What international destinations are reopening to tourists?

What international destinations are reopening to tourists?

(CNN) – Although most governments are still advising against the “non-essential” international travel, a lot of popular Destinations They are beginning to ease their Covid-19 blockade measures and border restrictions and are moving toward welcoming tourists.

Earlier this month, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for the summer, while countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed “travel bubbles”, lifting restrictions for citizens. of others.

Several Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand plan to reopen region by region in the coming weeks.

If you’re one of the many travelers eagerly awaiting news on where you can travel this year, here is a guide to the top destinations that are making plans to reopen, as well as some of those keeping their borders tightly closed for now.


Aphrodite's Rock (Petra tou Romiou) - Cyprus Tourism Organization

Cyprus is committed to covering vacation costs for Covid-19 positive tourists and their families.

Courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organization

Cyprus is so keen to get its tourism industry back on track that officials offer to cover the costs of travelers testing positive for Covid-19 while on vacation on the Mediterranean island.

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

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

Authorities have also assigned a 100-bed hospital for positive foreign travelers, while a 500-room “quarantine hotel” will be available to the patients’ family and “close contacts.”

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

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

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

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

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

However, the list will be expanded to include 23 other countries in the coming months.

Travelers heading to Cyprus will be required to present a valid certificate showing that they tested negative for Covid-19, while they will be subject to temperature checks upon arrival as well as random testing throughout the course of their journey.

The destination has already implemented measures to protect travelers and residents, such as ensuring that hotel staff wear masks and gloves, regularly disinfect loungers, and keep tables in restaurants, bars, cafes, and pubs at least two meters apart. (6.5 feet).


Tourists prepare to surf on the beach of South Uluwatu Kuta in Badung Regency 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 fewer than 350 confirmed cases and, as of this writing, a total of four deaths.

The Indonesian island now expects to receive tourists in October, as long as its infection rates remain low.

Bali’s economy is highly 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 collapsed the Balinese economy … it has been a sharp decline since [mid-March] when social distancing measures were put in place “, Mangku Nyoman Kandia, a Bali tour guide, he told ABC News in April. “Without tourist, without money.”

All foreign citizens, except diplomats, permanent residents and humanitarian workers, are currently banned in Indonesia, and anyone entering the island must undergo a hyssop test and provide a letter stating that they are free from Covid-19.

It’s unclear what the entry requirements will be if the restrictions are lifted later this year, or if Bali will accept travelers from regions badly affected by the pandemic.


Visitors in face masks, amid concern over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, walk through street shops at Hua Hin Beach in Thailand on May 19, 2020

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

JACK TAYLOR / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand has long been among the top destinations for travelers, receiving nearly 40 million foreign tourists last year.

However, visitors have been banned from entering the Southeast Asian country since March due to the pandemic.

While the number of cases here has been relatively low compared to other destinations (Thailand has reported more than 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 50 deaths), officials are not taking the risk of reopening the country.

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

The governor emphasized that there will be limitations on who can visit the country and what regions they can go to once the restrictions are relaxed.

“We are not going to open everything at once,” he added. “We are still on high alert, we still cannot disappoint our guards.”

“We have to look at the country of origin [of the travelers] to see if his situation has really improved. ”

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

Those with permission to enter may be offered “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.

However, Thailand’s borders are firmly closed at the moment.

The entry ban international commercial flights – excluding repatriation flights – was recently extended until June 30 and Phuket International Airport remains closed.

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

In fact, some resorts and hotels have already been given the opportunity to reopen: Hua Hin, located some 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Bangkok, is one of them.

Shopping malls, museums, markets and some tourist attractions have also reopened, and the Grand Palace in Bangkok will reopen on June 4.


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

Now, like the rest of the EU, there are currently restrictions on all non-essential travel from outside the Schengen Zone (a grouping 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 mandatory 14-day coronavirus quarantine until at least July 24.

Although the government is slowly lifting the blockade measures, with car trips of up to 100 kilometers Now allowed and the beaches beginning to reopen, officials have made it clear that the country is in no rush to ease border restrictions for international travelers.

“Since the beginning of the crisis, closing borders is the rule, and 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 companies have received permission to reopen, the country’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes will remain closed until at least June 2.

Even then, establishments in Paris, which have been branded a coronavirus “red zone” by officials, 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 faces what is probably its worst challenge in modern history,” added Philippe. “Because this is one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescuing it is a national priority.”

He went on to say that residents can take vacations in France during July and August.

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

“When the closure measures are relaxed, French tourists are likely to want to stay 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 own country and we will be there to welcome them.”


Athinios, Santorini

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

cunfek / Getty Images

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

The European country, which managed to keep coronavirus case numbers low by implementing a strict blockade from the start, 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 this summer the epilogue of the [Covid-19] crisis, “he added.

