While advice against non-essential travels remains the norm in official circles, many countries are gradually opening up to holidaymakers even as experts continue to search for a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Well, with a coronavirus vaccine still in the offing, we must learn to live with the virus for now, without losing our normal lives. The countries that are reopening are of this view, and some of them have developed measures to ensure traveller’s safety. For example, travellers are required to either provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before their trip or they will be subjected to a Covid-19 test on arrival. The cost of the test on arrival, for those opting for that option, is paid for in advance by the traveller. Mandatory insurance coverage, which covers any expenses if the traveller tests positive for the virus during their trip, is also required in some destinations.

If you’re a traveller curious about which international destinations are now open for vacation, this piece provides you with the updates.


Aruba launched a phased reopening to tourists in June. The Island will gradually open to international tourists between June 15 and July 10.


Barbados will reopen its borders to international travellers from July 12. Strict compliance with social distancing rules will be required from visitors. A pre or post-arrival Covid-19 test is required in line with the standard mentioned above. Visitors also need to complete an online Embarkation/Disembarkation Card (ED card), which asks a series of health questions connected to Covid-19 symptoms.


Cyprus reopened its airspace to international arrivals from 19 countries on June 9. Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia and Lithuania were authorized first. Incoming flights from Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia and the Czech Republic reopened on June 20. Subsequent reviews will allow flights from more countries in the future. Travellers heading to Cyprus will need to provide a valid certificate proving they’ve tested negative for Covid-19, while they’ll be subjected to temperature checks on arrival as well as testing at random during the course of their trip.


“A number of global carriers have expressed willingness to resume flights to Egypt in July, and as a result we are considering a gradual resumption of international flights beginning towards the end of this month and in the first half of July,” cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said during a televised interview in June.

After this interview, Egypt restarted international flights and reopened major tourist attractions including the Great Pyramids of Giza on Wednesday, July 1. The areas opening up are southern Sinai, where the resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab are located, Red Sea province, home to the Hurghada and Marsa Alam resorts, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean, a cabinet statement said. These areas had the lowest Covid-19 case numbers so far.

European Union

On July 1, the European Union reopened its external border to 15 countries outside of the EU to boost the bloc’s travel industry. The 15 countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. EU borders will only be opened to the Chinese if the Chinese government agrees to lift restrictions on EU citizens.

The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, had earlier lifted travel restrictions for each other’s citizens. Fiji, Australia and New Zealand are currently considering following this lead.

Some EU member-states, however, introduced extra conditions for third countries’ national wishing to visit.


France’s most visited museum, the Louvre, reopened on July 6, but non-EU citizens entering France to visit the museum or for any purposes are required to first undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine.


International travellers visiting Greece in line with EU rules are required to fill in a detailed Passenger Locator Form (PLF) online at least 48 hours before entering the country. Information such as the duration of previous stays in other countries during the two weeks prior to travel, and the address of stay in Greece are required to complete the form. Travellers will receive QR codes based on an algorithm that will calculate those most at risk of spreading a coronavirus infection. Authorities will use the QR code to identify passengers who need to be tested upon arrival, Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said. Those tested must quarantine overnight pending results. Those who test positive will be quarantined for up to 14 days.


In addition to citizens of EU, Hungary will reopen its borders to only one of the 14 EU-approved “safe” countries. The non-EU state is Serbia, home to a large ethnic Hungarian minority.

“For the time being, with the exception of Serbia, we can’t comply with the EU’s request that we allow entry to citizens from outside the bloc because that would be contrary to the health interests of the Hungarian people,” Orban said in a video posted on his Facebook page.


Travellers from EU and the 14 EU-approved “safe” countries can visit Iceland. However, they have the option to either submit to a Covid-19 test on arrival, provide proof of a recently taken test with a negative result, or agree to a two-week quarantine. Travellers who submit to a Covid-19 test on arrival will pay a $112 charge for the test. Visitors are encouraged to download the app Rakning C-19, designed to help trace the origin of transmissions and available in seven languages — Icelandic, English, Polish, German, French, Spanish and Italian.


Georgia had previously planned to reopen to international travellers on July 1, but this has been pushed back until July 31 due to a “rapid increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in the partner and neighbouring countries.”


Jamaica reopened to international tourists on June 15. Travellers heading to the Caribbean island were required to complete a travel authorization form within 72 hours of departure and to undergo a test for Covid-19 on arrival as of June. Visitors’ movement was also limited to the “resilient corridor”, which is a section of Jamaica’s northern coast between Negril and Port Antonio.

The Maldives

The Maldives is opening its border and lifting travel restrictions starting from July 15, 2020. Travellers are required to have a prior confirmed booking in a registered tourist facility. The entire holiday must be booked in one facility -exemptions are allowed for those requiring transits. Screenings will be conducted at the port of entering, while tourists exhibition Covid-19 Symptoms will be tested and quarantined according to the guideline for restarting tourism published by the Ministry of Tourism.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia began a phased reopening on June 4, when it opened its borders to visitors from the United States.
Those travelling to the country must complete a Pre-Arrival Registration Form before travelling and present the same on arrival. With the exception of persons travelling from within the Caribbean bubble, all travellers visiting the country must have a “certified proof” of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 7 days of travel.


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.


On July 1, the ban on international flights to Thailand was lifted by The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). International flights arriving in the country are now required to meet certain conditions. The conditions, among others, mean that only business travellers and those seeking medical treatment in Thailand are among those permitted to enter the country.


Turkey reopened its borders to international travellers in June. Its embassies have also resumed visa processing for visa applicants.

“When foreign visitors come, they will be health-checked, and body temperatures will be measured. If there is a suspicion, tourists will be taken for a PCR test.
“These measurements will start in Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, Izmir, Istanbul airports, the country’s provinces with the most tourist attraction,” Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism for Turkey, said earlier this month.

United Arab Emirates

On July 7, Dubai finally reopened to international visitors. But there are a number of new protocols in place.
Tourists are required to take a Covid-19 test within four days of departure (96 hours). Those who are unable to provide proof of this on arrival will be tested at the airport.
Visitors are also required to fill out a health declaration before their visit and show they have adequate health insurance.
On entering Dubai, all travellers must download the Dubai Covid-19 DXB contact tracing app and register their details.
The emirate of Abu Dhabi remains closed to travellers at present.

United Kingdom

From July 10, visitors from at least 59 destinations listed on UK “travel corridors” list, including France, Italy and Spain, will be able to visit England without going into quarantine. Other international travellers are required to go on a  mandatory two-week quarantine.


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Reference: CNN



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Michael Alvin

Michael Alvin

Creative Writer
Michael Alvin is a lawyer and a UNESCO certified journalist. At Afro Tourism, he blends creativity with his training in telling moving stories about his personal experience on his various trips across Africa.
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin

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