When Can we Travel? Everything You Need to Know
by 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.
Italy has announced that its borders will reopen to European countries on June 3, with travellers able to move freely to and from Italy with no quarantine requirement upon arrival. Bars, restaurants, non-essential shops and museums in Italy already reopened on May 18. You can read more via the government website here.
Sicily remains closed for now like the rest of Italy, but has announced that it will subsidise international and domestic travel to the region in order to encourage tourism once lockdown has lifted. Read more here.
From June 1, The Maldives will begin to open its borders for international travel.
The US, Canada and South America remain largely closed to tourists. However, Florida Keys and some areas of Mexico, including tourism hotspot Cancun, have announced plans to reopen as of June 1. Read more from Florida Keys' tourist board here.
The government of Turkey has announced plans to have domestic tourism reopened by the end of May and international tourism before the end of June, but face masks will be mandatory in public areas.
From July 1, visitors to Spain will no longer have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. The tourism minister for the Canary Islands has announced that the islands plan to reopen to domestic visitors by August 1 and international visitors in October. Read more here.
France has announced that borders between Switzerland and Germany will be reopened from June 15. At least until July, travellers will need to provide a health certificate confirming that they do not have coronavirus, or be subjected to 14 days of self-isolation upon entry. Click here to find out more information.
At the earliest, Greece will open its borders to international tourists on July 1. Currently, any arrivals into the country must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and face masks are mandatory in shops and on public transport.
Many Caribbean and South Pacific islands remain under lockdown, but The US Virgin islands plan to reopen borders for tourists on June 1, when visitors can begin to make hotel and restaurant reservations again.
Much of Asia remains closed, and tourist hotspot Bali has suggested that it may only reopen to international travellers in October.
In the United Kingdom, those who enjoy their outdoor sports can resume golf and fishing activities in Scotland from May 28. England has announced that its pubs and restaurants will reopen from July 4 while Ireland is only scheduled to reopen eateries from August 10.
St Lucia has announced that its tourism industry will begin to cautiously reopen as of June 4. However, rigorous protocols, including social distancing, sanitisation and health screening measures, will be in place throughout travellers’ journeys to the island. For more information, click here.
The Icelandic government has announced that it plans to start opening borders to international travellers from June 15, albeit with strict safety measures in place. More information available here.
Visitors from 31 different European countries will be able to travel to Germany as of June 15.
Which Countries are Open for Travel?
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines never officially shut its borders to tourists, but all new arrivals are required to undertake a 14-day quarantine upon entry.
Sweden is another country that never went into full lockdown, so hotels, shops, bars, restaurants and some museums are open but gatherings of over 50 are still prohibited. For now, borders are only open to nationals from the UK and EU - read more about that here.
Although England is open to essential travel from abroad, arrivals into the country are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon entry. If visitors cannot provide an address of where they plan to isolate, they will have to stay in accommodation arranged by the government. Read more here.
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 15, the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced that they have reopened their borders to each other – so only tourists of these Baltic countries are welcome to visit for now. You can read more here.
Although closed to the majority of travellers until June 15, Iceland is allowing those from Schengen countries to arrive in the country.
On May 20, Cambodia announced that it has reopened borders to tourists from the US, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain albeit with stringent conditions: all visitors will need a test proving they are COVID-19 free within three days of their arrival in the country, plus they will need to prove that they have $50,000 worth of health insurance coverage and on top of this will still need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
As of May 25, those with a permanent residence in either Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Germany have been allowed to re-enter Denmark on certain conditions. read more here.
When Can We Fly Again?
Most countries are operating on limited flight schedules for necessary travel only, and will begin to increase flights in accordance with their border restriction protocols. Countries who have officially announced their plans for international flights are listed below.
The Maldives government has announced that airports welcoming international visitors will open in phases from July 1, with specific health and safety guidelines in place. From June 1, private jets carrying tourists can already begin to land in the country.
Greece will resume operating direct flights from international airports, including from the UK, as of June 1. Travel to Evia and Crete from mainland Greece is already permitted.
In Italy, one airport per region is open with some flights operating, however Rome Ciampino and terminal one at Rome Fiumicino airport are closed.
As of June 4, St Lucia will allow commercial flights only from the US to land at Hewanorra International Airport. Visitors will, however, be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight and will be asked to wear masks, undergo health and temperature checks and practice social-distancing during their stay.
When Will International Flights Resume in the UK?
Most aircrafts remain grounded for now, but some airlines have announced plans to resume international flight schedules to and from the UK by mid-summer.
