Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on business aviation
MPORTANT: The impact of the global COVID-19 epidemic 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.
COVID-19 Restriction Trends
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
- 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
- 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.
October 15, 2020
- The U.S. is still restricting anyone who has been to a suspended region during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.
- All stops in suspended regions, overnight or just tech stops, are treated the same.
- On September 14, the U.S. CDC removed requirements for directing all flights carrying airline passengers arriving from, or recently had a presence in, certain countries to land at one of 15 designated airports and ended its enhanced entry health screening for these passengers.
- 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.
- The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and associated travelers utilizing ESTA are unaffected by the April 23 Presidential Proclamation which suspended processing new immigration applications from aliens for 60 days. New applications for signatory carrier status under 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 AOEs: KLAX, KEWR, KDFW, KJFK, KIAH. Our Global Regulatory Services team has worked out the process to apply with CBP/DHS and can provide support.
- On August 6, the US State Department lifted its advisory warning US citizens against traveling abroad, which it had originally issued in March. The State Department is now issuing individual country warnings.
- 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.
- For all PCR testing, advise passengers and crew to have Passport Number, Driver’s License Number, and Full Name included on the test results. The testing provider should be able to include this. Some countries are requiring this information on the test results, so it’s just a recommended practice for maximum flexibility.
- Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico land borders are in place until Oct. 21, 2020. We are in close communication with U.S. CBP for updates since this date is coming up.
- Hawaii, Puerto Rico, USVI, and parts of Mexico (Los Cabos, Cancun, Cozumel, etc.) are all good options for travelers from the U.S., with some restrictions and/or quarantining at a vacation home/rental.
- Hawaii – Pre-arrival testing program begins today which will allow visitors to bypass quarantine. Read more online. Until then, all travelers arriving in Hawaii are still required to have a temperature check, complete a Travel Declaration Form, and self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Puerto Rico – Open to foreign tourism. Flights from a U.S. suspended region are not allowed. U.S. CBP may approve direct ferry flights from suspended regions with advanced request. National Guard will review negative COVID-19 test results and Travel Safe Form, interview each passenger, and determine if quarantine is required. Complete a digital Travel SAFE Declaration Form and submit at www.travelsafe.pr.gov or www.viajaseguro.pr.gov.
- USVI – International leisure hotel guests are allowed. Bring a proof of a recent COVID-19 PCR test to avoid self-quarantines…applies to both passengers and crew per the local ground handler. Visit the USVI Travel Screening Portal and fill out the info requested in advance. Additional information available on https://usviupdate.com/.
- Alaska – A negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before will exempt visitors from quarantine. They are also asking that you take a second test 7-14 days after you arrive. Details online. U.S. crew and passengers traveling from a previously restricted area may now enter the U.S. through PANC and PAFA.
- New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut – Require travelers from 30+ states to undergo mandatory quarantine. It doesn’t apply to crew or “any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.” The onus to comply is on the individual, and it is not being actively policed as far as we can tell. We have not heard from any operator that the restrictions have caused issues with travel. Read the official travel advisory for New York online.
- 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).
- Canada is currently included on the EC’s recommended safe list.
- Restrictions on non-essential travel for USA/Canada/Mexico is in place until Oct. 21, 2020. Read the official announcement. We are actively working to get an update since this date is coming up. 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.
- Prepare for long wait times…It takes 30 min+ to get in touch with someone at CANPASS to explain your purpose of flight before getting permission. When you make your 1st initial call to present the details of the flight, it must be no earlier than 48 hours prior and no later than 2 hours prior to departure. CANPASS will determine if your travel is essential or not and will either approve or deny operations into Canada.
- 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.
- See detailed restrictions for Canada.
- AFAC reopened Sept 1. They are now processing annual (multiple entry) permit. If doing 3+ trips to Mexico per year, we recommend you apply for one. 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 land borders remain in place until Oct. 21, 2020. We are actively working to get an update since this date is coming up.
- Non-essential flights are being allowed on an airport-by-airport, case-by-case basis. Most of the usual tourist hotspots are allowing leisure flights (such as Cancun, PV, Los Cabos, Cozumel).