Mitsotakis went on to claim that direct international flights to Greek destinations will slowly resume from July 1, and tourists will no longer be expected to perform a Covid-19 test or quarantine upon arrival.

However, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said health officials will carry out timely tests when necessary.

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

“Maybe there are no bars open, or there are not crowds crowded, but you can still get a fantastic experience in Greece, as long as the global epidemic is on a downward path.”

Bars and restaurants have also been allowed to do business again, while city hotels are slated to reopen June 1, followed by seasonal hotels in July.

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

Mitsotakis had suggested that tourists would need to undergo testing prior to their visit as an additional precaution going forward, but this appears to be no longer the case.


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

The restrictions in Germany are loosening gently as the country prepares to revive its tourism industry.

JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP via Getty Images

Although nonessential 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 chancellor Heiko Maas

Officials are also considering allowing visitors from Turkey, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to enter, although a final decision has yet to be made.

The proposal was contained in a document entitled “Criteria for the empowerment of intra-European tourism”, which suggested current travel warnings It would be replaced by individual travel tips related to 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 target countries,” the statement read.

The land border between Austria and Germany is also being reopened: travel between Austria and Germany will be possible from June 15, and restrictions across the country are being relaxed.

While the bars are still closed, the restaurants began reopening on May 18, while the hotels were allowed to reopen from May 29.


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 in a matter of weeks.

While the nation remains closed, with hotels and restaurants yet to resume, officials plan to reopen the country bit by bit to get things back on track.

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

The border between the EE. USA And Mexico is closed to “non-essential” travel until at least June 22, and most international flights in 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 US. USA To Cancun, Mexico City, Los Cabos and Puerta Vallarta in the coming weeks.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Turkey aims to receive international visitors from mid-June.

Burak Kara / Getty Images

Turkey earned more than $ 34.5 billion from tourism in 2019, and the transcontinental country is eager to return to business.

According to Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the destination plans to restart national tourism by the end of May and expects to receive international visitors from mid-June.

The country has established new guidelines for its hotels and resorts, such as temperature controls at the entrances and at least 12 hours of room ventilation after departure. Guests should wear face masks and maintain social distance.

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

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

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


Tourists with masks in the Piazza Duomo in Milan, on March 5, 2020.

Italy is lowering its mandatory quarantine for arrivals at a “calculated risk” to attract return tourists.

PIERO CRUCIATTI / AFP via Getty Images

Italy has been one of the destinations most affected by the pandemic, but the popular European country is eager to launch its tourism industry now that infection rates have declined.

Travelers from the EU, along with the United Kingdom and the 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 measure that the government described as “calculated risk.”

“We have to accept it, otherwise we can never start again.”

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

All museums including Vatican Museums of RomeThey have been slowly reopening throughout May with strict rules of social distancing. On May 18, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen with a reduced number of diners and plastic shields to divide customers.


A woman with a facial mask sits on the beach of Can Pere Antoni in Palma de Mallorca on May 25, 2020

At least 84 million people visited Spain in 2019.

JAIME REINA / AFP via Getty Images

Spain’s blockade was one of the toughest in Europe, but the restrictions are gently being lifted. The beaches will reopen in June, while hotels in some parts of the country have already been allowed to resume business.

Starting on July 1, the European destination, which received a record 84 million visitors in 2019, will grant EU travelers permission to enter without having to be quarantined for two weeks.

“In July, we will allow foreign tourists to arrive in Spain in safe conditions,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said 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 there has been little mention of opening borders to travelers beyond the EU, it is believed that Spain hopes to follow the lead 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 outbreak under control.

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

Currently, it is mandatory for people over 6 to wear face masks in public, both indoors and outdoors, “where it is not possible to keep [an interpersonal] distance.”

The Maldives

Private jets and superyachts will be able to enter the Maldives from June 1.

Private jets and superyachts will be able to enter the Maldives from June 1.


It is already one of the most luxurious destinations in the world, but it seems that the Maldives will become even more exclusive once it reopens.

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

The Maldives has recorded around 1,457 confirmed cases and five Covid-19 deaths so far.

Although previously it was thought that the destination would reopen at the end of the year, the authorities advanced it until July.

A reopening in phases It has been proposed that he would see private jets and superyachts allowed starting June 1.

However, a previously reported $ 50,000 landing fee for charter flights and private jets has been removed, along with a suggested tourist visa fee.

“We are planning to reopen our borders for visitors in July 2020,” read an official statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism on May 30.

“We also want to assure our guests that they will not be charged any additional fees to enter the Maldives.”

The government has also issued a “Secure Tourism License” For tourist facilities that comply with government legislation and certain safety requirements, such as having a certified physician readily available and having an “adequate stock” of PPE equipment.

