When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery
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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information.
Coronavirus has us all frozen in place and dreaming of when we can start booking again. We’ve been doing a lot of stories at The Points Guy about our dream trips and when we can realistically book those trips.
Canada remains in lockdown and the border between the United States and Canada is closed. Canada is allowing some province-to-province travel, but the summer tourism season in places like Ontario remains in serious jeopardy.
President Trump has said Canada would be one of the first countries to open to American visitors: “It will be one of the early borders to be released.” But the border will remain shut until at least 21 June.
U.S. Congressmembers have sent a letter to both countries to push them to open the border immediately. Canadian specialists have stated that the border should remain closed until next year as the U.S faces a resurgence in cases.
Like many other nations, Canada requires all visitors to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. It’s unclear when that might be lifted.
Mexcio began a slow regional opening on June 29, however, the country was still seeing a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths. Tourism plays a large part in Mexico’s economy which the virus has shuttered. “The target is domestic travelers first, followed by travelers from the US and Canada and then the rest of the world,” said World Travel & Tourism Council CEO Gloria Guevara.
Indeed, some hotels have reopened, but so far only a trickle of tourists have been showing up. Hotels are only allowed to have 30% of capacity in June, but it will rise to 50% capacity in July.
A rebound in tourism will depend on the reopening of the region’s air hubs in Cancun, Cozumel and Chetumal, and tourists are advised that enhanced screening and cleaning procedures are in effect. Cancun’s International airport (CUN) has reopened to domestic and international flights.
The Washington Post reports that hotel occupancy rates in Cancun fell to as low as 2.8% at the height of the crisis. The country is planning a major campaign to get tourists to come back with a tag line of “Mexico needs you.”
Currently, the U.S and Mexico border is closed until at least July 21. That date can be extended and many Mexican citizens have advocated for the border to remain closed until the virus has lessened in the U.S.
The United States has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some states are slowly reopening but most are still not welcoming tourists. In fact, Maine and Hawaii both have strict 14-day quarantine requirements in place for all out-of-state visitors.
The CDC still has a strong warning against any nonessential travel within the United States. The CDC website advises, “It is possible that some state and local governments may put in place travel restrictions, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures while you are travelling”.
The U.S. State Department also advises against any international travel, suggesting United States citizens either remain in place or return home. It’s at “Level 4,” the department’s highest warning. But it is a recommendation, not a requirement.
Additionally, the U.S. has strict restrictions on arriving visitors including a ban on tourist visitors from all of Canada, Mexico, Europe and much of Asia.
As of 20 May, all U.S. states are in some phase of reopening.. sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly.
There are several things tourists need to be aware of to successfully enter Belize. Specifically, when it comes to selecting a hotel, visitors have to stay at one of the country’s full-service hotels or resorts that have received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition. Among the requirements for this designation? The hotels must have private transportation to and from the airport, a restaurant on-property, and strict cleanliness protocols.
Visitors also need to download a phone application for the purposes of contact tracing. The Belize Tourism Board has a list of what tourists should do in every step of their travel so they can enjoy their stay in Belize.
Costa Rica is planning to reopen to tourists from ‘low-risk’ countries beginning 1 August. According to Travel Off Path, some of these countries may be Canada, E.U. and the U.K.
“We will announce that [list of countries] with more detail in an appropriate moment. It will go hand-in-hand with what countries, such as European ones, are managing,” said Health Minister of Costa Rica Daniel Salas.
Health experts attribute Costa Rica’s success to the country’s move on 9 March to suspend mass gatherings and urge employees to work from home. Costa Rica also has a strong universal health-care system and authorities have done extensive contact tracing to identify those infected.
El Salvador has about 9,100 reported cases. The country took early steps to curb the pandemic and in fact, El Salvador was one of the first Central American countries to go into lockdown before any cases of coronavirus were reported. The country was undergoing its reopening plans, but El Salvador’s president announced that its second phase of reopening will be delayed for two additional weeks because of a recent increase in cases.
No international flights are currently permitted in or out of the country, and visitors would be subject to the same strict isolation and movement guidelines as locals.
As a further precaution, the country also required Salvadorans arriving from other countries to quarantine for 30 days.
The country is currently scheduled to reopen for commercial flights on 18 August.
Guatemala has had about 26,000 cases of coronavirus as of 10 July. According to the local U.S. embassy, the Guatemalan government has closed its borders to most non-Guatemalans. Travel within the country is highly restricted, and a mandatory curfew is being enforced.
Fifteen percent of the cases in the country have been found in people deported from the United States, and Guatemala only agreed to accept future flights of deportees if the U.S. helps test every one of them.
Honduras has been among the countries most impacted by COVID-19 in Central America with nearly 27,500 cases and 704 deaths caused by the coronavirus.
The government announced on 15 March that all borders would be closed until further notice. According to the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, a nationwide curfew was extended to 12 July — but no update has been provided on whether the government is considering a further extension.
Nicaragua never really shut down. There are still football matches, food festivals and beauty pageants taking place. There were never any stay-at-home or social-distancing orders here — moves that have drawn criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch. There have also been questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has. According to NPR, President Daniel Ortega says there have only been three active cases and one death.
Nicaragua’s borders remain open and local sources have reported that the government is discouraging Nicaraguans, — including health workers, airport staff, and policemen — from wearing masks.
The lack of rules does not mean travel is not impacted. The Nicaraguan government never officially implemented any travel restrictions, but its borders and airports are effectively closed.
Because Panama is a major maritime and air hub, it sits in a vulnerable position for Covid-19 outbreaks. The first case was recorded on 9 March and on 22 March all international and domestic travel was banned and is still prohibited.
At the moment, Panama is suspending international commercial flights through July 22. No word has been released as to whether this suspension will be extended.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international commercial flights until 1 September 2020. There are no direct flights leaving Argentina back to the U.K at this time however those wishing to leave should look out for commercial flights and special UK flights that are being hosted.
The greater Buenos Aires area is currently being isolated from the rest of Argentina as some restrictions are being reactivated in the area. Public transportation will only be available to essential workers and Buenos Aires residents are only permitted outside to basic necessities. This is set to last until July 17.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has about 90,693 confirmed infections and 1720 deaths.
The country not only banned international flights, but also internal flights.
Argentina has defaulted on debts it could not pay for the ninth time since its founding.
Bolivia is currently off-limits to tourists. The government announced a total quarantine of the country through July 31. The local embassies report that as of June 1, some domestic land and air travel within Bolivia is permitted – international travel is not (with certain exceptions).
There have been 41,545 confirmed cases with 1,530 deaths as of July 7.
Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America with over 128,000. A travel ban on foreigners was extended through 28 May in late April though there are some exceptions.
The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.
It wasn’t until 5 May that São Luís, the capital of Maranhão state, become the first major city in the country to implement a partial lockdown. Gov. Flávio Dino said that this will last for at least 10 days, but it could be extended.
Under this partial lockdown, residents of the Maranhão state are required to stay inside unless going out for essential tasks like buying groceries. Residents are also not allowed to go outside for exercise. All schools, public transit and parks have been closed, according to AP.
The Chilean government closed its borders to foreigners on March 18 and anyone permitted to return are subject to a two-week quarantine upon their arrival. The country is also closed to cruise ships. It has more than 142,000 confirmed cases and much of the nation is under mandatory quarantine rules, with a strict curfew between 10:00pm to 5:00am.
Santiago is under a quarantine which has been extended until July 17. Some regions have had restrictions loosened, allowing some businesses like restaurants to reopen at limited capacity
Chile has confirmed cases of 306,216, with 6,682 deaths.
