Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?

Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?
(CNN) – Although most governments are still advising against “unnecessary” international travel, a number of popular destinations are beginning to ease the Covid-19 blockade and border restrictions and are moving towards welcoming tourists.

Earlier this month, the European Union presented an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for the summer, while countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed “travel bubbles” , raising mutual restrictions for citizens.

A number of Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations like Mexico and Thailand are planning to reopen region by region in the coming weeks.

If you are one of the many travelers who are eagerly awaiting news on where to travel this year, here is a guide to the best destinations they plan to reopen, as well as some of those who are keeping their borders tightly closed for now.

Cyprus

Cyprus has made a commitment to cover the holiday costs for positive tourists for Covid-19 and their families.

Courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organization

Cyprus is so keen to get the tourism industry back on track, officials are offering to cover the costs of all travelers who test positive for Covid-19 while on vacation in the Mediterranean island nation.

According to a letter shared with CNN, the Cypriot government will pay for accommodation, as well as food, drinks and medicines for tourists who get coronavirus during their visit.

The detailed plan was presented in a five-page letter issued to governments, airlines and tour operators on May 26.

Officials have also set up a 100-bed hospital for foreign travelers who test positive, while a 500-room “quarantine hotel” will be available to the family of patients and “close contacts”.

“The traveler will only have to bear the costs of the airport transfer and the return flight, in collaboration with his agent and / or airline,” says the letter.

The news came shortly after Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced that hotels in the country will reopen on June 1st, while international air travel will resume on June 9th.

Once the destination is reopened, visitors from only the chosen countries will be able to enter.

Flights arriving from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania will be authorized first.

From June 20 Cyprus will also allow flights arriving from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

However, the list will be expanded to include other countries in the coming months.

Travelers to Cyprus will need to provide a valid certificate proving they have tested negative for Covid-19, while subject to temperature checks on arrival and random tests during the trip.

The destination has already put in place measures to protect travelers and residents, such as ensuring that hotel staff wear masks and gloves, regularly disinfect sun beds and keep tables in restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs at least two meters away.

Bali

Tourists prepare to surf on the beach of Uluwatu South Kuta, in the Badung region on the island of Bali, on December 20, 2018

At least 6.3 million people visited Bali in 2019.

SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP via Getty Images

Bali has also been successful in containing its coronavirus outbreak, with less than 350 confirmed cases and a total of four deaths at the time of writing.

The Indonesian island now hopes to welcome tourists by October, provided that infection rates remain low.

Bali’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the number of visitors has increased in recent years, with around 6.3 million people visiting in 2019.

“The coronavirus has brought down the Balinese economy … it has been a sharp drop since then [mid-March] when social distancing measures were put in place, “Mangku Nyoman Kandia, a Bali tour guide, he told ABC News in April. “No tourists, no money.”

All foreign nationals, with the exception of diplomats, permanent residents and humanitarian workers, are currently banned from Indonesia and anyone who enters the island must undergo a swab test and provide a letter stating that they are free from Covid-19.

It is not clear what the entry requirements will be if the restrictions are lifted later this year or if Bali will accept travelers from regions severely affected by the pandemic.

Thailand

Visitors wearing face masks, amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, walk along the street shops on Hua Hin beach in Thailand on May 19, 2020.

Thailand plans to reopen the different regions, step by step, towards the end of 2020.

JACK TAYLOR / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand has long been among the best destinations for travelers, last year it received almost 40 million foreign tourists.

However, due to the pandemic, visitors have been barred from entering Southeast Asia since March.

While the number of cases here has been relatively low compared to other destinations – Thailand has reported over 3,000 confirmed cases and over 50 deaths – officials are taking no risk with regards to the country’s reopening.

“It still depends on the epidemic situation, but I think the first we can see the return of tourists could be the fourth quarter of this year,” Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told CNN Travel ( TAT).

The governor went on to point out that there will be limitations on who can visit the country and which regions can go after the restrictions are eased.

“We won’t open everything at once,” he added. “We are still on the alert, we still cannot disappoint our guards.

“We must look to the country of origin [of the travelers] to see if their situation has really improved. ”

This means that Thailand is unlikely to open its borders to travelers from destinations that do not appear to have the coronavirus situation under control.

