Reopening Europe: When can you visit again? A country-by-country guide

Jun 5, 2020

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At the Points Guy, we’re not recommending travel right now in light of the coronavirus, but we are encouraging folks to think about where they want to go once it’s safe to travel 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.

Related: Planning a dream trip to Greece

 

 

In the meantime this guide summarizes each country’s current status for international travel.

 

Albania

Krujë, Albania. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)
Krujë, Albania. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Albania suspended all commercial flights into and out of the nation back in March with the exception of Air Albania for humanitarian flights and trips to Istanbul. Air borders remains closed to tourists and to most others. Albania has reopened its land borders, but there are restrictions in place.

Beaches connected to hotels reopened on June 1.

Armenia

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.
For the time being, schools, malls, some restaurants and bars and public transportation will remain closed.
TPG cannot find any information on whether or not Americans or other international travelers are being allowed back into Armenia. The country shut its borders back in March.

Azerbaijan

A lockdown of this South Caucuses nation was just extended until July 1.  It is among the strictest lockdowns still in place and includes a curfew and bans some citizens from leaving their homes on the weekends.

It comes after a reopening resulted in a surge of new cases. Obviously not a time to travel. The country has reported more than 8,100 cases and 98 deaths.

The country’s border closure was also confirmed until at least July 1 though some internal flights have resumed.

Austria

Vienna, Austria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Vienna, Austria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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.

The Austrian government says it intends to “cautiously” reopen the country’s tourism sector for foreigners this summer, but details are sketchy and the only folks likely to be allowed to visit at first would be from nearby countries with low infection rates. The Washington Post reports that it is unknown when true international tourism will resume.

On May 13, three border crossings between Austria and Germany reopened, but tourism remains off-limits. And the ban for Americans entering the country remains in effect.

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. Some land borders are reopened to neighboring EU countries only.

Third-country nationals (that means our U.S. travelers) will not be allowed by air from outside the Schengen area,

Austria released that they have not seen a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since reopening.

Belgium

Brussels, Belgium March 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Brussels, Belgium March 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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.

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 will see the reopening of most Belgian businesses including restaurants and bars with social distancing measures in place.

Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Sofia, Bulgaria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

 

Bulgaria began to ease lockdown restrictions mid-may and opened larger businesses such as malls to residents. United States citizens are still banned from entering Bulgaria.

Bulgaria banned foreigners early in April and the ban was to remain in effect until May 13. That included fellow members of the European Union. Locals are allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days. The country has had dozens of deaths, but fewer than 2,000 reported cases.

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.

United States citizens are still banned from entering Bulgaria.

Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Iascic/Getty Images)
Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Iascic/Getty Images)

 

Croatia is in the middle of a slow reopening. The tourism minister says the country will slowly again start welcoming tourism, but that doesn’t yet include many international tourists.

Citizens of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia are now welcome with few restrictions. Other European travelers can now also come to Croatia but they must show proof of overnight stays and/or a confirmed booking, travel agency voucher, or rental contract and must also provide a reason for travel.

Americans and Canadians are still not allowed.

Hotels are beginning to reopen.

Croatia has had more than 2,200 confirmed cases and 104 deaths.

Cyprus

Cyprus is a small island nation off the coast of Turkey, and has been fairly successful battling coronavirus reporting only 17 fatalities. Its total infections are reported at 952. Most passenger flights were banned March 21 and tourism has been off-limits, but that will change soon.

Cypriots are now being allowed to leave their houses after a strict lockdown is now being eased – including trips to its famous beaches.

The country’s airports will reopen on June 9 with tourists allowed back in.. initially from only 13 countries where the outbreak is well-contained.

Citizens of Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, and Lithuania can all enter.

The list of countries is evaluated weekly and countries can be added and removed based on the latest data available.

Passengers will be required to produce health certificates declaring them coronavirus-free. That demand will be dropped June 20.

On June 20 “category B” nations can enter: Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic.

Interestingly, the Associated Press also reports Cyprus is pledging to cover costs for anyone testing positive for coronavirus while on vacation on the island.

The government says it will cover all costs including food and medicine for patients. AP reports, “A 100-bed hospital will cater exclusively to foreign travelers who test positive. About 112 intensive care units equipped with 200 respirators will be reserved for critically-ill patients. A 500-room “quarantine hotel” will be reserved for patients’ family members and other close contacts.”

Passengers arriving in Cyprus will face a health screening including a temperatures check. Some random testing will also be conducted (at not cost to visitors). They will also have to fill out a travel declaration that they are not ill.

It is still unclear when Americans will be welcome, but it’s not in June.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said the country is speeding up its reopening plane. June 9  shopping malls, airports, the interior seating of hotels, bars and restaurants, and open-air theaters and cinemas will be open.

The country’s casinos, dance schools, gyms, theme and water parks open their doors not long after.

Czech Republic

The Prague Christmas Market. (Photo by Frank Chmura/Getty Images)
The Prague Christmas Market. (Photo by Frank Chmura/Getty Images)

 

The Czech Republic’s foreign minister says Czech citizens may be able to visit nearby Schengen-area countries like Austria as soon as July. He said:

“We wanted to open Slovakia or Austria for tourists, for instance, as of July, and possibly other destinations as of August. If the situation remains positive, it may be even faster. However, in the case of the most afflicted countries, such as Italy, France and the USA, it is too early to speak about when it may be possible to travel there.

“I believe that as of July, we could return to the normal functioning of the Schengen Area. The situation will be naturally different in the countries where the epidemic will not develop well and where the infection slowdown is not so strong as in our region.”
The Czech Republic is allowing visitors from nearby nations, but they need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result at the border.

The Czech Republic will begin permitting international travel on June 15 with a system to classify countries by their coronavirus risks. Citizens from countries that rank high in safety will not have to submit a COVID-19 test to enter the Czech Republic.

Countries such as the United Kingdom have been deemed risky and all travelers entering the Czech Republic from there will need a valid test.

Americans are not welcome.

Czech Republic has had 9,494 cases and 326 deaths.

Denmark

Copenhagen October 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Copenhagen October 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The borders to Denmark are closed to foreign visitors until June 1 at the earliest.

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. Border controls are remaining in place for now, and leaders say if the country sees a climb in infections, they will reimpose restrictions.

Travel restrictions are still in place, although Denmark is also opening up tourism with Germany and Iceland. But tourists from those countries cannot stay  in Copenhagen. Danes can travel to those two countries too, without having to go into quarantine on their return.

Visitors from the U.S. and other European countries are still not welcome.

Denmark is one of the first countries in the world to roll-out nationwide testing for everyone who wants it.

It’s had more than 11,300 cases and 586 deaths.

Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Tallinn, Estonia May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Estonia’s borders are open and it is now allowing tourists but recommending visitors put off trips for now. The government says, “Out of consideration for the health of international visitors as well as residents of Estonia, we recommend postponing your trips.” It’s not clear Americans are welcome.

Like other European nations, Estonia is asking visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Border-entry health checks are mandatory and visitors must fill out a form testifying to their good health.

Estonia began allowing neighbors from Lithuania and Latvia to travel freely across its borders beginning May 15.

As of June 1, Estonia is welcoming EU, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom and Schengen area citizens to enter the country.

A humanitarian corridor has been established for foreign travels passing through the country on their way home.

Estonia has had more than 1,900 cases and 69 deaths.

Finland

Helsinki, Finland August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Helsinki, Finland August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Finland is not accepting tourists and has strict border controls in place. It will slowly allow travel to countries in Europe’s Schengen border-free zone as of May 14, but that doesn’t include tourists. It’s unclear when tourism will be allowed to resume. Finland has had fewer than 300 deaths.

Flights are only arriving to three airports where social distancing measures are being enforced.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin at a news conference said, “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.”

It has had 6,941 confirmed cases and 322 deaths.

France

Paris, France 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Paris, France 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

 

Some good news from France which has been especially hard hit by coronavirus: President Emmanuel Macron said the strict lockdown will begin coming to an end after May 11 and travel from one part of France to another will be allowed again.

The country will slowly reopen with shops, schools and some markets allowed to resume business. France will still require face masks on public transportation and work-from-home orders will remain in effect for at least several more weeks.

France returning to normalcy with some restaurants, museums and public transportation reopening in so-called green zones. The Louvre is even set to open on July 6.

