When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery
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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.
This guide summarizes each country’s current status for international travel. You can check on countries that require a clean bill of health here.
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 now remain shut until at least the end of July. The border has been closed since March 21. Additional 30-day extensions are not out of the question.
Related: Canada keeping its border closed
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.
Some Mexican states, including Quintana Roo — home to the tourist mecca of Cancun — had planned on reopening on June 1. The country’s president said tourism is among several critical industries,
But then Mexico delayed reopening only the state of Quintana Roo which includes Cancun to June 8-10.
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.”
The United States has become the epicenter 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 traveling.”
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 June 12 all U.S. states are in some phase of reopening.. sometimes quickly, sometimes very slowly.
Belize was one of the last countries in Central America to report a positive coronavirus case, according to the Miami Herald. As of June 15, there have been 20 cases reported.
Belize’s borders will remain closed to all visitors until at least June 30, but this could extend longer. Some restrictions for residents will be loosened sooner. For instance, all transport for essential workers and essential purposes has resumed. However, curfews on public activity remain in effect. Additionally, some businesses have begun to reopen, like restaurants (delivery and take-out only), banks and pharmacies. But they will only be permitted to operate during certain hours and under strict new health guidelines.
Costa Rica began easing some coronavirus measures on May 1, allowing theaters, cinemas, hair salons, gyms and athletic centers to reopen under reduced hours and strict sanitary guidelines. This move came after the country’s active infections declined for 11 consecutive days.
A ban on foreign tourists is currently set to expire on June 30, but it could be extended as a precaution.
“We have had relative and fragile success, but we cannot let our guard down,” said President Carlos Alvarado.
Health experts attribute Costa Rica’s success to the country’s move on March 9 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.
Costa Rica recently halted a reopening to domestic tourism because of new outbreak. So far, they’ve had more than 1,500 cases.
El Salvador has about 4,000 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. However, El Salvador’s president announced on June 13 that the stay-at-home decrees have legally expired and that the country will transition into gradually reopening its economy.
Though travel here is not specifically forbidden for U.S. citizens, 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.
Guatemala has had about 10,000 cases of coronavirus as of June 15. 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 8,900 cases and 312 deaths caused by the coronavirus.
The government announced on March 15 that all borders would be closed until further notice. According to the the U.S. Embassy in Honduras, a curfew was mandated until June 14, but there has been no update on whether or not that has been extended.
Nicaragua never really shut down. There are still soccer 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. Local sources have reported that the government is discouraging Nicaraguans, — including health workers, airport staff, and policemen — from wearing masks. Because of these relaxed rules, there have been questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has. Official data as of June 15 show that the country is reporting round 1,500 cases and 55 deaths, but these numbers may be higher in reality.
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. United will resume service to the country starting June 21, and more airlines are following suit.
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 March 9 and on March 22 all international and domestic travel was banned and is still prohibited. Most provinces are under a mandatory curfew, with some regions under strict movement restrictions. The local U.S. embassy notes that the government has also mandated beginning June 2 that anyone outside must be wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
During a May 6 press briefing, the Ministry of Health announced that it’s working with other ministries on plans for a gradual lifting of restrictions. This includes limiting liquor sales, requiring masks and gloves in public, and keeping social distance. Additionally, hardware stores will be allowed to reopen for online orders and shipping, but customers will not be permitted inside. Recent spike in coronavirus cases has prompted the country to return to quarantine measures, but the government is proceeding with its second phase of reopening that began on June 1.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international commercial flights until September 1, 2020. U.S. expatriates in Argentina should be prepared to stay abroad for an indefinite amount of time, according to the local U.S. embassy. However, U.S. expatriates wishing to come back to America can take advantage of some of the relief flights that Eastern Airlines is offering. Those wishing to book one of these flights are advised to check directly with Eastern for the most up-to-date information. Anyone needing to get to the airport should check the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires website to comply with local travel restrictions and rules.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has about 25,000 confirmed infections, and 717 deaths. The local embassy also notes that the country has also extended its quarantine rules to June 28.
The country not only banned international flights, but also internal flights.
Argentina is reportedly on the verge of defaulting over debts it cannot pay.
Bolivia is currently off-limits to tourists. The government announced a total quarantine of the country through June 30. The local US embassy reports that as of June 1, some domestic land and air travel within Bolivia is permitted – international travel is not (with certain exceptions).
Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) airline has announced special repatriation flights for any expatriates wishing to return to the United States. Those wishing to book a flight are advised to check directly with BoA with the most up-to-date information.
There have been 14,644 confirmed cases with 487 deaths as of June 10.
Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America with around 740,000 and about 38,000 confirmed deaths. A travel ban on foreigners was extended through May 28 in late April though there are some exceptions. Several carriers like United, Azul and LATAM are keeping their flights between the U.S. and Brazil open.
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 May 5 that São Luís, the capital of Maranhão state, become the first major city in the country to implement a partial lockdown. More cities have passed lockdown measures since then, but some are re-opening.
As of late May, the U.S. has announced a ban on travel by foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days. This adds to bans already in place for the United Kingdom, Europe and China.
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.
LATAM has resumed flights between Santiago and the U.S., but mostly for humanitarian and repatriation flights.
Chile has confirmed cases of about 140,000, with 2,283 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 (domestic flights are banned until the end of June so far). 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 July 1, with a longer quarantine for individuals over age 70 until August 31.
According to Johns Hopkins, the country currently has over 40,000 confirmed cases and 1,373 deaths.
Ecuador has approved resumption of commercial flights with limited capacity since June 1. All arriving passengers are required to have the results of a PCR COVID test within the last seven days prior to arrival – or must sign a document promising that they will undergo testing in Ecuador upon arrival (if coming from a country that does not have PCR tests available). In addition, all arriving passengers are subject to a 14-day quarantine at the individual’s own expense in either hotels or private accommodations – with special exceptions to those in the “priority attention groups”.
However, the recent eruption of the Sangay volcano has negatively affected certain areas within the country – most notably the city of Guayaquil.
As of June 4, Quito and Guayaquil airports have resumed operations. American and United are resuming services to both cities, while Eastern, JetBlue and Spirit are planning to only operate out of Guayaquil. However, the local U.S. embassy is still discouraging all travels into the country and is encouraging any U.S. citizens to leave amidst this crisis.
According to Johns Hopkins, the country has about 44,000 confirmed cases with 3,690 deaths.
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 shows one of the lowest figures in South America, with 1,202 confirmed cases and 11 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: nearing 200,000 with 5,571 deaths as of June 10.
Peru is still under a national state of emergency, with quarantine measures extended through June 30. Nightly curfews exist for most regions and all-day Sunday curfews are being enforced through the state of emergency period.
On May 3, the Peruvian government announced its gradual reopening plans, which will happen in four stages. According to the U.S. Embassy in Peru, the first stage has just begun, allowing restaurants to reopen for pickup and delivery. Additionally, hotels will be allowed to open with decreased capacity and tourist transportation services will be allowed.
No regularly scheduled commercial flights from the U.S. are available as of June 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 June 10, the country has 846 confirmed cases and 23 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. The U.S. has limited ability to support its citizens who are in Venezuela, and 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.
Almost every nation in the Caribbean has announced plans for reopening.
Antigua and Barbuda
International flights have been suspended since late March.
Good news from Aruba, which says it will reopen its borders to travelers as early as June 15. More international visitors can come back as soon as July 1, with the island welcoming Americans beginning July 10. Aruba has recorded only three deaths from coronavirus.
The Bahamas were under emergency orders through May 30. No international visitors were allowed to enter or disembark on Bahamian soil for any reason, including transit. The nation’s airports are closed to all incoming passenger flights, although airlines are permitted to fly empty aircraft into the Bahamas to retrieve international visitors.
A mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government facility was instituted for all visitors entering the country between May 4 and May 17. Passenger flights are not allowed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. Airline crews may spend one night in Barbados, but they must be quarantined at the hotel until departure. Alternatively, crew may remain onboard the aircraft.
Cuba suspended international travel for tourists until further notice, beginning April 2.
All commercial air and sea access to the nation of Dominica is suspended until further notice. Strict curfews are still being observed as well, as of May 7.
The country’s borders were closed by land, sea and air until May 17, and all incoming travelers must be quarantined for two weeks.
All international flights have been halted until further notice. U.S. citizens who wish to leave Haiti must coordinate directly with the U.S. embassy there.
Jamaica has officially reopened for tourism beginning June 15, but anyone who is hoping to plan a summer vacation here will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travelers have to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travelers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All incoming travelers 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, travelers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in the public. Travelers 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.
