International Travel Updates: The Countries That Are Beginning to Reopen for Tourists

4 months ago 47
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Curious about international travel? As the coronavirus pandemic ebbs, some countries are beginning to ease travel restrictions. But not completely: many places, for example, are only allowing domestic visitors or those from certain cherry-picked countries. Others have mandatory 14-day quarantines. And that’s if you can even land at their airport: due to decreased demand, airlines have slashed their flight schedules by up to 70 percent. As the summer ramps up, and with it, the traditional vacation season, many are left wondering: where should I—and where can I—go? (For those in the U.S., the answer may be limited to domestic destinations: the State Department is still advising its citizens to avoid all international travel.)

Below, a list of status updates by region. This post will be updated frequently, but always check with your embassy or a specific country’s tourism department before booking.

The Caribbean

The region is beginning to re-open in mid-June and July: for example, Jamaica will begin welcoming international travelers on June 15, the Bahamas, on July 1. Turks and Caicos is not far behind, reopening on July 22. But make sure to check for any newfound visiting requirements before you go: St. Lucia, for example, opened on June 4, but when you check in at the airport, you must present a negative COVID-19 test.

Central America

Popular tourist destinations, such as Costa Rica and Belize, remained closed to foreign visitors. Panama's international flight ban was recently extended through June 22, and Guatemala remains under a strict 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

South America

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently peaking in several countries throughout the continent: Argentina has banned commercial flights until September 2020, and Chile’s borders have remained closed since mid-March. Brazil is not accepting foreign visitors through at least June 21.

Europe

Starting on June 15, Greece is open to visitors from the E.U., China, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, and several other countries that have their coronavirus outbreaks under control. (But depending on where you fly in from, you may need to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.) “Maybe no bars may be open, or no tight crowds, but you can still get a fantastic experience in Greece—provided that the global epidemic is on a downward path,” Greek Minister of Tourism Kyriakos Mitsotakis told CNN.

Italy is also slowly opening its doors. On June 3, it began allowing in tourists from the E.U., the United Kingdom, and Monaco. Germany and France will follow suit on June 15 (but those coming to France from the U.K. will need to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine). Spain will start loosening restrictions in July.

Last week, Austria opened all of its borders, except with Italy. For those flying into the country, you must show a negative COVID-19 test that is less than four days old (at the Vienna airport, they provide testing onsite) or do a 14-day quarantine. Right now, only visitors from the Schengen area are allowed to travel to Austria.

Simply put: as of now, for U.S. travelers, much of Europe will be out of reach this summer. The exceptions are the U.K., Ireland, and Portugal. The U.K. and Ireland will ask visitors to do a lengthy quarantine upon arrival.

North America

The United States is still off limits for travelers from Europe, China, and Brazil. The U.S.-Canada border is closed to non-essential travel, and Canada itself is closed to most international visitors. Beaches in Mexico began to welcome tourists in June.

Asia

China and South Korea remain closed to outside visitors, and there is currently no indication on when it may open up to international tourists. According to Reuters, Japan is considering letting in tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand in the upcoming months.

Africa

Whereas domestic travel restrictions are loosening in some areas of the continent, foreign traveler bans are still in place in tourist hotspots like Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.

India

International flights to India remain suspended.

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