France plans to reopen its borders to travel from other European nations from June 15.

Those who enter the country from the UK or Spain will be subjected to a voluntary 14-day quarantine.

Residents of France will be able to vacation freely within the country during July and August. They will serve as the primary tourism market until the unknown time international travel is permitted

Passengers arriving in France from non-Schengen member states are not allowed to enter the country. It’s unclear how long that ban will last.

The European Union’s ban on most foreigners is set to expire June 15.

Paris-Orly airport, which has been closed since March 31, will resume commercial passenger flights on 26 June.

Americans are still not welcome.

France has had 152,000 cases and 29,065 deaths.

Georgia

The country of Georgia has reported only 15 coronavirus deaths.  The country will resume accepting international flights on July 1, but has not yet announced whether any conditions will be placed on international visitors based on travel origin, nationality, and other factors.

As of June 9, the borders remained closed to foreigners.  Only Georgian citizens are allowed back in, and they face mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The U.S. embassy for Georgia has more information here.

Germany

Berlin August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Berlin August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Germany is in no hurry to reopen its borders to tourism.

Germany has had many fewer deaths than its European neighbors like Italy and Spain. Still, it has had more than 185,000 cases and there have been more than 8,735 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.

Right now, tourism to and within Germany is forbidden. Chancellor Angela Merkel has resisted calls to widely reopen Germany’s borders to the rest of Europe. But on May 13 three border checkpoints on the Austrian and German border were reopened allowing some cross-border traffic.

States have now begun to reopen on a case-by-case basis and the Germany/Austria border will be open for travel on June 15.

June 15 will also mark Germany’s lifting of the travel warning to other EU countries.

Right now, entry to Germany for tourism remains strictly prohibited.

Greece

Athens May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Athens May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Greece is a rare bright spot for foreign tourists.. even Americans.

Greece is planning a full return for tourists by July 1, and CNN reports the tourist season will open on June 15 with flights to Athen’s Elefherios Venizelos Airport (ATH). All other international flights to Greece will open up by July 1.

As of May 25, restaurants, bars, cafes and ferry access to and from the islands were slated to resume.

The country locked everything down March 23 and it’s believed to have prevented a severe COVID-19 outbreak. As of June 8, Greece had only 180 deaths. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the country had contained the virus’s first wave.

Related: Why your summer vacation to Greece looks promising

Internal travel restrictions were lifted on May 18 and ferry services to the islands resumed on May 25. Hotels will see a revival on June 1 for city hotels and July 1 for seasonal hotels.

We understand foreigners including Americans will be allowed again as of June 15, but it will include mandatory testing for COVID-19 for those coming from high-infection-rate nations (including U.S.A.). For those passengers, they will have to undergo a mandatory 7-day self-quarantine if they test negative, and 14-day quarantine if they test positive.

Related: Greece is planning to open to tourists this summer

Hungary

Budapest, Hungary, October 2014. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Budapest, Hungary, October 2014. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Hungary banned foreigners entirely early on in the pandemic. Hungarians returning home have to undergo a medical examination. A humanitarian corridor is open for foreigners traveling across Hungary into neighboring countries, and freight operators are also exempted.

Hungary began lifting a lockdown on its own citizens in May including in the capital of Budapest, but only for its own citizens.

Interestingly, Hungarian-based Wizz Air has resumed some flights within Europe and the U.K., but it looks like those are for essential workers and Hungarian citizens only.

Hungary had set June 1 as its target date to lessen the restrictions on border crossings, but there’s nosign of lifting of restrictions on tourism as foreigners are still banned in the country.

There is some progress as of June 5 Hungarian, Czech, Austrian and Slovak citizens are permitted to travel to each other’s territories without any restrictions. Neighbors no longer need a negative coronavirus test or to complete a 14-day self-quarantine.

The head of the prime minister’s office, Gergely Gulyás said Hungary is in favor of reopening its borders with other countries with similarly low infection rates. It has had 3,970 confirmed cases and 342 deaths.

Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

 

Iceland has had less severe lockdowns than most other countries, but a ban on most foreign tourists was in place through May 15.

