As the world slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, some countries are planning to lift the travel restrictions that have been imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 in time for summer. Other countries, meanwhile, will remain closed to foreign visitors.
With many people around the world aching for a summer vacation after a difficult start to 2020, it is important to know which destinations will be possible to travel to in June, July, August, and September.
Various countries have announced the dates on which they intend to open their borders to foreign nationals. In some cases, arriving holidaymakers will have to undergo COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine.
Some countries are so keen to restart their tourism industry that they are offering guarantees to visitors. For example, Cyprus has said that if foreign travelers contract coronavirus while on vacation in the country, it will pay for the individual’s accommodation, food, drink, and medication.
Before booking a holiday, it is important to check the visa requirements of the destination and make sure that there are no travel restrictions related to COVID-19 that prevent you from entering.
Where Can You Take a Vacation in 2020?
European Union (EU) member states and other countries in the Schengen Area are said to be planning to reopen travel around the open-borders region in June, with many announcing June 15 as the date when travel can resume. However, in many cases, this will only apply to tourists from other parts of the EU and Schengen Zone and, in some cases, the UK.
In other parts of the world, some countries are planning to welcome tourists from anywhere, while others will remain closed to foreign travelers.
The United States of America has barred entry to all travelers who have been in Brazil, China, the UK, or any EU or Schengen country within the past 14 days. Holidaymakers from all other countries may still visit the US under the present travel rules.
Several Caribbean countries have announced plans to welcome visitors to their shores, with Jamaica opening its borders on June 15 and the Bahamas on July 1.
Some countries, like Canada, Japan, and Russia, have not announced any set dates for reopening the borders to international travelers, but have simply said that travel restrictions will ease as the country de-escalates the measures taken to control the outbreak of coronavirus.
Australia and New Zealand are considering introducing a “travel bubble” between the 2 countries. This would allow only nationals and residents of these nations to visit the other country, while travelers from other parts of the world would still be barred from entering either.
Both countries have managed the coronavirus outbreak successfully, with few cases and deaths. New Zealand has announced that it has eradicated the disease domestically, with no current cases. However, both are reluctant to allow travelers from outside this bubble to enter and risk bringing the virus in again.
Most of South America is likely to remain off-limits to international visitors for the whole of summer, although this may change as the situation develops.
Where Can You Go On Holiday in Europe?
Many European countries that are members of the European Union (EU), European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and/or Schengen Area are planning to open their borders to travelers from other member states of these organizations.
Travelers planning to visit European countries this summer should use the following dates and entry restrictions to help plan their trips.
- June 4: borders were opened with Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and Hungary.
- Travelers must either present a medical certificate no older than 4 days old proving that they are free from COVID-19 or undergo quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
- June 16: medical certificate and quarantine requirements will be lifted for European Economic Area (EEA) citizens, except for Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
- June 15: the border is reopened to travelers from the EU, EFTA, and UK.
- June 1: Bulgaria lifted travel restrictions for nationals of EU countries, Andorra, Monaco, North Macedonia, San Marino, Serbia, Vatican City, and the UK.
- In mid-May, Croatia began permitting visits from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia with no restrictions or quarantine.
- May 11: visitors from other EU/Schengen countries and the UK were granted permission to enter Croatia, but obliged to undergo quarantine and provide proof of accommodation.
- June 15: borders are reopened to citizens of all EU countries and the UK with no mandatory quarantine.
- June 20: the Cypriot government has said it plans to lift travel restrictions for visitors from a number of countries, naming Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, and Norway as “low-risk”, indicating that citizens of these states will be allowed to enter.
- May 27: borders with Hungary and Slovakia reopened with restrictions.
- June 5: borders with Austria and Germany reopened.
- Tourists will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter
- June 15: tourists from Germany, Iceland, and Norway are able to enter Denmark
- Visitors from other countries are unlikely to be allowed to enter until the end of summer 2020.
- May 15: travel was reopened between the 3 Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).