“Long-stay packages” in isolated areas “where health monitoring can be easily controlled”, such as the remote islands of Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui, may be offered to those granted permission to enter.

However, Thailand’s borders are firmly closed for the time being.

The ban on receiving international commercial flights – excluding repatriation flights – has recently been extended until 30 June and Phuket International Airport remains closed.

Like many other global destinations, Thailand is currently focusing on domestic tourism.

Indeed, some resorts and hotels have already been given the go-ahead to reopen: Hua Hin, located about 200 kilometers south of Bangkok, being one of them.

Shopping malls, museums, markets and some tourist attractions have reopened their doors, with the Grand Palace in Bangkok reopening on June 4th.

France

France was the most visited country in the world before the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, like the rest of the EU, restrictions are currently in place for all non-essential travel outside the Schengen area (a group of 26 countries that normally have open borders).

Travelers entering the country, with the exception of EU citizens or arrivals from the UK, will be subject to a 14-day mandatory coronavirus quarantine until at least July 24th.

Although the government is slowly lifting blockade measures, with travel by car up to 100 kilometers now they are allowed and the beaches are starting to reopen, officials have made it clear that the country is in no hurry to ease border restrictions for international travelers.

“Since the beginning of the crisis, the closure of borders is the rule and the authorization to cross a border is the exception.

“What is good for tourism is often good for France, what affects tourism affects France,” he said during a press conference.

Although some businesses have been given permission to reopen, the country’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés must remain closed until at least June 2nd.

Even then, Paris plants, which have been marked as a “red zone” by coronaviruses, are unlikely to open soon.

It was announced on May 29 that the country’s most visited museum, the Louvre, will reopen on July 6.

“Tourism is facing what is probably its worst challenge in modern history,” added Philippe. “Because this is one of the jewels in the crown of the French economy, saving it is a national priority.”

He went on to say that residents can spend their holidays in France in July and August.

The country’s hotels will rely on domestic tourism once they reopen, as all signs indicate that international travelers will not be able to enter for the foreseeable future.

“When the blocking measures are eased, French tourists will likely want to be close to home in the short term,” a spokesman for the French hotel chain Accor told CNN Travel earlier this month.

“It will be time for them to rediscover their country and we will be there to welcome them.”

Greece

Athinios, Santorini

Officials in Greece hope to reopen the country on June 15th.

cunfek / Getty Images

Tourism accounts for almost 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product, in addition to one in five jobs, so perhaps it is not surprising that the Mediterranean nation is trying to reopen tourists as soon as possible.

The European country, which managed to keep the number of coronavirus cases low by implementing a strict blockade in the early stages, plans to allow travelers to return on June 15.

“The tourism period begins on June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on May 20.

“Let’s make the epilogue of this summer [Covid-19] crisis, “he added.

Mitsotakis went on to say that direct international flights to Greek destinations will slowly resume from July 1st and tourists are no longer expected to take a Covid-19 test or to quarantine on arrival.

However, tourism minister Haris Theoharis has indicated that health officials will carry out sample tests when necessary.

“This summer’s tourist experience may be slightly different from what you had in previous years,” said Mitsotakis CNN earlier this month.

“Maybe no bars can be open, or no crowds crowded, but you can still have a fantastic experience in Greece, provided the global epidemic is in decline.”

Bars and restaurants were also able to resume business, while hotels in the city are expected to reopen on June 1, followed by seasonal hotels in July.

All international passengers had previously been required to take a Covid-19 test on arrival or go to quarantine for 14 days.

Mitsotakis had suggested that tourists should undergo tests prior to their visit as an additional precaution in the future, but it seems that this is no longer the case.

Germany

View of the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) taken on March 3rd

Restrictions in Germany are slowly easing as the country prepares to revive its tourism industry.

JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP via Getty Images

Although non-essential travel to Germany is currently banned, the land of poets and thinkers intends to lift restrictions for EU countries from June 15, according to the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Officials are also considering allowing visitors from Turkey, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to enter, although a final decision has not yet been made.

The proposal was listed in a document called “Criteria for enabling intra-European tourism”, which suggested current travel alerts it would be replaced by individual travel tips for each country.