All international flights have been halted until further notice, and tourism businesses such as hotels are also limited to serving guests who have been stranded. All spas, pools and other amenities are closed.
On May 18, the government of Saint Lucia announced a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible manner beginning June 4, 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 March 23. It has only had 18 people confirmed ill, and all have made full recoveries.
Phase Two begins August 1, 2020, with details to be revealed in the next few weeks.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has 17 reported cases of coronavirus. They never shut their airports or borders, but visitors are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and self-report any symptom of Covid-19.
A search for flights in June came up with zero availability, but after July 1, flights are again available from various airports including Miami International Airport (MIA).
There were no commercial flights scheduled into Sint Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport as of April, and there is no scheduled restart date as of now. Repatriation flights are allowed to land empty in order to retrieve international tourists returning home.
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 #1 in the world for meeting reopening requirements from Oxford University.
The two islands began easing restrictions on May 12, 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.
Caribbean Airlines is also getting a government bailout, and released a video on their new procedures in the wake of the outbreak. So far though, no timeline on when flights or travel will resume.
Turks and Caicos
More good news on reopening from the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, is reopening for international visitors beginning July 22.
This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo. Details on the reopening remain sparse, but international flights are resuming. The islands have seen 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.
All international flights to the country were suspended until June 1, and cruise ships were banned through June 30th, but a slow reopening is underway.
Through June 22, real estate offices and retailers are reopening, and on that same date, inter-island travel begins and church services can resume. Beginning July 6, hotels and restaurants will begin reopening. On July 22, the borders will reopen and flights will be permitted to land at Providenciales International Airport (PLS). We don’t know yet what testing, screening or quarantine procedures will be in place, but we should have details in the next few weeks.
Related coverage: Why I love Turks and Caicos
Going to the beach, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies and other open-air businesses is currently permitted. Restaurants are also reopening, with restrictions.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Island 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 May 20, it was reported Cambodia would reopen its borders to tourists from 6 countries including the United States. People from America, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain are allowed to enter Cambodia. There are still 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.
It will still be difficult for visitors to try to enter. Cambodia has suspended e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice – and has also suspended tourist-related services as of June 10.
The Health Ministry said arriving tourists would be taken to a government center for quarantine and testing, but details remain sketchy. In a statement, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said, “All passengers, both Cambodian and foreign, who are traveling to Cambodia, are admitted to waiting centers 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 March 14.
The country only had 126 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 travelers. China has already established one with Singapore.
Tourists from outside the country are still not welcome and there is no timeline on when that might change.
As of June 1, 2020, Hong Kong Airport will once again welcome transit passengers for the first time since March 25. 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 traveled 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, 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, but there’s no word on when outsiders might again be welcome.
There has been at least 8,100 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 now approaching 2,000. To manage this crisis, the government has taken uncustomary measures like canceling this year’s hajj pilgrimage.
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 businessmen 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.
Kazakhstan has had more than 13,000 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths. The president’s spokesman was hospitalized with the disease.
The land-locked central Asian nation began emerging from a two-month lockdown back in May, but social distancing rules and closed borders remain in effect. International flights from Azerbaijan, China and South Korea are expected to resume soon, and other countries may follow later in June including from Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates.
Kyrgyzstan reopened some of its businesses in early May and allowed the national curfew to be lifted. Malls and markets were able to open their doors May 25, along with public transportation. Domestic travel is still barred. No international flights are allowed in or out of Kyrgyzstan.
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, current travel restrictions on all foreign nationals – with very limited exceptions – have been extended to at least August 31. 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 travelers expense.”
The nationwide lockdown that began March 24 has been extended until June 14 in Nepal. All international flights have been canceled until June 30. All residents are required to remain home and travel is barred except for life saving reasons.
Pakistan has had 113,702 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
However restrictions are being lifted in Pakistan as markets and shops were allowed to reopen. The Pakistan Supreme Court also ordered shopping malls to be allowed to open as COVID-19 “is not a pandemic in Pakstan.” Domestic flights resumed in mid-May from select airports. The ban on international flights expired May 31 and outbound international flights are now permitted. No food or drinks will be allowed on flights, and new sanitation practices will be implemented.
The country has said it will begin opening up to tourism again sometime this summer, but details remain sketchy.
