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Which international destinations are open to tourists again?

(CNN) – Although most governments still advise against “non-essential” international travel, a number of popular travel destinations are beginning to relax their Covid-19 blocking measures and border restrictions, and are trying to welcome tourists back.

Earlier this month, the European Union launched an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have created “travel bubbles” that lift restrictions on each other’s citizens.

Some Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations like Mexico and Thailand plan to reopen regionally in the coming weeks.

If you are one of the many travelers looking forward to news about where to go this year, here̵

7;s a guide to the key destinations that are reopening and some that keep their borders firmly closed for now .


Aphrodite's Rock (Petra tou Romiou) - Cyprus tourism organization

Cyprus is committed to covering the vacation costs for Covid-19 positive tourists and their families.

Courtesy of the Cyprus Tourism Organization

Cyprus is so keen to get its tourism industry back on track that officials are offering to cover the costs of all travelers who test positive for Covid-19 while on vacation on the Mediterranean island.

According to a letter shared with CNN, the Cypriot government will pay for the accommodation, food, drink, and medication for tourists suffering from coronavirus during their visit.

The detailed plan was outlined in a five-page letter to governments, airlines, and tour operators on May 26.

Officials have also provided a 100-bed hospital for foreign travelers who have tested positive, while a “quarantine hotel” with 500 rooms will be available to the family of patients and “close contacts”.

“The traveler only has to bear the cost of their airport transfer and return flight in collaboration with their agent and / or airline,” the letter said.

The news came shortly after Cypriot Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos announced that the country’s hotels would reopen on June 1, while international air traffic would resume on June 9.

As soon as the destination is open again, visitors can only enter from selected countries.

Incoming flights from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania are approved first.

From June 20, Cyprus will also allow incoming flights from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

However, the list is to be expanded to include another 23 countries in the coming months.

Travelers traveling to Cyprus must provide a valid certificate that they have been tested negative for Covid-19. Upon arrival, they will be subjected to a temperature check and randomly tested during their trip.

The destination has already taken measures to protect travelers and residents, e.g. B. the wearing of masks and gloves by the hotel staff, the regular disinfection of sun beds and the holding of tables in restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs at a distance of at least two meters.


Tourists are preparing to surf on Uluwatu Beach, South Kuta, in the Regency of Badung on the island of Bali on December 20, 2018

At least 6.3 million people visited Bali in 2019.

SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP via Getty Images

Bali successfully contained a coronavirus outbreak with fewer than 350 confirmed cases and a total of four deaths at the time of writing.

The Indonesian island now hopes to welcome tourists again by October, provided infection rates remain low.

Bali’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and visitor numbers have increased in recent years. Around 6.3 million people came in 2019.

“The corona virus has broken down the Balinese economy … it has been a steep decline since then [mid-March] When socially distancing measures were taken, Mangku Nyoman Kandia, a Bali tour guide, told ABC News in April: “No tourist, no money.”

All foreigners except diplomats, permanent residents and humanitarian workers are currently banned from Indonesia. Anyone entering the island must undergo a swab test and submit a letter showing that they are free of Covid-19.

It is unclear what the entry requirements will be if the restrictions are lifted later this year or if Bali accepts travelers from regions that are badly affected by the pandemic.


Visitors wearing face masks are walking along street shops on Hua Hin beach in Thailand on May 19, 2020, worried about the spread of the COVID-19 corona virus

Thailand plans to gradually reopen different regions towards the end of 2020.

JACK TAYLOR / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand has long been one of the top travel destinations for travelers and has received nearly 40 million foreign tourists in the past year.

Since March, however, visitors have been banned from entering the Southeast Asian country due to the pandemic.

While the number of cases here has been relatively small compared to other travel destinations – Thailand has reported more than 3,000 confirmed cases and over 50 deaths – officials are taking no chances when it comes to reopening the country.

“It still depends on the outbreak situation, but I don’t think tourists can return until the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest,” Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Thai Tourism Authority (TAT) told CNN Travel.

The governor further stressed that there will be restrictions on who can visit the country and which regions they can go to once the restrictions are relaxed.