President Ivan Duque closed Colombian borders to foreign travelers in mid-March and borders will now not reopen until August 31. No international passenger flights being allowed until at least the end of August. It’s a huge setback for Avianca as the airline is effectively grounded aside from cargo flights and has already declared bankruptcy in U.S. courts.
It’s one of the world’s toughest travel bans. Colombians returning home have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The nation has extended quarantine procedures until August 1, with a longer quarantine for individuals over age 70 until August 31.
According to Johns Hopkins, the country currently has 128,638 confirmed cases and 4,791 deaths.
Ecuador is under a state of emergency until at least 15 June. The country has been among the hardest-hit in South America, with more than 1,700 deaths, many centred in Guayaquil. Travel to the country is being discouraged.
Paraguay has been under strict quarantine, and more than half of its 550 cases are thought to have come from neighboring Brazil which shares a loosely patrolled 400-kilometer border.
The country is easing its lockdown, but travel bans are still in place – with most commercial flights suspended (with exceptions to cargo and repatriation flights). Even traveling on motor vehicles is restricted, with the government authorizing up to four persons to travel in private cars and SUVs and two persons by motorcycle.
The country’s health minister Julio Mazzoleni said, “The borders will remain closed, classes will be done remotely and nonessential offices will continue to favour remote work. Mass public events will remain suspended”.
The country shows one of the lowest figures in South America, with 2,638 confirmed cases and 20 deaths.
Peru was the first in the region to implement quarantine measures, but despite its early precautions, the country now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in South America: 316,448 cases with 11,314 deaths as of July 10.
Peru is still under a national state of emergency, with quarantine measures extended through July 31. As of July 1, quarantine requirements have been lifted for most of the country. The curfew has been shortened to 10 pm to 4 am.
The country entered phase three on July 1 allowing stores to open at 50% capacity. Hotels and travel agencies can reopen and restaurants can open at limited capacity. Public transportation is running but travelers must be seated and wear face masks.
No regularly scheduled commercial flights from the UK are available as of July 10, but the local embassy has been providing updates on availabilities of repatriation flights.
Foreigners are barred from visiting Uruguay until further notice, and the country’s borders with Brazil and Argentina are also closed. There are no regularly scheduled commercial passenger flights, but some flights to Brazil are being allowed to fly foreigners out of Uruguay.
As of July 9, the country has 977 confirmed cases and 29 deaths – one of the lowest figures in South America.
This South American country has been one of the world’s most at-risk nations amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has fewer than 200 intensive care beds available, according to President Duque in neighboring Colombia. All international travel – suspension of commercial flights and closure of land and sea borders – have been shut down. The government announced, however, that domestic and international regular commercial flights are allowed to resume from June 13. Only Venezuela citizens are able to travel into the country at this time.
Almost every nation in the Caribbean has announced plans for reopening.
British passport holders can now fly to Anguilla without U.K. Government restrictions, and with no need to quarantine on their return to the U.K. However, currently Anguilla’s borders closed until at least 30th July except for medical emergencies and evacuations with the approval of the Chief Medical Officer, and those wishing to leave the island to approved destinations.
Antigua and Barbuda
The country reopened to tourists on 4 June. However, travellers will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public. All snorkel and dive excursions are also banned, and guests can only participate in activities offered via their resorts. They cannot explore the islands.
The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly cancelled an early June trip to Antigua after learning that he would have to stay on the resort ‘unable to do things I would really want to do’. Good news, though, he did end up going.
There have been anecdotes on facing challenges if tested positive for coronavirus in the country. On 27 June, Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne raised newfound concerns over the complexities of admitting tourists to the country at this moment — especially when they test positive for COVID-19. Browne said that the country is rethinking its current entry protocol.
Good news from Aruba, which says it will reopen its borders to travellers as early as 15 June. EU, Canadian and Caribbean tourists are able to come after 1 July.
According to the Caribbean Journal, the Aruba Tourism Authority said, “For travellers who already have a trip booked and are concerned restrictions may impact your travel dates, please contact your hotels and airlines directly for an update on their rescheduling policies. We will welcome guests back to our sunny shores as soon as it is safe to do so”.
The Bahamas are open for business to tourists, but this comes with several rules.
For example, all incoming travellers will be subject to temperature checks at airports and seaports. Social distancing will also be enforced and you must wear a mask in the terminal, during security checks, customer screenings and baggage claim.
Hotels and businesses will have their own health guidelines as well for tourists to observe.
Barbados will reopen to all international travellers on July 12, but have developed several protocols:
- COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to departure for travellers from high-risk countries (one week for low-risk countries)
- Online embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms
- Test upon arrival without a documented negative COVID-19 PCR test result and mandatory quarantine at traveller’s expense until results are returned
- Social distancing, temperature checks and wearing face masks.
The local government clarifies that high-risk countries are defined as those that have seen more than 10,000 new cases in the prior seven days and community transmission. In addition, anyone that tests positive for the coronavirus will be placed in isolation where they will “receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.”
More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the government website.
Cuba suspended international travel for tourists until 1 August. The government has been actively making plans to reopen the country to tourists. Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced that when foreign travel resumes, tourists will only be allowed to stay in hotels in Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo and Cayo Largo del Sur. Dates in the reopening plans have yet to be specified at the moment.
All commercial air and sea access to the nation of Dominica is suspended until further notice. Strict curfews have been relaxed slightly, but the government is still holding back on announcing an official launch date to ensure that the nation remains COVID-19 free.
Good news: the country’s borders have reopened on 1 July. Unfortunately, not all resorts are planning to open by that date. Tourists are also expected to observe strict social distancing guidelines upon arrival.
As of 1 July, Haiti has reopened its borders to regular international passenger traffic. It has also opened its land borders with the Dominican Republic.
According to the local U.S. embassy, travellers coming to Haiti are required to go through a 14-day self-quarantine. On their flight, they will also need to complete a health declaration form and submit it to immigration authorities upon arrival. They will need to keep this form for the purposes of self-quarantine and contact tracing as necessary.
Jamaica has officially reopened for tourism beginning 15 June, but anyone who is hoping to spend the summer holiday here will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travellers have to submit a pre-travel health authorisation registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travellers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All incoming travellers should expect thermal temperature checks upon arrival, and anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill upon arrival will be quarantined. Even after all those procedures, travellers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in the public. Travellers are also expected to follow any policies made by tourist and hospitality establishments, which are most likely stemmed from the government’s 119-page guide for local hospitality procedures.
According to the FCO, foreigners are required to complete an Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire to certify your reason for travel. But getting to the island is incredibly difficult as most international flights have been halted for non-citizens until further notice, and tourism businesses such as hotels are also limited to serving guests who have been stranded. The local U.S. embassy in Barbados does note, however, that Air France is running flights twice a week to Paris (CDG). All spas, pools and other amenities are closed. Airline flight crew and support staff needed are exempt from travel restrictions, although overnight stays should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
All arrivals are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
On 18 May, the government of Saint Lucia is announcing a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible manner beginning 4 June 2020.
Good news for Americans as Phase One of the reopening includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only.
Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flights to UVF. Once they arrive, they will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.
The country shut its borders back on 23 March. It has only had 18 people confirmed ill, and no one has died.
Phase Two begins 1 August 2020, with details to be revealed in the next few weeks.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has opened since 1 July. They are staging their reopening in two phases, in which the difference only lies in a 24-hour quarantine requirement if a traveller brings a negative antibody test (within 5 days of travelling) or a negative PCR test (within 2 days).
Several resorts and islands like Petit St. Vincent are not open at the moment.
Good news for UK and EU passport holders, as St. Maarten has been open for your business since 1 July.
They are requiring several protocols to be followed for tourists, such as submitting results of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test that is no older than 72 hours prior to the day of travel. There is also a health declaration form for all arriving passengers to submit in advance (confirmation must be shown at immigration).
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay at home order in late March, and banned tourists. The country has gotten high marks for keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum. In fact, it’s been ranked No. 1 in the world for meeting reopening requirements from Oxford University.
The two islands began easing restrictions on 12 May, but so far that doesn’t include welcoming tourists.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said in May that the borders will remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained.
The government also is giving hotels some $50 million to remodel and prepare for when tourists are welcomed back.
They also launched a “Dreaming of Tobago” campaign on social media.
Turks and Caicos
All international flights have been suspended until 1 June, and cruise ships have been banned through 30 June. Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is closed to international passenger travel, along with all other airports in the country, although there are exceptions for emergencies, medical evacuations and cargo flights.
Further, an evening curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. was in effect until 25 May, although this guideline was relaxed somewhat on 4 May. Going to the beach, grocery stores, hardware store, pharmacies and other open-air businesses is currently permitted, although restaurants are only open for takeout. Clinics and pharmacies were the only businesses permitted to remain open on Sundays through 25 May. Resorts and hotels have different opening dates; the government suggests reaching out to your specific property for information.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix is under a state of emergency until July 11, but it is welcoming back tourists as of June 1 with restrictions.
Although the U.S. Virgin Islands are part of United States territory, the islands have been limiting incoming travel even for domestic travelers. The only passengers allowed to enter the USVI had been residents, medical personnel, business travelers and property owners. Furthermore, local government had implemented rigorous “safer at home” protocols, resulting in closed restaurants and similar non-essential businesses. Local beaches are also closed.
But now, the government says they will reopen the islands for tourism by June 1, when hotel reservations will begin to be honored and restaurants will reopen.
There will be no quarantine required for healthy visitors and people will be free to leave their hotel or resort and explore.
Beginning in June, the government will allow flights, and hotel reservations will begin to be honored. Restaurants will also reopen though they will be restricted to 50% capacity.
Masks will be mandatory when going into businesses and attractions, beaches will also be open but social distancing is required. Large gatherings remain prohibited. Hotels, guesthouses, villas, timeshares and Airbnb accommodations are all accepting bookings. COVID-19 guidelines are in place for retail businesses and attractions; taxi vans, safari and limo services.
Cambodia is beginning to open back up to visitors. On 20 May, it was reported Cambodia will reopen its borders to tourists from six countries including the United States. People from America, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain are allowed to enter Cambodia. However, there are severe restrictions. All visitors will need a test proving they are COVID-19 free within three days of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Tourists will also need to prove they have $50,000 worth of health insurance coverage.
The Health Ministry said arriving tourists would be taken to a government centre for quarantine and testing, but details remain sketchy. In a statement, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said, “All passengers, both Cambodian and foreign, who are travelling to Cambodia, are admitted to waiting centres for the COVID-19 tests and that they are waiting for results from the Pasteur laboratory.”
Tourists from the U.S., Italy, Germany, Spain and France had been forbidden within the country’s borders beginning 14 March.
The country only had 141 confirmed cases. No one has died.
China is where the outbreak started late last year, but the Chinese government says it has passed the peak of the outbreak.
China suspended entry for nearly all foreigners and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March and strict anti-travel measures remain in place.
People who are proven healthy can generally move around within their own cities now, but they are being closely tracked via their cellphones and temperature checks in public are common.
China is allowing South Koreans to travel to some Chinese cities on business, but strict measures are in place to make sure outbreaks don’t spread. The Wall Street Journal reports China has reportedly discussed reopening travel with some 14 countries. The plans might involve creating so-called “green lanes” that would fast-track some business travellers.
Tourists from outside the country are still not welcome and there is no timeline on when that might change.
As of 1 June 2020, Hong Kong Airport will once again welcome transit passengers for the first time since 25 March. There is no fixed timeline for tourism at this time, but there are considerations for a “travel bubble” with low-risk nations.
Current regulations state that all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane will be denied entry, including into the airport facilities, until further notice. All non-Hong Kong residents coming from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong, but entry will be denied if the non-Hong Kong resident has travelled to any overseas countries or regions in the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
There are talks underway to allow some travel without quarantine between Hong Kong, Macau and parts of China, but nothing is firm yet.
India announced back in March that it was no longer allowing foreigners into the country. A suspension of international flights has been lifted, but only for humanitarian or essential travel.
According to the local U.S. embassy, commercial air travel is picking up slowly within the country. International commercial passenger flights remain suspended until July 31st, but several airlines have been offering flights to European cities that have connecting flights to the U.S.
India had begun to ease its internal lockdown, as it entered phase 2 of lockdown on 1 July. But there’s no word yet on when foreigners might be welcome again.
There has been at least 20,000 deaths from COVID-19, but the real death toll is thought to be higher.
The death toll in the world’s fourth-most-populous nation is over 3,000. To manage this crisis, the government has taken uncustomary measures like canceling this year’s hajj pilgrimage.
Meanwhile, Bali is opening tourism in three phases, with the final phase allowing international tourists. This date for full reopening is set for 11 September 2020.
Government has allowed airlines to resume domestic flights with certain restrictions. International travel is still banned with few exceptions, but the government is trying to fully reopen the economy by early August. Specifically, there are talks of reopening Bali to tourists by October – but that is still subject to change.
Prime Minister Abe has lifted the state of emergency for all of Japan and is undergoing a reopening of its economy, but is still holding onto its entry ban for nearly 111 countries and regions – including the United States.
There are talks of creating a quota of foreign travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam for this summer, limiting to a total of 250 foreign travelers per day. The government is currently planning to prioritize access for business people first and will plan to open the country up to more groups as it sees fit. It is also planning to expand the list to other countries like China, South Korea and the U.S. depending on circumstances.
The government has also announced that foreign travelers are required to submit a PCR test taken before their departure and upon their arrival in Japan and will also need to submit a detailed itinerary that includes accommodations and places they intend to visit. Visitors are asked to refrain from using public transportation as well.
Japan was supposed to host the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in July, but that date has now been pushed back to summer of 2021, and may even be further delayed.
Coronavirus is under control in the former Portuguese colony, but travel is still limited due to active cases in its neighboring regions. The government is in active discussions to ease travel restrictions, however, with plans to relax them between Zhuhai, China and Hong Kong.
Malaysia banned tourists in the middle of March along with a nationwide shutdown. Most businesses were allowed to reopen in early May. Malaysia is still advising tourists to avoid coming. In fact, on 10 May, the prime minister extended the restrictions through at least 9 June. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has eased some restrictions on internal travel.
Malaysian health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said reopening the borders is the last thing the country will do as it slowly eases restrictions.
One of our readers – Brodi – said, “All foreigners (except spouses of Malaysians) are still barred from entering the country, even if they hold a residency visa. Only Malaysians are allowed to enter and are subject to the 14-day quarantine in a government facility (typically a local hotel) at the traveller’s expense”.
Philippines President Duterte has lifted a lockdown on Manila and other high-risk areas as of June 1. But by mid-June, the President put central Cebu city back on lockdown with the surge of new cases.
