Mongolia reopens for all vaccinated travelers after 2 years of border lockdown
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A rising destination among more adventurous travelers traveling through East Asia, Mongolia has finally has reopened its borders to vaccinated. It means immune American and Canadian tourists will finally be allowed to enter the country, which had been banned for two years following the covid pandemic.
Surrounded by China to the south and Russia to the north, Mongolia is a hidden gem known for its vast deserts, rugged landscapeshigh peaks, and nomadic culture, with nearly a quarter of Mongolian families living as nomads across the country. Now this single destination is once again ready to welcome visitors of the whole world.
Vaccinated travelers are the first allowed to enter after two years of isolation
While Mongolia is far from having abandoned all its Covid requirementsas Mexico did some time ago, the fact that it is ready to accept vaccination certificates because valid proof of entry is a sign that he is move towards a more relaxed approach to the borderespecially after spending most of the current crisis in complete isolation.
As state media reported on February 14, the Mongolian government has started lifting the curbs which has kept most travelers away from the country since the pandemic was first declared. In fact, throughout Covid, Mongolia had imposed some of the the strictest measures observed in Asia and beyond, including severe and consecutive lockdowns and limiting international flights.
Those days seem to be long gone now, with most existing mandates affecting local businesses and the economy as a whole removed. Now, country no longer supports pandemic ‘preparedness’having downgraded its alert level from “orange” to “yellow”, as reported by the state-run Montsame news agency.
In Mongolia’s traffic light system for pandemic management, achieving and maintaining a “yellow” status means the country is ready to open up to visitors again. Leaving no room for doubt, with Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene confirming himself that his country will receive foreigners again, as long as they are vaccinated.
As published in Montsame, the Prime Minister reportedly said the government would create the “conditions necessary to ensure safety» for tourists and businessmen arriving in the country. The news will certainly be welcomed by vaccinated backpackers and business travelers wishing to explore more of Asia while bypassing most restrictions.
On the other hand, the pre-departure testing requirement seems to be going nowhere, with travelers must still satisfy border authorities with a negative PCR taken within 72 hours departure from their initial point of embarkation, any vaccine and/or recent recovery status.
Mongolia seems to have finally withstood the Omicron storm
Domestically, Mongolia also appears to have overcome the Omicron wave, with an average of just 839 new infections recorded per day (just 22% from its September peak). In addition, 84.6% of Mongolians have been vaccinated already, making Mongolia and even more attractive destination for more cautious tourists.
While border policies have been relaxed and several internal restrictions lifted, visitors to Mongolia are still required to wear face masks and practice social distancing when visiting the country. Following recent developments, Mongolia now joins a growing list of off-the-beaten-track destinations in Asia that are already accepting vaccinated US travelers.
This decision is also likely to be welcomed by the World Health Organization, who recently urged all countries to relax overly strict travel rules. According to the main health entity, travel bans are unnecessary and place a heavy “financial burden” on travelers, who have been juggling expensive Covid tests and border closures even vaccinated.
What are the visa requirements for US, Canadian and UK citizens traveling to Mongolia?
From the metropolitan capital of Ulaanbaatar at the strike Altai MountainsMongolia has a lot to offer travelers bold enough to make the long journey. Whereas it is not possible to reach the country on a direct flight from anywhere in the United Statesor even North America as a whole, US citizens can still visit as tourists for less than 90 days.
To reach Mongolia, the Americans have the choice between connecting flights in Turkey, South Korea, Hong Kong, and several other stops in Asia. Once in the country, their the passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of arrivaland the most pressing: those who wish to stay for more than 30 days must register with the immigration authorities.
Regardless of the 90 day entry stamp, in case of failureand staying in Mongolia for more than a month, US travelers will be fined between $100 and $300 on departure and prevented from leaving until the situation was resolved. In the event of an overstay, Americans also risk being fined, even due to extenuating circumstances such as Covid infection.
For this reason, we would like to remind all of our readers to take out travel insurance that covers Covid before going abroad this winterbecause no trip is completely without risk, especially with the spread of new highly transmissible variants in Asia.
As for Canadian citizensthey are allowed to stay in Mongolia as tourists for a shorter 30 days, those hoping to travel longer in the country, as Americans can, requiring registration with the Office of Immigration, Naturalization and Aliens within a week of arrival.
UK nationals, however, must have a pre-issued visa before flying to Mongolia. It’s usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days over a period of 6 months, from the date of issue. During this period, the visa can be extended once for up to another 30 days. Yes landing in Mongolia with the wrong visaBritons can either be offered to pay a correction on arrival or be entry refused.
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice