Dreaming of summer trips? It might be possible to travel to one of these destinations
s countries emerge from lockdown and begin lifting travel restrictions, many travellers are wondering the same thing: Will we be able to travel this year? And if so, where?
Since May, countries have begun announcing when – and how – international travel will resume. Some have been in discussions to form travel bubbles, permitting residents from within each “bubble” to move freely between a cluster of neighbouring countries, others have been toying with introducing incentives, such as subsidising portions of travellers expenses to reboot tourism.
So if you’re a grounded traveller wondering where you’ll be able to travel first, here’s a guide to the destinations planning to reopen first.
As of June 6, all restaurants, bars and hotels have been permitted to reopen in Zanzibar, following the reopening of airports for international travellers across Tanzania.The 14 day mandatory quarantine for visitors entering the country has also been lifted. According to local media reports, Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, Zanzibar’s Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage said all travelers to Zanzibar should hold medical health insurance, adhere to guidelines outlined by the Zanzibar health authorities and undergo screening when entering the country. Those found with symptoms will be sent to a designated isolation center for further tests.
A statement from the Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism confirmed that the country will resume a phased reopening to tourists from July – but it would come with enhanced safety measures in place. In the most recent update from the country’s Ministry of Tourism, it was confirmed that the new guidelines, which are still being finalized, do not include any new taxes or charges that will be imposed on visitors arriving to the country when borders open up.
A popular long weekend destination for travellers from the UAE, Georgia is opening local tourism services from June 15, readying to receive international tourists from July 1. Aiming to be among the first countries to reopen to international visitors, new safety and hygiene measures have been implemented to give travellers peace of mind. Initially, Georgia will welcome tourists to “Green Zones” across the country, which are areas identified as coronavirus-free. Georgia has one of the lowest coronavirus case counts in Europe, having reported just 794 cases.
Greece is set to reopen its borders to residents of 29 countries from June 15, the country’s Minister of Tourism confirmed on May 29. Initially residents from country’s where the number of coronavirus cases has declined significantly – including Lebanon – will be permitted entry to Greece. While UAE is not on this list, more destinations will be added from July 1. From mid-June, flights will only arrive into Athens and Thessaloniki, with airports across the islands expected to resume operations next month.
A four and a half hour flight from the UAE, Sri Lanka is a popular destination for travellers from the GCC. According to Kimali Fernando, chairperson of Sri Lanka Tourism, Sri Lanka is expecting to partially reopen for tourism from August 1. Initially a limited, as of yet undisclosed, number of groups would be permitted to visit and stay at a selection of hotels that have put strict health and safety measures in place. Popular attractions including Yala national park, Arugam Bay and selected beach areas would be among those open for tourists. All tourists will have to carry a COVID-19 free certificate and be tested upon arrival at the airport.
Spain is planning to begin welcoming tourists, and lift the mandatory 14-day quarantine, from July 1 – although only to residents from certain countries. While a full list has not yet been detailed, Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto recently told local newspaper El Pais, “We have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person.”
While a summer trip might not be possible, if the infection rate remains low through the summer, Indonesia is planning to welcome international visitors to Bali, the Riau Islands and the cultural capital of Yogyakarta (on the island of Java) from October. A destination that draws tourists in equal measure for its verdant tropical jungles and pristine white sandy beaches, Bali is a hedonistic paradise for those looking to enjoy a slower pace of life as well as the vibrant restaurant and day clubbing scene the island has to offer.