A ban on international travelers went into effect on 22 March, and it’s unclear when this restriction will be lifted. There are more than 47,000 confirmed cases, with a majority of them in Manila.
The Bureau of Immigration stated on MaFilipiny 11 that no foreigners were allowed into the country. Spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said, “Only os, their foreign spouse and children, accredited foreign government and international organization officials, and foreign airline crew shall remain eligible to enter the Philippines”.
Like other countries in this section, Philippines is considering a “travel bubble” with Australia and other regions that are “infection-free”.
Singapore was an early leader in the fight against coronavirus — implementing screening of foreign visitors and some of the first quarantines. Contact tracing kept numbers and deaths low. It was also one of the first countries to ease its lockdown after that widespread testing and tracing led to a decline in cases. But a resurgence in cases has now forced it to reimpose severe restrictions. The country is hoping to reopen 80% of its economy in June. The country entered phase 2 of reopening on June 19, meaning that most businesses have reopened with social distancing measures in place.
While Singapore’s borders are still closed to visitors, the country is beginning to relax transit restrictions at the Changi Airport. It is also testing a “fast lane” for business travelers from certain Chinese provinces and municipalities, removing the need for a mandatory 14-day quarantine for them. It is planning to create travel bubbles with other countries as well.
While South Korea has been praised by other countries and media outlets for its success in its early fight against the coronavirus, a late resurgence of cases is seeking to thwart all those efforts.
South Korea temporarily suspended its visa-free entry and visa waiver programs for most countries (U.S. and the U.K. nationals are still permitted to enter visa-free) back in April, with the suspensions sill in place. While the country is technically open to foreigners on short-term visits, most (with limited exceptions) are subject to a mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense for 14 days. The local U.S. embassy notes that this will cost approximately 100 U.S. dollars per night, and passengers will be required to sign a release form agreeing to these conditions before departing.
This island nation has had one of the world’s most successful responses to the coronavirus outbreaks. However, one aspect of successful containment involves greatly limiting the number of incoming travellers from other countries. To that end, Taiwan has banned international travellers as of 19 March, including all transit passengers passing through the nation en route to other destinations.
Taiwan is planning to relax entry restrictions for certain nationals and will announce regulations regarding quarantine requirements. It is also looking at allowing transit passengers at Taoyuan International Airport.
After a month of no COVID-19 cases, Thailand is looking to reopening their borders soon to about 50,000 foreigners initially. While some of these travelers will include those with work permits, residency and families in Thailand, about 60% of this quota will be allowed to enter if they are seeking medical or wellness treatments. Regardless, anyone entering the country will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Phuket, the popular tourist destination, has been a coronavirus hotspot, as has the megacity of Bangkok. Other countries have been in discussions to create travel bubbles with Thailand.
Vietnam is in the process of slowly reopening. Back in early June, Vietnam announced that foreigners from these 80 countries (including the United Kingdom) could start to visit on e-visas starting 1 July 2020.
However, this is no longer the case. As of 24 June, the Vietnam Prime Minister announced that the international travel ban will continue until further notice. Foreigners were originally banned as of 22 March, and it is uncertain when the Vietnamese government will revisit this travel advisory.
Some tourist attractions have reopened, and there is some good news to report. Domestic tourism within Vietnam is now open again, and Vietnam is in talks with several other countries to created so-called “travel bubbles’ allowing citizens of trusted neighbours to visit. China and South Korea would likely be the first. Vietnam has had about 322 cases and zero deaths from coronavirus.
Early lockdowns have been credited with keeping coronavirus relatively contained “down under”, but Australia remains closed to foreign visitors. The country has had fewer than 100 deaths.
Foreigners are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and arriving citizens and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Australian leaders have suggested foreign travel for Australians might not even be possible until 2021.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham told ABC Australia’s morning show, “I wouldn’t put any guarantees that you could undertake that overseas trip in December”, but the government has since softened its tone.
In fact, the governments of Australia and New Zealand are discussing a so-called “travel bubble” that may allow tourism only between the two nations (and possibly Fiji), but nothing firm has been decided just yet.
Meanwhile, Australian leaders have said October is probably the earliest they would again allow international travel.
French Polynesia will officially reopen on 15 July 2020.
The islands instituted mandatory 14-day quarantines for all foreigners back in March.
In fact, I had a trip planned in March that I ended up cancelling at the last minute — thankfully — as the quarantine was instituted the day before I was set to arrive and then we got reports foreigners were being asked to leave. I’ve rebooked the trip for late September, and now it looks like I will be able to go, but with lots of caveats.
As my colleague Ariana Arghandewal reported 6 June:
“If you plan on traveling to French Polynesia in July, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure. This is pretty much par for the course nowadays. In fact, even Alaska has implemented a negative test requirement for all travelers from the lower 48 states.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to departure but have an immunity certificate, you can bypass testing.
Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance. Luckily, credit card travel insurance satisfies this requirement. Use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for your airfare and hotel, then provide a copy of the card’s Guide to Benefits as proof of coverage.
Travelers are also required to have a medical certificate, with the specifics to be communicated by the tourism board.”
Fiji has recorded only 18 cases so far, thanks in part to a strict lockdown as of 15 March. The country is essentially closed to tourism with no signs of easing the lockdown anytime soon.
Fiji Airways grounded 95% of its flights and at least 279 hotels have closed.
Fiji is apparently in talks with Australia and New Zealand about entering into their so-called “travel bubble” that would allow citizens of the three countries to travel freely, but nothing has been finalized.
New Zealand has been praised for its early and tough restrictions that kept cases of coronavirus low in the country. The country has only had 22 deaths. It restricted travel from Wuhan, China, by 3 February.
A complete ban on foreigners is now in effect and the border is effectively closed to foreign tourists. From the government website: “The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea”.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said of a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, “Both our countries’ strong record on fighting the virus has placed us in the enviable position of being able to plan the next stage in our economic rebuild and to include trans-Tasman travel and engagement in our strategy”.
Israel has had more than 32,700 confirmed coronavirus cases, and more than 343 deaths, but is already easing restrictions that were imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19, despite increasing case counts. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had quarantined himself after an aide got sick, but has since emerged unaffected. In a televised speech in mid-April he said, “We (will) start opening up both the personal sphere and the economic sphere.”
Israel’s Ministry of Health updated their Covid-19 restrictions. Bus were only allowed to have up to 20 people and houses of worship and other gatherings were limited to 20 people with masks and social distancing, as of July 6. Restaurants and bars were ordered closed, effective July 7. For restaurants, only 20 people are allowed inside and 30 are allowed outside. Gyms, pools and cultural performances were all ordered closed, and clubs and bars in hotels are closed.
On March 18, the government announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, would not be allowed to enter Israel. There are no current plans to ease that restriction. Some Israeli citizens returning from overseas are being allowed to return and self-quarantine.
Luxury hotel company Dan hotels just announced it was reopening all of its hotels in the next few weeks for summer bookings including the King David Jerusalem.
Jordan has had more than 1,100 cases of coronavirus and 10 deaths. It is in the middle of relaxing strict lockdown measures. On June 30, the government suspended regular commercial international flights until at least July 14. There has been no update about the opening of land borders with Israel and the West Bank.
Jordan has released a five-stage opening plan, from low risk to critical danger. Currently, the nation is at its second lowest risk, at moderately dangerous. All economic and social activities are at 100% except for the following: universities, colleges and institutes, youth activities, cinemas, organizing facilities for parties, festivals, conferences, exhibitions, cultural events and festivals, training and cultural centers, public parks, game cities and entertainment places.