Philippines President Duterte extended a lockdown on Manila and other high-risk areas until the middle of May. A ban on international travelers went into effect on March 22. There are more than 24,000 confirmed cases, a majority of them in Manila.
The Bureau of Immigration stated on May 11 that no foreigners were allowed into the country. Spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said, “Only Filipinos, 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.
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.
Last reports from Sri Lanka saw the country having just over 1600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in a population of 21 million. The country has begun to ease restrictions such as the shortening the curfew hours and allowing travel between cities except for Colombo and Gamapaha.
Limited tourism is set to begin again on August 1. Under the proposed reopening plan, groups of travelers from selected countries will have to have a valid COVID-19 test done in one of Sri Lanka’s two international airports – Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) or Mattala International Airport (HRI), and will stay in approved hotels that have met the safety and sanitation requirements. Popular tourist locations will be open with regular temperature checks. Individual travelers will still not be welcomed.
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 travelers from other countries. To that end, Taiwan has banned international travelers as of March 19, 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.
According to the government, as of June 9 Tajikistan has had 4,690 cases and only 68 deaths, but those numbers are being greeted with some skepticism.
Tajikistan never did have a full lockdown, and most businesses, hotels and restaurants will reopen on June 15. As late as June 6, the U.S. embassy was arranging flights for U.S. citizens out of the country so probably not a great time to visit.
Thailand shut down its borders in late March. A state of emergency and a nationwide curfew is in effect at least through June 30.
Phuket, the popular tourist destination, has been a coronavirus hotspot, as has the megacity of Bangkok. Those two destinations are likely to be the last to reopen. The government, however, is hoping to ease entry restrictions for foreign visitors as early as July. Other countries have been in discussions to create travel bubbles with Thailand.
Turkmenistan closed its borders when the first cases of coronavirus were reported globally. However, the country itself has not officially reported any cases of the virus to the World Health Organization, claiming it has not infiltrated the borders.
On June 10, Turkmenistan and Iran will reopen their borders to each other for road and rail travel. The opening was delayed from June 1 due to new sanitation practices. There is no plans at the moment for tourism to restart.
Restrictions in Uzbekistan have been extended to June 15 but many were relaxed as of June 1. The country is opening regionally based on the containment of COVID-19. In areas with less infection, businesses and sports arenas have started to resume working. Domestic tourism has resumed and air and train travel is permitted domestically from the capital to major cities and providences. All citizens are allowed to travel by car.
There is no word on when international tourism will resume.
Vietnam is in the process of slowly reopening, we learned Vietnam will start reopening on July 1 for visitors from 80 nations. Americans are among those being allowed to return on July 1, but there are many restrictions.
People from Austria, Poland, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, India, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Italy, France, China, the Czech Republic, Russia, Greece, Mexico, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland among others will be allowed in with e-Visas required.
The list of the 80 countries is available here.
Some tourist attractions have reopened.
Foreigners were originally banned as of March 22.
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 neighbors to visit. In addition, the government is planning to resume international commercial flights to certain regions. Vietnam has had about 332 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 July 15, 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 June 6:
“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 15 cases so far, thanks in part to a strict lockdown as of March 15. 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. Obviously, Americans would not be included in that agreement.
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 20 deaths. It restricted travel from Wuhan, China, by February 3.
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 travelers 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 16,500 confirmed coronavirus cases, and more than 270 deaths, but is already easing restrictions imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19. 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.”
Restaurants and bars are reopening between now and mid-June, depending on location. Some parks will reopen soon, and beaches are open for exercise only. International tourists are not allowed, but domestic tourism is now ok for Israeli citizens.
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.
Jordan has had more than 500 cases of coronavirus. It is in the middle of relaxing strict lockdown measures. On March 17 and until further notice, the government suspended all inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders to passenger traffic. Tourism remains off-limits.
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.
Kuwait enacted a curfew from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. through May 30 to stop the spread of COVID-19. The country has had more than 7,000 cases and more than 45 deaths.
Qatar’s death toll is 12; it has more than 20,000 cases. Qatar banned inbound flights on March 18 except for cargo and transit flights. Tourists are not welcome.
Gatherings of more than five people were banned in early May as the kingdom struggles to get coronavirus under control. There have been more than 35,000 cases. Tourism is forbidden.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is beginning to ease some strict lockdown measures, and Dubai will reopen to tourists beginning July 7, 2020. 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.
