Universal Aviation offices in Italy are helping coordinate arrangements to enter Croatia for customers. Quarantine is required if arriving from outside the EU.
    • Cyprus – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE for UK travelers starting May 1. U.S. travelers remain restricted.
    • Denmark – Has announced plans for a vaccine passport program. U.S. citizens can travel to Denmark directly with an invitation letter from a Danish company, but approval in advance is not possible. Authorities will review on arrival and determine if it’s an acceptable purpose of entry. Entry requirements are based on passenger passport/residency, not the point of origin of the aircraft. Note this is a Schengen country. This is also a good tech stop location (even for crew swap) with COVID-19 testing facility at the FBO.
    • France – Effective Jan 31, France has suspended travel from and to countries outside the EU. This no longer applies to Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom. Passenger locator form, sworn statement, and 7 days self-isolation are still required. Alternate entry options are below. An Exemption Certificate is required to be out during curfew. National lockdown in effect until at least the end of April.
      1. Closed: European Area Corridor Access – The French government has issued this notice that travelers from the Ireland and other European Area (EA) countries who have been in a non-EA country within the previous 14 days must follow procedures applicable to arrivals from non EA countries. While this is not reflected in the NOTAM for France, it shuts the door on doing the overnight in Ireland or another EA country to access France.
      2. Direct Access – U.S. passengers traveling directly to France must present a permit issued by the French Embassy or General French Consulate to enter French territory.
    • Germany – Business purpose travel remains possible with preapproval. Lockdown measures extended until April 18.
    • Greece – Closed to U.S. citizens.
    • Hungary – U.S. persons can travel to Hungary for essential business. An invitation letter from the receiving party should be submitted in advance for approval. All U.S. passengers approved in for essential business don’t require COVID testing or quarantine.
    • Ireland –
    • Italy – Extended partial lockdown through end of April, as infections have spiked. There are a few ways third-country nationals (including U.S. citizens) can enter. Complete details are online and there is this survey tool you can use:
      • Direct Access: Business purposes with prior approval, and Universal Aviation Italy reports that Italian authorities have been approving many requests.
      • Intra-Europe Corridors: Travelers who have stayed in the EU for 14 days or more can enter some regions of Italy. Travel history will dictate if a passenger will need to quarantine or not. See website for details.
      • Intra-country travel restrictions: Italy is currently restricting all intra-country travel for non-essential reasons.
    • Latvia – Open with quarantine or for length of stay. Electronic questionnaire must be completed.
    • Malta – U.S. passengers are not allowed in general. Health form required. Travelers from some high-risk cities/regions within Europe will need to have a special permit. Quarantine required, depending on country of origin.
    • Moldova – Foreign citizens from most Red countries are prohibited.
    • Montenegro – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE. Open to U.S. citizens.
    • Netherlands – U.S. citizens can no longer enter. Passengers transiting from the Dominican Republic, Panama, South Africa and all of South America are prohibited.
    • Poland – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE for countries on the allowed list only, which doesn’t include U.S. All international arrivals with special permit will be required to self-isolate. Travelers with a vaccine are exempt from quarantine. The updated flight ban list can be found online.
    • Portugal – Accessible to third-country nationals (including U.S. citizens) coming from another Schengen country. Lockdown in place until April 15. There is an alternate mechanism to get in directly for if you have a business purpose we can help with.
    • Serbia – U.S. citizens can enter for business or tourism. No quarantine required.
    • Slovak Republic – VACCINE PASSPORT REVOKED. PCR test and quarantine required for entry. Nationwide 20-hour curfew in effect UFN.
    • Slovenia – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE. Open to U.S. passengers with quarantine up to 10 days or length of stay.
    • Spain – U.S. citizens can travel to Spain directly with an invitation letter from a Spanish company, or via a second stop entering from a Schengen country. Essential travel only, and accredited flights from USA have to be approved.
    • Sweden – U.S. passengers allowed if arriving from Schengen country. Quarantine not required. U.S. passengers on direct flights from U.S. with special business invitation letter may be allowed entry.
    • Switzerland – U.S. passengers allowed for business if arriving from Schengen country. Business purpose letter required. Quarantine required if have been to any of these countries (note that U.S is NOT on this list) at any time within the last 14 days before entering Switzerland.
    • Turkey – Travelers from UK, Brazil, Denmark and South Africa must quarantine. Other than the countries above, Turkey remains open on the Mediterranean to Private/Business flights (including leisure) regardless the country of registration and/or nationality of passenger. No quarantine as long as passengers are symptom-free. Our Universal Aviation office in Turkey can provide assistance.
    • Ukraine – Open. An additional test is required after arrival to bypass quarantine. Medical insurance and tracer app required. Aircraft disinfection required. Read more online.
    • UK – Accessible, but National Lockdown in effect. See section below for more details.
    • Rest of Europe – Most EU countries are allowing essential business travel (for instance, your principal is considering investing in a European business), so if you can state your case, there may be a way in.
  • UK –
  • Reopen Europe is good resource to reference for country entry requirements.

Middle East & Africa

Summary info only. Detailed intelligence available – Pre-arrival testing requirements, health forms, quarantine details, local curfews, and scenario-specific info have been omitted from this overview. Ask your Universal Trip Support team for a Feasibility Guide to get detailed intelligence for your destination of interest.

Travelers from variant virus hotspots – Many countries are restricting entry for travelers who have visited a variant virus hotspot, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Travelers from neighboring countries may also be restricted.

  • Angola – Travel from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, Portugal, South Africa, and the UK banned until further notice. Travel registration form and mandatory quarantine required.
  • Bahrain – There are no restrictions for private jets or pax arriving into OBBI if you can get a landing permit through diplomatic channels. COVID PCR testing on arrival required for all arriving passengers. Contact tracing app required.
  • Botswana – Accessible. No quarantine.
  • Burkina Faso – Locator form and health declaration required.
  • Burundi – U.S. passengers can enter with government approval. Test on arrival and quarantine required.
  • Cape Verde – All int’l flights are allowed. Test on arrival required.
  • Central African Republic – Open with stringent health requirements. U.S. citizens may have to quarantine.
  • Chad – Open. If you enter Chad and are planning to stay for 7 days or more, you will need to surrender your passport, quarantine at home for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test on the seventh day. Passports will be returned upon presentation of the COVID-19 test receipt. If you are staying in Chad for less than 7 days you will not be required to quarantine.
  • Comoro Is.– Open to U.S. passengers. Health survey, aircraft disinfection, and visa required. No quarantine. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo – Health forms required. Private flights authorized on a case-by-case basis.
  • Djibouti – U.S. passengers are allowed. Flights must get permission. Mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival.
  • Egypt – All airports are open. Tourism is limited to resorts. No quarantine. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • Equatorial Guinea – Some essential business flights allowed. Quarantine required.
  • Eritrea – U.S. citizens can enter with a valid visa.
  • Ethiopia – Open with quarantine. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • Ghana – Government authorization is needed for entry.
  • Guinea – U.S. passengers allowed for business. Health declaration form required.
  • Guinea-Bissau – U.S. passengers allowed. No quarantine.
  • Iran – U.S. passengers allowed entry with an Iranian visa. Quarantine may be required.
  • Israel – Entry for foreign nationals remains highly restricted. Our ground handling office in Tel Aviv is monitoring the latest.
  • Jordan – Accessible. Requires upon-arrival testing. Health insurance, aircraft disinfection and tracing app required.
  • Kenya – Open to 147 nations/states, including U.S. No quarantine. Test required to exit.
  • Lebanon – Private flights have resumed. Health insurance and test on arrival required. Travelers from countries with high infection rates will undergo quarantine.
  • Liberia – Open. Mandatory testing on arrival and departure.
  • Malawi – Open. Travel Surveillance Forms to be filled out upon arrival.
  • Mali – Open. Health form required. Quarantine not required.
  • Mauritania – Open with new exclusions for countries with COVID mutations. Quarantine and test on arrival required.
  • Mauritius Is. – Approval is on case-by-case basis by Prime Minister’s office. Nationwide lockdown through April 30. Airports will stay open for essential services.
  • Morocco –Business travel possible through diplomatic channels and invitation letter. Health exams on arrival and 7-day quarantine required. Re-test required on day 7 to end quarantine. Some exclusions for countries with COVID mutations.
  • Mozambique – Open. Business travel permitted (including for U.S. citizens) with approval. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • Namibia – Open.
  • Niger – Open. CAA might require MOFA approval.
  • Nigeria – Open. Quarantine required. Health form portal.
  • Qatar – U.S. passengers are allowed with permission in advance. Quarantine and smartphone app required.
  • Republic of Congo – Authorities resumed international air travel.
  • Rwanda – Charter tourism and business flights allowed. Test on arrival, quarantine, passenger locator form, and aircraft disinfection is required.
  • Sao Tome & Principe – Open to domestic and international travel.
  • Saudi Arabia – Flights from the U.S. and 19 other countries with high infection rates – or anyone who has been to these countries over the last 14 days – are prohibited. Foreign nationals with valid visas and a landing permit are allowed entry. Testing on arrival and smartphone app required.
  • Senegal – Open. Passengers must complete a tracking form online and present it on arrival.
  • Sierra Leone – Open. Traveler’s passports will be held by authorities until the results of the on-arrival PCR test have been received.
  • Seychelles – VACCINE PASSPORT ACTIVE: First country to implement the Vax PassSee official website for details.
  • Somalia – Open, with quarantine.
  • South Africa – Allowing travel into/out of South Africa for business, leisure, and other travel. Travelers must be screened on arrival and must install contact tracing app.
  • South Sudan – Open.
  • Sudan – Open.
  • Tanzania – Open. Pax will undergo advanced screening on arrival.
  • Togo – Open. COVID-19 test required upon arrival and departure. Quarantine while awaiting results.
  • Tunisia – Open. Quarantine required.
  • Uganda – All international passenger flights allowed. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • United Arab Emirates – Open, but entry requirements vary by emirate. Emirates Airlines has a great tool for checking this. Dubai is accessible without any quarantine. Health insurance and tracer app required. More on Dubai here.
  • Yemen – U.S. passengers are allowed entry for business.
  • Zambia – Open. Quarantine upon arrival recommended.
  • Zimbabwe – Open. Quarantine required.