“The revitalization of tourism is important for both travelers and the German travel industry, as well as for the economic stability of the respective recipient countries,” it reads.

The Austria / Germany land border is also reopening – travel between Austria and Germany will be possible from 15 June – and restrictions across the country will be eased.

While the bars are still closed, the restaurants started reopening on May 18, while hotels have been able to reopen since May 29.

Mexico

Aerial view of an almost empty beach in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico

In the coming weeks, Mexico will begin to open up region by region.

ELIZABETH RUIZ / AFP via Getty Images

Mexico aims to welcome visitors within a few weeks.

While the nation remains stuck, with hotels and restaurants still ready to start working again, officials are planning to reopen the country bit by bit to get things back on track.

“The target is first domestic travelers, followed by travelers from the United States and Canada and then from the rest of the world.

The US-Mexico border is closed for “non-essential” travel until at least June 22nd and most international flights into and out of Mexico’s key airports are currently suspended or significantly reduced.

However, Delta Air Lines will increase and / or resume various services from the United States to Cancun, Mexico City, Los Cabos and Puerta Vallarta in the coming weeks.

Quintana Roo, a state in the Caribbean part of Mexico that is home to the likes of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, hopes to reopen in mid-June, according to Marisol Vanegas, the state’s tourism secretary.

“We want to relaunch tourism and plan to start opening attractions and hotels between 10 and 15 June, but we still don’t know which ones,” he says.

“It depends on what the federal government allows us to do.”

Rodrigo Esponda, CEO of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, says he hopes to be able to accept both domestic and international travelers by August and September.

However, the seaside destination Riviera Nayarit, located north of Puerta Vallarta, currently has no immediate plans to bring tourists back, according to Richard Zarkin, public relations manager for the Neauarit Riviera Convention and visitor office.

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turkey

People enjoy the beach on August 16, 2019 in Oludeniz, Turkey.

Turkey has been aiming to receive international visitors since mid-June.

Burak Kara / Getty Images

Turkey has earned over $ 34.5 billion from tourism in 2019 and the transcontinental country is looking forward to getting back to business.

According to tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the destination plans to restart domestic tourism by the end of May and hopes to receive international visitors from mid-June.

The country has established new guidelines for its hotels and resort facilities, such as temperature controls at the entrances and at least 12 hours of room ventilation after checkout. Guests will need to wear face masks and keep social distances.

“The more transparent and detailed information we provide, the more we will gain the trust of tourists,” said Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy he told Reuters earlier this month while revealing plans to open about half of Turkish hotels this year.

Meanwhile, restrictions on long distance travel have been lifted, while restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities can reopen from June 1st, along with beaches and museums.

Even the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, one of the largest markets in the world, is preparing to reopen for the first time in two months on June 1st.

Italy

Tourists wearing masks in Piazza Duomo in Milan on March 5, 2020

Italy is abandoning the mandatory quarantine for arrivals in a “calculated risk” to attract tourists.

PIERO CRUCIATTI / AFP through Getty Images

Italy has been one of the destinations most affected by the pandemic, but the hugely popular European country is keen to make its tourism sector work now that infection rates have slowed down.

Travelers from the EU, along with the United Kingdom, microstates and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, will be able to enter without having to quarantine from June 3, in a move that the government has described as ” calculated risk “.

“We have to accept it, otherwise we will never be able to restart.”

Previously, visitors had to undergo a two-week quarantine before they could enter.

All museums, including Vatican Museums of Rome, are slowly reopening throughout the month of May with strict rules of social removal. Bars and restaurants were able to reopen with a reduced number of diners and plastic shields to divide customers on May 18.

Spain

A woman wearing a mask stands on the beach of Can Pere Antoni in Palma de Mallorca on 25 May 2020

At least 84 million people visited Spain in 2019.

JAIME REINA / AFP via Getty Images

The blockade of Spain was one of the most difficult in Europe, but the restrictions are gently lifted. The beaches will reopen in June, while hotels in some parts of the country have already been authorized to resume business.

From 1 July, the European destination, which has welcomed a record 84 million visitors in 2019, will guarantee EU travelers permission to enter without having to quarantine for two weeks.

