When Can we Travel? Everything You Need to Know
When will Coronavirus Travel Restrictions be Lifted?
Each country’s approach to travel is changing on a case-by-case basis. Generally, domestic and international travel bans are being lifted once the number of coronavirus cases have plateaued or begin to decline. Below, we list the countries that are now planning to ease lockdown measures.
Italy has announced that its borders will reopen to European countries on June 3, with travelers able to move freely to and from Italy with no quarantine requirement upon arrival. Bars, restaurants, non-essential shops, and museums in Italy already reopened on May 18.
Sicily remains closed for now like the rest of Italy but has announced that it will subsidize international and domestic travel to the region in order to encourage tourism once lockdown has lifted.
From June 1, The Maldives will begin to open its borders for international travel.
The US, Canada, and South America remain largely closed to tourists. However, Florida Keys and some areas of Mexico, including tourism hotspot Cancun, have announced plans to reopen as of June 1.
The government of Turkey has announced plans to have domestic tourism reopened by the end of May and international tourism before the end of June, but face masks will be mandatory in public areas.
From July 1, visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The tourism minister for the Canary Islands has announced that the islands plan to reopen to domestic visitors by August 1 and international visitors in October.
France has announced that borders between Switzerland and Germany will be reopened from June 15. At least until July, travelers will need to provide a health certificate confirming that they do not have coronavirus, or be subjected to 14 days of self-isolation upon entry.
At the earliest, Greece will open its borders to international tourists on July 1. Currently, any arrivals into the country must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, and face masks are mandatory in shops and on public transport.
Many Caribbean and South Pacific islands remain under lockdown, but The US Virgin islands plan to reopen borders for tourists on June 1, when visitors can begin to make hotel and restaurant reservations again.
Much of Asia remains closed, and tourist hotspot Bali has suggested that it may only reopen to international travelers in October.
In the United Kingdom, those who enjoy their outdoor sports can resume golf and fishing activities in Scotland from May 28. England has announced that its pubs and restaurants will reopen from July 4 while Ireland is only scheduled to reopen eateries from August 10.
St Lucia has announced that its tourism industry will begin to cautiously reopen as of June 4. However, rigorous protocols, including social distancing, sanitisation, and health screening measures, will be in place throughout travelers’ journeys to the island.
After reopening various hotels on May 11, Croatia has also announced plans to reopen borders to travelers from European countries.
The Icelandic government has announced that it plans to start opening borders to international travelers from June 15, albeit with strict safety measures in place.
Visitors from 31 different European countries will be able to travel to Germany as of June 15.
Which Countries are Open for Travel?
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines never officially shut its borders to tourists, but all new arrivals are required to undertake a 14-day quarantine upon entry.
Sweden is another country that never went into full lockdown, so hotels, shops, bars, restaurants, and some museums are open but gatherings of over 50 are still prohibited. For now, borders are only open to nationals from the UK and EU.
Although England is open to essential travel from abroad, arrivals into the country are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon entry. If visitors cannot provide an address of where they plan to isolate, they will have to stay in accommodation arranged by the government.
The borders of South Korea are now open too, but all new arrivals are required to undergo quarantine for 14 days.
On May 15, the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced that they have reopened their borders to each other – so only tourists of these Baltic countries are welcome to visit for now.
Although closed to the majority of travelers until June 15, Iceland is allowing those from Schengen countries to arrive in the country.
On May 20, Cambodia announced that it has reopened borders to tourists from the US, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain albeit with stringent conditions: all visitors will need a test proving they are COVID-19 free within three days of their arrival in the country, plus they will need to prove that they have $50,000 worth of health insurance coverage and on top of this will still need to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.
As of May 25, those with a permanent residence in either Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Germany have been allowed to re-enter Denmark on certain conditions.
When Can We Fly Again?
Most countries are operating on limited flight schedules for necessary travel only, and will begin to increase flights in accordance with their border restriction protocols. Countries who have officially announced their plans for international flights are listed below.
The Maldives government has announced that airports welcoming international visitors will open in phases from July 1, with specific health and safety guidelines in place. From June 1, private jets carrying tourists can already begin to land in the country.
Greece will resume operating direct flights from international airports, including from the UK, as of June 1. Travel to Evia and Crete from mainland Greece is already permitted.
In Italy, one airport per region is open with some flights operating, however, Rome Ciampino and terminal one at Rome Fiumicino airport are closed.
As of June 4, St Lucia will allow commercial flights only from the US to land at Hewanorra International Airport. Visitors will, however, be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight and will be asked to wear masks, undergo health and temperature checks and practice social-distancing during their stay.
What are Travel Bubbles?
Countries with low numbers of reported coronavirus cases are now working together to create so-called ‘travel bubbles’ or ‘travel corridors’ with one another. This means that people who live within the bubble will be allowed to cross borders without the need to go into quarantine upon arrival.
Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania created the first European travel bubble when they opened borders to each other on May 15, followed by Australia and New Zealand who have now agreed on creating a trans-Tasman travel bubble when flights recommence between the two countries. Various news outlets have reported that China is also considering opening a travel bubble with Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, while Israel has been discussing a potential travel bubble with Greece and Cyprus.
When Will Hotels Reopen?
Various hotels and restaurants in Croatia reopened on May 11 with social-distancing measures in place and Turkey has announced that hotels and restaurants will be reopened from May 27.
St Lucia is preparing approximately 1,500 hotel rooms in various resorts to welcome visitors from June 4.