See all restrictions for this region.


Asia-Pacific

Summary info only. Detailed intelligence available – Pre-arrival testing requirements, health forms, quarantine details, local curfews, and scenario-specific info have been omitted from this overview. Ask your Universal Trip Support team for a Feasibility Guide to get detailed intelligence for your destination of interest.

Travelers from variant virus hotspots – Many countries are restricting entry for travelers who have visited a variant virus hotspot, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Travelers from neighboring countries may also be restricted.

  • Our FBOs and ground handling offices in ChinaJapanMaldivesPhilippinesSingaporeSouth Korea, and Thailand all remain open and are supporting missions.
  • American Samoa – Open to U.S. pax with special permission.
  • Armenia – All foreign nationals are allowed entry into Armenia with approval if they meet the Visa requirements.
  • Australia – Still predominantly closed to international travelers, with some exceptions for those from New Zealand.
  • Bangladesh – U.S. passengers can enter with government approval. Testing on arrival required. Passengers must self-isolate after arrival. Visa-on-arrival services are suspended until further notice.
  • Cambodia – Allowing U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to enter. Visa, insurance, test on arrival, and quarantine required.
  • China – Remains highly restrictive. Testing on arrival and quarantine required for those who can get in. Universal Aviation China is in close contact with local authorities and will be reporting on the latest.
  • Fiji – Accessible to U.S. citizens with special clearances. Quarantine and tracer app required.
  • French Polynesia/Tahiti/Bora Bora – Closed – French territory. See details online.
  • Georgia – Special permit required to enter for business purposes. Most foreign nationals must present a vaccination certificate to immigration officials. Online travel form required for entry. Air travel is permitted from any country for individuals who have completed a full course of vaccination against COVID-19.
  • Guam – Open to U.S. passengers, with quarantine required. Quarantine rules vary based on county of origin.
  • Hong Kong – Travelers who have stayed in UK, Ireland, S. Africa, or Brazil for more than 2 hours in the past 21 days are prohibited from entering Hong Kong. Crew members who have visited these four countries in the past 21 days have to self-isolate at designated hotels. All arriving passengers must undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival and quarantine.
  • India – Has resumed issuing most types of visas, making business travel now possible with valid reason to enter. Electronic visas (e-Visa), tourist visas, and medical visas are still restricted. Details online. Quarantine requirements vary by region.
  • Indonesia – U.S. passengers are allowed only if they have a diplomatic visa, temporary (KITAS) permit, or permanent (KITAP) permit to stay. All arriving passengers must undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival and quarantine.
  • Japan –
    • Business Purpose Travel – Business corridors closed. Authorities prohibit business travel from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore, Brunei, and South Korea. Our team in Japan can assist in helping you navigate the process.
    • Ferry Flights – Ferry flights with an overnight for crew rest is possible. Talk with us for details.
  • Kyrgyzstan – Open to US. Multiple airports have opened. Forms and test are required.
  • S. Korea – Pax from all countries can enter South Korea with a VISA. Nationals from the USA, UK, Ireland and Mexico do not require a VISA. Quarantine required for all arrivals regardless of test results.
  • Laos – U.S. passengers currently are allowed only with special permission. Insurance, test on arrival, and quarantine required. Test required to depart the country.
  • Macau – Most foreign nationals not allowed. All foreign visitors and the residents of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan who have been to other countries in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Macau. Quarantine and aircraft disinfection required.
  • Maldives – Open for leisure. Passengers must have accommodations at a declared resort for length of stay. Visa on arrival is available to tourists traveling to the Maldives. Online Traveler Health Declaration Form required.
  • Myanmar – Officials have closed airports nationwide and suspended all domestic and international flights through May 31.
  • New Zealand – Still predominately closed. The Australia to New Zealand quarantine free travel corridor is set to open April 19. Requires having stayed in Australia the previous 14 days and the standard health screenings.
  • North Mariana Islands – Open to U.S. passengers for business, tourism, and tech stops. Health form and quarantine required.
  • Pakistan – Test on arrival, quarantine, and tracing app required. There are 22 countries banned from entry.
  • Palau – International traffic has officially resumed but remains restricted.
  • Philippines – Banning foreign nationals with few exceptions through April 21. Quarantine required for permitted travelers.
  • Singapore – Is in the process of phased re-opening. If planning on flying in for the World Economic Forum, tell us ASAP to get on our PRIORITY LIST. Check here for eligible travelers and requirements (see “Border/Health Control Measure Summary Table” on the webpage). Pre-arrival and post-arrival testing required. Quarantine based on travel history. Residents and visitors must submit this electronic Health Declaration Card before entering Singapore. TraceTogether App or TokenGoWhere wearable tracer device required. Short-term travelers of (very) high economic interest may be eligible to qualify to enter under the Connect@Singapore program. Our team in Singapore can provide assistance.
  • Sri Lanka – Open for tourism. Visa required. Tourists must undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival and quarantine required.
  • Taiwan – Open to all foreigners with valid reason to enter (which may include business purpose). Depending on departure country, quarantine requirements vary. Leisure not allowed.
  • Thailand – Non-Thais are no longer required to present a fit to fly Certificate to enter Thailand. Quarantine can be reduced to 7 days depending on where you’re coming from, with proof of vaccination, health insurance, and testing on arrival required. Aircraft disinfection required.
  • Turkmenistan – Flights remain suspended. U.S. passengers are allowed for business, with prior approval through diplomatic channels. Testing upon arrival and quarantine is required in a state-run facility required.
  • Uzbekistan – Arrivals from any “Yellow Zone” or “Red Zone” countries (like U.S.) can enter with pre-testing and additional requirements.
  • Vietnam – Flights require special approval from Vietnam National CDC. Quarantine required.
  • See more detailed restriction information for this region.