“We won’t open all of them at once,” he added. “We are still on high alert, we just can’t let our guards down yet.

“We have to look at the country of origin [of the travelers] to see if their situation has really improved. ”

This effectively means that Thailand is unlikely to open its borders to travelers from destinations where the coronavirus situation does not appear to be under control.

Those who have been granted entry permits can be offered “long-term packages” in remote areas “where health surveillance can be easily controlled”, such as on the remote islands of Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui.

However, the borders of Thailand are closed for now.

The ban on incoming international commercial flights – with the exception of return flights – has recently been extended to June 30, and Phuket International Airport remains closed.

Like many other global travel destinations, Thailand is currently focusing on domestic tourism.

In fact, some resorts and hotels have already received approval to reopen – Hua Hin, about 200 kilometers south of Bangkok, is one of them.

Shopping centers, museums, markets and some tourist attractions have also opened their doors again. The Grand Palace in Bangkok is scheduled to reopen on June 4th.


Dona Ana beach in Lagos on April 18, 2018 in the southern Algarve region of Portugal

French residents are allowed to vacation in the country in July and August.

DAMIEN MEYER / AFP via Getty Images

France was the most visited country in the world before the coronavirus pandemic.

As in the rest of the EU, there are currently restrictions on non-essential travel from outside the Schengen zone (a group of 26 countries that normally have open borders).

Travelers entering the country with the exception of EU citizens or arrivals from the UK must quarantine a 14-day quarantine for coronaviruses by July 24th.

Even though the government is slowly lifting the blockade and now driving up to 100 kilometers and the beaches are reopening, officials have made it clear that the country is in no hurry to ease the restrictions on international travelers.

“Since the beginning of the crisis, border closure has been the rule and border crossing approval has been the exception.

“What is good for tourism is often good for France, what affects tourism affects France,” he said during a press conference.

Although some companies have been given permission to reopen, the country’s hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafes are said to remain closed at least until June 2nd.

Even then, facilities in Paris that officials have labeled the “red zone” of the coronavirus are unlikely to open soon.

On May 29, it was announced that the country’s most visited museum, the Louvre, would reopen on July 6.

“Tourism faces probably the worst challenge in modern history,” added Philippe. “Since this is one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescue is a national priority.”

He continued that residents can vacation in France in July and August.

The country’s hotels will depend on domestic tourism after their reopening, as all indications indicate that international travelers will not be able to enter for the foreseeable future.

“If the blockade subsides, French tourists will likely want to stay close to home for a short time,” a spokesman for the French hotel chain Accor told CNN Travel earlier this month.

“It will be the moment for you to rediscover your own country and we will be there to welcome you.”


Athinios, Santorini

Officials in Greece hope to reopen the country on June 15.

cunfek / Getty Images

Tourism accounts for almost 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product and one in five jobs. So it may come as no surprise that the Mediterranean nation is trying to reopen to tourists as soon as possible.

The European country, which has managed to keep the number of its coronavirus cases low through early blocking, plans to allow travelers to enter on June 15.

“The tourist season starts on June 15th when seasonal hotels can be reopened,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on May 20th.

“Let’s make this summer the epilogue to the [Covid-19] Crisis, “he added.

Mitsotakis also said that international direct flights to Greek destinations will slowly resume from July 1 and tourists will no longer be expected to take a Covid 19 test or quarantine upon arrival.

However, tourism minister Haris Theoharis has indicated that health officials will carry out spot checks if necessary.

“The tourist experience this summer may be slightly different from that of previous years,” Mitsotakis told CNN earlier this month.

“Perhaps there are no bars open or there are no crowds, but you can still have a fantastic experience in Greece – provided the global epidemic is on a downward path.”

Bars and restaurants were also allowed to do business again, while city hotels are slated to reopen on June 1, followed by seasonal hotels in July.

All international passengers had to take a Covid 19 test on arrival or quarantine for 14 days.

Mitsotakis had suggested that tourists would need to undergo testing as a further precaution in the future before visiting, but it seems that this is no longer the case.


