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When Can we Travel? Everything You Need to Know

20 November 2020By Olivia Michel

Want to know when you can go on holiday abroad again? Read our coronavirus travel updates guide for the latest news and advice on when you'll will be allowed to travel, fly and cruise again.

When will Coronavirus Travel Restrictions be Lifted?

Each country’s approach to travel is changing on a case-by-case basis. Generally, domestic and international travel bans are being lifted once the number of coronavirus cases have plateaued or begin to decline. Below, we list the countries that are now planning to ease lockdown measures.

Tourists from all countries can resume travel to Chile by the end of November. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The Ministry of Health for Chile has announced that tourists from all countries will be allowed resume travel to the country via Santiago airport by the end of November. They will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test on entry but will not need to quarantine after arrival.

Travel to the US is still banned indefinitely for anyone travelling from China, Iran, Brazil, the UK, and any Schengen countries, plus the border closure between Canada and Mexico has been extended to December 21. Mexico, however, has already reopened to other travellers without the need for quarantine on arrival.

Over in Canada, all foreign travellers are still barred from entering until the forseeable future, unless travelling for work, study, or to visit a family member who is also a Canadian citizen. Read more here.

The border closure between the US and Canada has been extended until December 21. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

International travellers to the islands of Hawaii are still barred, however tourists from the rest of the US can now enter without having to quarantine if they are able to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. More details here.

Although the country is still closed to most travellers, health officials in Thailand have welcomed the first short-term tourists to specific areas of the country. Travellers who are allowed to enter will need to quarantine prior to departure and will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival. It has been suggested that Thailand could be included in a Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble before the end of the year.

Malaysia has announced that no foreign tourists will be allowed to enter the country, including the islands of Langkawi and Borneo, until the start of 2021.

Malaysia has extended its border closure through to next year. Image courtesy of Four Seasons.

Some countries have also now been forced to reimpose travel restrictions after seeing a spike in cases upon reopening borders.

The government has recommended travel to The Bahamas only for essential purposes and a negative COVID-19 test result will be required upon arrival. A lockdown has also been imposed for residents across the islands.

Indonesia's tourist hotspot Bali had initially announced September as its reopening date but has now confirmed that borders will be closed until 2021 due to rising case numbers.

The Bahamas has reintroduced border closures after seeing a recent rise of cases in the country. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Although UK borders are open to foreign travellers, a number of new arrivals from countries that have been removed from the travel corridor list will need to isolate for two weeks upon arrival. The latest countries to now be impacted by these new measures include French Polynesia, Portugal and some Greek Islands. To find out which countries are included on the travel corridor list, click here.

Northern Ireland follows the same protocols as the UK, whereas the Republic of Ireland is still advising against all non-essential travel, including restricting entry to those from Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland). Currently, those on Ireland's "green list", which includes some Scandanavian and European countries, can enter the island but will be asked to "restrict movement" upon arrival. Read the full list here.

The UK is imposing a quarantine period on arrivals from an increasing number of countries. Picture Credit: Bjorn Snelders/Unsplash

Which Countries are Open for Travel?

More and more countries began to restart their tourism industries over the summer - albeit in a tentative and cautious manner.

St Kitts and Nevis has reopened borders to commercial air and sea travel. The first tourists to be welcomed will be those from neigbouring Caribbean countries, followed by travellers from the rest of the world if they can present a negative COVID-19 test. New arrivals are only allowed to stay in government-approved accommodation or luxury resorts.

Until recently, only work related travel was allowed into Singapore. Now, travellers from Brunei, New Zealand, Australia and Vitenam can enter for leisure.

Travellers from New Zealand are allowed to enter the New South Wales and the Northern Territory regions of Australia thanks to a recently agreed travel bubble. However, unless a returning resident or national (who will need to quarantine on arrival), Australians cannot enter New Zealand yet as the agreement is one-way only. 

Singapore is welcoming travellers from just four countries. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

South Africa has opened borders but only to travellers from select countries that can provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. To see the full list of countries not allowed to enter, click here.

Belize is now open to all international travellers, however new arrivals will need to download the Belize Health App for tracing purposes and will also need to present negative COVID-19 test results. Read more here.

The island of Dominica is also now open to all foreign tourists with requirements to present negative COVID-19 tests upon arrival.

Costa Rica has announced that it is welcoming back travellers only from EU/Schengen countries, the UK and Canada. All travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of arrival and must have travel insurance. You can read more here.

The UAE has now opened international borders to Dubai. Image courtesy of Pexels.

The Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland and Norway are now open to tourists from a number of countries, and Sweden is only open to all Schengen countries with hopes to further lift travel bans in November.

Iceland is open to tourism, but international travellers will either need to undergo a 14-day quarantine or present a negative test upon arrival. Tourists from Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Germany are exempt from these restrictions and can travel freely once arriving in the country.