Additional Resources

Visit your country’s local health department. Other resources to check include:


Previous updates

April 1, 2021

  • New US APIS Requirements – All GA travelers are now required to provide additional details, including primary phone number and email address, for contact tracing purposes when coming from Guinea or the DROC in response to Ebola. Scheduled airlines have already been doing this. Airport funneling from these destinations is also in effect. While these destinations aren’t the most popular for GA travel, it’s not unlikely that we could see the APIS data collection portion of this requirement expanded to cover arrivals from more countries (e.g., for contact tracing other diseases). Note that Private and Charter flights will have different processes for complying with this based on how APIS information is currently transmitted for each of these two flight types. Read more about this on our blog.
  • The Vaccine Passport Watch Party 💉🛂🥳 – The list of countries adopting some form of a vaccine passport/exemption policy grew this week, with Cyprus and Thailand joining the club. You can track the running list of these on our blog.
  • Don’t Laminate Your Vaccination Card – While some businesses are offering free lamination services for COVID vaccination cards, we recommend not doing it so that you can add your boosters to your card when you get them. Instead, use a plastic badge sleeve. I think I have a box full of them somewhere from every NBAA tradeshow I attended prior to COVID.
  • Prepare for a Busy Summer Travel Season – The uptick in vaccinations, the influx of stimulus money, and pent-up demand are fueling what the airlines project to be a busy summer travel season for the typical beachy destinations. Plan for congestion and start making arrangements as soon as your schedule is known for best options.
  • 4th Wave vs. EU Travel Demand – Inquiries for travel to Europe remains strong, but it’s just the essential, can’t-wait business flights that are happening now. We’re tracking a growing backlog of planned trips to Europe once restrictions ease and things start to open back up.
  • Get Smart on Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Testing – We’re starting to see LFDs pop up in the regulations for various countries. Watch a 2-min video here on how to take the test. Notably…starting April 6 in the UK, crew on international arrivals will need to start taking (and retaking) these tests for stays of more than 2 days to avoid quarantine.
  • Peak Period Priority Lists – Let me know if you plan on flying into any destinations during these peak periods. Our local offices are maintaining priority lists to secure best options (parking, slots, etc.) as soon as details are available:
    • Mediterranean Summer Peak Season 2021 (late May-Sept 2021) – Spain, French Riviera (which is locked down for 30 days as of March 19), Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey
    • Japan Summer Olympics (July 23-Aug 8, 2021) – While this will be a “no fans” event, Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) is considering allowing VIPs/sponsors attend.
    • World Economic Forum – Singapore (Aug 17-20, 2021)
    • Beijing Winter Olympics (Feb 4-20, 2022)

 

March 25, 2021

Major News, Trends, Insights & Other Stuff –

  • Do you fly for a Tokyo Olympics VIP? – While general spectators won’t be attending, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG) is having ongoing conversations whether VIPs, including sponsors, will be allowed to attend. Universal Aviation Japan is in close discussion with Authorities to stay on top of the latest.
  • Int’l Traffic Demand – Based on trip feasibility inquires we’ve received and trips booked, the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica will continue to dominate the top international destinations for the next two weeks. Inquiries for EU travel remains strong, with many operators waiting to get in. We’re also seeing more feasibility requests coming in for Asia-Pacific – the most since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • ProPilot PRASE Survey – This is the last week to vote in ProPilot’s annual PRASE survey. If you think we’ve done a good job this year for International Trip Planning, or if you have had a good experience at any of our FBOs, please consider voting a 10 for us in the relevant categories. While we don’t put a lot of weight in these trade surveys, they do create nice recognition and celebratory moments for our operational teams when they rank. Fill out the PDF survey online.
  • The Vaccine Passport Watch Party 💉🛂🥳 – The list of countries adopting some form of a vaccine passport/exemption policy grew this week. You can track the running list of these on our blog.
  • Peak Period Priority Lists – Let me know if you plan on flying into any destinations during these peak periods. Our local offices are maintaining priority lists to secure best options (parking, slots, etc.) as soon as details are available:
    • Mediterranean Summer Peak Season 2021 (late May-Sept 2021) – Spain, French Riviera (which is locked down for 30 days as of March 19), Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey
    • Japan Summer Olympics (July 23-Aug 8, 2021)
    • World Economic Forum – Singapore (Aug 17-20, 2021)
    • Beijing Winter Olympics (Feb 4-20, 2022)

 

March 18, 2021

  • ProPilot PRASE Survey – ProPilot is running its annual PRASE survey. If you think we’ve done a good job this year for International Trip Planning, or if you have had a good experience at any of our FBOs, please consider voting a 10 for us in the relevant categories. While we don’t put a lot of weight in these trade surveys, they do create nice recognition and celebratory moments for our operational teams when then rank. Fill out the PDF survey online.
  • Spring Break Travel – This week and next, we’re seeing a lot of flights into the all the expected Spring Break hotspots in the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica.
  • EU Demand – There continues to be pent-up demand for essential travel to Europe. The recent COVID surge in Europe that forced Italy into lockdown hasn’t helped. We’re hopeful the EU will have a clear plan on its digital vaccine passport program soon so that operators can begin planning.
  • French Territories – St. Bart’s and French Polynesia remain closed, despite rumors that they may reopen. These are popular destinations, and many operators are waiting to get in. We’re continuing to monitor.
  • Vaccine Passports – The list of countries adopting some form of a vaccine passport/exemption policy didn’t change much this week. You can track the running list of these on our blog.
  • Peak Period Priority Lists – Let me know if you plan on flying into any destinations during these peak periods. Our local offices are maintaining priority lists to secure best options (parking, slots, etc.) as soon as details are available:
    • Mediterranean Summer Peak Season 2021 (late May-Sept 2021) – Spain, French Riviera, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey
    • Japan Summer Olympics (July 23-Aug 8, 2021)
    • World Economic Forum – Singapore (Aug 17-20, 2021)
    • Beijing Winter Olympics (Feb 4-20, 2022)
  • No Zoom Webinar Meetup Next Week – We’re skipping next week’s webinar due to the conflict with the NBAA Go Leadership Summit. If you have suggestions for topics you’d like to hear about other than restriction updates, please tell us here.

March 11, 2021

Major News, Trends, Insights & Other Stuff –

  • ProPilot PRASE Survey – ProPilot is running its annual PRASE survey. If you think we’ve done a good job this year for International Trip Planning, or if you have had a good experience at any of our FBOs, please consider voting a 10 for us in teh relevant categories. While we don’t put a lot of weight in these trade surveys, they do create nice recognition and celebratory moments for our operational teams when then rank. Fill out the PDF survey online.
  • Vaccine Passports – The list of countries adopting some form of a vaccine passport/exemption policy is growing. You can track the running list of these on our blog.
  • Recommendation: Test Even if Vaccinated – While some countries are rolling out vaccine passport-esque programs, you should still plan on pre-arrival testing to give you maximum flexibility in case something changes and/or you need to change destinations.
  • Int’l Trip Volume Continues to Rise –
    • Record Numbers – The encouraging trend of rising trip bookings and inquiries continued its upward climb this week. We’re seeing the highest numbers since the start of the pandemic.
    • Plan EU Travel Sooner than Later – It’s becoming clear that there is a glut of pent-up demand for EU travel for both leisure (Mediterranean Peak Season) and essential business (UK, France, Germany). If you have plans to travel to Europe this summer, start those arrangements as soon as you have a date picked. Keep in mind that you’ll also be competing with pent-up demand on the commercial side, which typically gets priority at any airport.
  • BizAv Outlook Survey Results – Thanks for participating in our BizAv Outlook Survey (PDF). Some things you told us:
    • There is some optimism for a return to ≥75% normal int’l flying in July (37%), but a majority of you reported being more bullish for the fall.
    • Only 1/3 of you said passenger health concerns was your #1 trip blocker. Most reported regulatory instability and country accessibility as the major blockers. So basically…you’re ready to fly when the vax pass programs come online.
    • Over 80% of you are planning 1 or more int’l flights between now and July, with Europe and Mexico/Caribbean/Central America being the top regions.
    • Expect some bumps. Everyone in the industry will be challenged by the bounce-back as ground service providers will have to rapidly rehire and retrain staff to accommodate traffic demands, as well as navigate new procedures. Have patience, double check everything, and set expectations with stakeholders.
  • Olympics Double Header – We’re looking at first time we’ve dealt with 2 Olympics back-to-back – the Japan Summer Olympics (July 23-Aug 8, 2021) and Beijing Winter Olympics (Feb 4-20, 2022). Our offices across Japan and in Beijing will be ready to support you. In a normal year, most operators begin planning for these a year in advance. If you plan on going, let me know so I can put you on our priority list to secure your best options for these events as soon as details are published, as well as keep you informed.
  • REMINDER: World Economic Forum – Singapore – The Singapore World Economic Forum takes place Aug 17-20. Parking will be EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. Our Singapore FBO is maintaining a priority list to help you secure your best options for parking as soon as details are released.
  • Yesterday’s Zoom Meetup – If you missed yesterday’s COVID ops webinar meetup, you can watch it here. We had over 250 poeple on the call, and a lot of great insights were shared.