View of the Berlin Cathedral on March 3rd

Restrictions in Germany are being relaxed gently as the country prepares to revitalize its tourism industry.

JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP via Getty Images

Although unnecessary trips to Germany are currently prohibited, the country of poets and thinkers wants to lift restrictions for EU countries from June 15, according to Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Officials are also considering granting access to visitors from Turkey, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, although a final decision is still pending.

The proposal was listed in a paper entitled “Criteria for Enabling Intra-European Tourism”, which proposed replacing the current travel warnings with individual travel advice for each country.

“The revival of tourism is important for travelers as well as for the German travel industry and for the economic stability of the respective target countries,” it says.

The land border between Austria and Germany will also reopen – travel between Austria and Germany will be possible from June 15th – and restrictions across the country will be relaxed.

While the bars are still closed, the restaurants reopened on May 18, while the hotels were allowed to reopen from May 29.


Aerial view of an almost empty beach in Cancun, Quintana Roo State, Mexico

Mexico will open region by region in the coming weeks.

ELIZABETH RUIZ / AFP via Getty Images

Mexico endeavors to welcome visitors again within a few weeks.

While the nation remains locked and hotels and restaurants have not yet resumed business, officials plan to gradually reopen the country to get things going again.

“The destination is domestic travelers first, followed by travelers from the United States and Canada, and then from the rest of the world.

The US-Mexico border is closed to “unnecessary” travel until at least June 22, and most international flights to and from Mexico’s major airports are currently suspended or significantly reduced.

However, Delta Air Lines will strengthen and / or resume various flights from the United States to Cancun, Mexico City Los Cabos and Puerta Vallarta in the coming weeks.

According to Marisol Vanegas, the state’s tourism secretary, Quintana Roo, a state on the Caribbean side of Mexico where Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum live, is hoping to reopen in mid-June.

“We want to revive tourism and expect to open sights and hotels between June 10th and 15th, but we don’t yet know which,” she says.

“It depends on what the federal government allows us to do.”

Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, hopes to accommodate both international and domestic travelers by August and September.

According to Richard Zarkin, PR manager of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Riviera Nayarit beach destination north of Puerta Vallarta currently has no immediate plans to bring tourists back.


People enjoy the beach on August 16, 2019 in Oludeniz, Turkey.

Turkey will target international visitors from mid-June.

Burak Kara / Getty Images

Turkey has earned over $ 34.5 billion in tourism in 2019, and the transcontinental country is keen to do business again.

According to Minister of Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the destination plans to resume domestic tourism by the end of May and hopes to receive international visitors from mid-June.

The country has set new guidelines for its hotels and resort facilities, such as: B. Temperature checks at the entrances and at least 12 hours of room ventilation after checking out. Guests must wear face masks and distance themselves socially.

“The more transparent and detailed our information is, the more we will gain tourists’ trust,” Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy told Reuters earlier this month, unveiling plans to open around half of Turkish hotels this year.

In the meantime, restrictions on intercity travel have been lifted, while restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities, as well as beaches and museums, may reopen from June 1st.

The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, one of the largest markets in the world, has also been preparing to reopen two months ago on June 1st.


Tourists with masks in Piazza Duomo in Milan on March 5, 2020

Italy drops its mandatory arrival quarantine at a “calculated risk” to attract tourists.

PIERO CRUCIATTI / AFP via Getty Images

Italy has been one of the most affected by the pandemic, but the hugely popular European country is striving to get its tourism industry going after the slowdown in infection rates.

Travelers from the EU as well as from Great Britain and the small states and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican may enter without a quarantine from June 3. The government used this as a “calculated risk.”

“We have to accept it; otherwise we can never start again.”

Previously, visitors had to go through a two-week quarantine before gaining access.

All museums, including the Vatican Museums in Rome, were slowly reopened in May, following strict rules of social distancing. Bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen on May 18 with a reduced number of guests and plastic signs to separate customers.


A woman wearing a face mask is sitting on the Can Pere Antoni beach in Palma de Mallorca on May 25, 2020

At least 84 million people visited Spain in 2019.

