COVID-19 International Arrivals Protocols: Australia, US, U.K, France, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, U.A.E

Australia has a number of restrictions in place for incoming travelers due to COVID-19. Selected findings are presented below.


  • Australia has reported 27,014 cases of COVID-19, with 909 deaths. There are currently 1,857 infected patients, with none in critical condition.
  • Australian borders are closed. The country is working to minimize people getting infected by restricting travel between states, contact tracing cases, opening fever clinics, and closely monitoring cases by locality.
  • Entry into Australia is limited to Australian citizens, residents, immediate family members, and travelers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days (not including time in managed quarantine).
  • Australia is dividing travelers into those arriving from Red Zones (high risk areas) and Green Zones (low risk areas), and keeping travelers separate at airport facilities.

United States

The US has seen the most number of COVID-19 cases in the world (27,799,946). There have been 479,772 deaths thus far and 17,639,217 people have recovered. 12,928,749 people in the US have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during the first month of the vaccination program. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has imposed a set of travel restrictions for incoming air travelers to the US.

  • The US is the worst affected country in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the US is 27,799,946, with 479,772 deaths thus far. 17,639,217 people have recovered from COVID-19 thus far, and there are 9,680,957 active cases currently. During the first month of the US COVID-19 vaccination program, 12,928,749 persons received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The US has implemented a suppression strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Even though its borders are open, travel restrictions imposed by the CDC are in place.
  • Arrival into the US is currently open to all citizens and non-citizens from low risk countries. However, foreign nationals from these countries are barred from entering the US: China, Iran, EU, UK, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa. Prior to departure, all air passengers bound for the US have to present a negative PCR test report, taken within 72 hours of departure, or proof of recovery from the COVID-19 virus within the last 90 days. Wearing a mask at all times has been made mandatory by the CDC.
  • According to CDC guidelines, people traveling to the US have to get themselves tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days after landing in the US. If tested negative, they have to still be in quarantine for 7 days after landing. If they do not get themselves tested, they have to be quarantine for 10 days. CDC guidelines warn travelers beforehand that COVID-19 restrictions and policies may change during their travel.

United Kingdom

Since the launch of the vaccination campaign in late December, over 12,646,486 people have received their first shot, and 516,392 have had their second shot.

  • The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the UK has risen to 3,972,148, with 113,850 deaths thus far.
  • The UK has conducted 75,693,515 tests so far.
  • Since the launch of the vaccination campaign in late December, over 12,646,486 people have received their first shot, and 516,392 have had their second shot.
  • Currently, the UK is on total lockdown and people are advised to stay at home.
  • The UK currently has 412,351 Covid-19 patients admitted with 3,230 on a ventilator.


All visitors arriving in France need to serve a 7-day isolation period. Only visitors from the EU are exempted from the isolation period if they can present a negative RT-PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure. Below are some selected findings from the research.


Denmark has placed a number of restrictions for international travelers coming in on flights, including requiring a negative test and a 10-day quarantine period. Denmark does not specify some of its quarantine procedures, leaving them to municipalities to determine. Denmark’s unique culture of trust contributed to its successful mitigation of the virus.

  • Only those who have tested negative for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours are able to depart for Denmark. As of February 7, 2021, everyone entering Denmark will need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and kept in isolation for 10 days.
  • For predeparture, Denmark’s citizens that have been tested can fly to Denmark; only citizens from countries on the safe list are allowed entry (with the UAE as a recent example of a country put back on the safe list). Travelers must have a “worthy” purpose for traveling to Denmark.
  • Incoming travelers are expected to either have their own suitable quarantine conditions, or they will be entered into a municipal isolation facility. The specifics related to booking this facility are not clear in the government document.
  • Denmark’s in-flight restrictions are based on those in place domestically, including social distancing and mask requirements.
  • Denmark does not note any aircraft cleaning requirements, ventilation requirements, or on-board service requirements on its government website.
  • How and if Denmark separates passengers for processing is not included in its government materials or airport materials.
  • It does not have specifications on restrictions for airport staff in terms of how many jobs they can have or when they are tested.
  • There are no specifications related to guest arrival timing at quarantine facilities or travel provisions as these appear to be established by individual municipalities. No industry-specific quarantines are outlined.


International arrivals to Canada is open only for Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and person registered under Canada’s Indian Act. It has implemented stricter regulations such as the presentation of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before departure and the mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, even the passenger do not have symptoms.