March 4, 2021

  • Vaccine Passports – Lots of news and intel on various vaccine passport initiatives in play:
    • There have been various reports on the progress of IATA’s Travel Pass Initiative, set to launch this month. However, as mentioned last week, GA was not considered when putting this program together. We’re all over this with IBAC, NBAA, and other GA advocates and will keep you posted.
    • EU officials estimate its “Digital Green Pass” will take three months to implement, just in time for the Mediterranean peak travel season.
    • EU Nations including Denmark, Greece, Italy and Portugal are not waiting for the EU and are forging ahead more quickly with plans for their own vaccine passport programs. Slovakia already has theirs active. Note several of these are Med hot spots for tourism.
    • Chinese officials have announced that they are considering a digital vaccine passport.
    • Some smaller countries like Seychelles and Belize already have theirs.
  • Singapore’s New Business Travel Option – The Connect@Singapore initiative finally went into effect this week for select travelers of business, official, and high economic value. Check out pics.
  • March/April Int’l Trip Volume ▲ – We continue to see a rise in travel bookings and inquires for March and April. We’re also seeing more bookings for dates longer out…a great sign for growing optimism among operators.
  • Our Feasibility Guides Now Include COVID Testing Providers – You can now find testing site information for over 470 ICAOs and 1,000 individual testing sites included in our Feasibility Guides. Let me know if you need one for a destination of interest.
  • BizAv Outlook Survey – Thanks if you were able to take last week’s BizAv Outlook Survey. We’re keeping it open a few more days if you want to contribe and haven’t yet. Take the 5-min survey here. We’re compiling the results and will share next week.
  • UPDATE: 2020 Tokyo Olympics – Universal Aviation Japan is reporting that the gov’t is considering having a NO FANS games. We’re staying on top of this and will report the latest as we have it.
  • REMINDER: World Economic Forum – Singapore – The Singapore World Economic Forum takes place Aug 17-20. Parking will be EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. Our Singapore FBO is maintaining a priority list to help you secure your best options for parking as soon as details are released.

Feb. 25, 2021

Major News, Trends, Insights & Other Stuff –

  • Vaccine Passports – We’re also receiving a TON of inquiries on vaccine passports. While there isn’t widespread adoption of vaccine entry exemptions by countries yet, IATA is working on its Travel Pass initiative which is reported to launch next month. A BIG HOWEVER is that IATA’s program is NOT being written for GA. We’re all over this with IBAC, NBAA, and other GA advocates and will keep you posted.
  • Trip Volumes Picking Up. So is Booking Further Out. – Leisure travel to the beachy places that have been open remains strong, and now we’re seeing bookings and inquiries for business purpose flights pick back up. Also notable is more operators are booking flights further in advance vs. short notice – a good sign that there is increasing optimism for travel stability.
  • No Major Change in Int’l Restrictions. Domestic Enforcement Up. – On a macro level, int’l entry restrictions haven’t changed much in recent weeks. However, more countries are re enforcing their domestic measures, threatening fines and jail time for those who break quarantine and mask mandates.
  • No Crew Exemptions for “Dirty” Countries – Crew exiting “dirty” countries with mutated COVID strains should double check the requirements of the country they’re entering, as many countries have eliminated crew exemptions in these scenarios. We’re also seeing fewer total bans of entrants from dirty countries in favor of just more stringent testing and quarantine requirements.
  • Europe Back in Focus – With Mediterranean peak season coming up soon, there’s a renewed interest in European travel both for leisure and essential business in the May-June timeframe. As we have locations all across the Med, we’ll be ready to support you.
  • REMINDER: World Economic Forum – Singapore – The Singapore World Economic Forum takes place Aug 17-20. Parking will be EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. Our Singapore FBO is maintaining a priority list to help you secure your best options for parking as soon as details are released.
  • REMINDER: Recurrent Training and PDP CAM Credits – We’re hosting an upcoming 2-day virtual scheduling and dispatch recurrent training course on March 9-10. This is the same course we’ve hosted at the NBAA SDC Convention, and it counts toward NBAA CAM credits. It’s super interactive, and everyone who takes it loves it. Learn more and enroll online.

Feb. 11, 2021

  • International Viral/PCR Testing – There’s been a lot of demand for a global database of COVID viral testing providers, so we decided to build it. We’ll soon have providers identified in over 350 top destinations. You’ll find this information in our Feasibility Guides which you can request from your Universal Trip Support team.
  • Possible U.S. Quarantine Rules – No news is good news. The fact that nothing has been released yet, while other requirements like mask mandates were quickly announced, could be a positive sign. We’re continuing to watch for anything new.
  • COVID Testing for Relief Crew on Airlines – This continues to be a hot question. Technically, relief crew are active crew and, thus, exempt. NBAA has suggested this template letter that active crew could present to the airlines to be exempted. However, it’s our opinion that doing the testing is a less risky, more straightforward option than trying to get exemption authorization from airlines – and reports from other operators on yesterday’s meetup confirmed the same.
  • FAA: “I got your back, CDC.” – Read the new FAA NOTAM reinforcing the CDC order.
  • Don’t **** with the UK – To crackdown on travelers trying to cheat the system, the UK is now imposing jail time of up to 10 years for travelers who lie about their travel history. Don’t MESS with the UK.
  • Closed: Ireland-France Corridor The French government has issued this notice that travelers from the Ireland and other European Area (EA) countries who have been in a non-EA country within the previous 30 days must follow procedures applicable to arrivals from non EA countries. While this is not reflected in the NOTAM for France, it shuts the door on the popular Ireland-France corridor.
  • Travel to Beachy Destinations Remains Strong – We normally see a bit of lull in beach destination travel in February, but that hasn’t been the case this year. We’re seeing a healthy amount of traffic and interest for Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and Maldives.
  • ALERT: World Economic Forum – Singapore – The Singapore World Economic Forum takes place Aug 17-20. Parking will be EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. Our Singapore FBO is maintaining a priority list to help you secure your best options for parking as soon as details are released.
  • Recurrent Training and PDP CAM Credits – We’re hosting an upcoming 2-day virtual scheduling and dispatch recurrent training course on March 9-10. This is the same course we’ve hosted at the NBAA SDC Convention, and it counts toward NBAA CAM credits. It’s super interactive, and everyone who takes it loves it. Learn more and enroll online.
  • Yesterday’s Ops Webinar Meetup – There were almost 300 people on yesterday’s Zoom call. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

Feb. 4, 2021

  • Canada’s New Entry Restrictions & Quarantine – Canada announced tighter entry restrictions including airport funneling and a mandatory 3-day quarantine at a gov’t sanctioned hotel. Funneling into YVR/YYC/YYC/YUL went into effect today (tech stops exempt). Implementation date for the 3-day quarantine mandate is still TBD. See more in the Canada section below.
  • New Pending/Probable U.S. Quarantine Rules – Like Tom Petty once said, waiting is the hardest part…but that’s where we’re at right now. HHS, TSA and FAA are due to provide the Biden administration their recommendations for implementing a mandatory quarantine on arrival today. We’re not sure if those recommendations will be made public, and there is no news as to when we might see a new Presidential Proclamation. We’re watching and waiting. 👀 ⌛
  • More Tightening en Français – France has shut down entry from any non-EU country. Additionally, its overseas territories including Miquelon, French Caribbean, French Guiana, and French Polynesia are implementing similar restrictions.
  • European Corridors – More corridors have recently closed due to tightening, but some remain open with the right pressure testing. For example, U.S. operators can still enter France via an overnight in Ireland, but via Germany is no longer an option.
  • Vaccine Passport Update – IATA is now pushing for exemptions for vaccinated travelers. Denmark has just announced its program. We really hope to see something similar in the whatever the U.S. quarantine requirements end up being.
  • ⚠️ ALERT: World Economic Forum – Singapore – News broke yesterday that the World Economic Forum is pushing from May to Aug 17-20. Regardless of the date, parking will be EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. Our Singapore FBO is maintaining a priority list to help you secure your best options for parking as soon as details are released.

Jan. 28, 2021

HOTTEST TOPIC: New U.S. CDC Testing Requirements – Effective Jan 26

There have been A TON of questions regarding the new CDC testing requirements. We’ve done our best to answer all these FAQs on our blog and in yesterday’s COVID webinar meetup.

Here are the three main things we’re asked:

  1. Myth or Fact? The CDC’s new Quarantine Requirement – Myth…it doesn’t exist. CDC guidelines RECOMMEND quarantine; they don’t mandate it. CDC spokespeople have confirmed the same. While a new Presidential Proclamation concerning quarantine on arrival is likely, details and possible exemptions (e.g., vaccine passports) are still TBD.
  2. ACTIVE CREW and Exemption Scenarios – While Deadhead Crew can technically be exempted, if you are positioning crew via a commercial carrier, you should still plan on testing (for practical purposes) vs. trying to prove your exemption case to the gate agent. Also…don’t try to sneak passengers or spouses as crew when they aren’t….not good. You can find the full definition of ACTIVE CREW and some analysis on the various exemption scenarios that we’ve been asked about on our website.
  3. Getting Sick Abroad – In our interpretation, you cannot return on a normal flight. You would either have to stay there until you recover or come home on an air ambulance flight, with a lot of paperwork involved. The CDC has provided interim guidance for transporting individuals with COVID exposure into the U.S.