- Cancun, Los Cabos, PV, Cozumel are all operating at about 30% capacity now. A good number of restaurants and hotels in the tourist zones have been open since July. Bars are starting to open in August.
- Our ground handing teams in Mexico (Mexico City/Toluca, Los Cabos, Cancun, Cozumel, PV, Monterrey, etc.) are available to support your missions.
- See our complete list of restrictions and feasibility insights for Mexico. >
- Most Caribbean islands have re-opened to international passengers with varying degrees of restrictions. Expect frequent changes as they continue to work out their processes.
- Anguilla – Non-resident travelers may request entry to Anguilla, but approvals are very restricted. This form needs to be completed. Pre-arrival and on-arrival testing required. 10-day quarantine at your approved residence, and negative COVID test required to exit quarantine. Proof of insurance required. Gov’t announced Nov 1 as the date it will start loosening restrictions.
- Antigua and Barbuda – Open. Requires approval before operating, Proof of a negative COVID test taken within seven days required. See official website for details on access to tourist zones and when quarantine comes into play.
- Aruba – Aruba is accepting flights from the U.S. Stricter requirements are being enforced for travelers from U.S. states with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases. Travelers from these states have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours prior to traveling to Aruba via the digital Embarkation-Disembarkation Card (ED card); they will not be able to use testing facilities at the airport upon arrival. Quarantine not required with negative test. Flights from Central and South America, Mexico, Haiti, and D.R. are not permitted.
- Bahamas – Nov 1 is the date for being able to access the Bahamas without quarantine. Until then, current regs are as follows…All islands of the Bahamas are open to private international flights, charters, pleasure craft and yachts from all countries including the United States. All travelers will have to quarantine for 14 days, and quarantining on a yacht counts. This electronic health visa must be completed. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test less than 5 days old is required, along with install of a GPS tracking app on your cellphone. There will be temperature screening upon arrival. The latest information can be found on the Office of the Prime Minister and Reopen Bahamas.
- Barbados – Open to international passengers. Requires negative test taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Quarantine not required for passengers from Low- and Medium-risk countries with negative COVID test. Passengers from High-risk countries (like U.S.) must quarantine at 14 days at an approved hotel or villa. See details online.
- Bermuda – As of Aug. 4, officials require all individuals entering Bermuda to seek government authorization by filling a Travel Authorization Health form not less than 48 hours prior to scheduled arrival in the country. Negative COVID-19 test required within 72 hours prior to departure. Quarantine not required with negative test.
- Bonaire – Flights from Dutch Caribbean Territory, Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium are allowed with appropriate permission. Negative COVID-19 test required within 72 hours of travel and 14-day quarantine is required. Flights from other countries remain prohibited until at least 01 November 2020.
- Cayman Islands – Per local handler, the country is now allowing non-residents to visit for leisure. They must apply at TravelTime for pre-approval. 14-day quarantine at hotel required. PCR testing and 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.
- Curacao – Passengers from the U.S. can enter with special permission from the Department of Health. All visitors must complete digital immigration card, digital locator card, and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at an accredited laboratory within 72 hours of departure. Quarantine required. U.S. passengers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with a clean 14-day travel history can bypass quarantine. NOTE: On October 1, Curacao began participating in CARICOM APIS.
- Dominica – Open; however, entry requirements, disembarkation, and quarantine protocols vary depending on the country of origin risk level. Negative PCR test within 24-72 hours of arrival required. An online health questionnaire is required. Upon arrival, pax will undergo a health screen and a rapid COVID test. If negative, no quarantine required.
- Dominican Republic – Open to international passengers. COVID-19 test is no longer required for crew and passengers. Universal Aviation DR is open and supporting missions.
- Grenada – Authorities are using a RED/YELLOW/GREEN (HIGH/MED/LOW RISK) scale to determine entry requirements. U.S. is in the RED and highly restricted. Negative COVID-19 test required within 7 days of travel. Expect to quarantine for 4-14 days. More information online.