Canada’s Current Health Situation and Strategy

  • As of February 9, 2021, Canada has reported 810,797 cases of Covid-19 with 20,909 deaths. There are still 39,179 active cases while 750,709 has recovered.
  • As of January 30, 2021, a total of 871,905 people have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, or 2.3% of its total population. Of which, 113,446 were fully vaccinated, or 0.3% of the total population.
  • Canada is implementing a suppression strategy to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the country. It has announced travel restrictions to Canada imposing strict guidelines, as well as penalties for not following quarantine protocols.

Restrictions and Innovative Approach on International Arrivals

  • Arrivals open to all Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and person registered under Canada’s Indian Act. A negative PCR test result received no more than 72 hours pre-departure is required even if they have proof of vaccination.
  • All arriving passengers, even if they have no symptoms, are required to have a 14-day “mandatory quarantine plan” to be able to enter Canada.
  • Travelers are required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings at all times, pre-departure, in-flight, during arrival, and even while in quarantine or isolation.
  • Canada uses an app called ArriveCAN that is needed to provide the mandatory health and travel information during and after one’s entry to Canada.
  • ArriveCAN is required before checking in at the airport and even when crossing the border. This includes information about the passengers’ travel/contact information, quarantine plan, and self-assessment of their Covid-19 symptoms.

New Zealand

Information on the international arrival restrictions to New Zealand has been provided below.

  • Currently, New Zealand has 2,324 cases with only 25 deaths. The country has conducted over 1.5 million tests so far. No vaccines have been administered. Medsafe, New Zealand’s medicines safety authority, is in the process of assessing Covid-19 vaccines.
  • New Zealand opted for the elimination strategy to eradicate the virus completely. This involved control measures such as border controls to stop transmissions, and eradicating chains of transmission by contact tracing and quarantines, among other methods. The country is one of the most successful in mitigating the virus.
  • A negative test is required for most people who are traveling to New Zealand, except from the specified countries like Australia, Fiji, etc.
  • Travelers are to complete a 14-day quarantine period, except eligible passengers from Cook Islands.
  • Travelers are also required to request for approval to travel, except New Zealand residents, diplomats, and eligible passengers from Cook Islands.


Israel has reported 706,416 cases of Covid-19 with 5,233 deaths. About 630,739 people have recovered. Israel is currently the world leader in COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

  • Entry into Israel is largely limited to citizens and residents. Foreign nationals are restricted to enter Israel unless they are on the exceptions list.
  • Passengers must show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure and must take an additional PCR test upon arrival.
  • Anyone who needs to travel to Israel must fill an online inbound passenger statement 24 hours before the scheduled departure.


Singapore features many restrictions for incoming travelers due to COVID-19. Selected findings are presented below.

  • As of February 9, 2021, Singapore has had 59,732 cases of COVID-19, resulting in 29 deaths. 197 patients are currently affected with 40 hospitalizations.
  • Singapore entered phase three of its reopening on December 28, 2020. Public places capacity limits are eased up to 65%, and groups of eight are allowed to congregate. Under phase three, masks are still mandatory.
  • Foreign travelers are mostly restricted from entering Singapore. Entry is primarily limited to Singapore citizens and PRs. Short-term travelers from Australia, Brunei, China, New Zealand, and Taiwan are allowed with an Air Travel Pass. All passengers are required to take a PCR test on arrival.
  • All passengers entering Singapore need to activate TraceTogether mobile app from the arrival date to 14 days after departure. Additionally, the visitor must upload all data from the mobile app if he/she is tested positive for COVID-19 while in Singapore or after the first 14 days of departing Singapore.

United Arab Emirates

The context, strategy, restrictions, interesting/innovative steps, and details on managing international arrivals (in the pre-departure, departure airport, in-flight, and arrival at airport phases) relating to COVID for the United Arab Emirates is provided below.

  • Since the end of December 2020, COVID-19 infections have risen in the country, which currently has over 332 thousand confirmed cases and 947 confirmed deaths.
  • The country is implementing a suppression strategy.
  • International travelers must show a negative COVID-19 PCR result before departure and may need an additional PCR test upon arrival followed by quarantine. UAE citizens are only required to take a PCR test on arrival, regardless of the country they come from.
  • Most international travelers are obliged to quarantine for 10 days, and all travelers are required to take further tests depending on how long they plan to stay in the country.
  • Travel restrictions may differ based on the destination (i.e. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah).
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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