“Come in July, we will allow foreign tourists to arrive safely in Spain,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at a recent press conference.

“We will guarantee that tourists are not at risk and that they do not represent a risk (for Spain).”

While little is said about the opening of borders to travelers outside the EU, Spain is expected to hope to follow the example of destinations such as Lithuania and the Czech Republic by establishing safe corridors, or a “travel bubble”, with nearby destinations that have managed to keep the epidemic under control.

“The issue of borders will be accompanied by the evolution of the health crisis”.

At present, it is mandatory for anyone aged 6 years or older to wear face masks in public, both indoors and outdoors, “where it is not possible to maintain [an interpersonal] distance.”

The Maldives

Private jets and super yachts will be able to access the Maldives from June 1st.

Private jets and super yachts will be able to access the Maldives from June 1st.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

It is already one of the most sumptuous destinations in the world, but the Maldives seem destined to become even more expensive to visit once reopened.

The island nation, made up of over 1,000 islands, closed its national borders and canceled all flights shortly after registering its first two coronavirus cases in March.

To date, the Maldives have recorded around 1,457 confirmed cases and five deaths from Covid-19.

According to tourism minister Ali Waheed, the country may be able to receive tourists by the end of 2020.

“Within the next three months, the Maldives will become Covid-19’s first free country in the Asian region, hopefully,” during an online Maldivian parliament meeting.

“We are conducting surveys to start safe tourism when we reach that road.”

A gradual reopening It has been proposed that they see private jets and super yachts allowed to enter as of June 1, a $ 50,000 landing fee will be charged to charter flights and private jets.
The government also issued a “License for safe tourism” for tourist facilities compliant with government legislation and certain safety requirements, such as the availability of a certified doctor and possession of an “adequate stock” of PPE equipment.

Travelers who have made the trip must have a confirmed reservation at a tourist facility with a “Safe Tourism License” as well as a special $ 100 tourist visa available for those who commit to spending a minimum of 14 days in the country.

Visitors will also need to present a valid medical certificate confirming their absence of Covid-19.

The Maldives received over 1.7 million visitors in 2019 and numbers were expected to rise to two million in 2020.

Saint Lucia

Pigeon Beach in Saint Lucia seen from Fort Rodney

Saint Lucia will begin its gradual reopening on June 4th.

DANIEL SLIM / AFP via Getty Images

St. Lucia is one of several Caribbean islands seeking a tourist return.

The tropical destination, which closed its orders to foreign travelers on March 23, is to start its own gradual reopening on June 4th, when he lifts it, he borders on visitors from the United States.

Those traveling to the country must submit the “certified test” of a negative Covid-19 test performed within 48 hours of boarding the flight.

Visitors will also be screened and checked by port health authorities and will have to wear face masks and keep social distances during their visit.

Officials are also introducing new taxi safety measures to separate drivers and passengers.

“Our new protocols have been carefully developed and will create trust between travelers and our citizens”, Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee said in a statement.

“The government of Saint Lucia remains determined to protect both lives and livelihoods as its leap begins its economy.”

Local businesses have also been authorized to reopen, provided that adequate cleaning measures and social removal measures are in place.

The details of the second phase of the reopening of the island, which will begin on August 1st, will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Portugal

    Dona Ana beach in Lagos, in the southern region of Portugal, in the Algarve

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently said that Portugal is open and “tourists are welcome”.

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images

Portugal is still in the process of easing blocking restrictions, allowing restaurants, museums and coffee shops to reopen at reduced capacity from mid-May.

But the European country is ready to revive its troubled tourism industry, with Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva who recently said “tourists are welcome”.

While visitors outside the EU are banned at least until June 15, some routes in and out of Portuguese-speaking nations such as Brazil are still active.

The land border between Portugal and Spain, which has been closed to tourists since March, is unlikely to reopen until EU travel restrictions are lifted.

“We will gradually begin to try to facilitate border controls,” said Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita earlier this month.

Although the prospect of reopening to international tourists seems to be a little distant, officials are putting in place measures to ensure that foreign travelers feel confident that they can return once they are able.

Rita Marques, the country’s Secretary of State for Tourism, launched a “do not cancel, postpone” scheme, which allows tourists to reschedule any pre-arranged holiday in Portugal until the end of 2021.

