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When can we travel? Everything you need to know

13 May 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 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.

Greece is opening its borders to vaccinated travellers in May. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The tourism minister for Greece has announced that the country will reopen borders from May 14. It has been confirmed that the Greek Government will bear the cost of any medical attention required by tourists who catch the virus during their holiday in the country.

Travellers to Turkey arriving from select countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania no longer need to present a negative test on entry after May 15. Travel restrictions for Italy could also be lifted on May 15.

Portugal has announced that fully vaccinated tourists can visit without restrictions from May 17.

The UK could reopen its tourism industry on May 17. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Travel abroad for UK citizens is currently forbidden except for neccessary purposes, meaning that Brits will only be allowed to travel for staycation holidays within the country's common travel area which includes Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Travellers unable to offer an accepted reason for international travel could be fined up to £5,000. The earliest date that this rule could be eased is 17 May.

Austria is in a state of lockdown but plans to ease hospitality and travel restrictions by May 19.

Spain is set to ease travel restrictions for foreign tourists from May 20. 

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 May 21.

Spain will ease restrictions on May 20. Image courtesy of Four Seasons.

In Scandanvia, a travel ban is in place for certain travellers to Sweden until 31 May while Norway has closed its borders to all travellers indefintely.

Malta announced via the tourism board website that tourism can resume in the country from June 1.

French President Emanuel Macron has announced that all foreign tourists, including those from the US, can return to France from June 9 if they have been vaccinated.

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.

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.

All vaccinated tourists can now travel to Denmark, Greenland and the Faroes without restrictions. 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.

Denmark has announced that fully vaccinated travellers or those who have recovered from COVID-19 can now enter the country (including its territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands) without needing to quarantine or provide negative test results on arrival. 

The same policy now applies to vaccinated/recovered travellers to Germany unless they are arriving from a "red list" country.

Cyprus is now open without restrictions to all vaccinated travellers. Arrivals from destinations on the country's "green list" can also travel without restrictions.

According to brokerage firm IYC, all foreign travellers can now visit The Bahamas without the need for a COVID-19 test if they are fully vaccinated.

The Bahamas is now open to all vaccinated travellers. Picture credit: Pixabay

The tourism board website for French Polynesia has announced foreign tourists can now return to the islands.

Travellers to Monaco will not need to quarantine if they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.

Iceland is open to tourism from Schengen states and to vaccinated travellers from all countries.

According to the Croatian tourist board, travellers from the EU and Schengen states can enter without restrictions. Traveller from other countries are allowed without restrictions if they have been fully vaccinated.

Belgium has eased travel restrictions to allow entry for arrivals from the EU.

The Seychelles has reopened to all tourists, with no quarantine period required. All travellers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.

Mexico is welcoming travellers again. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Mexico has opened borders to travellers without the need for a COVID-19 test or quarantine.

According to the Thai tourism board website, foreign nationals can now apply for a special visa to visit Thailand, but they will need to quarantine upon arrival. Sri Lanka has now also reopened borders.

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.

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.

Oman is once again issuing tourist visas. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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 and St Kitts and Nevis are the latest Caribbean countries to open for tourists.

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.

Dubai is open for travel again. Image courtesy of Pexels.

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

Montenegro is now allowing travellers from an extensive list of accepted countries to visit.

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.

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

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

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 islands of the Maldives are also open for travel again. The Maldives has also specified that tourists who have received two doses of a vaccine two weeks before departure will not need to test or quarantine on arrival.

The Maldives 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.

Having already opened international borders, Costa Rica has now announced that it is also easing restrictions for charter yachts. Superyacht broker Fraser has been working with the Costa Rica Marina Association to help amend the country's charter laws, which will now allow for luxury charter vessels over 24 metres to charter legally and remain in Costa Rica for up to one year.

In response to the reform announcement, Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau commented "Costa Rica has so much to offer, we cannot wait to be able to facilitate clients from around the world having the chance to explore it with a yacht as their base."

Yachts are now free to charter in Costa Rica. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

As Thailand begins to slowly reopen its tourism industry, the government has announced that yacht owners will be allowed to undergo their quarantine period on board. According to Seal Superyachts agency in Phuket, owners can either arrive in the country by boat or fly in and travel to their yacht to begin their quarantine. After this has been completed and negative test results have been presented, passengers and crew will be free to move through the country unrestricted. 

Australia has announced that superyachts which have been in New Zealand for longer than 14 days will now be welcomed into New South Wales without the need to quarantine. Passengers and crew will be able to go on shore with unrestricted movements as soon as they receive a negative Covid test result.

Foreign travellers can once again visit Chile by yacht or plane, and the country has been offering special allowances for crew changes since September 2020.

Australia is only welcoming superyachts from New Zealand, for now. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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.

The only port of entry for yachts arriving in Fiji will be Port Denarau Marina. Imagery courtesy of Unsplash

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 is once again welcoming charter yachts. Imagery courtesy of Unsplash

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 had previously created air bridges with over 70 different countries which it has deemed  ''no longer pose an unacceptably high risk'' for travellers but these have no been temporarily closed.

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.

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.

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.

Italy has reopened some hotels. Image courtesy of Belmond.

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 and Dominica. Less than 25 deaths caused by COVID-19 have been reported in The British Virgin Islands, St Barts and Fiji.

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

Monaco has seen some of the lowest numbers of covid cases in Europe. Image courtesy of 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 minimal 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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