International Destinations Reopening to Tourists
Following the news and updates around the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations, and countries were forced to introduce travel restrictions. With the pandemic slowing down around the world, many countries have started to ease border restrictions and reopen for international tourists.
European Union and Schengen countries have slowly eased internal travel restrictions once the first wave of the COVID-19 was over. The goal of the EU was to reopen the travel within the Schengen by the end of June and for the rest of the world in July. EU member states agreed on a list of countries whose residents will be welcome to visit. This list will be evaluated every two weeks according to the Council of EU. Currently, citizens of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China can enter. However, countries that saw a rise in the number of infections have been removed from the list, like Montenegro, Serbia and the USA.
Austria first opened its borders to Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Hungary on June 4. On June 16, Austria allowed all EU residents, except the UK, Sweden, and Portugal, to enter. Visitors from the approved EU countries can visit Austria without a quarantine period or testing. Currently, most European Union countries can travel to Austria without restrictions. Passengers from the UK, Sweden, Bulgaria, Romania, and Portugal will be obligated to present a medical certificate or self-isolate. Passengers from the Gütersloh in Germany will need a negative PCR test to travel to Austria because of recent spikes in COVID-19 cases. Flights from Belgrade, Sarajevo, and Bucharest have been canceled following recent spikes in the number of infections in the Balkans.
Citizens that are outside of the Schengen Area are prohibited from entering Austria by air. However, seasonal workers in the agricultural, forestry, and tourism sectors and citizens that hold a Visa D are exempt from this ban.
Croatia will not be allowing non-EU citizens to enter until at least July 1. On June 1, 2020, Croatia reopened to tourists, by allowing visitors from countries only within the European Union. Croatia currently does not require a negative test to enter the country. Following recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in the Balkans Croatia has imposed quarantine for passengers from North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia. Borders with EU, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, and Holy See remain open without any travel restrictions.
Passengers from outside of the EU and Schengen area can enter the country for business, study, and tourism reasons if they provide required documentation. It will be required to present a PCR test that is not older than 48-hours on arrival. Passengers that do not present a negative PCR test will be obligated to quarantine for 14 days and re-test on their own cost. Passengers in transit may travel through the Republic of Croatia provided that it is possible to enter or transit through the neighboring country. Also in order to shorten border checks, it is advised for all passengers to fill out an online form that you can find here.
Hotels in Cyprus began to reopen on June 1, while international air travel restarted on June 9. Cyprus started allowing travel from certain European countries, including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Switzerland with no negative test required. The government created three lists based on the epidemiological situation, which explains what conditions must be met. You can find the lists here.
- List A
These are countries that are considered low-risk and no negative test or quarantine is required for passengers coming from these destinations. The list is updated regularly. Currently, passengers from Austria, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Iceland, Lichenstein, Norway, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, and South Korea can enter Cyprus with no restrictions.
- List B
Passengers coming from these countries need to test negative for the virus no later than 72 hours before their arrival. Currently, the lists is composed of Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino, Algeria, Australia, Georgia, Morocco, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, China.
- List C
All countries not listed in category A or B fall under category C. For passengers form countries in this category entry is not permitted at all with the exception for Cyprus residents.
Interestingly, Cyprus has said the country would cover all costs for travelers if they test positive for coronavirus while visiting.
Greece opened to visitors from the EU, China, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, and several other countries that have their coronavirus outbreaks under control. So far, no quarantine period is required but random testing at the airport is possible. In the beging of July Greece shut its borders to passengers from Serbia because of the rise in infections.
France lifted restrictions on travelers from the EU on June 15, no longer requiring them to have an international travel certificate or a quarantine period. France announced that it would require incoming passengers from 16 countries to go through mandatory testing at the airport.
Passengers from these countries will be required to take a COVID-19 test at the airport:
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Iceland never closed its borders to travelers from the EU, however, a 14-day quarantine upon arrival was required. On June 15, the country started allowing EU travelers to take a free COVID-19 test to avoid the quarantine. Starting July 1, the COVID-19 testing will no longer be free, instead, passengers will have to pay around $100.
Passengers can travel to Montenegro without quarantine, as long as they are arriving from countries with a rate of transmission below 25 per 100,000 inhabitants. They are updating this list daily and you can find it here. Passengers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Turkey, Israel, Poland, Romania, Italy and Ukraine will be obligated to present a negative PCR test upon arrival. French, UK and Spanish passengers will need to self-isolate upon arrival.
Malta will be first reopening for tourism on July 1st, allowing visitors from more than 20 nations to enter the country without an isolation period. The countries allowed in the first wave of the reopening include Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Switzerland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Greece, and Croatia.
In the second stage of the reopening Malta will be welcoming tourists from all over the world starting July 15, 2020.
French Polynesia will be reopening for international arrivals starting July 15, 2020. There will also be no requirement for self-isolation. Passengers will be required to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure and show a negative test on arrival.
