As the coronavirus infection curve flattens across the globe, many countries are set to start receiving visitors in the upcoming months. Tourism contributes heavily to these economies and opening borders for the summer holiday season may provide them with some much-needed economic stimulus.
Spain was one of the countries worst-hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. But as the curve flattens, the nation aims to open its borders by 1st of July. This comes as lockdown measures in the country begin to ease, with a few bars and terraces being opened in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as the reopening of beaches. Canet d’en Berenguer, a small beach-town outside Valencia, has seen the development of a mobile app that allows people to book slots at the beach, limiting occupancy to half of its capacity.
Italy seeks to do away with the two-week ‘quarantine-on-arrival’ policy on June 3rd, opening up to visitors from EU states and the United Kingdom as well as Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. Travellers from elsewhere will have to wait at least until June 15th.
Cyprus aims to reopen by June 1st with international air travel slated to resume by the 9th. The nation has even provided a guarantee to visitors pledging to cover their food, lodging, and medical expenses should they get infected with COVID-19 on their trip. A tourist hospital and ‘quarantine hotel’ will also be at the ready to cater to the infected visitors.
The Scandanavian nation will reopen its borders from June 15th and will require visitors to either agree to a 14-day quarantine on arrival, take a COVID-19 test, or present official results of a recent COVID-19 test. Additionally, all visitors will have to download a contact-tracing mobile app for the duration of their visit. Iceland was one of the best performers in terms of testing, achieving the world’s highest 13% and recording only 10 coronavirus-related deaths.
Greece aims to open up to international visitors from the 1st of July, doing away with the mandatory COVID-19 test and two-week quarantine upon arriving at the Medditerranian shores. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview with CNN, suggested that Greek nightlife may be off the table, as bars may be closed and crowds discouraged. Instead, activities where distance between individuals is maintained, such as kayaking, may be encouraged.
In keeping with the theme of relaxing, socially distant activities, Mexico seeks to open several of its beach-towns in June. Towns like Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, and Cancun are early parts of Mexico’s plan to open the country in phases.
Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda
These Carribean islands all seek to reopen travel by June 4th in a phased manner. Visitors will be required to present documentation of a COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival as well as wearing face-masks and practicing social distancing for the duration of their trip.
US Virgin Islands
The group of Carribean islands seeks to reopen borders on June 1st, while focussing on safety and cleanliness measures to contain infection.
The beachfront of the Florida Keys will reopen on June 1st under ‘Phase 2’ of the reopening plan, which allows visitors upto 50% capacity. As a tourist destination, the main draws of the Keys are activities such as scuba diving, bike riding, and other activities where interpersonal distance can be maintained. Visitors will still be expected to wear face masks while they are there.