It’s not time to dust down the passport just yet – but some countries are gradually beginning to unshackle themselves from lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, as a travel tips website has revealed.
The Points Guy UK has compiled a mammoth guide to the international travel status of countries around the world and reports that ‘while very few countries are open to tourism right now, the good news is that some are providing timelines on when travel might again be possible’.
Below are some of the key global findings…
The US State Department advises against any international travel
‘Some states are slowly reopening,’ says The Points Guy UK, ‘but most are still not welcoming tourists. In fact, Maine and Hawaii both have strict 14-day quarantine requirements in place for all out-of-state visitors.’
The site also points out that the CDC ‘has a strong warning against any nonessential travel within the United States’ and that ‘the US State Department also advises against any international travel’.
The Points Guy UK says: ‘Canada remains in lockdown and the border between the United States and Canada is closed. Canada has also banned province-to-province travel, putting the summer tourism season in places like Ontario in jeopardy.’
All visitors, it adds, must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. When that will be lifted is not yet clear.
The Points Guy UK explains that some Mexican states, including Quintana Roo — home to the tourist mecca of Cancun — plan on reopening on June 1 and that the country’s president said tourism is among several critical industries that could begin reopening by May 17.
The site adds: ‘A rebound in tourism will depend on the reopening of the region’s air hubs in Cancun, Cozumel and Chetumal, and tourists are advised that enhanced screening and cleaning procedures are in effect.’
Belize’s borders will remain closed to all visitors until at least June 30, but this could extend longer, the site explains.
‘Nicaragua never really shut down,’ reveals The Points Guy UK. ‘There are still football matches, food festivals and beauty pageants taking place. There were never any stay-at-home or social-distancing orders here — moves that have drawn criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch.
‘Nicaragua’s borders remain open and local sources have reported that the government is discouraging Nicaraguans — including health workers, airport staff, and policemen — from wearing masks.’
There is still a ban on foreign tourists in Costa Rica
‘Costa Rica began easing some coronavirus measures on May 1, allowing theatres, cinemas, hair salons, gyms and athletic centres to reopen under reduced hours and strict sanitary guidelines,’ the site says. ‘This move came after the country’s active infections declined for 11 consecutive days.’
At the time of writing, there is still a ban on foreign tourists.
The nation is under countrywide quarantine until at least May 25, The Points Guy UK says, and travel between regions is also highly restricted.
The nation is under countrywide quarantine until at least May 25, The Points Guy UK says, and travel between regions is also highly restricted.
And there are currently no commercial options available to return to the UK from Peru.
Useful information for tourists can be found here.
President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for quarantine restrictions in Brazil
Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America – over 128,000, the site says. A travel ban on foreigners was extended through May 28 in late April, though there are some exceptions.
The Points Guy UK adds: ‘The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.’
The Chilean government closed its borders to foreigners on March 18 and residents re-entering the country have to quarantine for two weeks. The country is also closed to cruise ships, the site notes.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, reveals The Points Guy UK, restricting all international commercial flights until September 1, 2020.
Every single nation in the Caribbean has closed its airports for the time being, The Points Guy UK reports.
The Bahamas are under emergency orders through May 30, the site says. No international visitors are allowed to enter or disembark on Bahamian soil for any reason, including transit.
Cuba has suspended international travel for tourists until further notice.
All airports and seaports have been closed for inbound international passengers through May 31, the site reports.
‘India announced back in March that it was no longer allowing foreigners into the country,’ says TPG. ‘A suspension of international flights has been lifted, but only for humanitarian or essential travel.’
Tourists from the US, Italy, Germany, Spain and France are no longer allowed within Cambodia’s borders as of March 14
All foreigners are required to get a visa before arrival, says TPG UK. Tourists from the US, Italy, Germany, Spain and France are no longer allowed within the country’s borders as of March 14. The ban remains in effect until further notice. The site adds that although a formal ban on others is not in place, you must have a legitimate need to visit.