Jordan had reopened its border with Saudi Arabia, but a small cluster of cases that resulted has them now considering a quarantine of arriving truck drivers. According to the Jordan News Agency, the government has recently launched a new smart phone application called “Sehtak” (your health) that provides the latest pandemic-based news and other health information.
Kuwait now has over 52,000 cases and 379 deaths. A nationwide curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in effect during phase two of Kuwait’s five-stage opening plan. According to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, “a complete lockdown is in effect on Mahboula and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh until July 9. The lockdown on Farwaniya (except for areas between Streets 60, 120, 502, and 129) is in effect until further notice. Per the lockdown, residents in these areas may leave their house but are not permitted to leave their neighborhood.”
The use of face masks is mandatory in all public areas, and the Ministry of Health is randomly testing residents and citizens daily. Also according to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, “Kuwait International Airport is closed to all inbound commercial flights except for arriving Kuwaiti citizens and their immediate relatives who are traveling with them. The airport plans to resume commercials inbound flights at 30% capacity on August 1.”
Qatar has a total of 100,945 cases and 134 deaths. According to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, non-Qatari citizens cannot enter Qatar. There is no curfew in place.
Those who are citizens and enter Qatar are subject to a two-week quarantine. Qatar banned inbound flights on March 18 except for cargo and transit flights.
Saudi Arabia has over 217,100 cases and 2,017 deaths. There is no curfew, but masks are mandatory in public and all persons must follow social distancing guidelines. Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, “limited domestic air travel and regional travel by bus, train, and other means of transportation has resumed, but international air travel remains suspended until further notice and land borders, including the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, remain closed to passenger traffic.”
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is beginning to ease some strict lockdown measures, and Dubai reopened to tourists beginning July 7. Tourists will be required to present a recent COVID-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports. Anyone who tests positive will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
“You must have travel insurance with COVID-19 cover or declare that you will bear the costs for treatment and isolation if necessary before you travel. Bring an insurance certificate stating COVID-19 coverage to present at check-in,” according to Emirates.
Albania has reported 3,106 cases of Covid-19 and 83 deaths. On June 15, commercial flights returned to Albania, but the government of Albania has declared that only European Union residents and nationals are eligible to board these outbound flights to the EU. This restriction does not apply to passengers traveling to Serbia or Turkey.
Albania has reopened its land borders, but there are restrictions in place for U.S. citizens.
Armenians are now allowed to travel freely, to go to restaurants and bars, and all businesses are reopening. Unfortunately, the number of coronavirus cases appears to be rising. Armenia has 29,820 cases and 521 deaths.
As of May 18, schools, malls, some restaurants and bars and public transportation will remain closed. Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces.
According to the U.S. Embassy Yerevan, “Armenia has suspended entry into the country of any traveler who is not either a citizen of Armenia, a member of the family of a citizen, or a lawful resident of Armenia. Travelers who are permitted to enter Armenia are asked to complete health questionnaires and self-quarantine or self-monitor for 14 days.”
Austria has a reported 18,513 cases and 706 deaths.
Small shops in Austria were allowed to reopen on April 14 and all trade is allowed as of May 1. Restaurants were allowed to open beginning in mid-May and hotels on May 29. As of late May, the Austrian government now requires proof of clean health in the form of a negative molecular-biological SARS-CoV2 test, which applies to the small number of third-party nationals who are allowed to enter Austria right now. The test must be written in German or English and dated within four days of the travel departure date.
There had been reports that no travel would be allowed until there is a vaccine, but the government has backed away from that suggestion. European Union citizens and residents will be allowed into Austria, but must be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within four days of arrival and will be subject to a mandatory quarantine. Third-country nationals (that means our U.S. travelers) will not be allowed by air from outside the Schengen area.
Some land borders are reopened to neighboring EU countries only. On May 13, three border crossings between Austria and Germany reopened.
Austria released that they have not seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since reopening.
A lockdown of this South Caucuses nation is among the strictest still in place. All of Azerbaijan’s borders are closed to passenger traffic, and flights into and out of Azerbaijan are not available. “All arrivals to Azerbaijan, including U.S. citizens, are currently being placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine in government-provided facilities, regardless of travel origin,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan.
The government has instated an SMS system, requiring citizens to send text messages updating whether they are leaving their house for medical care, the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, post office time outdoors or to attend a funeral. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. The country has reported more than 21,374 cases and 265 deaths.
Belgium forbade all international travel early in the pandemic, according to the United States Embassy in Belgium. Any travelers who are permitted entry (there are strict restrictions) must self-quarantine for 14 days.
The country started easing its strict lockdown on May 4 and will continue to open parts of the country in a phased way, but tourism is not among the phases if you are from outside the Schengen Area. The country is currently reporting 62,123 cases and 9,776 deaths as of July 8.
If you’re traveling within the Schengen area, you have the ability to stop by Belgium beginning June 15 when they reopen all their borders to European Union countries. Travel from countries outside the area is still restricted.
June 8 saw the reopening of most Belgian businesses including restaurants and bars with social distancing measures in place. As of July 1, the following are allowed in Belgium: swimming pools and wellness centers, amusement parks and indoor playgrounds, theaters and cinemas, casinos and slot machines, congress halls, reception and ballrooms, for a maximum of 50 people, according to their National Crisis Center.
The Bulgarian government ordered a new ban on all persons, regardless of their citizenship, through all border crossings, by air (including commercial and private aircraft), sea, rail and road transport, which is in effect July 1, to July 31, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.
Those exempt from the ban are “nationals, permanent residents and their family members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Agreement States including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. Locals are allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days. The country has 6,102 cases and 254 deaths.
In early May, the government held celebrations for its Armed Forces Day with military demonstrations and a remote military parade. Bulgaria began to ease lockdown restrictions in mid-may and opened larger businesses such as malls to residents.
Croatia is reopening. “As of July 1, all EU/EEA nationals and individuals holding permanent residence in the EU/EEA countries can enter Croatia freely, without restrictions,” the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb said.
All other foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, must now provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country, due to a spike in cases worldwide. Without a negative test, you will be expected to quarantine for 14 days.
Croatia had 3,272 cases and 113 deaths as of July 8.
The Czech Republic began permitting international travel on June 15. They judged allowance of entrance by using a system to classify countries by their coronavirus risks.
According to Czech Tourism, “You can come to the Czech Republic as a tourist if you are from the green labelled EU or Schengen zone countries. You no longer need to show a negative Covid-19 test on the borders and quarantine won’t be required. If you are from an orange or red labelled country on the map, a test is still required on the borders. The countries are divided according to risk in relation to the Covid-19 virus by the Czech Ministry of Health.” Travelers from Belgium and Great Britain are deemed medium risk, meaning they must provide a recent Covid-19 test.
Czech Republic has had 12,919 cases and 352 deaths.
Denmark became one of the first European nations to announce a slow easing of restrictions. Schools reopened as of April 15, and some businesses have also reopened.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Denmark, the Danish border closure – imposed on March 14 – remains in place for tourism-related travel from the United States.
The ban does not apply to most travelers who reside in the EU, Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom; these travelers are permitted to enter Denmark for tourism if they have a lodging reservation in Denmark for six nights or longer. The Danish government recommends a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Denmark, except those coming from Germany, Iceland and Norway.
Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to roll-out nationwide testing for everyone who wanted it. It’s had more than 13,100 cases and 609 deaths.