This is valid for all bookings made through accredited travel agencies, together with hotels or Airbnbs, for trips scheduled between 13 March and 30 September 2020.

In addition, national tourist authority Turismo de Portugal created a free hygiene certification stamp to distinguish “Clean & Safe” tourism businesses to increase visitor confidence.

Companies will need to meet the hygiene and cleanliness requirements for Covid-19 prevention and control to receive the stamp, which is valid for one year.

According to Santos Silva, Portuguese airports will soon introduce health checks for arrivals, but visitors will not be subject to a mandatory quarantine.

aruba

A beach in Oranjestad, Aruba, on August 27, 2013. AFP PHOTOS / Luis Acosta (The photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images)

Aruba has released “tentative” reopening dates, which fall between June 15 and July 1.

LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images

The Caribbean island of Aruba is planning to reopen its doors to travelers at some point June 15 and July 1.

However, the visitor’s office for the Caribbean island, which has reported just over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases, says that this “tentative” date may change if Aruba opts to “consider further precautionary measures as needed”.

Even if there is no mention of the Covid-19 test requirements for arrivals, tourists will have to undergo temperature checks on arrival.

While non-essential activities including shopping malls, cinemas, beauty salons and outdoor restaurants were allowed to reopen on May 25, the island’s village country’s 10pm curfew remains at 5am.

This means that these plants must close by 22:00. everyday.

In addition, the public health department introduced the “Aruba Code for Health and Happiness” a mandatory cleanliness and hygiene certification program for all tourism-related businesses in the country.

Georgia

This aerial photograph taken on August 26, 2019, shows residential neighborhoods in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi

Georgia intends to welcome international travelers from 1 July.

SHLAMOV / AFP COMPARTMENT via Getty Images

But the country was forced to close its winter resorts and ban foreign visitors in March because of the crisis.

Anxious to revive its tourism sector, the country’s government says it plans to reopen international travelers on July 1st.

The next phase will allow domestic travel to special “safe” tourist areas, while the final phase will include the reopening of borders and the resumption of some flights.

“[The] the tourism sector will be the first to which emergency measures will be applied. “

UK

Tourists stand near the Brandenburg Gate on March 13, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

A 14-day mandatory quarantine has been issued for all arrivals in the UK since 8 June.

Maja Hitij / Getty Images

While other destinations are easing travel restrictions and introducing measures to attract travelers, the UK is choosing to apply stricter rules.

Under the new rules, all arrivals will have to provide an address, to which they must remain for two weeks.

Those who break the rules will face fines of up to $ 1,218.

The decision, which is to be reviewed every three weeks, has canceled all hope of saving international tourism here in the coming weeks.

The move is expected to discourage airlines from quickly restarting flight operations, while officials have warned that there is little chance that UK residents can go abroad this summer.

“I’m saying, you can’t travel overseas right now,” said Transport Minister Grant Shapps during a BBC television interview when asked if UK citizens were to book flights in July.

“If you are booking it, you clearly have the possibility, by its nature, to know where the direction of this virus goes and therefore where the travel tips are in the future.”

At the moment, hotels are expected to open in early July, but as restrictions on EU borders are still in place, the UK is likely to focus on domestic travel for now.

Luxury hotel in a country house Beaverbrook it is one of the many establishments that look forward to being able to give the go-ahead to reopen the doors while making important changes to protect guests and staff.

“Stiamo ancora aspettando ulteriore chiarezza da parte del governo su quando l’hotel potrà riaprire, ma abbiamo lavorato dietro le quinte per adattare le nostre operazioni al fine di garantire una maggiore sicurezza sia per il nostro staff che per gli ospiti”, ha dichiarato un portavoce del Surrey hotel ha detto a CNN Travel all’inizio di questo mese.

“Tutti i visitatori e il personale saranno tenuti a presentare un controllo della temperatura all’arrivo e verrà chiesto di disinfettare le mani quando entrano in tutti gli edifici della tenuta.

Anche Kocha Olarn della CNN, Karla Cripps, Shivani Vora ed Elinda Labropoulou hanno contribuito a questo articolo.

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