China, ground zero for the outbreak, is not welcoming tourists from outside the country and there is no timeline when that might change, writes TPG UK.
It adds: ‘China is allowing South Koreans to travel to some Chinese cities on business, but strict measures are in place to make sure outbreaks don’t spread.’
The Points Guy UK writes: ‘As of March 25, all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane will be denied entry, including into the airport facilities, until further notice. All non-Hong Kong residents coming from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong, but entry will be denied if the non-Hong Kong resident has travelled to any overseas countries or regions in the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
‘There are talks underway to allow some travel without quarantine between Hong Kong, Macau and parts of China, but nothing is firm yet.’
Japan is under a state of emergency and is stepping up border controls and banning visitors from 70 nations — or anyone who has visited those nations in the past 14 days, TPG UK says.
‘Just seven weeks ago,’ the Points Guy UK says, ‘the United States and South Korea had the same number of cases, but as of early May, South Korea had fewer than 300 deaths compared to more than 70,000 in the US.
‘South Korea remains closed to those travelling for “nonessential” reasons, and it doesn’t look like Americans will be welcomed as tourists anytime soon.’
Singapore’s borders are now completely closed to visitors and it is not allowing transit passengers either. There is no end date to the restrictions
The Points Guy UK says: ‘Singapore was an early leader in the fight against coronavirus — implementing screening of foreign visitors and some of the first quarantines. Contact tracing kept numbers and deaths low. It was also one of the first countries to ease its lockdown after that widespread testing and tracing led to a decline in cases. But a resurgence in cases has now forced it to reimpose severe restrictions.
‘Singapore’s borders are now completely closed to visitors and it is not allowing transit passengers either. There is no end date to the restrictions.’
Thailand shut down its borders in late March, the site says. It adds: ‘A state of emergency is in effect at least through May and analysts don’t expect a rebound in tourism to Thailand until 2021.’
Vietnam is in the process of slowly reopening, TPG UK says, but foreigners are not welcome and there is no timeline on when that could change.
For now, no foreigners are allowed into the country, including Bali, the site says.
Tourists are advised not to go and all international arrivals, including Malaysian citizens, are required to undergo 14-day quarantine.
Taiwan has banned international travellers as of March 19, says TPG UK, including all transit passengers passing through the nation en route to other destinations.
No foreigners are allowed into the country.
The Maldives is an irresistible lure for tourists, but they’re not welcome at the moment
Paradise is pretty much off-limits. The Points Guy UK writes: ‘Travellers originating from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Bangladesh, Germany, Spain, France, Malaysia, UK and Sri Lanka are not permitted within the country at this time.’
Fiji is closed to tourism.
The Points Guy UK says: ‘Foreigners are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and arriving citizens and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Australian leaders have said October is probably the earliest they would again allow international travel.’
New Zealand has eased its restrictions internally, but is effectively closed to tourists
Hairdressers within may be open, but a complete ban on foreigners is now in effect, says The Points Guy UK, and the border is effectively closed to foreign tourists.
On March 18, the government announced that foreigners would not be allowed to enter Israel. There are no current plans to ease that restriction, the site says.
The Points Guy UK says: ‘The United Arab Emirates is beginning to ease some strict lockdown measures, but is still not welcoming tourists and a curfew remains in effect. There are some flights between the UK and Abu Dhabi. And on Wednesday, May 13, Dubai-based Emirates said it was resuming service to nine international destinations including London, Chicago and Melbourne among other destinations.’ Face masks on Emirates flights are now mandatory.
Qatar, which has a death toll of 12, banned inbound flights on March 18 except for cargo and transit flights. Tourists are not welcome.
There is no timeline yet on the country opening to tourists.
Although Malta is beginning to reopen, the nation’s tourism department doesn’t recommend immediate near-term bookings, the site says.
Greece is one of the few bright spots for tourism in Europe – it may be open to them again in July
It’s hoped the country will be open to tourists by July 1, TPG UK reports.