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

Visitors must also present a valid medical certificate confirming that they are free of Covid-19.

Maldives received more than 1.7 million visitors in 2019 and the destination expected the numbers to rise to two million in 2020.

St. Lucia

Pigeon Beach in Saint Lucia seen from Fort Rodney

Saint Lucia will begin its gradual reopening on June 4.

DANIEL SLIM / AFP via Getty Images

Saint Lucia is one of several Caribbean islands that attempt a tourist return.

The tropical destination, which closed its orders to foreign travelers on March 23, is to begin its reopening in phases on June 4, when he will raise it, he borders on visitors from the United States.

Those traveling to the country must present “certified proof” of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight.

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Visitors will also be subject to controls and temperature controls by the port health authorities and must wear face masks and maintain social distance during their visit.

Officials are also introducing new security measures for taxis to separate drivers and passengers.

“Our new protocols have been carefully designed and will build trust among travelers and our citizens,” said Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee. he said in a statement.

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

Local businesses have also been allowed to reopen, provided they have appropriate cleanup measures and social distancing measures.

Details of the second phase of the island’s reopening, which will begin on August 1, will be announced in the coming weeks.


    Dona Ana beach in Lagos in southern Portugal, Algarve region

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

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images

Portugal is still in the process of easing closure restrictions, allowing restaurants, museums and cafes to reopen to reduced capacity since mid-May.

But the European country is eager to revive its struggling tourism industry, and Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently declared that “tourists are welcome.”

While visitors from outside the EU are banned until at least June 15, some routes in and out of Portuguese-speaking countries like Brazil are still operating.

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.

“Little by little we will begin to analyze the reduction of border controls,” said the Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, earlier this month.

Although the prospect of reopening to international tourists seems a bit distant, officials are implementing measures to ensure that foreign travelers feel safe to return once they can.

Rita Marques, the country’s Secretary of State for Tourism, has launched a “don’t cancel, postpone” plan, which allows tourists to reschedule any pre-established holiday to Portugal until the end of 2021.

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

In addition, the national tourism authority Portugal tourism It has created a free hygiene certification seal to distinguish “clean and safe” tourism businesses to increase visitor confidence.

Companies must meet the hygiene and cleanliness requirements for prevention and control of Covid-19 to receive the seal, which is valid for one year.

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


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

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

LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images

The Caribbean island of Aruba is planning to open its doors to travelers once again sometime between June 15 and July 1.

However, the Caribbean island’s visitor’s office, which has reported more than 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus, says this “provisional” date may change if Aruba chooses to “consider additional precautionary measures as necessary.”

Although no Covid-19 test requirement is mentioned for arrivals, tourists will be required to undergo temperature checks upon arrival.

While nonessential businesses, including shopping malls, movie theaters, beauty salons, and outdoor restaurants, were allowed to reopen on May 25, 10 p.m. from the island country. At 5 a.m., there is a curfew.

This means that these establishments must close before 10 p.m. everyday.

In addition, the Department of Public Health has introduced the “Aruba Health and Happiness Code” A mandatory cleaning and hygiene certification program for all tourism related companies in the country.


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

Georgia aims to welcome international travelers beginning July 1.

VANO SHLAMOV / AFP via Getty Images

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

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

The next stage will allow domestic travel in special “safe” tourist areas, while the final stage involves reopening the borders and resuming some flights.

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

United Kingdom

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

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

Maja Hitij / Getty Images

While other destinations are loosening travel restrictions and taking steps to attract return travelers, the UK is choosing to enact stricter regulations.

Under the new rules, everyone who arrives must provide an address, where they must stay for two weeks.

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

The decision, which will be reviewed every three weeks, has nullified any hope of rescuing international tourism here in the coming weeks.

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

“I am saying that you cannot travel abroad at this time,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said during a BBC television interview when asked if UK citizens should book flights in July.

“If you are booking it, it is clear that by nature you risk knowing where the direction of this virus is going and therefore where the travel advice is in the future.”

Hotels are currently set to open in early July, but as EU border restrictions are still in place, the UK is likely to focus on domestic travel for now.

Luxury hotel in country house Beaverbrook It is one of many establishments eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to reopen as important changes are implemented to protect guests and staff.

“We are still awaiting further clarity from the government on when the hotel can reopen, but we have been working behind the scenes to adapt our operations to ensure additional security for both our staff and guests when we do,” said a Surrey spokesperson. Hotel told CNN Travel earlier this month.

“All visitors and staff must present a temperature control upon arrival and will be asked to disinfect their hands upon entering all buildings on the estate.

CNN’s Kocha Olarn, Karla Cripps, Shivani Vora, and Elinda Labropoulou also contributed to this article.

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