Spain opened its borders to members of the EU's Schengen Zone and the UK on June 21. Passengers from other, non-Schengen countries will be allowed into the country without the obligation to self-quarantine starting July 1.
The UK never closed down its borders for international travel. However, on June 8 they implemented a rule that requires visitors to quarantine for 14 days with the exception of those traveling from Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. On July 10 the goverment announced that passengers coming from low-risk countries like Germany and France will no longer be required to quarantine. British tourists on holiday in Spain will be required to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return, following a spike in infections in three Spanish regions.
Turkey has opened its border to foreign travellers, except for the land border with Iran.
South Korea, China, and others remain closed for international travel, and there is currently no set date or a plan for reopening. However, some countries have announced reopening plans.
Sri Lanka will be reopening its borders to foreign tourists starting August 1, 2020. Passengers from all countries will be welcome, however, strict rules will be implemented. Passengers should carry a negative test result taken no more than 72h before arrival. All passengers will be required to take an additional test on arrival that will be free., and another test 4-5 days into their stay. Also, foreign passengers will not be allowed in public transport. Passengers will only be able to stay in government-approved accommodation and must spend a minimum of five days in the country.
Domestic tourism in Bali will resume on July 9, 2020. If the local transmission is low, Bali will reopen its borders to foreign tourists in October according to the Bali government.
The United Arab Emirates has announced that starting July 7, 2020, they will allow foreign visitors into Dubai. All Tourists will be required to present a recent Covid-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports. Those who test positive will be obligated to isolate for 14 days. Another requirement for tourists will be the Covid-19 DXB app and they should register their details.
The Maldives will reopen its borders to international passengers on July 15. Thirty-day, a free on-arrival visa will be issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country. The entire holiday has to be booked at a single facility except for transit arrangements. There will be no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival. Tourists will only have to complete a health declaration form.
The Caribbean will be reopening for tourists starting mid-June and July.
Aruba announced the official reopening of the borders for international travel for different countries between June 15 and July 10, 2020. Passengers from Canada, Europe, and the rest of the Caribbean will be allowed to enter after July 1, and US travelers can enter after July 10. If you are considering visiting Aruba you should have negative test result taken no more than 72 hours before their visit, or receive a test on arrival with a fee.
The Bahamas will officially be reopening for tourism on July 1, 2020, for tourists from all over the world. If travelers have not been exposed to the virus, nor showing any symptoms, they will be granted entry with no quarantine period. Passengers should fill out an online electronic health declaration form and bring a negative test no older than 10 days.
Bermuda will start accepting international arrivals on July 1. Passengers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure, health insurance, and wear face masks on the plane and in the airport. Once arrived, visitors will have to take another COVID-19 test and isolate until they receive the results.
Jamaica reopened to international tourists on June 15. All arriving passengers to Jamaica will be required to have a Travel Authorization prior to check-in for a flight to Jamaica which you can find here.
In March Hawaii introduced mandatory 14 quarantine for all passengers arriving from out of state. This rule will stay in place until August 1, 2020, when the quarantine period will no longer be required. Instead, a negative test result taken no more than 72h before arrival should be provided.
Passengers traveling to Alaska have several different options. If they want to avoid quarantine passengers will need to provide a negative test result taken no more than 72h before arrival. Passengers can also take a test upon their arrival, however, a quarantine will be in place until they receive test results. If the passengers doesnt have a negative test a 14-day quarantine will be mandatory. A follow test up will be required 7-14 days into the stay.
The United States
The United States has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals who have visited Brazil, China, Iran, the Schengen Area, Ireland, or the United Kingdom in the past 14 days.
US citizens and permanent residents who have passed through or have been in any of the countries that have restricted entry in the past 14 days may still enter the US but must arrive at one of the following airports: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington (IAD).
Family members of US citizens and permanent residents, and certain other limited categories of visa holders (UN staff and diplomats) can enter the United States. However, on June 22 a Presidential Executive Order restricted entry for certain immigrant visas. The restricted entry applies to applicants for H-1B, H-2B, L-1, J-1 applicants participating in the intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor or summer work and travel programs, and any spouses or children of covered applicants applying for H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas. There are some exceptions for medical workers and government officials.
You can find all the information regarding Visa restrictions here.
Brazil has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals except certain visa holders. Citizens, residents, government employees, and their family members, immediate family members of citizens, diplomats, travelers with authorization from the government, travelers with a National Migration Registry, or travelers in transit who do not leave the international area of the airport are exempt from the restrictions.
Foreigners of any nationality can enter Brazil if they have a temporary visa for one of the following purposes:
- Research, teaching or academic extension;
- Making an investment
- Family reunion
- Artistic or sports activities with a fixed-term contract
Mexico does not have any entry restrictions, but travelers arriving from countries affected by COVID-19 will be tested and quarantined if necessary. The land border between Mexico and the US has been closed to non-essential traffic.