JAIME REINA / AFP via Getty Images

Spain’s lock was one of the toughest in Europe, but the restrictions are being lifted gently. The beaches are slated to reopen in June, while hotels in some parts of the country have already started operating again.

As of July 1st, the European travel destination, which had a record 84 million visitors in 2019, allows EU travelers to enter without having to be quarantined for two weeks.

“Next July we will allow foreign tourists to arrive in Spain in safe conditions,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said at a recent press conference.

“We will guarantee that tourists are not at risk and pose no risk (for Spain).”

While there has been little mention of opening borders to travelers outside the EU, Spain hopes to follow destinations like Lithuania and the Czech Republic by creating safe corridors or a “travel bubble” with nearby destinations that it does have to keep the outbreak under control.

“The topic of borders is accompanied by the development of the health crisis.”

Currently, it is mandatory for people aged 6 and over to wear face masks in public both indoors and outdoors, “where maintenance is not possible.” [an interpersonal] Distance.”

The Maldives

Private jets and super yachts are allowed to enter the Maldives from June 1st.

Private jets and super yachts are allowed to enter the Maldives from June 1st.


It is already one of the most lavish travel destinations in the world, but the Maldives will become even more exclusive when it reopens.

The island nation, which consists of over 1,000 islands, closed its national borders and canceled all flights shortly after its first two coronavirus cases were recorded in March.

The Maldives have registered around 1,457 confirmed cases and five deaths from Covid-19.

While it was previously thought that the target would reopen at the end of the year, officials have brought it forward to July.

A gradual reopening has been proposed, allowing private jets and super yachts to be licensed from June 1st.

However, a previously reported $ 50,000 landing fee for charter flights and private jets and a recommended tourist visa fee have been canceled.

“We plan to reopen our borders to visitors in July 2020,” said an official statement by the Ministry of Tourism on May 30.

“We would also like to assure our guests that they will not be charged any additional fees for entering the Maldives.”

The government has also issued a “Safe Tourism License” for tourist facilities that comply with legal requirements and certain safety requirements, such as: B. The availability of a certified doctor and an “adequate inventory” of PPE equipment.

Travelers traveling over the trip will need a confirmed booking at a tourist facility with a “Safe Tourism License” and a special tourist visa for those wishing to spend at least 14 days in the country.

Visitors must also present a valid medical certificate confirming that they are Covid-19 free.

The Maldives had more than 1.7 million visitors in 2019 and the destination had expected the number to increase to two million in 2020.

St. Lucia

Pigeon Beach in St. Lucia as seen from Fort Rodney

St. Lucia will gradually reopen on June 4th.

DANIEL SLIM / AFP via Getty Images

St. Lucia is one of several Caribbean islands that are making a comeback to tourism.

The tropical destination, which closed its orders for foreign travelers on March 23, is slated to begin its gradual reopening on June 4 to lift the barriers for U.S. visitors.

Those traveling to the country must provide “certified evidence” of a negative Covid-19 test that was performed within 48 hours of boarding their flight.

Visitors are also subject to port health and temperature controls and are required to wear face masks and social distance during their visit.

Officials are also introducing new taxi security measures to separate drivers and passengers.

“Our new protocols have been carefully drafted and will strengthen the trust of travelers and our citizens,” said tourism minister Dominic Fedee in a statement.

“The St. Lucia government remains committed to protecting life and livelihoods by boosting its economy.”

Local companies were also allowed to reopen if they had appropriate cleaning measures and social distance measures.

Details of the second phase of the island’s reopening, scheduled to begin on August 1, will be announced in the coming weeks.


    Dona Ana beach in Lagos in the southern Algarve region of Portugal

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently said Portugal is open and “tourists are welcome”.

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images

Portugal is still loosening the blocking restrictions so that restaurants, museums and cafes can be reopened with reduced capacity from mid-May.

However, the European country is very interested in reviving its difficult tourism industry. Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently said “tourists are welcome”.

While visitors from outside the EU are banned until at least June 15, some routes in and from Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil are still in operation.

