Countries that are easing travel restrictions
Following the news and updates around the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations, and borders were closed for international travel. We have the latest information from countries, airlines, and hotels all around the world. As the pandemic started to slow down, especially in Europe, countries have started to slowly re-open their borders for international travel.
Countries that are easing travel restrictions
Almost every country across the world had imposed travel restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19. Now, some countries, especially in Europe, have started to ease these restrictions and prepare for both domestic and international flights to start again.
On May 8, the European Commission recommended an additional 30-day travel restriction period. As the 30 day period is slowly coming to an end many countries will ease travel restrictions starting June 15, 2020. Most of the European countries have already lifted many in-country restrictions, bars and shops are open and public transport started operating again. Also, small gatherings will be allowed.
Austrian borders will re-open with several countries starting June 15, 2020. Initially, cross-travel will be open with Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. However, strict rules will be in place. All passengers that wish to enter Austria will have to have a health certificate proving that they do not carry the COVID-19 virus. For passengers that do not provide a health certificate, a 14-day self-isolation period will be mandatory. Testing for the virus will be available at the Vienna airport for the price of €190.
Similarly to Austria, starting June 15 some international travel will be introduced again. Currently, only essential travel is allowed.
Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
Currently passengers can travel within the Baltic region but no one outside of these three countries is allowed entry.
Currently, only passengers from neighboring countries (Serbia, Hungary, and Montenegro) and Croatian citizens are allowed entry. All passengers are required to self-isolate for 14 days. However, Croatia is slowly lifting many of the imposed restrictions – bars and restaurants are re-open, public transport is operating and smaller gatherings are allowed. We will probably see the border restrictions ease up in the coming weeks as well.
The Cyprus government plans on gradually resuming international travel between June 9 and July 13. No official date for tourist arrivals has been released yet.
On June 15 France will re-open borders with Germany and Switzerland and gradually lift travel restrictions. All passengers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Similarly to France, on June 15 Germany will re-open borders with Switzerland, France, and Austria. Also, passengers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. However, passengers from the EU, the Schengen Area, and the UK will be required to self-isolate only if they come from a high-infection area.
Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared 15 June the official start of the tourist season in Greece. The country successfully avoided a full-scale pandemic with an early lockdown and the restrictions are slowly being lifted. Starting May 25, bars, restaurants and similar facilities were allowed to continue business as usual.
Iceland is set to re-open to tourism by June 15th 2020.
Italy was one of the countries that were hit the hardest with the pandemic. However, the government is planning on re-opening the borders for international travel on June 3rd.
Currently, borders are open for tourists from Schengen countries. Also, bars, restaurants are slowly reopening, and starting June 1, small outdoor gatherings will be allowed.
Slovenia re-opened its borders for international travels. However, passengers will be required to self-isolate.
Like Italy, Spain is among the countries that were hit hard with the pandemic. Spain announced a re-opening by July 1st. Details are still sparse.
Even though the UK has been hit hard and the numbers keep growing daily no travel restrictions were imposed.
The majority of Asian countries have not announced any firm plans for re-opening borders for international travel. However, we are seeing the restrictions within the countries being eased and the number of infected people in the decline.
Current news reports indicate that many countries will open by October 2020. Rumors suggest that Thailand (which is heavily dependent on tourism may open as soon s July for tourism).
The transit facilities of Hong Kong and Singapore International Airport are set to reopen on June 1st for all travelers.
Similarly to Asia, no international travel is allowed yet. Most countries still have strict restrictions in place with the exception of Egypt. Egypt re-opened hotels to domestic tourists at a 25% capacity.
The United States of America has kept their airport immigration counters open during the pandemic with the following exceptions:
- entry continues to be suspended to nearly all foreign nationals who have been in the European Union countries, China,Brazil, United Kingdom and Iran at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled travel to the U.S.
- the land borders between Canada and Mexico have remained closed and flights between the countries and the US have been largely cancelled - the border to Canada and flights are set to re-open in late May 2020
Most US states have announced an easing of internal restrictions by the end of June 2020 (including Hawaii). California and New York state seem to be the states with the longest lasting quranatines.
The Mexican state of Quintana Roo, where you can find vacation hot spots like Cancun and Riviera Maya, has announced that it plans to reopen to tourists in June.
The majority of countries in South America are closed indefinitely for international travel and many of them have strict in-country restrictions in place as the number of cases is on the rise.
The number of reported cases has been relatively low in the Caribbean region. Aruba, Cayman Islands, Grenada, and St. Lucia will be open for tourists with a negative COVID-19 test and/or a self-isolation period. We might see a similar move from the rest of the Caribbean countries in the coming weeks.
India & the Middle East
Most notably the transit facilities of Doha International airport never closed to passengers. There are sparse updates on easing of immigration restrictions in most Middle Eastern countries, though Israel seems to have the most firm plans. The big transit hubs in teh UAE will likely open for transit soon.
As of time of writing India had just reopened domestica air traffic. No update has been given when immigration policies will return to normal.