- Guadeloupe – Passengers from Schengen area are allowed. U.S. is banned. Proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior is required. No quarantine required. See website.
- Haiti – Open. Passengers should bring negative COVID-19 test and expect to quarantine for 14 days.
- Jamaica – Open. All foreign crew and passengers must obtain travel authorization prior to arrival and provide a COVID-19 PCR test no older than 10 days prior to entry. You will be required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and remain quarantined for 14 days.
- Martinique – U.S. and Canadian flights are not allowed, nor are flights from other Caribbean locations with the exceptions of Guadeloupe/TFFR. Martinique is in the process of opening to the U.S., but as of now French CAA has not yet approved the proposed revisions. Therefore, U.S. pax are still not permitted. Only flights from Europe/Schengen area are allowed. Passengers must have a proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter and will have to respect 7 days quarantine at home. If they have no test, they will have a 14 day quarantine.
- St. Barts – Open. Must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of your departure. Entry requests can be made online. Quarantine likely not required.
- St. Lucia – Open, with 14-day quarantine. Requires a negative COVID-19 test in the last 7 days, and Health Screening staff may determine to administer a second COVID-19 test on arrival. Pax arriving from low-risk countries are exempt from pre-testing requirements and may be exempt from quarantine. More info can be found online.
- St. Maarten – Open to pax from Canada, Europe and the U.S. Requires negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. Pax can move freely if test is negative. Passengers can now enter/exit via TNCM.
- St. Vincent & Grenadines – Open, with restrictions. Passengers must arrive with proof of a negative COVID test taken with 5 days. All passengers will be tested on arrival and placed under a mandatory self-quarantine in a government-approved location (hotel) for at least 24 hours. If test results are negative, no need to further quarantine. However… All passengers arriving from the US and other “high-risk” countries, including Guyana, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago, will be required to quarantine at an approved hotel for at least 5 days, regardless.
- Trinidad and Tobago – Allowing passengers from some Latin American countries. A 14-day quarantine is required.
- Turks and Caicos – Open. Proof of a negative Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal COVID-19 test taken 5 days prior to arrival and travel insurance required.
- USVI and Puerto Rico – See U.S. section above.
- Our FBOs and ground handling offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Venezuela are still operational and supporting missions.
- Argentina – U.S. passengers can enter for business purposes, without doing the mandatory 14-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel. Proof of a negative PCR test within 48 hours is required, and a special permit has to be obtained, which Universal Aviation Argentina is able to assist with.
- Belize – Open. Business travelers must stay at an approved Gold Standard Hotel or provide proof of owned property and must adhere to an approved itinerary. Leisure Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test on entry, taken within 72 hours before boarding. Leisure travelers will be transported to an approved Gold Standard hotel using approved transport and will only be permitted to participate in approved Gold Standard tourism activities. Read requirements online.
- Brazil – Wide open. Health insurance required. Universal Aviation Brazil is following our C19 Health and Safety standards to support you safely.
- Bolivia – U.S. passengers allowed entry for business. Negative COVID-19 test taken within 7 days of arrival is required. Quarantine not required with proof of negative COVID-19 test.
- Chile – Still heavily restricted. U.S. passengers can only enter for diplomatic purposes via special permit request through the Chilean embassy or consulate. Universal Aviation Chile continues to report on the latest.
- Colombia – International passengers are now allowed to arrive in Colombia. Require a negative PCR test within 96 hours of ETA. Any passengers or crew needing to arrive or depart must complete a CHECK MIG form on the Colombian Immigration website. SKBO, SKCG, SKRG, and SKCL are open to accept flights from the U.S., Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Bolivia.
- Costa Rica – The country’s three international airports are open to citizens of these countries and U.S. states. Starting Nov. 1, the country will be open to all of the U.S. Additional easing has already happened for citizens of central American countries. Proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours is required, along with travel insurance and driver’s license. All passengers and crew must 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 with negative PCR test taken within 10 days of flight.
- El Salvador – Open. Proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test required and taken within 72 hours of arrival. No quarantine requirements.