Other Trends, News, & Insights –

  • ⚠️ ALERT: World Economic Forum – Singapore – This event is coming up fast. While many details are still pending, parking is EXTREMELY limited at both airports in Singapore. Many aircraft will likely need to reposition to neighboring countries. If you plan on flying in, let me know ASAP. I’ll put you on a priority list that our Singapore FBO is maintaining to help you secure your best options as soon as details are known.
  • U.S. Entry Restrictions Continue and Expand – The Biden Administration has reinstated the U.S. travel restrictions on all non-U.S. travelers who have been in Brazil and most EU countries, including the UK and Ireland. South Africa gets added started Jan. 30.
  • Stricter Testing and More Quarantines, Globally – In response to the variant strains of COVID, some countries are starting to reduce their validity windows for pre-arrival testing. New mandatory quarantines on arrival have been announced for Barbados, St. Vincent & Grenadines and Tunisia.
  • Bans on Travelers from Mutant Strain Hotspots – Similar to above, many countries are implementing bans on travelers from where there are mutant strain outbreaks, including UK, Brazil, and South Africa – along with neighboring countries as well.
  • UK’s Mandatory Quarantine List – The UK is continuing to impose more restrictions as it battles the surge of infections from the mutant strain. The latest is a mandatory 10-day hotel curfew for international arrivals from 30 “red” countries.
  • Early Adopters: Vaccine Passports – Iceland has removed quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers, and a few other countries have added “vaccine” language into their restrictions.
  • Easier CDC Attestation Forms – We’re now providing these automatically, pre-populated with your leg and passenger information, on Universal-managed trips where we’re handling your inbound U.S. Customs. Free.
  • Int’l Viral Testing Locations – We’re working aggressively across our Universal Aviation and third-party ground handlers at top destinations to have viral testing providers that you can rely on. A majority of our locations already do. Work with your Universal Trip Support team for details.
  • Easier Middle East Ops – Unrelated to COVID, but good news regardless. As of this month, flights can now operate directly between Qatar and UAE or Saudi Arabia. These routes haven’t been available for years.
  • Reminder: New Feasibility Guide – Starting tomorrow, you’ll receive one of these Feasibility Guides automatically with your Universal-managed trips to provide you better destination intelligence before you land. You can also request one for your self-managed/DIY trips for $10 per airport.

Jan. 21, 2021

  • What’s the CDC’s definition of ACTIVE CREW? – Short answer…we’re still trying to find out. We/Universal, NBAA, and NATA all are trying to get a clear answer from the CDC. The terminology ACTIVE CREW and FLIGHT CREW are not wholly defined in the Order, FAQ, or guidance on the CDC website to address common business aviation crew scenarios. This article on our blog has a running list of FAQs that we’re updating regularly, as well as links to what the CDC has published.
  • Can Universal provide Attestation forms? – Our plan is to start providing these to you automatically, pre-populated with leg and passenger information, on Universal-managed trips where we’re handling your inbound U.S. Customs. We’re still dotting i’s and crossing t’s with our Legal and Compliance teams, but we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to provide these to you starting Jan. 26.
  • U.S. Presidential Proclamation Whiplash – Monday night, the Trump Administration issued a surprise proclamation terminating entry restrictions on certain travelers from the Schengen area, UK/Ireland and Brazil, effective Jan. 26. Within an hour, Biden’s aides quickly went to press saying it wouldn’t last. While it’s highly probably the Biden Administration will officially reverse this, Trump’s last proclamation is still set to go into effect Jan 26. We’re watching this closely…it could change any minute.
  • Hawaii Rules vs. CDC Order – If you’re planning a mission to Hawaii, make sure to use one of Hawaii’s approved testing providers, as the state’s requirements are more stringent than the new CDC order.
  • No Más: UK Quarantine Exemptions – As the mutated virus rages on, all UK safe-travel corridors and quarantine exemptions have been rendered null and void. See the UK section below for details.
  • EU-ETS + Brexit = UK ETS – Yup. Another emissions reporting scheme now applies as a result of Brexit – UK-ETS. Our Global Regulatory experts held a web meetup yesterday covering what you need to know for this and all things emissions in 2021. You can watch the video playback here. If you need help with your emissions monitoring and reporting, we can make this easy for you. Let me know or contact our Global Regulatory team directly.
  • Our New Feasibility Guide is Your Friend – Starting Jan. 29, you’ll start getting one of these Feasibility Guides automatically with your Universal-managed trips. It’s got A TON of great info to help you navigate all these COVID restrictions in detail and a lot of additional destination intelligence for your missions. It’s actually pulling from the same database I use to put together these updates. You’ll also be able to request a Feasibility Guide for your self-managed/DIY trips for $10 per airport.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


Jan. 14, 2021

  • CDC – Here is the CDC’s webpage on this. Make sure you’ve read through the Order, the Passenger Attestation (gov’t speak for “Declaration Form”, which you need to retain for 2 years), and the FAQ.
  • Our Blog and FAQs – We’ve published this article on our blog with our summary on this regulation (looking at it through a GA lens), as well as a running list of the FAQs we’ve received. We’re going to keep building on this as new FAQs come in. For answers that are still unknown, our Global Regulatory Services team is reaching out to the CDC for answers.
  • Yesterday’s Webinar Meetup – There were over 400 people on the Zoom call, and this new CDC requirement was the major focus. We talked about how this will apply to GA, questions that operators have, and gaps in the regulation that need to be clarified. The chat and Q&A was super active. You can watch/share the recording here.
  • COVID Testing Providers Abroad – Many of our own Universal Aviation FBO locations already have solutions in place, and we’re working across our global network of preferred third-party handlers to get answers on how they can support your pre-departure testing needs.
  • Best Practice Poll: How will YOU implement this new reg? – I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you see yourself most efficiently implementing this new CDC requirement in your operation. I’ll share what I hear from others as well.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


Jan. 7, 2021

Trends, Insights & Other News 

  • U.S. CDC’s New Testing Requirements for Entry – The U.S. CDC recently issued guidance requiring ANYONE entering the U.S. from the UK via an AIRLINE to have proof of a negative COVID test. Our Global Regulatory Services team has confirmed that the requirement currently only applies to airline travel from the UK. Some industry sources are reporting that this will soon apply to GA for all international arrivals from the UK, but the regulation does not say that today. However, aligned with CDC recommendations, it’s always best practice to have proof of a recent negative test prior to any international travel. See the full CDC airline testing order for more details and what is considered a valid test. We will advise of any updates to this as official guidance is released. Note: Universal Aviation UK can help with arranging a pre-departure test in the UK.
  • Mutant COVID 🧟 = More Tightening – The mutated and more highly contagious strain of COVID first identified in the UK has triggered a global tightening of restrictions. The UK, formerly a great jumping off point for potential missions to Europe, is no longer a viable option as a significant number of countries in Europe and globally have instituted UK travel bans. We’re tracking a list of these countries on our blog. If you do travel to the UK (e.g., for business purposes), you’ll be under a hard lockdown until at least mid-February.
  • BREXIT – While the UK and the EU concluded a trade deal shortly before the Dec 31 deadline, there are still changes and unknowns impacting GA travel:
    • Aircraft Importation – We are still awaiting some clarity on the importation status of aircraft previously imported into the EU via the UK to gain free circulation. We recommend you speak with legal counsel should you have concerns about the importation status of your aircraft.
    • Charter Permits – The UK and individual EU member states are now negotiating traffic rights between the nationals carriers and UK carriers. This may result in different traffic rights from one country to another based on reciprocal arrangements. Details remain fluid.
    • Pet Travel – UK pet passports will no longer be replaced when they expire. We recommend anyone who uses a UK pet passport to consider getting an EU passport for their cat, dog, or ferret.
  • Are COVID immunity passports in our future? – There is increasing chatter regarding how COVID immunity passports may impact entry restrictions and quarantine requirements. In the U.S., everyone who has received a COVID vaccine has been issued a vaccination card showing proof they’ve been inoculated. Travelers to certain African countries are already familiar with the yellow fever cards required for entry. We’ll be watching to see if countries issue similar requirements for COVID. This article has some interesting info on the topic.
  • Now at London’s Most Central Airport – As of this week, Universal Aviation UK is now managing the VIP GAT at London’s RAF Northolt Airport. This is a great, secure option for accessing central London — both now during the pandemic, and in the future when restrictions loosen up and normal London-area congestion returns.
  • Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.