IAG, which owns British Airways, has announced plans to resume domestic and international flights by July at the earliest. According to the company website, Virgin Atlantic plans to resume flights at some point later in the summer.
Wizz Air has already resumed some flights, including from Sofia, Bulgaria, to London Luton airport. Some flights by airline TAP Portugal have also now resumed, including those between Lisbon and London Heathrow. Ryanair has stated that it plans to resume 80 per cent of flights by September 2020. In June, EasyJet plans to operate flights again within the UK and from Gatwick to Nice.
When Will International Flights Resume in the US?
Less than 20 airports throughout the US are currently open, as international and domestic travel restrictions remain in practice. However, some US airlines have announced plans to commence flights later in the summer.
American Airlines plans to resume flights to South America and Europe by June, and from June 7, Southwest will restart flights to Cancun, Los Cabos, Nassau, Montego Bay and Havana.
Delta is already back to flying from the US to various locations in the Caribbean, South America and Europe as well as selected airports in Canada, South Korea and Japan. Presumably these flights are for returning residents and necessary travel rather than tourism, though.
United Airlines has continued to fly to Europe and South America throughout the pandemic at a reduced capacity. The airline plans to open up other flights to Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing and Chengdu in June.
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 information on which marinas are open or closed, be sure to read our superyacht marina guide. Below, we list the countries that have announced the reopening of their waters.
From June 1, superyachts and charter yachts will be allowed to return to the Maldives.
In the Med, Italy has reopened marinas for transportation and recreational purposes, but only internally. Until June 3, all personnel arriving by water from abroad must either leave the country within 72 hours or complete a 14-day quarantine period. After this date, travel restrictions between Italy and Europe will be further relaxed.
Port Hercule in Monaco is still closed to international arrivals, but those whose yachts are permanently berthed in the port are now allowed to move freely through the country’s waters.
According to brokerage firm IYC, Croatia 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 the waters of Greece are open for sailing now too, but has nonetheless encouraged clients to book charter superyachts without a cancellation fee.
French Polynesia announced On May 13 that maritime traffic between all islands within the same archipelago can resume. However, all lockdown measures are still in place on the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Maiao and Tetiaroa and international travel is still restricted to the country.
On May 21, a number of marinas in Cyprus began to cautiously reopen.
What are Travel Bubbles?
Countries with low numbers of reported coronavirus cases are now working together to create so-called 'travel bubbles' or 'travel corridors' 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 on May 15, followed by Australia and New Zealand who have now agreed on creating a trans-Tasman travel bubble when flights recommence between the two countries. Various news outlets have reported that China is also considering opening a travel bubble with Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, while Israel has been discussing a potential travel bubble with Greece and Cyprus.
When Will Hotels Reopen?
Various hotels and restaurants in Croatia reopened on May 11 with social-distancing measures in place and Turkey has announced that hotels and restaurants will be reopened from May 27.
St Lucia is preparing approximately 1,500 hotel rooms in various resorts to welcome visitors from June 4.
During June, Greece plans to gradually reopen hotels alongside shopping malls, eateries, cinemas and sporting facilities. Italy has announced that some, but not all, of its hotels will also reopen in June.
Cyprus has not released an official tourist policy but has announced that between June 9 and July 13 it will reopen hotels, open-air cinemas, theatres and shopping malls. The country's beaches and museums will already by reopened on June 1.
England has announced that some hotels, along with pubs, restaurants, cinemas, places of worship and hairdressers, will reopen from July 4 if they have adequate social-distancing measures in place.
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, French Polynesia, St Kitts, St Vincent, St Lucia, Grenada and Fiji. Less than 50 deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported in New Zealand, The British Virgin Islands, The Maldives, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Barbados and Antigua.
The South American countries of Uruguay, Venezuela, Paraguay, as well as Costa Rica in Central America, have all reported less than 25 COVID-related deaths.
Mediterranean countries with the least COVID-19-related deaths include Monaco (4 deaths and 97 cases), Montenegro (9 deaths and 324 cases) and Malta (6 deaths and 584 cases).
Nordic and Baltic countries with the least coronavirus-related deaths include Iceland and Latvia, which have reported only 10 and 21 deaths respectively. Greenland has reported zero deaths and only 11 confirmed coronavirus cases.
In Asia, it looks like Macao, Cambodia and Vietnam, which have all reported zero COVID-related deaths, may be the safest places to travel to once lockdown lifts. They are followed by Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, which have all reported less than 10 COVID-related deaths.
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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