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When Can we Travel? Everything You Need to Know

11 February 2021By 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.

The US will evaluate its border closures at the end of the month. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Travel to the US and the islands of Hawaii is still banned indefinitely for anyone travelling from China, Iran, Brazil, the UK, and any Schengen countries. The border closure between Canada and Mexico could be reopened from February 21.

A slew of countries have banned all travellers from the UK, after a mutated variant of the COVID-19 virus was discovered there. In Great Britain, there is currently a lockdown in place until March 31, plus a number of countries have been removed from the travel corridor list, meaning arrivals from those locations will need to isolate for two weeks upon arrival. If you're a UK citizen/resident thinking about summer holidays, you may want to consider a staycation this year.

Northern Ireland has announced that its lockdown will remain in place until March 5, and all travellers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival in the Republic of Ireland.

A number of countries have barred travellers from the UK. Image courtesy of Unsplash. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Although Mexico had reopened to foreign travellers in the summer, the country is now in lockdown, which will likely affect travel restrictions.

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.

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

Canada is still barring most travellers to the country. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Which Countries are Open for Travel?

More and more countries have begun to restart their tourism industries - albeit in a tentative and cautious manner.

Indonesia has reopened its borders to international travellers after many months of strict closure. Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) has reported that visitors to destinations such as Bali are welcome if they can procure the new e-visa, as well as being able to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival.

Indonesia has now reopened borders to foreign travellers. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The Middle Eastern country of Oman has resumed the issuing of tourist visas, but travellers are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 10 days and will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.

According to the Thai tourism board website, foreign nationals from low-risk countries can apply for a visa to visit Thailand, but they will need to quarantine upon arrival.

An agreed travel bubble means that travellers from New Zealand are allowed to Australia and vice versa. Any other foreign travellers are barred from entering both of these countries.

The British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis and The Bahamas are the latest Caribbean countries to open for tourists.

Many Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, are now open for travel. Picture Credit: Adobe Stock

They join Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda, Dominica, St BartsThe US Virgin islandsAntigua and BarbudaSt Lucia, St. Maarten, Arbuba and the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos and Curaçao. Each of these countries have varying restrictions and protocols in place concerning how travellers can arrive. 

In Central America, countries including Belize and Costa Rica have reopened borders, but travellers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result.

Some south American countries, including Cuba, Chile and Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, have reopened borders with some restrictions in place.

Costa Rica is welcoming travellers again. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Over in Europe, Italy, France, Germany, Greece and Spain are open to most travellers. 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.

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

Croatia has reopened its tourism industry. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Croatia has opened to all European countries and those further afield with certain requirements. Neighbouring Montenegro is also now allowing travellers from an extensive list of accepted countries to visit.

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.

Many Nordic countries are open for travel again. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Moving over to warmer climes, 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.

The African countries of Morocco, EgyptTanzania, Kenya and Tunisia have also recently reopened their borders again to international travellers. Rwanda and South Africa are also open but travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test result from a certified laboratory on arrival. Zanzibar is also open and is testing all travellers upon arrival onto the island.

Until recently, only work related travel was allowed into Singapore. Now, travellers from Brunei, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China and Vitenam can enter for leisure, with varying procedures in place.

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

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.

Cambodia 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?

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

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.

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

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 are flying, but still operating on a reduced schedule. 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 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.

After many months of lockdown, APS has announced that Indonesia is once again welcoming visiting superyachts on a new type of e-visa. The e-visa allows for 60 days and is extendable up to 180 days. Crew and guests will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result, along with some other documentation, but will not be required to quarantine upon entry.

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.

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.

Yachts can now return to Chile. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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.

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 agreed to begin operating a trans-Tasman travel bubble.

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, countries with zero reported COVID-deaths include St Kitts, Anguilla, Cambodia and Dominica. Less than 25 deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported in St Lucia, The British Virgin Islands, St Barts and 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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