“On June 1, the Government of Estonia reopened borders to passengers arriving from other countries of the European Union, the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom. Travelers must be symptom free and must have been present in one of the approved countries for the previous 14 days,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia.
Residents from Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Morocco, Montenegro, South Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and New Zealand are also allowed in if they are showing no symptoms, according to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Like other European nations, Estonia is asking visitors who have signs of the disease to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. You may be required to quarantine based on which country you depart from and the ratio of positive cases per 100,000 people. So far, if the ratio is under 16 per 100,000, you would not be required to self-isolate.
Estonia has 2,013 cases and 69 deaths.
Finland is easing a few more of its travel restrictions July 13. According to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, “On 15 June, the restrictions on non-essential travel were lifted for Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway and will be lifted on 13 July for Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, the Netherlands, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and the Vatican.” Non-essential travel is still prohibited from the U.S. Finland has had 7,279 cases and more than 300 deaths.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin said earlier at a news conference, “Because we have succeeded well in containing the spread of the epidemic in Finland for the time being, it is possible to move from widespread restrictions towards the principles of a hybrid strategy of testing, tracing, isolating and treating.”
France has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with 170,094 cases and 29,979 deaths, but it has continued to reopen. The country opened cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as schools and public transportation. Even the Louvre is now open. France still requires face masks and social distancing of one meter.
France reopened its borders to travel from other European nations June 15. Those who enter the country must quarantine for 14 days. Travel from the United States is still restricted, according to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Residents of France will be able to vacation freely within the country during July and August. Paris-Orly airport, which has been closed since March 31, resumed commercial passenger flights on 26 June.
The country of Georgia has reported only 973 cases and 15 coronavirus deaths. “Commercial air travel to Georgia is suspended through at least July 31,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Georgia. “The Government of Georgia has not yet announced whether any conditions will be placed on international visitors based on travel origin, nationality, and other factors.” Georgian citizens, their non-Georgian dependents and diplomats can enter but must quarantine for 14 days.
Germany has had many fewer deaths than its European neighbors like Italy and Spain. Still, it has had more than 198,000 cases, and there have been more than 9,054 deaths.
Most events are canceled, including one of the key events in the German tourism calendar — Oktoberfest. That’s in late September and early October, which tells you how long the Germans feel the shutdowns will last.
Germany has limited entry to just EU citizens and residents, similar to the actions taken by other EU nations. Travel from the U.S. is still prohibited.
Greece is a rare bright spot for foreign tourists, but not yet for Americans. EU passport holders are allowed entry, including permanent residents of Schengen countries, plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK. Residents of these countries are also allowed to enter Greece: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, according to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece.
The country locked everything down March 23 and it’s believed to have prevented a severe COVID-19 outbreak. As of July 10, Greece had only 193 deaths. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the country had contained the virus’s first wave.
Greek Health Minister Haris Theoharis says foreign tourists can come to Greece without coronavirus tests required. There will also be no mandatory 14-day quarantine. U.S. citizens are still prohibited from entering Greece.
With only 4,223 cases and 593 deaths, Hungary has done a good job of mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Hungary banned foreigners entirely early on in the pandemic, but now permanent resident card holders of the European Economic Area (EU member states, Switzerland and Norway) are allowed into Hungary in addition to Hungarian citizens and other permanent resident card holders who have close Hungarian relatives, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary.
Hungarians returning home have to undergo a medical examination. A humanitarian corridor is open for foreigners traveling across Hungary into neighboring countries. “Foreigners transiting via the airport must have a medical certificate, no older than four days old and signed by a medical professional (from any country), confirming they tested negative for COVID-19, before they may enter,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary.
Hungary began lifting a lockdown on its own citizens in May. Passengers arriving at Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport are required to take a medical test upon arrival.
TPG’s Melanie Lieberman reported back in May that Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said “Iceland will welcome international travelers back ‘no later than June 15.’” Iceland has had less severe lockdowns than most other countries, but a ban on American tourists is still in effect through July until further notice. Our own Zach Honig learned that the hard way when his flights were cancelled.
Only European citizens of the Schengen zone are being allowed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Iceland, “All travelers entering Iceland, including Icelandic citizens and residents, must self-quarantine for 14 days or submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport.”
The country has only had 1,882 cases and 10 deaths.
Ireland is in the middle of a five-phase reopening, and is currently at stage three. Ireland is now accelerating the reopening of its economy. The 4th and final phase of easing restrictions starts July 20.
Hotels, hostels, museums, galleries, and restaurants are reopening from June 29.
Still, arriving foreigners with the exception of people from Northern Ireland must self-isolate for 14-days.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned, “We have not yet won this fight,” and said the country would quickly go back to tighter restrictions if the virus rebounds. The government’s advice against non-essential overseas travel remains.
Ireland has 25,565 confirmed cases and 1,743 deaths.
Italy has been among the hardest-hit countries with more than 34,000 deaths and more than 242,000 people have been sickened.
“Persons traveling to Italy from member states of the European Union, states party to the Schengen Agreement (the non-EU states party to the Schengen Agreement are: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City State will no longer be required to self-isolate under the supervision of health authorities for 14 days unless they have stayed in other countries during the 14-day period prior to entering Italy,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Italy.
On May 18, museums, libraries, shops and restaurants were allowed to reopen under social distancing rules. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is insisting that social-distancing rules will be in place for months. He also said church services remain banned, angering many in the heavily Roman Catholic country.
Related: Dreaming of Italy
Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) and the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR) in Florence and other Italian airports have all reopened.
Latvia has reopened to EU countries (including the U.K.), as well as to non-EU passport holders that hold EU permanent residence permits. Residents of several other countries outside are allowed to enter, which the list can be found here.
According to the local U.S. embassy, U.S. residents residing in the United States will be banned from entering Latvia for non-essential travel (which includes tourism), nor will they be allowed to enter by arriving from a country on that list. Several exceptions exist, one of which is to enter with an EU passport if you have one.
The local government is also requiring that passengers from countries with more than 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The list of these countries can be found here.
Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein, meaning that as long as you are qualified to enter Switzerland, you are able to enter Liechtenstein. There is an open border between the two countries.
At this time, entry to Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) is permitted for U.K. and EU nationals. If you hold those passports but are traveling from the United States or any other country in this list, you will be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
U.S. passport holders will be subject to the current entry restrictions.
Like other EU countries, Lithuania has reopened its borders to other EU members (including the U.K.). In addition, residents of several other countries that have less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants are allowed to enter. You can find the list of those countries here.
U.S. passport holders and residents are not allowed to enter at the moment. Several exceptions exist, one of which is to enter with an EU passport if you have one.
If you are able to arrive at Lithuania from either the U.S. or any one of the countries in this list, you are subject to a 14-day isolation upon arrival.
Luxembourg has 4,719 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 101 deaths, but it has begun to allow cross-border trips with some of its neighbors, including Germany. More information about restrictions can be found here. All normal business is now open and schools are as well.
Travel for EU citizens is open, but American travelers are still prohibited from entering the country.
Malta is small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean, and it began reopening on May 1. Coronavirus cases have been limited (674 total cases and nine deaths), and the country’s Prime Minister Robert Abela said at a news conference, “I am pleased we have managed to weather the storm without having succumbed to pressure to order a total lockdown. The government is now starting a three-week program to reopen most commercial activity.”
As you can see in the video below, the county had an advertising campaign with the tagline, “Dream Malta now, visit later.”
But there is good news.
The first group of what Malta calls “safe corridor” destinations that are being reopened for travel include: Germany, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. This means U.S. citizens are banned from entering Malta for non-essential travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Malta.