TPG’s Melanie Lieberman reported May 12 “Iceland will welcome international travelers back “no later than June 15,” Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said during a Tuesday press conference.”

Unfortunately, we’ve learned Americans are not among those being welcomed. Our own Zach Honig learned that the hard way when his flights were cancelled.

Only European citizens of the Schengen zone are being allowed.

Related: American are not among those being welcomed to Iceland

Overseas visitors will be welcomed back, but according to Bloomberg will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test and be declared negative to avoid a 14-day quarantine.

Tourists will be tested for COVID-19 and receive same-day results upon arriving to Keflavik Airport.

The country has only had 1,806 cases and 10 deaths.

Related: Iceland prepares to welcome international visitors

Ireland

Dublin, Ireland November 2015. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
Dublin, Ireland November 2015. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

Ireland is in the middle of a five phase reopening. 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 will remain in place for at least a number of weeks.

Ireland has had more than 25,000 confirmed cases and 1,664 deaths.

Italy

Milan March 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Milan March 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Italy has been among the hardest-hit countries with more than 33,000 deaths and more than 234,000 people have been sickened. It has been under lockdown the longest of any nation.

As of mid-May, Italy has announced it will reopen to tourists on June 3 with no restrictions such as quarantine upon arrival, however, some regions may implement their own restrictions. Only those from the E.U. the U.K. and Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican are allowed. Americans are not yet welcome.

On May 18, museums, libraries, shops and restaurants were allowed to reopen under social distancing rules. Additionally, Italians will be allowed to travel regionally prior to reopening up to the world.

Related: Dreaming of Italy

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.

Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) and the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR) in Florence and other Italian airports have all reopened.

Latvia

Riga, Latvia August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Riga, Latvia August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The state of emergency in Latvia expires June 9.

Like its neighbors, Latvia is reopening partially and will allow citizens of Estonia and Lithuania to come and go freely across its borders. Americans are among those who are not yet welcome.

Liechtenstein
Like Switzerland, Liechtenstein is not allowing any foreigners, aside from EU citizens with family or work in the country, to enter. There is no timeline on when tourism might resume.

Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Vilnius, Lithuania May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

 

Like the rest of Europe, Lithuania is not allowing most foreigners, including Americans, into the country. They are in the middle of a phased reopening, but it’s unlikely U.S. tourists will be allowed in anytime soon. Lithuania has among the lowest death rates in Europe with fewer than 50, but it’s not taking any chances. Beginning May 11, European Union (EU) citizens were allowed to come to Lithuania for work, business or educational purposes, but subjected to a 14-day quarantine. Interestingly, citizens of neighboring Baltic countries will no longer face restrictions on entry — a so-called “Baltic bubble.”

Luxembourg

Luxembourg November 2016.
Luxembourg November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Luxembourg has had 101 deaths from coronavirus and has begun to allow cross-border trips with some of its neighbors. However, that is for essential services and cross-border workers only. Germany still has its border with Luxembourg closed. Some stores have reopened, and schools are fully open.

Tourism remains forbidden.

Restaurants, cafes and churches are amongst the businesses that have reopened in Luxembourg with phase three of its exit strategy being implemented. Tourism has not been introduced into the plans as of yet.

Malta

Malta began reopening on May 1. Coronavirus cases have been on the decline 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.”

Malta is small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean and has only reported 625 cases and nine deaths.

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.

Citizens of Germany, Austria, Sicily, Cyprus, Switzerland, Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic are all again welcome.

More destinations will be announced in due course, once clearance from the health authorities is received. So far that doesn’t include Americans.

Monaco

Monaco has had only 99 cases of COVID-19 and 4 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.

Casinos have begun to reopen in Monte Carlo.

The tiny Principality is beginning to reopen to tourists but that doesn’t include Americans.

Montenegro

Good news from Montenegro which has thrown open the doors to tourism. It is the first in Europe to declare itself “virus-free.” It had 324 cases and only 9 deaths.

In fact, as of June 1, the country is accepting international arrivals from 131 countries. Unfortunately that doesn’t include Americans, Canadians or anyone from the U.K.

Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherland (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)
Amsterdam, Netherland (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

As of June 5, The Netherlands has had more than 47,000 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 beginning June 15 some tourism will be allowed, but that doesn’t include most of the world including Americans. The Dutch aren’t even welcoming visitors from nearby Sweden or from the U.K.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said, “‘The message is, we do not want British people and Swedes here at the moment. If they do come, they will have to go into quarantine for two weeks.”

Dutch people will be able to visit 12 countries, including Germany, Belgium, Italy, Croatia and the Dutch Caribbean islands. Rutte saying, “The health risks have to be the same as they are here.”

The U.S. embassy writes, “The Dutch government is strictly enforcing the EU travel restrictions banning all nonessential travel from outside the EU. The ban went into effect on March 19, 2020 and has been extended ..”

Americans are allowed to transit the airport only and a health certificate is required.

Norway

Å, Norway (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)
Å, Norway (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

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 8,504 cases and 238 deaths. It began reopening in mid-April. The country is on track to open all businesses, schools and restaurants this summer. Large gatherings remain banned.

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.”

Some hotels have already partially reopened. They include the luxury hotel The Britannia in Trondheim.

Poland

Krakow, Poland June 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Krakow, Poland June 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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. There are a few humanitarian/repatriation flights to the U.S. happening, but no tourism between the countries.

However, there is good news to report. Poland is set to reopen to international tourism beginning June 13. All non-essential travelers have to self-isolate for 14 days, but those restrictions could be lifted soon. Travel within Poland is allowed.

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 15,000 cases and more than 1,100 deaths.

Portugal

Portugal September 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Portugal September 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

 

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. The country has had almost 35,300 cases and 1,492 deaths, but those numbers are far fewer than in neighboring Spain.

On May 15, Portugal announced that it would reopen beaches on June 6. Social distancing will be encouraged, but not enforced by the police. Instead, 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.”

Interestingly, Portugal says it wants to welcome back Europeans by the end of June including visitors from the U.K. It could include a so-called “air bridge” between Britain, Scotland, and Portugal allowing tourism to resume.

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 until at least June 15.

In fact, we’ve now learned that early reports were mistaken. Americans are not being allowed until July 1 at the earliest, and that is dependent on a deal to get reciprocal entry rights granted for U.S. arrivals by visitors traveling from the Schengen area.  It is hoped that this will be in place by July 1, but I would not plan anything a this time.

Related: What are travel bubbles?

Romania

As of May 15, all arrivals into Romania were required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Arrivals could also go into institutionalized quarantine, in state-run centers. For the most part Romania is not welcoming citizens of the U.S. or the U.K. as of right now.

Restaurants in Romania with outdoor seating can reopen June 1 and those with only indoor seating can reopen on June 15. Hotels will also open again for tourists in June.

Romania is in talks to allow tourists from Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. Citizens of those countries would not be mandated to quarantine but the deal is not yet done. Some reports suggest it will fully reopen to tourism on July 1, but we have not been able to confirm that news.

Romania reports it has had more than 20,000 coronavirus cases with a death toll of more than 1,300.

Russia

The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky skyline. (Image by www.tonnaja.com/Getty Images)
The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky skyline. (Image by www.tonnaja.com/Getty Images)

Reuters is reporting that a new surge in COVID-19 cases means Russia now has more cases than Italy and Britain. Moscow is the biggest hot spot. Only Spain and the U.S. have more cases. It has more than 450,000 confirmed cases, and has had more than 5,500 deaths.

Vladimir Putin was set to announce a slow easing of restrictions to get the economy moving by June 1, but it is unclear if that includes travel. On that day, spas, resorts and hotels will reopen, but Russia is mostly encouraging domestic travel.

Right now, Russians need a permit to travel, and foreigners are not welcome.

Serbia

Serbia declared a state of emergency on March 15 and it had been forbidding foreigners except for diplomats and legal residents from entering the country. It has reported 250 deaths.

Epidemiologist Predrag Kon, a member of Serbia’s crisis staff, said on May 11 that some foreigners will be allowed in: “Those who come to Serbia will have to have a [negative result on a] PCR test not older than 72 hours; if they do not have it, they will have to go into self-isolation if it is our citizen, or isolation with health supervision for a foreign citizen.”