- Falkland Islands – Business flights can enter with a special invitation letter from a local contact on the islands. Quarantine required for length of stay up to 14 day, no exemptions. Leisure flights possible if transiting direct to a private vessel.
- Guatemala – Open. Proof of negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. No quarantine required with negative test result.
- Honduras – Open for business flights. Requires proof of negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hrs. of arrival; Quarantine not required.
- Nicaragua – Open, but passengers and crew must provide proof of negative COVID test (SARS-COV-2 RNA, QL Real Time RT PCR) 72 hours before arrival. Bring hard copies. All arrivals must undergo 15-day quarantine. Scanned copies of passports and a local contact must be required to be submitted in advance of flight.
- Peru – Direct business flights allowed with submission of formal letter request stating importance of flight and is subject to approval from Chancellery. However, if you tech stop in one of their approved departure points such as Panama and Colombia, then approval through the Chancellery isn’t required. Crew and passengers are required to complete an online declaration and provide negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to travel. If these conditions are met, quarantine is not required.
- Suriname – Both business and tourism flights require operator of host in Suriname to ask permission from the Ministry of Health and Minister of Transport. COVID-19 testing upon arrival is required. 14-day quarantine at government mandated facility or hotel is required for passengers.
- Venezuela – Accessible with approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- See our complete list of country-by-country restrictions and feasibility insights for Central and South America. >
- Our FBOs and ground handling offices in Ireland, UK, France, Greece, Italy, Spain 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. There are a number of access corridor options within Europe once you are allowed into the Schengen area, but they take some navigating. Details below.
- 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.
- The current EC safe list for reopening Europe to third countries sits at 11 countries (with China being subject to reciprocity).
- Keep in mind these are just recommendations, and each EU member state has considerable autonomy to manage its own travel restrictions as it chooses.
- There are a number of European countries allowing citizens from countries not on the EC’s list – See below.
- European countries that are accessible to passengers from the U.S. and other countries not on the EC’s list include:
- Albania – Open, but normal visa restrictions apply. 14-day quarantine required only if COVID-19 test is positive.
- Austria – U.S. citizens with a business purpose are allowed entry with proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior. Or, U.S. citizens can enter via intra-Schengen without restrictions.
- Belarus – Proof of a negative PCR test required within 48 hours of departure date. Travelers from this list of countries will likely have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Belgium – U.S. citizens can travel to Belgium directly in with an invitation letter from a Belgian company, or via a second stop entering from a Schengen country. Travelers from RED zone countries will not be allowed entry unless they have special permission.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina – U.S. citizens are allowed entry with an invitation letter and proof of negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
- Croatia – Allowing entry based on economic interest or tourism. Submit notice of entry to Republic of Croatia at https://entercroatia.mup.hr. Our Universal Aviation offices in Italy are helping coordinate arrangements to enter Croatia for customers. COVID PCR test required for pax 48 hours prior to ETA, or you will be quarantined for 14 days.
- Denmark – Has implemented travel restrictions for tourists from certain countries in Europe, adding some complexity to corridor access. U.S. citizens can travel to Denmark directly with an invitation letter from a Danish company. Note this is a Schengen country.
- Germany – Will accept most intra-Schengen flights. U.S. passengers can clear in another Schengen country (e.g., Denmark) to get in. In addition, travelers from Australia, Canada, Georgia, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, and Uruguay can enter. Some “high risk” provinces in the Schengen region are being restricted. See the latest list of high risk regions (dated 9/30/20).
- France –
Middle East & Africa
- Algeria – U.S. passengers can enter for business. Negative COVID test, health form, and quarantine for duration of stay up to 14 days. Possible quarantine exemption with negative COVID 19 test at DAAG.
- Bahrain – There are no restrictions for private jets or pax arriving into OBBI if you can get a landing permit through diplomatic channels.
- Burkina Faso – Proof of a negative PCR test no later than 5 days old. Location card and health declaration required.
- Central African Republic – Open with stringent health requirements and a 14-day quarantine.
- Democratic Republic of the Congo – Negative COVID-19 test and health forms required. Private flights authorized on a case-by-case basis.