Monaco has had only 108 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths. One of those cases is reigning monarch Prince Albert who tested positive for COVID-19 and went into self-quarantine. He has since recovered and come out of quarantine.
The tiny Principality is beginning to reopen to tourists, but that doesn’t include Americans. Following France’s lead, Monaco will allow entrance to citizens of the EU, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. This list will be revised every two weeks.
As of July 10, The Netherlands has had more than 51,000 cases of coronavirus. The country is in the process of a slow reopening, but that still doesn’t include most tourists. Businesses are reopening and on June 15 some tourism was allowed, but that didn’t include most of the world including Americans.
“The Dutch government is strictly enforcing the EU travel restrictions banning all non-essential travel from outside the EU,” the U.S. Embassy’s website in the Netherlands states. “On July 1, the EU non-essential travel ban was lifted for 14 countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. The list of countries whose travelers will be allowed to enter the EU will be reviewed every two weeks.”
In late February, Norway began testing all arriving international passengers. By March 12, most of the country was already closed down.
Norway has been able to limit the spread and has a reported 8,965 cases and 252 deaths. It began reopening in mid-April. The country has opened most businesses, schools and restaurants. Some hotels have already partially reopened. They include the luxury hotel The Britannia in Trondheim.
It is still not welcoming many tourists, and it is unlikely international tourists will be allowed this summer. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a news conference reported by BBC News, “we can’t open too suddenly, that would jeopardise everything we’ve accomplished.”
“The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advise to avoid all unnecessary international travel. The advice, which includes an entry ban for travelers that are not Norwegian citizens or residence permit holders to Norway, has been extended until August 20, 2020,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Norway.
The only countries that “meet the Norwegian Government’s criteria for removal of travel restrictions are the following: Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, and Denmark.”
Poland began reopening after a brief lockdown in April. They are in the middle of a four-stage reopening, but borders will remain closed for now.
However, there is good news to report. Poland is set to reopen to international tourism beginning June 13. They made exceptions for citizens and residents of European Union countries. All non-essential travelers have to self-isolate for 14 days, but check the list provided to see if you are exempt from self-isolation.
American tourists, however remain banned. U.S. citizens should check with the U.S. embassy to confirm if they will be allowed.
Hotels are reopening, and most shops, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries are also open. Face masks mandatory in public.
There have been more than 37,000 cases and more than 1,500 deaths.
Portugal has started relaxing its lockdown within the country, but most international visitors are still not welcome. It had a strict six-week lockdown that helped limit cases. Portugal has had 45,277 cases of COVID-19 and 1,644 deaths as of July 10, but those numbers are far fewer than in neighboring Spain.
On May 15, Portugal announced that it would reopen beaches on June 6. Prime Minister Antonio Costa is trusting that the public will be conscious and is encouraging residents to download a specially designed app that will tell them if a beach of their choice is full or not.
Prime Minister António Costa told Rádio Observador, “As we relax the measures, the risk of contamination increases. Politicians have to take care not to let their wishes override scientific know-how.”
Flights from the U.S. to Portugal resumed June 4, and there are some reports that the country is again allowing Americans to visit. Unfortunately that information is not borne out by the information on the U.S. embassy website which suggests a ban on U.S. tourists remains in effect. “The Government of Portugal currently prohibits non-essential (tourist) travel to Portugal by U.S. citizens. All travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours.”
Currently, events with over 20 people are prohibited, consumption of alcohol in public spaces is not allowed, social distance measures will be enforced and protective masks are required in closed public spaces.
And Portugal confirmed that while it was previously understood that U.S. travelers could enter Portugal, they are now only allowing Portuguese or dual citizens until reciprocal entry rights are granted for U.S. arrivals by visitors traveling from the Schengen area.
Related: What are travel bubbles?
“The Government has eased commercial flight and travel restrictions to 22 countries with documented COVID-19 case reduction as of June 22, as determined by the National Institute of Public Health,” as stated by the U.S. Embassy in Romania. “Travelers arriving from EEA countries with per capita case growth equal to or less than Romania’s will be exempt from 14 days of isolation.” These countries include: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Restaurants in Romania with outdoor seating reopened June 1 and those with only indoor seating can reopened June 15. Hotels opened again for tourists in June.
Romania reports it has had more than 31,000 coronavirus cases with a death toll of more than 1,800 as of July 10.
Russia has been battling a surge in COVID-19 cases. Only the U.S., Brazil and India have more. Russia currently has more than 712,000 confirmed cases, and has had 11,000 deaths as of July 10.
Many restrictions were eased in June, with most businesses allowed to open. Effective March 18, the Government of the Russian Federation banned the entry of all foreign nationals. There has been no change since that ban went into effect.
Serbia has lifted all entry restrictions for Serbian nationals and foreigners. Americans, among other tourists, are welcome to visit Serbia without taking a mandatory COVID-19 test or a 14-day quarantine. However, masks are mandatory in public places and social distancing measures are still intact.
On July 7 however, the Serbian President Vucic announced that the COVID-19 situation is escalating in certain Serbian cities. Stricter measures may be taken in place in these areas moving forward.
Air Serbia had completely shut down air traffic, but now says it will resume most of their flights throughout July.
Slovakia shut its borders early and it has a correspondingly low infection rate. It reopened its borders to 16 countries in Europe but remains shut out to everyone else. The 14-day mandatory quarantine for foreigners from the listed countries is abolished and is a voluntary decision now. The Bratislava and Kosice airports have slowly resumed flights, while Poprad remains closed.
Slovenia has reopened its borders and lifted restrictions on visitors, but there will be health checks for all arrivals. There is also a mandatory quarantine for arrivals, although the details are not yet clear. Slovenia had an early lockdown that led to fairly low cases of coronavirus even though Italy is a neighbor. Now, American citizens with residency in the E.U. may visit Slovenia.
Spain has had more than 28,000 deaths and is among the hardest-hit countries in the world. A strict lockdown began to ease in early May but a resurgence in the number of new cases has the government reconsidering the timeline for reopening.
Like other EU countries, Spain is only open to Spanish nationals
European citizens and citizens of Schengen Partner States. U.S. citizens are not welcome.
Sweden has become well-known during the coronavirus crisis for not shutting down, instead hoping the population would develop “herd immunity” without hurting the economy or killing too many people. Unfortunately, Sweden has the highest number of deaths and cases in Scandinavia, though those numbers are lower than other countries in Europe so far.
It has had more than 5,500 deaths, and recently acknowledged it didn’t do enough of a lockdown.
All nonessential travel to Sweden from non-European visitors is banned until August 31. No timeline on when Americans can go.
As of June 15, Switzerland is now open to European travelers. The government has implemented safety and cleanliness standards to instill a sense of confidence in tourists. Still Americans are not welcomed as of now.
The country has been hard hit by COVID-19 with almost 33,000 cases and 1,700 deaths.
As of June 11, Turkey reopened its borders to travelers — including Americans. The U.S. State Department lists Turkey as a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. If you do travel however, you will only need to take a COVID-19 test if you show symptoms upon entry. Turkish Airlines resumed its flights from the United States in mid-June.
Turkey has had more than 211,000 cases and more than 5,200 deaths as of July 10.
The United Kingdom has been especially hard-hit by coronavirus with more than 288,000 confirmed cases, and more than 44,000 deaths. Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously got and survived COVID-19.
But the U.K. has kept an open-border policy. About 15,000 passengers arrive at U.K. airports each day. That is now changing.