In other words? Tourists are generally not welcome. Interestingly, the country has started a marketing campaign targeted at attracting Chinese visitors though they are still not allowed in as there are no direct flights.

Air Serbia had completely shut down air traffic, but resumed regular service on June 1.

There is some reporting suggesting Serbia is reopening its borders to neighboring countries ahead of a full reopening, but we’ve been unable to confirm those reports.

Slovakia

Slovakia shut its borders early and it has a correspondingly low infection rate. It has just reopened the border to neighbors from Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic but others are not welcome at this time. All 3 Slovak international airports closed on March 12. All new arrivals into the country are required to quarantine for 14 days. Slovakia has not discussed opening up to outsiders except allowing some residents of nearby countries to come in with recent proof they are uninfected.

Slovenia

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.

Spain

Madrid June 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Madrid June 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Spain has had more than 27,000 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.

However, on May 23 Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spain would welcome back foreign tourists starting in July.

“I am announcing to you that from the month of July, entry for foreign tourists into Spain will resume in secure conditions,” Sanchez told a press conference. As of the time of publication, foreign entry will waive the current 14-day quarantine requirement, but Americans likely will not be able to visit in this first phase of reopening.

And citizens of the U.K. will be welcomed again July 1, but will likely have to quarantine now since the U.K. just announced two week quarantines as of June 8.

Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson)
Stockholm, Sweden August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson)

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 4,600 deaths, and recently acknowledged it didn’t do enough of a lockdown.

Still, there was a full entry ban into the EU in place for non-Europeans, including Americans. Travel to Europe will be prioritized for only EU citizens. No timeline on when Americans can go.

Switzerland

Lucerne, Switzerland April 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Lucerne, Switzerland April 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Switzerland banned foreigners on March 26 except for those with a work or residence permit. Only citizens of Liechtenstein were exempted. As of May 11, some Europeans will be allowed into Switzerland but restrictions are still strict. Those entry permissions are generally only for workers or family members of Swiss nationals.

The Associated Press, however, now reports restrictions on travel from European Union countries and Britain will be lifted on June 15. The Swiss government had already said it would completely reopen the country’s borders with Austria, Germany and France in mid-June.

Still Americans are not welcomed as of now.

The country has been hard hit by COVID-19 with almost 31,000 cases and 1,660 deaths.

Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Istanbul, Turkey May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

 

Turkey suspended international flights to and from the country on March 28. The country said in early May it would begin to reopen some tourist sites, and now it is again welcoming some international visitors.

International flights are resuming, and flights from 15 countries will be allowed in mid-June. Those nations include Albania, Belarus, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and the U.A.E.

Turkey transport minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said the country is in talks with some 92 countries about resuming connections.

The Financial Times reports the Turkish and British governments are considering setting up an ‘air bridge’ to allow quarantine-free travel between the two countries from July 15.

Foreign arrivals face medical screening and contact information requests. All visitors are required to quarantine for two weeks which may take the fun out of holidays, but that may be lifted once international flights resume.

No timeline on when Americans can go to Turkey again.

Turkey has had more than 172,000 cases and more than 4,700 deaths as of June 9.

United Kingdom

London November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
London November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The United Kingdom has been especially hard-hit by coronavirus with more than 283,000 confirmed cases, and more than 40,000 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.

Related: Everything we know about the new U.K. quarantine.

As of 8 June, the U.K. will implement a strict policy that requires arriving travellers to self-isolate for 14 days. There are some exemptions, such as arrivals from the Common Travel Area, including Ireland, and those conducting medical business. The government said it would revisit the isolation requirement every three weeks.

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

Scotland October 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Scotland October 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Scotland is part of the U.K., and is mostly following the lead of London.

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.

Ukraine

Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo by Ben Smithson)
Chernobyl, Ukraine. (Photo by Ben Smithson)

 

Ukraine is in the middle of a gradual reopening of the country, but that doesn’t include foreign visitors from outside the E.U.. The country is allowing citizens to come home via repatriation flights, but a lockdown was extended,

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 26,000 confirmed cases.

Travel around European neighbors is allowed via car, and airports are expected to reopen sometime in June.

Related: A country-by-country guide to the Caribbean

 

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields and Liz Hund.

Featured image of Venice in 2018 by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

 

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