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When can we travel? Everything you need to know

23 July 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.

Canada is reopening to vaccinated tourists from America as of early August. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The Philippines has banned travellers from a number of countries from the middle east and Asia until July 31. There is currently still a quarantine requirement in place for all other travellers, even if they are vaccinated.

In Canada, vaccinated tourists from the US will be able to enter the country from August 9 .

Travel to the US and the islands of Hawaii is still banned indefinitely for tourists travelling from South Africa, China, Iran, Brazil, the UK, Ireland and any Schengen countries. The border closure between Canada and Mexico has been extended to August 21.

The US/Canada/Mexico border closure has been extended to August 21. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

An entry ban is in place in Sweden for tourists from countries outside of Europe, such as the US, until August 31. Travellers from an EU or EEA country are now allowed to enter but will need to show proof of vaccination or recovery, or a negative test result on arrival.

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.

The prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, has announced that Australia will be keeping travel restrictions in place until mid-2022. Currently, only travellers from Singapore and New Zealand can visit Australia without having to quarantine.

Australia may not properly open borders again until 2022. 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.

Vaccinated and recovered travellers from the UK and from the US can now travel to Ireland without restrictions. Unvaccinated travellers from these areas are also welcome but must show proof of a negative test result on arrival.

Specific regions in Thailand, including Phuket and Koh Samui, have now been reopened to international travellers, with reduced restrictions for vaccinated arrivals.

The tourist board for the British Virgin Islands has announced that fully vaccinated travellers from all countries will no longer need to quarantine or provide a negative test result on arrival. They will however need to take a PRC or rapid test within five days of their arrival in the country.

The British Virgin Islands have reopened to vaccinated travellers. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

France has now reopened to vaccinated travellers in Europe and further afield such as the US, meaning that tourists can now visit for leisure purposes without quarantining. Some vaccinated travellers from certain countries will still need to show negative tests results on arrival, however.

The UK has reopened travel corridors with a select number of countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Iceland. This means that tourists can now travel to these countries and will also not need to quarantine on arrival when returning.

A number of countries in Europe including Cyrpus, Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Monaco, Belgium, Montenegro, Iceland, Norway and Finland have eased travel restrictions. This means that tourists travelling from certain regions and those that are vaccinated do not need to quarantine on arrival in these countries, though may need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Travellers from certain countries arriving in Turkey will not even need to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival and will not have to quarantine either.

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

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.

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

Further afield, all foreign travellers can now visit The Bahamas without the need for a COVID-19 test if they are fully vaccinated.

Vaccinated travellers to the Bahamas won't have to present a negative test on arrival. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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.

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

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

French Polynesia has reopened borders. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

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

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

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 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.

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

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.

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.

Travellers from Brunei, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China can enter Singapore 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.

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

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.

In the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has now also reopened borders, as have the islands of the Maldives. 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.

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.

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.

Australia and New Zealand have announced the opening of a Trans-Tasman travel bubble with a special sea border exemption which means superyachts with NZ$50,000 in service or refit bookings are now welcome to travel between the two destinations.

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.

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. 

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.

You can now quarantine on board your superyacht in Thailand. 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.

Countries with some of the lowest case numbers are in the Caribbean and South Pacific, including St Kitts, Anguilla, Dominica, 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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