The Points Guy UK writes: ‘Passengers arriving in France from non-Schengen member states are not allowed to enter the country. It’s unclear how long that ban will last.
‘The European Union’s ban on most foreigners expires May 15, but it’s likely to be extended.’
Spain announced that it will require all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days when they’re allowed in again
TPG says: ‘A national state of emergency is expected to be extended to May 23 and potentially longer.
‘The country announced that it will require all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days.’
International visitors are not welcome.
Tourism remains forbidden.
TPG UK says: ‘Any travellers who are permitted entry (there are strict restrictions) must self-quarantine for 14 days.’
Entry to Germany for tourism is strictly prohibited.
TPG UK reports: ‘The Austrian government says it intends to “cautiously” reopen the country’s tourism sector for foreigners this summer.’
Tourism is off the agenda for the time being, but the country is gradually reopening.
Foreigners are banned and locals are allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days.
Hungary has banned foreigners, writes TPG UK, though Wizz Air is operating some flights between the UK and to other European destinations for essential workers and Hungarian citizens.
Russians need a permit to travel, and foreigners are not welcome, reports TPG UK.
The Czech Republic is allowing visitors from nearby nations, says TPG UK, but they need to provide a negative Covid-19 test result at the border.
Russians need a permit to travel, and foreigners are not welcome
The UK has kept an open-border policy, says TPG UK. About 15,000 passengers arrive at UK airports each day.
Heathrow Airport in London is set to test new screening methods soon including ultraviolet sanitation, facial recognition thermal screenings and contactless security.
The welcome mat is under lock and key at the moment. TPG UK writes: ‘Lockdown restrictions will only gradually be lifted, and any welcoming of tourists may be for residents of the United Kingdom only at first.’
The Points Guy UK reports: ‘Ireland is in the middle of a five-phase reopening. Hotels, museums and galleries are set to reopen July 20, but pubs won’t reopen until August 10.
‘Hotels and hostels can open as soon as July 20, but with limited occupancy.
‘Still, arriving foreigners with the exception of people from Northern Ireland must self-isolate for 14-days.’
The country is in the process of a slow reopening, but that still doesn’t include tourists, says TPG UK.
The borders to Denmark are closed to foreign visitors until June 1 at the earliest, remarks TPG UK.
Norway is easing its lockdown, with some hotels beginning to open
Some hotels have partially reopened, says TPG UK, but it’s still not welcoming many tourists and it is unlikely international tourists will be allowed this summer.
There is currently a full entry ban into the EU in place for non-Europeans, including Americans.
Finland is not accepting tourists and has strict border controls in place, the site says.
The Points Guy UK writes: ‘Some Europeans are being allowed into the country, but Americans will not be welcomed until at least June 15 and it’s likely to be later.’
Slovenia has just reopened its borders and lifted restrictions on visitors, says TPG UK, but there will be health checks for all arrivals.
Latvia is reopening partially, says TPG UK, and will allow citizens of Estonia and Lithuania to come and go freely across its borders.
Some tourist sites have reopened, but there is no timetable for allowing international visitors.
Iceland will welcome international travellers back no later than June 15, TPG UK reports.
Egypt has started opening its hotels to domestic tourists
Egypt has started to reopen, reports TPG UK. It’s starting by opening its hotels to domestic tourists under the strict condition that they cannot operate at more than 25 per cent capacity until the end of May and can increase to 50 per cent capacity on June 1.
This island nation remains off-limits to tourists.
Since March 25, all international flights to and from Kenya have been suspended by the Kenyan government.
Morocco will remain on lockdown until at least May 20, reports TPG UK.
Foreign visitors will continue to be banned until at least June 1 and masks will be required in public places.
It is not yet clear when normal commercial flights will be permitted to operate again.
The original article, posted earlier this week, can be found here – thepointsguy.co.uk/guide/reopening-soon-a-country-by-country-guide-to-coronavirus-recovery.
Find more out about the TPG UK story here.