- Djibouti – U.S. passengers are allowed. Flights must get permission from MOFA and CAA. Negative COVID-19 test and health certificate required.
- Equatorial Guinea – Some international and domestic air travel has resumed. Travelers entering on an essential travel waiver for business must have the meeting party or the local contact provide an invitation letter to accept the flight by the authority. Quarantine is not required with PCR COVID Negative test result taken within 48 hours of travel.
- Egypt – All airports are open. Tourism is limited to resorts in Matrouh, Red Sea, and South Sinai coastal governorates. Negative PCR test received within 72 hours before arrival required. Visitors that have proof of a negative PCR COVID 19 test do not have to quarantine.
- Ethiopia – Open, with a 14-day quarantine. All arriving passengers entering Ethiopia with a negative PCR COVID 19 test issued 5 days before travel will not need to quarantine, unless they present high temperatures or any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Gabon – Allowing two international flights per week per operator, with permission received in advance.
- Ghana – International air travel has resumed. Government authorization is needed for entry.
- Guinea – U.S. passengers allowed for business. Proof of negative COVID-19 test and health declaration form required.
- Iran – U.S. passengers allowed entry with an Iranian visa from the Iranian Embassy.
- Israel – Entry by foreign nationals remains highly restricted. Our ground handling office in Tel Aviv is monitoring the latest.
- Kenya – Open to 147 nations/states, including U.S. No quarantine required with negative COVID test.
- Lebanon – Private flights have resumed. Testing may be required depending on arrival or departure country. Check with us for details.
- Liberia – Open. Passengers without proof of a negative COVID test will be tested on arrival.
- Madagascar – International flights resumed at FMNN/Fascene only. and foreigners must remain on this tourist island. Required: Proof of a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, a return ticket, and use of a local SIM card for contact purposes.
- Malawi – Open. Proof of negative PCR test certificate taken within 10 days of arrival required. Entry will be denied without a negative test. 14-day self-isolation is required regardless.
- Mali – Open. Proof of negative COVID test taken within 72 hrs. is required; otherwise, may be subject to 14-day quarantine.
- Mauritania – Open for all flights. Negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours required. Self-quarantine if you test positive.
- Mauritius Is. – Approval is on case-by-case basis by Prime Minister’s office.
- Mozambique – Open. Business travel permitted (including for U.S. citizens) with letter addressed to Minister of Home Affairs citing reason for entry, written in local language, Portuguese. Lead time is not less than 7 working days. 14-day quarantine required.
- Namibia – Open. Negative COVID-19 test required (within 72 hours of flight). 7-day quarantine required upon arrival.
- Niger – Open and no quarantine required when arriving at DRRN with proof of negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72hrs before arrival.
- Oman – International travel has resumed. All flights require government approval.
- Qatar – U.S. passengers are allowed with permission in advance. Consult with us on your best options in.
- Republic of Congo – Authorities resumed international air travel as of Aug. 24. Negative COVID-19 test required (within 72 hours of flight).
- Rwanda – Charter tourism and business flights allowed. Proof of negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hrs. prior to arrival. Screening and testing performed on arrival to confirm negative results of previous test.
- Sao Tome & Principe – Open to domestic and international travel. Pax and crew must present proof of a negative COVID 19 test result, taken no more than 72 hrs prior to flight.
- Senegal – Open. Passengers must complete a tracking form online and present it on arrival. Proof of a negative test COVID-19 within last 7 days must be presented on arrival.
- Sierra Leone – Open. Pax and crew must present a negative COVID 19 test result taken no more than 72 hrs prior to flight.
- Seychelles – Visitors arriving via private aircraft must send an application for entry to Public Health Authority in advance. All visitors must have a proof of accommodation at an authorized resort, yacht, or residential facilities. Proof a negative COVID-19 test in advance is required. Only travelers from low and medium-risk countries will allowed to enter, as determined by the Ministry of Tourism.
- Somalia – Open. International flights resumed on Aug 3. Mandatory to have a negative COVID 19 test result, taken no more than 96 hrs prior to flight.
