Effect of COVID-19 on business activities across Asia

Business activities Asia
Photo by Gustavo Fring

As COVID-19 continues to impact heavily on social and business life across the region we have prepared this summary of what the business situation is like across Asia generally. Updates will look at what business travel and activity is possible and what can be done on the ground in any countries that remain open for domestic business activity.

Entry and Exit

All countries in the region have suspended entry to almost all foreigners other than permanent residents. Some, like Malaysia, allow nobody in our out, citizen or not. At the time of writing only Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar allow international entry and only with a visa from their embassies with a Covid-19 free certificate and medical insurance. Exit from most countries also requires official permission. Philippines still allows accredited NGOs to enter with proper visa.

Self-Quarantine Requirements

Those countries which allow conditional entry for foreigners mandate self-quarantine at their residence at their own cost, with fines or other repercussions for those who disobey. Other countries have established formal government run quarantine centers. All require 14+ days self-quarantine. Some will require you to cover this cost.

Curfews and Public Transport Timing Restrictions

A few countries (see above) have implemented strict curfews ranging from 5pm to 8am. Indonesia allows cities to decide on curfews. Although Jakarta currently has no curfew, local neighbourhoods may impose their own curfews. China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore maintain almost normal hours for public transport. We note more countries are reducing public transport in terms of hours, frequency and volume of passengers. Others, like Indonesia restrict passenger numbers in vehicle to 50% of capacity only. This will change week to week.

Business Activities

Very little normal business activity is possible. In most countries, offices are required to close without an exemption. Essential services including emergency / health care, banks, food vendors etc. are partially exempted. Work from home is required where possible. Retail is largely shuttered for the duration. Most countries ban or restrict meetings in public. Some government departments are open, but not all. In many countries even government online portals are not operating during the emergency. We are compiling a floating list of these.


The table below sets out our understanding of the current status of general investigation types per country in the East and Southeast Asia regions which will be updated weekly.

The report was provided by Aegis Interaktif Asia that continues to assist its clients with issues including due diligence, investigations, business intelligence, and advice through own resources and associates located across the region.

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