- June 1: borders open to travelers from EU countries and the UK
- June 15: Finland plans to permit visitors from the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Norway.
- Border checks with Sweden will continue, but with the aim to return to unrestricted travel as soon as possible.
- Travel from non-EU countries is unlikely to resume until at least July 14.
- June 15: France plans to reopen its borders with fellow EU countries and the UK. Visitors arriving from Spain and the UK may still have to undergo quarantine, while travelers arriving from outside the EU and UK will continue to be denied entry apart from in exceptional circumstances.
- June 15: borders are expected to be open to travelers from the EU, EFTA, and the UK.
- August 31: travel from outside the EU and Schengen Area may be reopened
- June 1: international flights are permitted to land in Athens only. All passengers must undergo testing and quarantine (7 days if negative; 14 days if positive).
- June 15: international flights to Thessaloniki restart. Testing and quarantine applies only to passengers arriving from areas of high risk. Travelers from most European countries and certain other countries may be subject to random testing.
- July 1: all Greek airports will be open. Any arrival may be selected for random testing. Further restrictions for certain countries may be announced.
- Borders with Austria, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia are already open
- June 12: travelers from Croatia will be allowed to enter without any mandatory quarantine.
- June 15: travelers from the EU and UK are permitted to enter. COVID-19 testing will be performed on all arrivals.
Republic of Ireland:
- At present, any traveler may enter the Republic of Ireland, but must self-quarantine for 2 weeks, completing a passenger locator form, unless crossing the land border from Northern Ireland.
- Quarantine requirements may be lifted at a later date
- June 3: borders open to travelers from the UK, EU, Schengen Area, and associated microstates.
- May 15: travel was restarted between the 3 Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).
- June 1: border checks with Lithuania ceased.
- May 15: borders opened between the 3 Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).
- June 1: there are no longer border checks with Latvia.
- May 15: the border with Germany reopened.
- July 1: tourism will resume, with travelers from the following areas confirmed as being allowed to visit Malta: Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
- Nationals of more countries may be announced at a later date.
- Borders are open to travelers from the Schengen Area.
- June 15: travelers arriving from outside the Schengen Area may be permitted to enter. This date may be subject to change.
- June 15: Danish nationals are able to visit.
- July 20: travelers from some other countries may be given the green light to enter Norway.
- Entry remains highly restricted to all travelers from abroad.
- June 15: travel restrictions may be lifted for certain travelers. Further information is expected to be announced.
- The border with Hungary is currently open.
- Borders are open to all travelers. Anyone may enter Serbia for a summer holiday.
- May 15: EU citizens may visit Slovenia. Passengers suspected of having coronavirus must self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Borders are open with Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
- June 10: travelers from the following countries are allowed to enter: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
- June 15: travelers from Germany are able to visit the Balearic Islands without undergoing quarantine (unless they present with symptoms).
- July 1: all international visitors will be permitted to enter all parts of Spain.
- June 15: travel restrictions are set to end, unless the Swedish government chooses to extend them.
- June 15: Switzerland is once again open to travelers from the EU, EFTA, and the UK, complying with the government’s hygiene and social distancing rules.
- All travel is still restricted.
- Borders are currently open to all travelers, but there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine period from the moment of arrival. This policy will be reviewed every 3 weeks.
- Travelers arriving from Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands are exempt from the quarantine requirement.
Travel Advice for Summer Holidays 2020
Many people are asking “will coronavirus be gone in summer?”. In the majority of countries, COVID-19 has not been completely eradicated, although the number of cases is dropping and the likelihood of catching it is falling at the same time.
A number of countries will insist that visitors take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and even in locations without such rules, it is a good idea to follow these safety tips:
- Practise social distancing — maintain a distance of at least 2 m between yourself and strangers.
- Wash your hands frequently and when returning from outside.
- Wear a protective face mask when in public.
- Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough.
- If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself until you can be tested and alert the local medical authorities.
In addition to checking the travel restrictions for the destination, travelers should consult global visa information and check if they require any travel authorization to enter the country.