- South Africa – Allowing travel into/out of South Africa for business, leisure, and other travel. Travelers may be restricted to and from certain countries with high infection rates (list not available at this time). Travelers must use King Shaka, Tambo, and Cape Town International Airports. Travelers must present negative COVID-19 test not older than 72 hours from time of departure, must be screened on arrival, and must install the COVID Alert South Africa App (contract tracing app).
- South Sudan – Open.
- Sudan – Open. Proof of negative PCR test certificate valid no longer than 72 hrs. Quarantine required for length of stay up to 14 days.
- Tanzania – Open. Pax will undergo advanced screening on arrival, but no quarantine required. Chemical disinfection of the aircraft required.
- Togo – Open. 14-day mandatory quarantine. COVID-19 test required upon arrival and departure (72hrs prior). Must install TOGO SAFE app upon arrival.
- Tunisia – Open. Allowed countries are split in zones. Quarantine required 0-14 days depending on zone. Negative COVID-19 PCR test required for orange and red zone countries.
- Uganda – All international passenger flights allowed. Quarantine not required if clear of COVID-19 symptoms and with proof of negative PCR based COVID-19 test carried out within 72 hours before travel.
- United Arab Emirates – Allowing pax who don’t require visas, including the U.S., to enter. Must apply for landing permit. Negative PCR COVID test, 14-day quarantine and proof of health insurance required.
- Yemen – U.S. passengers are allowed entry for business.
- Zambia – Open. 14-day quarantine upon arrival, and PCR test still required.
- See our complete list of country-by-country restrictions and feasibility insights for the Africa and Middle East regions. >
- Our FBOs and ground handling offices in China, Japan, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand all remain open and are supporting missions.
- American Samoa – Open. Quarantine on arrival required. All flights required to present negative PCR tests on arrival.
- Australia – Still predominantly closed. Travelers from New Zealand will be allowed to travel to New South Wales and Northern Territory on Oct 16. An entry ban for foreign nationals remains in effect. Queensland and Western Australia will process international passengers in phases, 500 weekly from Oct 5 and Oct 12, respectively.
- Bangladesh – U.S. passengers can enter with approval through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via diplomatic channels.
- Cambodia – Allowing U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to enter. It requires a visa through an embassy or government avenue. It also requires medical insurance of $50,000USD and a medical certificate within 72 hours prior to departure. COVID test required on arrival.
- China – Still only open to cargo/humanitarian and repatriation flights. The rumor mill is buzzing that China is partially reopening. So far, there is nothing official on this. Universal Aviation China is in close contact with local authorities and will be reporting on the latest. Effective 28 Sep 20 foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters, and reunion are allowed to enter China with no need for applying for new visas.
- Fiji – Accessible to U.S. citizens with special clearances obtained from Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and Ministry of Civil Aviation. All arrivals are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and download the government’s GPS tracking application onto their cellphones.
- French Polynesia – Open, including to U.S. citizens. Negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure required. Re-testing four days after arrival required.
- Guam – Entry ban for anyone who travelled to Mainland China within the previous 14 days. Quarantine for up to 14 days required depending on the location you are traveling from.
- India – Most international passenger travel remains effectively banned until further notice. Note recent changes to its visa process (visas have to be refreshed). Read the full details.
- Indonesia – U.S. passengers are allowed only if they have a diplomatic visa, temporary (KITAS) permit, or permanent (KITAP) permit to stay.
- Japan – Business corridors open to S. Korea and Thailand. Visa, PCR test, business invitation letter, and in-country itinerary required. No quarantine for these countries. For other countries including the U.S., Japan has begun allowing business purpose travel; however, 14-day quarantine upon arrival IS required. Visa, PCR test, and business invitation letter also apply. Our team in Japan can assist in helping you navigate the process.
- Kazakhstan – U.S. passengers are allowed entry for business.
- 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. Pax will have to arrive via Seoul (RKSI) and will be tested for COVID-19. 14-day quarantine required for all arrivals regardless of test results. Visas from Pakistan and Bangladesh halted. South Korea reduced restrictions on travelers from Japan as of Oct 8.