December 10, 2020

  • December’s Traffic Continues to be Strong – We’re still seeing growing demand for holiday travel, and December has been the strongest month for international GA traffic since the pandemic hit. The same beachy places I’ve been reporting are the most popular: Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Maldives, and French Polynesia/Tahiti/Bora Bora. Parking and hotels continue to fill.
  • Caribbean via TIST – We have a new preferred ground handler at St. Thomas, Standard Aviation. They have an amazing facility with a 24k sq. ft. hangar, and they provide inter-island transfers via their own helicopter operation or fixed-wing charter. A PC-12 to St. Barth is ~35 min. This could be a good option if you are looking at different ways to access the Caribbean.
  • Restrictions Remain Stable 👍 – At a macro level, mostly everything continues to look pretty stable for getting in and out for holiday travel. You should be comfortable locking in plans, and you should DEFINITELY be putting in requests now if considering a trip…demand is strong.
  • Notable Movers this Week –
  • World Economic Forum moving to Singapore – For only the second time in its 50-year history, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting will be hosted outside of Davos for safety purposes, in Singapore on May 13-16, 2021. WEF is normally a super congested event, so we’re going to be working closely with our FBO in Singapore to provide updates as soon as details are known.
  • Insurance with COVID Waiver – On your insurance, in addition to having documented coverage for COVID-related illness, many countries want to see coverage specifically for their country. If you have destinations planned, get them added to your policy so that you can show proof.
  • COVID Vaccine Delivery Flights – In the coming year, we anticipate that many business aircraft operators will be donating use of their aircraft to help transport the vaccine where it’s needed most. If you’re considering such a mission, Universal is donating pre-trip feasibility and consulting services to help you plan your best path to mission success.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


December 3, 2020

  • Strong Traffic Demand for December – The last-minute BLITZ for holiday travel planning is ON, and it’s a race to secure your best options. All the places I’ve been reporting – Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Maldives – dominate in popularity. Parking and hotels in these areas continue to fill. French Polynesia/Tahiti has also been getting more interest since it’s open.
  • Notable Movers this Week – BVI and Oman have opened for leisure. Kauai (Hawaii) is mandating a quarantine at a residence or resort, despite the state’s pretesting exemption program. Various countries in Europe with lockdowns in effect have let those expire, allowing some businesses to reopen and easier movement within those countries.
  • CDC’s Reduced Quarantine Time ≠ Regulatory Change (Yet) – While the CDC is now issuing new guidance for a reduced quarantine time of less than 14-days, it’s too soon to know if or when this will manifest in the U.S. Presidential Proclamations. For now, no change.
  • Watch the Local Curfews – While many places are open without a full-blown quarantine requirement, be mindful of local curfews. Night and weekend curfews are common.
  • Insurance with COVID Waiver – Before you travel, make sure your insurance specifically covers COVID-related illness. More and more int’l destinations want to see it, so its easier to get this in writing from your health insurance provider sooner than later if you plan travel.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


November 19, 2020

Trends

  • Holiday Travel Planning Just Accelerated – We saw a BIG spike this week in trip feasibility requests and bookings for both Nov. and Dec. leisure travel. Most operators are looking for easy destinations in and out, with low risk of locking down like we saw with the first wave. Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dubai and Maldives continue to dominate the list.
  • Get Your BOE Now – U.S. operators traveling south for the holidays should be taking advantage of the CBP’s BOE program to avoid having to make an extra stop when returning home. Average processing time with CBP is about 2 weeks now, but turnaround time is expected to slow starting next week (holiday PTO). A BOE is good for 2 years, and it greatly increases your operational flexibility. We recommend getting your applications in now to avoid issues…we are adept at expediting. (Note: Non-U.S. operators can also leverage this program for ops into the U.S.)
  • Schedule Your COVID Tests ASAP – We’re hearing accounts of operators having to cancel travel plans because their passengers can’t get a COVID test in time. Schedule your lab appointments now. It’s way easier to cancel last minute than to find a last-minute testing slot. For Hawaii, remember that you must use one of the designated testing providers.
  • Parking is Filling Up Everywhere – I mentioned last week that VRMM/Maldives was full. Universal Aviation Maldives can still get you overnight options at VRMG and VRMV. Now we’re seeing that the Caribbean is filling up fast. Costa Rica and Mexico are also tracking high. Work with us ASAP to secure your best options.
  • Sold Out Hotels 🤬 – Same as above. Preferred hotels/resorts are filling up – especially ones with the most roaming space and on-property amenities. Get your reservations in now. Remember that we have a Hotel Services Team that you can lean on for help. We have contracts with a lot of hotels and chains – sometimes giving us access to rooms others can’t get, as well as extra benefits specifically for crew.
  • Option: Brazil? – COVID cases spiked during the Brazilian “winter” in August and have trended downward since. While overall COVID cases remain high, we are seeing some growing interest in holiday trips for the Brazilian summer, which starts in December. Brazil is wide open. Operationally speaking, it can be a good holiday option, and there are some beautiful beach destinations where you can remain socially distant. We have offices all across Brazil that can support you on the ground.
  • Holiday Travel Promotion – Remember that we are running this promotion to simplify your holiday ops, help you avoid any issues, and save you some $$. Take advantage if you can.

  • Traffic Interest & Demand – Besides the holiday travel hotspots, we continue to see growing interest in Asia; however, accessibility into much of the region remains limited. More details are in the Asia-Pacific section below. Demand for flights into Europe is decreasing which is to be expected with the increasing lockdowns combined with the shift away from business travel to leisure for this time of year.
  • Lightening in Warm Areas; Tightening in Cold Ones – More lockdowns have been announced for Europe. On the other hand, more countries are easing restrictions in South America and Africa. Notably, Paraguay is now accessible without quarantine, and Chile opens Nov. 23.
  • Plan Tech Stops Carefully – If you transport non-U.S. nationals, remember that U.S. Proclamations count tech steps as part of your travel history. If you need to tech stop in Europe, you can keep your travel history clean by using Croatia (which is a non-Schengen/non-suspended country) or another non-suspended country.
  • Risk Mitigation: The U.S. STEP Program – STEP is an important risk mitigation program that U.S. nationals should be using on every international trip, especially now with COVID. When the first wave hit and we saw the massive wave of lockdowns, this program helped get people on the U.S. Embassy’s evacuation list to return home. It has a whole host of other benefits like if you lose your passport or have medical issues, if there is a terrorist incident or civil unrest, etc. Our Global Regulatory Services team is now offering an optional, turnkey STEP Registration Service for your trips with us. Let me know if you’d be interested in us doing this for you, and I’ll connect you with our regulatory experts to discuss.
  • Next COVID Webinar Meetup x VBACE – We’ll be hosting our next COVID webinar after Thanksgiving in our virtual booth at the NBAA VBACE Convention (Dec. 2-3). 

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


November 12, 2020

Trends & Insights 

  • 2nd-Wave Restrictions: So Far, So Good – Despite seeing new restrictions being implemented in response to the 2nd COVID wave, most continue to be in the form of increased specificity and/or local lockdowns, not major entry restrictions. China is the notable exception, as it just tightened entry requirements for business purpose flights.
  • Traffic Demand – It’s the same trend I’ve been reporting…Business purpose flights into Europe and holiday travel to beach getaways is where much of the interest in international travel is focused right now. More operators are also expressing interest in Asia as the region steadily continues to loosen.
  • End-of-year Holiday Travel – Hawaii, Puerto Rico, UVSI, the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Maldives, and Dubai are the dominant hot spots since restrictions are light. Plan your trips sooner than later for best options. Take advantage of this promotion if you can.
  • Filling up: Maldives – As one of the best options for holiday travel in Asia this year, demand is very high. Universal Aviation Maldives is reporting that overnight parking at VRMM is already completely booked Dec 24 – Jan 6. However, you can still drop-n-go and overnight at VRMG or VRMV. Let me know if you’re considering a trip here.
  • COVID Aircraft Disinfection – More countries are requiring proof of this on arrival. We’re also hearing reports from operators that they’ve been asked to provide documentation showing when the aircraft was last sanitized, although it’s not specifically stated in the restrictions. Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali, Nicaragua, Thailand, Ukraine, and Tanzania are confirmed locations with the requirement that we are aware of. Please share if you’ve encountered others.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