There are some flights between the U.S. and Abu Dhabi (one on May 15 for example), and on Wednesday, May 13, Dubai-based Emirates said it would resume service to nine international destinations including London, Chicago and Melbourne among other destinations.
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.
For the time being, schools, malls, some restaurants and bars and public transportation will remain closed.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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’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 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.
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.
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 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 is a rare bright spot for foreign tourists, but not yet for 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 May 11, Greece had only 151 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.
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.
There will be no mandatory COVID-19 test or 14-day quarantine for foreign tourist weighing a visit to Greece, but it’s unclear when U.S. citizens might be allowed to travel to Greece.
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 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.
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 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.
The state of emergency in Latvia is planned to end on 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 imposed a strict lockdown early in the pandemic.
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 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 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.
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. 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?
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.
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 declared a state of emergency on March 15 and it forbids foreigners except for diplomats and legal residents from entering the country.
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 now says it will resume regular service on June 1.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
After being shut down for nearly two months, Egypt has started to reopen. It’s starting by opening its hotels to domestic tourists 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 June 1. 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.
The Egyptian government is planning to allow some scheduled international flights to enter beginning July 1. The health minister has indicated that Red Sea resorts including in South Sinai will be the first to open along with beaches west of Alexandria. Famous attractions like the Giza pyramids are planning to reopen as well with control measures in place. It’s been estimated that Egypt has and will continue to lose 1 billion tourism dollars for each month that it’s closed.
While the Kenyan government had allowed restaurants to reopen on May 4 under strict measures, it has also recently extended a ban on public gatherings for 30 days – barring travel around Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera. Curfew and border crossing restrictions are still in effect as well. The government has also announced on June 6 that the Ministry of Transport will develop protocols to reinstate domestic air travel.
Coronavirus-related deaths in Kenya have been relatively few at 24, but recently cases have begun to rise with the easing of restrictions. “Defeating coronavirus is not a sprint. This is not an issue that we will be able to dispense with in the short term. And therefore, we must always be ready and prepared to enforce our containment measures and to learn to live in a new normal,” said Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, a health minister in Kenya.
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
This island nation remains off-limits to tourists. The country went into lockdown early (March 20) and there’s been a national curfew imposed since March 24. There is a total ban on travelers and no sign of that being eased anytime soon. Air Mauritius has also entered administration, but still has nonstop flights on its schedule.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco has extended the state of emergency until July 10, with a gradual resumption of commercial activities in the nation. It has not announced when it will allow international commercial flights to resume. The government is currently taking measures to support the tourism industry and domestic travel is being encouraged as well.
To help fight coronavirus, Morocco has rapidly expanded its fleet of drones for surveillance, public service announcements and sanitization.
Most of Namibia has entered its third phase of reopening on June 2, allowing domestic travel to resume. Many businesses will also be allowed to reopen under new health measures, including shopping malls, retail stores, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers. However, Walvis Bay and surrounding regions will still be under lockdown after two residents tested positive for the coronavirus.
Foreign visitors will continue to be banned and masks will be required in public places.
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.”
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. It has reopened its airport as well.
“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 begin 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 May 1 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 55,000 as of June 12) in all of Africa. The peak of the outbreak is expected sometime in August.
Tanzania is now accepting tourists under pre-COVID rules, with no quarantine conditions attached. The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and all arriving travelers are “subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary COVID-19 rapid testing. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit.
However, Tanzania hasn’t been very forthcoming on how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a lot of criticism. 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.” It was also reported that he said that updates from the country’s health ministry on coronavirus cases and deaths were “causing panic.”
Tanzania’s reported coronavirus cases are comparatively low, but experts say the toll is probably much higher.
Uganda has eased some of its lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen – but many restrictions are still in place nationwide.
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.
President Yoweri Museveni declared the infection “tamed,” but schools and international borders will remain closed until further notice, according to Reuters.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Liz Hund and Brian Kim.
Additional resources for traveling during the coronavirus outbreak:
- How coronavirus is impacting airline award availability
- How coronavirus has left the travel industry reeling
- Airlines scale back inflight offerings due to coronavirus
- How to ward off coronavirus in your hotel room
- Guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak
- Extreme measures cruise lines are taking during coronavirus
Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
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