The British government has now opened up its borders to 75 countries and its overseas territories — but American travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, or they risk a fine.
Several airports in the U.K. are now requiring travelers to wear face masks and gloves.
Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) is set to test new screening methods soon including ultraviolet sanitation, facial recognition thermal screenings and contactless security.
The quarantine rules do not apply to international passengers transiting the airports.
Scotland announced a “Dream Now, Travel Later,” campaign in April so don’t expect them to throw out the welcome mat anytime soon, but a phased reopening of the country has been announced. Still like the U.K. as a whole, outright bans on entry have not been put into place, at least not yet.
Scotland is part of the U.K., and is mostly following the lead of London. In addition however, Scotland is requiring tourists from Spain to self-quarantine for 14 days.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the number of COVID-19 deaths is falling, but normal won’t return anytime soon. Lockdown restrictions will only gradually be lifted, and any welcoming of tourists may be for residents of the United Kingdom only at first.
In early July, Ukraine launched its tourism site, “Visit Ukraine Now.” On the website, it distinguishes countries between green and red zone based on the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. While all foreigners are now welcome into the country, there are different requirements based on if you’re traveling from a green or a red zone.
Interestingly, Ukraine now says it wants to allow visa-free travel from several nations including China and Australia once the lockdown ends.
It’s had more than 52,000 confirmed cases.
International tourism has resumed in Egypt as of July 1. The first day saw a few flights come in bringing tourists from countries such as the Ukraine. The Great Pyramids of Giza also reopened on July 1 after being closed since March, reported Reuters. The Pyramids underwent a deep cleaning of all paths and touchpoints earlier this summer.
Hotels opened to domestic tourists in May under the strict condition that they cannot operate at more than 25% capacity until the end of May and can increase to 50% capacity on 1 June. Reuters also reported that hotels must implement new health measures, there must be a clinic with a resident doctor to regularly screen temperatures and disinfectant equipment must be installed, among other precautionary measures.
It’s been estimated that Egypt has and will continue to lose 1 billion tourism dollars for each month that it’s closed.
Kenya announced that on July 7 that they are beginning the first phase of reopening. President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country has reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions but precautions should still be taken reports Reuters.
Under the reopening plan travel in and out of Nairobi was allowed and general domestic travel is set to begin July 15. International travel will begin August 1. Mosques can open for an hour with 100 visitors.
“In the next 21 days we shall study patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease. Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to lockdown,” said President Kenyatta.
The Maldives offer white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water and luxury resorts with overwater bungalows such as the Four Seasons Resort Maldives Laadaa Giraavaru.
This aspirational vacation destination has been heavily affected by coronavirus shutdowns. Travelers had not been permitted since the Maldives suspended all visas on arrival until further notice back on March 27.
But that all changed in early June when the country threw out limited tourism efforts and threw open the doors to all tourism as of July 1.
There will be no quarantine or testing requirements.
Related: Maldives’ risky reopening strategy
The island nation was under lockdown from March 20 to June 15 when the restrictions were fully lifted. The tourism department announced that the nation is now coronavirus free and they are beginning to form a plan around opening borders. A date has yet to be set.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco will partially reopen its borders on July 14 to allow citizens to return to the country and foreign citizens to leave. The country had one of the strictest lockdowns that left Moroccan citizens trapped outside of the country and foreign citizens trapped inside.
Flights will take place through Royal Air Maroc and Air Arabia. Anyone returning to Morocco will have to provide negative PRC and serological test taken 48 hours before entering the country. Ferries will be available to bring citizens back to Morocco from some countries and they will have the option to take a test onboard.
To help fight coronavirus, Morocco has rapidly expanded its fleet of drones for surveillance, public service announcements and sanitization.
Namibia entered its fourth phase of a five-phase reopening plan on June 30. Phase four aims to begin reopening the stalled tourism industry.
Tourists from “a carefully selected low-risk market” will be permitted in the country to help restart the industry, reports reuters.
Under the new restrictions, public gatherings can increase to 250 people, sporting events are allowed with occupancy limitations and casinos will open for pre-registered guests. Prior stages allowed domestic travel to resume and businesses to reopen under new health measures, including shopping malls, retail stores, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers.
This phase is expected to last until September when the government will reassess and potentially enter the fifth phase. The final phase will allow for air travel to resume and the border to reopen.
Rwanda reopened to the world on June 17 however commercial flights will not begin again until August 1.
Anyone wishing to visit will have to produce a negative RT-PCR test that was taken 72 hours before arriving. Once you land you will have to remain quarantined in your hotel until a second PCR test taken in Rwanda is given back to you 24 hours after arrival. Rwanda is also offering visas on arrival for citizens of all countries.
All national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for coronavirus 19-48 hours before visiting.
The Seychelles is going to extremes to protect itself from coronavirus. TPG cruise reporter Gene Sloan writes about the small island nation off the coast of Africa banning cruise ships until 2022.
Sloan writes, “The Seychelles has fared well so far during the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, with an initial wave of just 11 cases and no deaths. The country moved fast to ban cruise ship arrivals and shut its international airport after the first cases were discovered in mid-March. The airport remains closed with a reopening date currently set for June 1.”
Beginning in June, foreigners will again be permitted to vacation in the Seychelles, but the government’s tourism ministry is only looking for “high-end” visitors for now, according to Seychelles Nation.
“Only visitors traveling on private jets and chartered flights, and who will be heading off directly to remote island resorts, will be allowed in,” the outlet reported.
Visitors will not be allowed to leave their island resorts during their stay this month.
Commercial flights will began again in July, but the government said it expects visitor numbers to be limited for a while even once they resume.
Tourists will be required to be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before they arrive, and will have to present proof of their lodging arrangements before being granted entry.
South Africa began to ease restrictions on 1 May after five weeks of one of the world’s strictest lockdowns that included a nightly curfew, limited exercise hours and a total ban on alcohol and tobacco sales. The eased restrictions will allow for more exercise time (three hours in the morning) and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, but only for delivery. Social distancing rules and masks in public will remain mandatory.
Discussions to reopen the country to some foreign tourists are ongoing as of June 10. The tourism industry is pushing to reopen the country by September, but that timeline seems aggressive considering it has the most cases (more than 270,000 as of July 12) in all of Africa. The peak of the outbreak is expected sometime in August.
Tanzania has received a lot of criticism on how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic. The government hasn’t actively revealed data about infection rates or death. The president says that releasing the data was “causing panic.”
At the start of the pandemic, President John Magufuli declined to close churches, saying that the virus “cannot survive in the body of Christ — it will burn”. He also claimed Tanzania is free of coronavirus as of June due to prayer and the work of front line workers. He even celebrated citizens who weren’t wearing masks as a sign that people were no longer afraid and the virus was gone.
Schools in the country reopened at the end of June. Students will wear mask during the day except for physical exercise or if they have underlying conditions. Sanitizing and social distancing will be implemented.
Tanzania’s reported coronavirus cases are comparatively low, but experts say the toll is probably much higher.
Uganda has loosened some restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen.
President Yoweri Museveni pushed back the reopening of schools in June though he did state in prior briefings that the virus was “tamed,” said reuters.
Previously, the government imposed strict restrictions that included the closure of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public vehicles. Transportation resumed in 33 districts, others who have large refugee populations and are large hubs of transit on the border remained restricted.
The number of reported cases increased as public transportation in select districts opened in late June. The Ugandan president warned that the growing number was concerning as people who used public transportation could not trace their contacts.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Liz Hund and Stella Shon.
Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
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