The land border between Portugal and Spain, which has been closed to tourists since March, is unlikely to open again until the EU travel restrictions are lifted.

“We will gradually try to relax border controls,” said Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita earlier this month.

Although the prospect of reopening for international tourists is still ongoing, officials are taking steps to ensure that foreign travelers feel safe that they can return as soon as they are able.

Rita Marques, the country’s secretary of state for tourism, has launched a “do not cancel, postpone” program that allows tourists to postpone pre-arranged vacations to Portugal by the end of 2021.

This applies to all bookings made through accredited travel agencies together with hotels or Airbnbs for travel between March 13 and September 30, 2020.

In addition, the national tourism authority Turismo de Portugal has created a free hygiene certification stamp to distinguish “Clean & Safe” tourism companies in order to strengthen visitor trust.

Organizations must comply with the hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of Covid-19 to receive the one-year stamp.

According to Santos Silva, Portuguese airports will soon introduce health checks for arrivals, but visitors will not be subject to mandatory quarantine.


A beach in Oranjestad, Aruba on August 27, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Luis Acosta (Photo credits should be LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images)

Aruba has released “preliminary” reopening dates between June 15th and July 1st.

LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images

The Caribbean island of Aruba plans to reopen its doors to travelers between June 15 and July 1.

However, the Caribbean Island Visitor Bureau, which has reported just over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases, says that this “tentative” date could change if Aruba decides to “take additional precautions as needed”.

Although no Covid 19 arrival arrival test requirements are mentioned, tourists must undergo temperature control upon arrival.

While unnecessary shops such as shopping centers, cinemas, beauty salons and outdoor restaurants were allowed to reopen on May 25, the island country was at 10 p.m. curfew remains until 5 a.m.

This means that such facilities have to close by 10 p.m. every day.

In addition, the Ministry of Health has introduced the “Aruba Health & Happiness Code”, a mandatory certification program for cleaning and hygiene for all companies involved in tourism in the country.


This aerial photo taken on August 26, 2019 shows residential areas in the Georgian capital Tbilisi

Georgia wants to welcome international travelers again from July 1st.

VANO SHLAMOV / AFP via Getty Images

But the country was forced to close its winter resorts in March and ban all foreign visitors due to the crisis.

The country’s government is striving to revitalize the tourism sector and plans to reopen it to international travelers on July 1st.

The next phase enables domestic travel in special “safe” tourist zones, while the last phase involves reopening the borders and resuming some flights.

“”[The] The tourism sector will be the first to receive emergency aid. “

Great Britain

Tourists stand near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on March 13, 2020.

From June 8, a mandatory 14-day quarantine was issued for all arrivals in the UK.

Maja Hitij / Getty Images

While other travel destinations are loosening travel restrictions and taking measures to lure travelers back, the UK decides to introduce stricter regulations.

According to the new rules, all arrivals must provide an address where they must stay for two weeks.

Anyone who violates the rules will be fined up to $ 1,218.

The decision, which is to be reviewed every three weeks, has dashed all hopes of saving international tourism in the coming weeks.

It is believed that the move may prevent airlines from resuming flight operations quickly, while officials have warned that there is little chance that British residents can go abroad this summer.

“I say you can’t go abroad at the moment,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said during a BBC television interview when asked if British citizens should book flights in July.

“If you book it, you inherently risk where the direction of this virus is going and where the travel advice will be in the future.”

The hotels are currently scheduled to open in early July. However, with EU border restrictions still in place, the UK will likely focus on domestic travel for now.

The luxury country house hotel Beaverbrook is one of many facilities waiting to be granted permission to reopen their doors while making important changes to protect guests and employees.

“We are still waiting for further clarification from the government when the hotel can reopen, but we have been working behind the scenes to adjust our operations to ensure additional security for our employees and guests,” said a spokesman for Surrey The Hotel CNN Travel said earlier this month.

“All visitors and employees must submit a temperature check on arrival and disinfect their hands when entering all the buildings on the property.

Kocha Olarn, Karla Cripps, Shivani Vora and Elinda Labropoulou from CNN also contributed to this article.

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