November 5, 2020

Trends & Insights 

  • EU lockdowns are not flight restrictions. – Sure, no pubs or theaters…But if you need to get in for business purposes, restrictions haven’t changed, and hotels are generally available for non-leisure. You may be racking up more points than usual on room service charges for meals.
  • Permission to walkabout – Certain cities in Greece have been requiring that you get permission (via SMS) before leaving your residence. Now France requires that you get permission and carry around this certificate.
  • COVID Aircraft Sanitization – This question came up on the meetup yesterday. So far, only Egypt and Nicaragua have this requirement that we are aware of. I can provide a sample sanitization certificate if you need it.
  • Holiday Travel – We continue to see week over week increases in inquiries and bookings for Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Restrictions are also light in Dubai and Maldives, and we’re seeing solid interest there for the holidays.
  • Hawaii Crew Testing Exemption – We’ve heard from some crew that they’ve been able to get an exemption on arrival to bypass Hawaii’s pre-testing requirement (i.e., no quarantine without a test). After speaking with local handlers, we’re recommending you get the COVID test if you can, but if you can’t, it looks like you can get around quarantine for a short-term stay or until you can get a test.
  • Brexit Cometh – Ok…not COVID-related, but it’s a hot topic. Our team in the UK has put together a good summary on how Brexit may impact our industry. Think CIQ, charter permits, aircraft importation, pet passports, etc. It’s worth a quick read.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


October 29, 2020

  • Canada removed from EC Safe List – Late last week, the EC updated its recommended “Safe List” for the first time in months, removing Canada, Georgia and Tunisia and adding Singapore.This remains merely the EC’s recommendation, not law. Any flight carrying Canadian passengers to an EU country will need to be more closely vetted, as each country will enact its own unique requirements.
  • More Asia-Pacific Easing – India has resumed issuing most types of visas (not tourism) and is accessible for business travel. Philippines will be accessible Nov. 1 for leisure.
  • More Caribbean Easing – Bahamas drops the mandatory quarantine Nov 1. Cayman’s 14-day quarantine can be reduced to just length of stay (at a beautiful villa). St. Kitts & Nevis open Oct 31 if you are OK staying at the resort hotel for the first 7 days of your visit.
  • Holiday Travel Hotspots – The Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Maldives continue to be popular destinations for the upcoming holiday season due to their accessibility. We’re also starting to see more interest in UAE/Dubai among European travelers.
  • Hawaii x Canada – Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program names specific providers they’ll allow you to use. While there are some major lab networks on this list, accessibility has been limited for Japanese and Canadians. Hawaii just approved a list of Japanese labs, but Canada is still waiting. Making a stop in mainland U.S. to get the test before proceeding to Hawaii has been the workaround.
  • U.S. Visa Delays – Non-U.S. nationals needing to enter the U.S. should start their visa applications/renewals sooner than later. We’ve heard multiple accounts of U.S. Embassies in various countries being slow to process these.
  • Crew Rest Option: Sri Lanka – The country remains closed, but it’s accessible for crew rest. Just quarantine overnight at the hotel. If you’re looking for something in the region, this is a good option.

Reminder – Remember that these regulations are constantly changing, highly-nuanced, and specific to each flight scenario – often requiring a lot of pressure testing.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


October 22, 2020

Popular Topic: Sick Pax Onboard – On the international missions we are supporting, a growing number of flight departments have asked us for help with WHAT IF scenario analyses on what do if a passenger begins showing COVID symptoms for the particular trip leg being flown.

Many countries, especially those in Europe, have procedures specified in their regulations for this, but others do not. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend always contacting us, your handler, or local authorities at your destination if this happens. And of course, take preventative steps by following your own screening processes prior to allowing passengers onboard your aircraft.

Trends & Insights 

  • Europe Still Accessible – Despite rising COVID cases across Europe, accessibility into Europe has not significantly changed. There are still a good number of flights getting in and out carrying non-EU foreign nationals. The access corridors shuffle around occasionally, but they can often be successful navigated if you are flexible. At some destinations, local restaurants/bars/shops have (once again) reduced capacity or have shut down.
  • Demand Hotspots – Same as last week. Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America continue to be really popular. Within our own operation, we are supporting a lot of missions into these regions, as well as performing a lot of trip feasibility assessments for operators wanting to access these destinations.
  • Prediction 🔮: Pre-Departure Testing – In addition to pre-/on-arrival COVID testing, some countries are starting to also implement pre-departure testing. Our experts predict that we will probably see more of this.

Help us help YOU: Holiday Travel – Based on what we are hearing from operators, there is going to be a big short-notice rush for holiday travel over the November/December timeframe. Everyone is just waiting to see what the restrictions look like before they lock in a plan.

If you have destinations you are considering, please let me know. We are going to be working closely with ground handlers at popular destinations to make sure that we have the latest restriction info in hand for when the requests start coming in AND that the handlers themselves are ready for the influx.

Advice: Please continue checking with us prior to travel – There was a recent situation where an operator attempted to do a trip into Europe without performing full due diligence. The operator had a business invitation letter but missed other requirements. The result: denial of entry and last-minute calls to us for help.

Reminder: These regulations are constantly changing, highly-nuanced, and specific to each flight scenario (who’s onboard, where have they been, documentation in hand, etc.). Websites alone are not dependable sources, and if you call two ground handlers on the field, you may get two different answers.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


October 15, 2020

#1 Question This Week: A Holiday Free of Restrictions –

It’s not normal that operators come to us for trip support questions without a destination in mind, but that’s exactly what’s happening now that stores are packed with Halloween stuff and holiday vacation planning is near the top everyone’s mind. We’re seeing a lot of demand for Nov./Dec. getaways, and people are itching to go wherever.

“Where can I go for the holidays with minimal restrictions? Anywhere.” And it’s being asked a lot.

Hawaii, USVI, parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Maldives, French Polynesia, and Turkey are all great leisure options. Possibly London as well (see below).

Rumor Mill: NYC-London Corridor –

We’re also getting a lot of questions about the reciprocal, quarantine-free corridor between the UK and U.S. that’s rumored to happen before Christmas. Right now, we don’t have much information. It’s our guess that we won’t know anything for sure until after the U.S. Presidential Election.

Obviously, our teams on both sides of the Atlantic are watching this closely, and I’ll keep you informed on the latest rumblings.

Pro Tip 2020: Passport renewals
A thoughtful customer asked us to share this one, and we’ve heard the same from others. Passport renewals for some countries, especially the U.S., are taking FOR-EV-ER to process right now…even if you pay for rush.

Many countries require a 3-to-6-month passport validity to enter—making these renewal delays a real trip killer.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


October 9, 2020

Trends

  • Japan– Our team in Japan has confirmed with local authorities that the country will now accept foreign nationals coming to Japan for business purposes. There are a number of prerequisites (PCR test, invitation letter, visa, etc.) and, unfortunately, there is still a 14-quarantine at a hotel or residence.
  • The Corridor Shuffle – More countries in the EU are mimicking the UK model – watching the latest reported COVID infection numbers and rapidly adjusting which countries they are restricting. As a result, access corridors are continually evolving but are still very usable as long as you can be flexible.
  • That’s not what the website says. – This has been a common theme throughout the pandemic, so you cannot rely on what is on the web alone. Many countries struggle to keep their official websites current with the latest restrictions. It seemed to get better for a while, but with more countries issuing rapid changes to their regulations based on changing COVID infection rates, their websites are not keeping up.
  • Intra-APAC Easing – Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are slowly starting to loosen to travelers from APAC-area countries. Our offices in the region are cautiously optimistic that we will see more of this.Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


October 2, 2020

  • High Interest Regions – We’re seeing growing demand for flights into Latin America as it continues to loosen up…both in trip feasibility requests and actual missions flown. Business purpose flights into Europe and leisure flights into the Caribbean also remain of high interest to operators we’re supporting.
  • More Intra-Schengen Corridor Complexity – As mentioned last week, more European countries are deviating from the EC’s guidance and imposing restrictions on other EU countries, adding complexity to intra-Schengen corridor access. Despite added complexity, we continue to see success in navigating missions through these challenges.
  • Business Purpose Flight Specificity – Countries are putting more definition around what they classify as a “business purpose flight,” as well as what information they expect to see on your business purpose letter (e.g., size of economic interest, business purposes, etc.). Generally speaking, we don’t view these revised definitions as being more restrictive, but more clear on what it takes to get a YES to enter.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


September 18, 2020

  • U.S. CBP Preclearance Returns to Shannon – The U.S. CBP Preclearance program at Shannon, Ireland (EINN) will resume Sunday, September 20. More details and the current ops procedures are available on our blog.
  • Travel history tip – If a country has an X day clean travel history restriction – for instance, 14 days – your travel history has to be clean for the entire 14-day period. Plan on being subject to the restriction until the 15th day (X + 1). We’re seeing cases where passengers are trying to do trips on the 14th day, and they are getting denied or told to quarantine. The 14th day must be completed prior to departure or entry, based on whatever the country’s regulation specifically says.
  • More Reopenings – Belize, Cayman Island, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, and USVI (hotels back online) are some of the more notable destinations that have just partially reopened or have announced plans to do so by October. See each respective country below for details.
  • More Localized Restrictions – Some countries, most recently in Europe, are getting more specific on entry and quarantine restrictions by restricting specific states/provinces/cities versus whole countries. While better than a full country-level restriction, it adds more complexity to travel history vetting, trip feasibility assessment, and scenario analysis.
  • Increased Corridor Complexity – Some EU countries have added new restrictions on other Schengen countries/regions/cities which is impacting corridor access.
  • Missions Flown & Feasibility Requests – Within our own operation, we continue to see strong demand for business purpose flights into Europe and leisure flights into the Caribbean. With the loosening that’s been happening in Latin America, we’re seeing more interest in that region as well.

