TOP Travel Destinations open for tourists
Although most governments are still advising against “nonessential” international travel, a host of popular destinations are beginning to ease their Covid-19 lockdown measures and border restrictions and are moving toward welcoming tourists back.
Earlier this month, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed “travel bubbles,” lifting restrictions for each other’s citizens.
A number of Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, while destinations such as Mexico and Thailand are planning to open up again region by region in the coming weeks.
One of the top travel destinations, after COVID-19 pandemia. Tourism accounts for almost 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product, as well as one in five jobs, so it’s perhaps no surprise the Mediterranean nation is angling to reopen to tourists as soon as it possibly can.
The European country, which managed to keep its coronavirus case numbers low by implementing a strict lockdown early on, plans to allow travelers back in on June 15.
“The tourism period begins on June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on May 20.
“Let us make this summer the epilogue of the [Covid-19] crisis,” he added.
Mitsotakis went on to state that direct international flights to Greek destinations will slowly resume from July 1, and tourists from 29 designated countries will no longer be expected to take a Covid-19 test or go into quarantine on arrival.
However, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis has indicated health officials will conduct spot tests when necessary.
“The tourism experience this summer may be slightly different from what you’ve had in previous years,” Mitsotakis told.
“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.”
The 29 countries are Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland.
Greece resumed regular ferry services to its islands on May 25, while travel restrictions within the country were lifted on May 18, “allowing movement from one prefecture to another,” apart from the islands.
Bars and restaurants have also been allowed to take up business again, while city hotels are scheduled to reopen on June 1, followed by seasonal hotels in July.
All international passengers had previously been required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival or go into quarantine for 14 days.
Mitsotakis had suggested tourists would be required to undergo testing before their visit as a further precaution in the future, but it seems this is only the case for travelers from countries that aren’t on the list, whichn based on a document from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency of airports worldwide “located in affected areas with high risk of transmission of the Covid-19 infection.”
Bali – TOP tourists choice
Maybe one of the top travel destinations, with 350 confirmed covid cases.
Bali has also been successful in containing its coronavirus outbreak, with less than 350 confirmed cases and, at the time of writing, a total of four deaths.
The Indonesian island now hopes to welcome tourists back by October, provided its infection rates stay low.
According to a statement from Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, secretary of the ministry, Yogyakarta, situated on the island of Java, is likely to reopen first, along with the Riau islands province.
Bali’s economy is hugely dependent on tourism and visitor numbers have been rising in recent years, with around 6.3 million people visiting in 2019.
“The coronavirus has collapsed the Balinese economy … it’s been a steep drop since [mid-March] when social-distancing measures were put in place,” Mangku Nyoman Kandia, a Bali tour guide, told ABC News in April. “No tourist, no money.”
All foreign nationals, except for diplomats, permanent residents and humanitarian workers, are currently banned from Indonesia, and anyone entering the island must undergo a swab test and provide a letter stating they are free of Covid-19.
It’s unclear what the entry requirements will be if restrictions are lifted later this year, or whether Bali will accept travelers from regions badly affected by the pandemic.
Cyprus is one of the most traditional, summer travel destinations. Cyprus is so keen to get its tourists industry back on track, officials are offering to cover the costs of any travellers who test positive for Covid-19 while on vacation in the Mediterranean island nation.
According to a letter shared with CNN, the Cypriot government will pay for lodging, as well as food, drink and medication for tourists who are taken ill with coronavirus during their visit.
The detailed plan was set out in a five-page letter issued to governments, airlines and tour operators on May 26.
Officials have also earmarked a 100-bed hospital for foreign travelers who test positive, while a 500-room “quarantine hotel” will be available to patients’ family and “close contacts.”
“The traveler will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline,” states the letter.
The news came shortly after Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced hotels in the country will reopen on June 1, while international air travel will restart on June 9.
Once the destination reopens, visitors from only chosen countries will be allowed to enter.
Officials have issued a list of countries to be granted access to Cyprus in two separate stages.
Incoming flights from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania will be authorised first.
From June 20, Cyprus will also permit incoming flights from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.
The UK and the US, both listed among the nations with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths, are noticeably absent.
However, the list is to be expanded to include furthe23r countries in the coming months.
Travelers heading to Cyprus will need to provide a valid certificate proving they’ve tested negative for Covid-19, while they’ll be subject to temperature checks on arrival as well as testing at random during the course of their trip.
The destination has already put measures in place to protect travelers and residents, such as ensuring hotel staff wear masks and gloves, regularly disinfecting sunbeds and keeping tables at restaurants, bars, cafés,and pubs at least two meters (6.5 feet) apart.
Tourism accounts for at least 15% of Cyprus’s economy.
St. Lucia is one of several Caribbean islands trying for a tourism comeback and one of the most famous travel destinations.
The tropical destination, which closed its orders to foreign travelers on March 23, is to begin its phased reopening on June 4, when it will lift it borders to visitors from the United States.
Those traveling to the country must present “certified proof” of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight.
Visitors will also be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities and must wear face masks and maintain social distancing during their visit.
Officials are also bringing in new safety measures for taxis to separate drivers and passengers in order to protect tourists.
“Our new protocols have been carefully crafted and will build confidence among travelers and our citizens,” Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee said in a statement.
“The government of Saint Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jump starts its economy.”
Local businesses have also been allowed to reopen, provided they have appropriate cleaning measures and social distancing measures in place.
Details of the second phase of the island’s reopening, which is to begin on August 1, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tourism brings in around $1 billion in revenue for Egypt each month, so the impact of the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic has been significant.
The government suspended passenger flights back in March, while all hotels, restaurants and cafes were closed and a night curfew imposed.
These measures are currently being relaxed, with hotels that meet certain requirements, such as having a clinic with a resident doctor on site, being granted permission to reopen for domestic visitors at a reduced capacity.
But a curfew remains in place between 8p.m. and 5 a.m, and the government has made wearing masks mandatory in public places and public transport.
Although international flights are yet to begin operating again — bar a select few routes — cabinet spokesman Nader Saad recently stated they may gradually recommence during June and July.
“We have to prepare,” Saad said during a televised interview.
“A number of global carriers have expressed willingness to resume flights to Egypt in July, and as a result we are considering a gradual resumption of international flights beginning towards the end of this month and in the first half of July.”