- Laos – U.S. passengers currently are allowed only with special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Maldives – Open. Universal Aviation Maldives is ready to assist. Passengers must have accommodations at a declared resort for length of stay. As of Sept 10, visa on arrival is now available to tourists traveling to the Maldives. Proof of a PCR COVID-19 test results (72hr) is required and must be attached to the online Traveler Health Declaration Form. Effective Sept. 28, asymptomatic entrants with medical certification indicating they have recovered from COVID-19 within 90 days before arrival may be exempt from testing and quarantine upon prior application.
- Macau – 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. Visitors who have been to Hong Kong, Taiwan will undergo medical observation in accordance with requirements of the health authority for 14 days.
- Myanmar – U.S. passengers can currently enter with approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- North Mariana Islands – Open to U.S. passengers for business, tourism, and tech stops. Negative PCR test taken within 3 days, health form, and quarantine required.
- Pakistan – Open to passengers from all countries except Israel. Passengers and Crew require negative COVID-19 test result taken 96 hours prior to arrival.
- Philippines – Foreign nationals with a valid visa will be allowed entry, but new visas aren’t being issued. Per restrictions, passengers may be able to enter with special approval from DFA, but we have not yet tested this option in.
- Singapore – U.S. passengers can operate if they have Singaporean Long Term Pass Holder (with valid approval letter). All eligible travelers (residents and visitors) must submit this electronic Health Declaration Card before entering Singapore. Effective 08 Oct 20, Singapore will allow entry for all travelers from Australia (except Victoria State) and Vietnam
- Sri Lanka – Authorities have indefinitely deferred plans to allow entry to foreigners until further notice.
- Taiwan – Thailand remains closed unless you have demonstrative family, business, or political reasons to enter or if you’re willing to stay 90 days on a long-term visa.
- Thailand – Thailand remains closed unless you have demonstrative family, business, or political reasons to enter.
- Turkmenistan – Flights remain suspended until at least October 31. U.S. passengers are allowed for business. All persons departing the country must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 test certificate, signed within the previous 24 hours.
- Uzbekistan – Arrivals from Austria, China, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand will be permitted to enter Uzbekistan without restriction. Arrivals who have visited any other countries in the previous 14 days must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours and self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
- Vietnam – Until further notice, Vietnam has suspended all visas, except for those on official or diplomatic trips, and will deny entry to citizens of all nationalities including Vietnamese.
Visit your country’s local health department. Other resources to check include:
- ASEAN is keeping a country by country update: https://www.aseanbriefing.com/news/2020/02/06/coronavirus-asia-asean-live-updates-by-country.html
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
- Federal Aviation Administration: https://www.faa.gov/
- EuroControl: https://www.eurocontrol.int/
- EuroControl NOTAMs: https://www.universalweather.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/COVID8a.pdf
- EuroControl Factsheet: https://www.universalweather.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Factsheet7.pdf
- UK Department of Health: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health
- Public Health Europe: https://ec.europa.eu/health/
- Pan American Health Organization: https://www.paho.org/hq/
- WHO Africa: https://www.afro.who.int/
- WHO Southeast Asia: https://www.who.int/southeastasia
- WHO Europe: http://www.euro.who.int/
- WHO Eastern Mediterranean: http://www.emro.who.int/
- WHO Western Pacific: https://www.who.int/westernpacific
- U.S. State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html
- EASA Safety Bulletin: https://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2020-02
- EBAA advice: https://www.ebaa.org/news/statement-updated-advice-for-operators-on-the-coronavirus-2019-ncovoutbreak/
- ICAO COVID-19 resources: https://www.icao.int/Security/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU): https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6
- NBAA Aircraft Disinfection resources: https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/safety/coronavirus/aircraft-disinfection-coronavirus/
- IATA Americas Guidance on Repatriation Flights
- IATA Quick Reference for Ground Handling during COVID-19
- IATA Dangerous Good Guidance (including alcohol hand sanitizers)
- European Commission Cargo Guidelines during COVID-19