Most places in the Middle East remain closed. However, Dubai is now open to international tourists. Arrivals will need to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate, and will also be tested on entry.

Barbados is welcoming travellers again. Image courtesy of the Crane Resort Barbados.

A number of countries over in the Caribbean have now reopened their borders. This includes Barbados, Bermuda, St BartsThe US Virgin islandsAntigua and BarbudaSt Lucia, St. Maarten and the Dominican Republic. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines borders are open but all new arrivals still need to quarantine.

Turks and Caicos borders are also open to international travellers, but new arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival and need to have insurance that covers any potential costs related to coronavirus. Read more here.

Curaçao has reopened now too, but only to travellers for certain countries - find out which ones here.

Cuba is one of the few South American countries to have reopened borders - but the tourist board has stated that international tourists are only allowed to visit specific areas. You can find out which regions are open for travel here.

Some African countries, including Morocco, have now opened international borders.. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The African countries of Morocco, EgyptTanzania, Kenya and Tunisia have also recently reopened their borders again to international travellers. Rwanda is also open but travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test result from a certified laboratory within 72 hours of arrival - you can read more here. Zanzibar is also open and is testing all travellers upon arrival onto the island.

Spain has reopened its borders and islands to tourists and will no longer be imposing a 14-day quarantine upon new arrivals. Portugal and its islands are open to travellers but travel restrictions vary by country - find out more here.

Austria opened borders to travellers from Schengen states back in June but tourists from other countries, including the US, are still barred.

Tourists from certain countries are now being welcomed back to Montenegro. Image courtesy of Porto Montenegro.

June 15 was a significant date, with a number of countries deciding to reopen international borders with precautionary measures on this day. This included Germany, JamaicaGreece and France.

Italy announced the reopening of its borders to Europe on June 3, so travellers are now able to move freely to and from Italy with no quarantine requirement upon arrival. You can read more via the government website here.

Malta reopened on July 1, but only to travellers from a selection of Schengen countries. You can find out which ones here.

Croatia has opened to all European countries and those further afield with certain requirements. You can learn more about the new measures here. Neighbouring Montenegro is also now allowing travellers from an extensive list of accepted countries to visit.

Cambodia is technically open to tourists but getting there won't necessarily be easy for now. Picture credit: Adobe stock.

The borders of South Korea are now open too, but all new arrivals are required to undergo quarantine for 14 days. Click here for more info.

On May 20, Cambodia announced that it has reopened borders to tourists from certain countries. However, all foreign nationals arriving into the country must pay a $3,000 deposit at the airport to pay for what Sao Wathana, director of the Phnom Penh International Airport, has called "virus prevention services”. Those who test negative for the virus will only be charged the fees for the test and will receive back the rest of the deposit.

In the Indian Ocean, The Maldives and The Seychelles are open to international travellers from certain countries. The French Polynesian islands in the South Pacific are also open for travel again.

French Polynesia has reopened to tourists. Picture credit: Unsplash.

When Can We Fly Again?

Most airports across the world have now restarted international flights, even if operating at a limited schedule. The few countries where airlines remain grounded include The Bahamas, India, and Myanmar.

Tourists can now resume travel to Chile but will only be able to enter via Santiago airport. 

At the beginning of October, international flights into the Middle Eastern country of Oman resumed from a number of destinations, but tourists are still largely barred.

Very few international flights are allowed into New Zealand. Currently, Air New Zealand is only operating flights to and from Sydney, Brisbane, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Niue, as well as a one-way only service to Singapore.

South American countries are still closed to comercial flights as well, with ArgentinaBrazil and Colombia planing to restart in August and Bolivia and Peru banning international flights until the beginning of September.

Almost every other country is allowing international travellers to fly again, even if only for neccessary travel.

International flights to mainland Greece have now resumed. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

When Will International Flights Resume in the UK?

Regular flights between countries are once again beginning to pick up after the UK formed 'air bridges' with a number of different destinations.

Airlines which have now resumed flights to and from the UK include Emirates, TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, BA Wizz Air, Easy Jet, Ryanair, Oman Air and United.

Most airlines will only resume normal schedules to and from the UK by mid-summer. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

When Will International Flights Resume in the US?

Though some airports are still operated at reduced capacity, a number of US airlines have announced plans to restart flight schedules.

American Airlines has now resumed international flights, with procedures in place that will allow passengers on full planes to switch to less crowded flights at no extra cost.

Southwest, which operates domestic flights in the US and international flights to the Caribbean, has restarted flights to almost all of its regular destinations (except Nassau in the Bahamas) with special procedures in place.

Delta is still not operating its full flight schedules, but plans to resume flights to most destinations shortly.

United Airlines has continued to fly to Europe and South America throughout the pandemic at a reduced capacity and is now begining to resume flights to other international destinations.

Delta and United Airlines are already back to flying from the US to various international destinations. Image courtesy of pixabay.

When Can We Cruise, Sail or Charter Again?

A number of countries are allowing yachts and charters to sail their waters before allowing international flights to land. For more guidance on charter restrictions, read our updates here or take a look at our superyacht marina guide. Below, we list the countries that have announced the reopening of their waters.

Antigua and Barbuda has reopened borders to international marine traffic and is actively encouraging the yachting community to return, with plans afoot to execute all of the yachting events on the racing calendar.

Foreign travellers can once again visit Chile by yacht or plane, and the country has been offering special allowances for crew changes since September. 

The Maldives is open to land and sea travel for vessels from all countries travelling in the indian ocean, while In the South Pacific, French Polynesia is also welcoming international vessels with those on board required to present negative COVID-19 test results before and after arriving.

Yachts can now return to the islands of French Polynesia. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Fiji opened its borders to superyachts and other foreign-flagged vessels, despite remaining closed to tourists arriving by air travel. The only port of entry to the country will be Port Denarau Marina, and new arrivals will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before disembarking.

According to brokerage firm IYCCroatia is now open again for chartering, with “charter clients / guests allowed to enter the country without any quarantine requirements”. The firm has also announced that Greece is open for yachting and chartering, but has nonetheless encouraged clients to book charter superyachts without a cancellation fee. Other European yachting grounds now open for travel include Cyprus, Monaco and Italy.

Those hoping to undertake a northwest passage journey may have to put their plans on hold. Vessels carrying more than 12 passengers will be barred from entering Arctic coastal waters of Canada (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast) indefinitely. However sailing is allowed in inland rivers and lakes in the Northwest Territories of Nunavut and Yukon.

Croatia, on the Adriatic Sea, is once again welcoming charter yachts. Image courtesy of adobe stock.

What are Travel Bubbles?

Countries with low numbers of reported coronavirus cases are now working together to create so-called 'travel bubbles' with one another. This means that people who live within the bubble will be allowed to cross borders without the need to go into quarantine upon arrival.Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania created the first European travel bubble when they opened borders to each other back in May.

Most recently, Australia and New Zealand who have now agreed begun operating within a one-sided trans-Tasman travel bubble, which allows only travellers New Zealand to enter certain regions of Australia.

Officals have announced that a travel bubble will be created between Hong Kong and Singapore so that travellers between the two destinations will no longer have to quarantine. No date for the begnning of this bubble has been announced yet, however. 

Canada has announced the recent introduction of a travel bubble with the neigbouring provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, which means that arrrivals from these areas will not have to undergo quarantine.

New Zealand has agreed on a 'travel bubble' with Australia. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

What are Travel Corridors?

Much like 'travel bubbles', 'air bridges' or 'travel corridors' are the result of an agreement between two countries that travellers from either location will not need to quarantine upon arrival. The UK has now created air bridges with over 70 different countries which it has deemed  ''no longer pose an unacceptably high risk'' for travellers. This means that if you are arriving or returning to the UK from low-risk destinations you are free to move around once you have entered the country.

Countries with high case numbers of COVID-19, including the US and most of South America, will still need to quarantine. To see the full list of locations which have agreed to a UK travel corridor, click here.

Travellers from the UK's 'air bridge' list no longer need to quarantine upon arrival. Image courtesy of Benjamin Davies/Unsplash.

When Will Hotels Reopen?

European countries including the UKCroatia, Turkey, Monaco, France, Greece and Italy have already begun reopening some of their hotels to international visitors with social distancing measures in place. In regions like the US and Asia, which remain closed to international travellers, hotels have for now been reopened for locals to enjoy staycations.

For more information on which luxury hotels are now welcoming guests, read our comprehensive luxury hotels openings guide.

Turkey reopened some hotels on May 27. Image courtesy of Four Seasons Resorts.

Which Countries Have the Lowest Cases of Coronavirus?

If you’re thinking about which countries will be the safest to travel to after lockdown, then you’ve probably been searching for which countries have the lowest numbers of COVID-19 cases and fatalities.

So far, popular cruising and holiday spots with zero reported COVID-deaths include The Seychelles, St Kitts, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Barts and Grenada. Less than 25 deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported in St Lucia, The British Virgin Islands, Barbados and Antigua.

Mediterranean countries with the least COVID-19-related deaths include Monaco, Cyprus and Malta.

Zero COVID-related deaths have been reported in The Seychelles. Image courtesy of Dave Shaw/Unsplash.

The Nordic countries of Iceland and Greenland have some of the lowest numbers in Europe- so now might be the time to start planning that once in a lifetime arctic adventure.

In Asia, it looks like Macao, Cambodia and Laos, which have all reported zero COVID-related deaths, may be the safest places to travel to once lockdown lifts.

keep checking back here for the latest travel updates of when coronavirus travel restrictions will be lifted and, while travel may not be possible, check out our roundup of the best virtual travel experiences to transport you abroad now.

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