Scroll to the end of this article for detailed country restrictions.


September 11, 2020

U.S. ends airport funneling

By far, the biggest COVID-related news this week was the announcement that the U.S. CDC will remove requirements for funneling through the 15 named AOEs starting this coming Monday, as well as remove its requirements for enhanced entry health screening for passengers previously required to funnel, since symptom-based screening has been deemed ineffective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

This is positive news, and a nice step forward to a more pre-COVID operating environment.

It is important to remember that the funneling program is completely independent of the U.S. Presidential Proclamations declaring suspended regions. This is a change in HOW individuals can enter the country, but not a change in WHO can enter the country.

Our Global Regulatory Services team continues to work closely with U.S. CBP and DOS to stay on top of any possible policy and/or procedural changes impacting foreign nationals from suspended regions that may arise.

See full list of country updates below.


September 3, 2020

Trends

  • More countries are requiring visitors to install cell phone apps for the purpose of GPS tracking you while you are in the country. The Bahamas and Fiji are the latest to require this. If this trend continues, burner phones may start growing in popularity.
  • More countries in Latin America have partially opened or announced they will do so.
  • More countries are dropping quarantine requirements if proof of a recent negative PCR COVID test can be provided. (Reminder: Have your full legal name, driver’s license number, and passport number included on any tests you take.)
  • Business purpose flights and travel corridors (of which there are many) continue to be a popular mode of access – especially within Europe.
  • See full list of country updates below.


August 28, 2020

Rumors – There are rumblings once again that France may exercise reciprocity on the U.K. by requiring a quarantine for all travelers from the country.

Golden Visas – Countries like Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and others have programs that grant you – and your immediate family – citizenship or residency status if you make a real estate investment in the country. These programs were previously popular for tax purposes, but now they’ve taken on a whole new life.

A rapidly growing trend of aircraft owners and charter passengers pursuing this route for access into Europe.

Based on current regulations, most EU countries are open to citizens and residents of other EU countries – making this a very powerful travel instrument.

Trends – More countries continue to open up access for legitimate business purposes. For Europe, once you clear one Schengen country, the rest are pretty much accessible. These “business access corridors” are rapidly increasing in popularity among operators, and many are successfully using them to access Europe.

Important Reminder – For travel to the U.S., remember that U.S. Presidential Proclamations affecting entry are still in effect. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in a suspended region over the last 14 days must (re)enter via one of the 15 approved airports for funneling. Entry by any non-U.S. foreign national who has been in a suspended region over the past 14 days is HIGHLY RESTRICTED and will be denied, with few exceptions.


August 21, 2020

Trends – More countries are reopening. Latin America and central Asia have had a wave of countries ease restrictions – predominately for business purposes, but that is often enough to find a way to get passengers in for whatever reason.

There is a growing number of access corridors within Europe that passengers can leverage. France did not execute reciprocity on the UK, so the UK-France access corridor is still alive and well for U.S citizens and other third-country nationals. Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden have been added to the accessible list.


August 14, 2020

More European access for U.S. and other third-country nationals:

Despite the tightening of the EC’s Safe List, more flights with third-country nationals are getting into more European countries – particularly from the U.S. The key is having a business purpose for entering a Schengen country. Once in a Schengen country, more options for intra-Europe travel are available.

Check with your Universal trip support team for specifics and options.

UK and France quarantine
The UK has just announced quarantine requirements on passengers arriving from Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, and Turks and Caicos starting August 15. This could lead to reciprocity from France. Check with your Universal trip support team for the latest.

August 7, 2020

GENERAL STATUS UPDATES:
A majority of the restrictions set to expire Aug 1 just extended to Sept 1 – no big surprise there.

In Europe, all the same access points are still available for U.S. operators – with Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy (with an invitation letter from a local business), Turkey and UK being the most popular.

Croatia continues to have the parking issues due to high demand. Traffic from the U.S. into France (via UK) also continues to increase.

Turkey and the UK remain popular and convenient jump points to a next destination with 48-hour test validity requirements. Universal Aviation has rapid PCR testing providers set up at both Universal Aviation and Universal Aviation Turkey.

This week, a number of African countries reopened.

TRENDS: More PCR testing requirements are being implemented both before arrival and/or upon arrival. There is also a growing trend of more countries requiring health screening and locator forms.

INSIGHTS: For all PCR testing, advise passengers and crew to have Passport Number, Driver’s License #/local ID #, and Full Name included on the test results. An increasing number of countries are requiring this. It is a general best practice to avoid potential issues. Testing providers should be able to accommodate this with no issues. Also, note that the validity window that countries issue is usually based on swab date/time, not results date/time.


July 31, 2020

A good number of countries have restrictions set to expire August 1. As a result, updates have been steadily coming in over the past couple days. So far, we’re mostly seeing extensions along with revisions in entry requirements—especially with new requirements for PCR testing and locator forms for entry.

BIGGEST CHANGE: Brazil is now WIDE OPEN. If you have a need to operate there, we have offices all over Brazil to help, and they are following our COVID-19 health and safety standards that we’ve implemented across all Universal Aviation FBO Ground Services locations.

TRENDS: We continue to see growing demand for travel into the Mediterranean region. In addition, we’re finding that Italy really isn’t that hard to get into if you have a documented business purpose (e.g., models have been allowed entry with just a letter from a local company), and a quarantine isn’t required.

Latvia and Portugal can also now be accessed. More details on all of these are in the Europe section below.


July 24, 2020

Overall, there really haven’t been many major changes this week versus last. Mid-month and end of month is typically when we see the most movement, so next week you can expect more updates (likely the weekend of August 1).

The same access points for Europe are still available for U.S. travelers—including Turkey, the UK, France (via UK), Croatia and others listed below.

 If you are struggling to meet the 48-hr. PCR test requirement (e.g., to enter Croatia), we can assist with testing through both Universal Aviation Turkey and our FBO at London-Stansted. At London, we can actually do the test inside the FBO which has been really convenient for travelers. Passengers just need to quarantine for length of stay in the UK before heading to their next destination.


July 17, 2020

In general, we’re seeing a mix of some countries slightly retightening, while others are continuing a phased reopening.

The European Commission dropped 2 countries from its Safe List, but these are just recommendations for countries to follow. France has actually become more accessible to the U.S. and other countries. I’ve included an explanation in the Europe section below.

In addition, some emerging macro trends we’re seeing:

  • One Test to rule them all – Many countries are requiring proof of a negative C19 test to enter, but not any test will do. The gold standard is the PCR test. More countries are turning away passengers who are taking the Rapid or antibody tests.
  • The 48hr testing hurdle – A lot of EU countries require that the PCR test be taken within 48 hours of arrival. This is challenging for overseas travelers (like from the U.S.) and/or travelers where it takes longer than 24-36 hours to get the results (also like the U.S.). The workaround…we’ve secured a C19 PCR testing provider through our FBO at London-Stansted. Land in the UK, get your test, go on to your next European destination (subject to what the restrictions will allow.)
  • Policing of quarantine violations – We’re hearing more reports from customers that authorities are checking on self-declared residences/hotels to make sure visitors are abiding by local quarantining requirements. Similarly, there are a lot of accounts of “social policing” of quarantine violations, like these reports from Ireland. Safest best…respect the local requirements and avoid becoming a headline.
  • Mexico Annual Permit Renewals – AFAC is working with reduced staff, and approvals for Mexico annual permits are taking longer than usual. If you make 3+ trips to Mexico a year, we recommend getting your applications in now. If our Global Regulatory Services team already manages this for you, then disregard…your renewal is already being handled.

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