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Since the coronavirus outbreak, most organizations, including travel agencies and tourism firms, have been providing regular information about the situation. However, everything is now slowly changing in terms of travel bans and restrictions. Although initially, the World Health Organization (WHO) asked travelers to remain at home and avoid travel, most European destinations are now considering reopening their borders to travelers from other countries.
After extended periods in quarantine, many people want to take vacations. They have no precise details about suitable travel destinations and what health and safety precautions are being observed in those countries. Fortunately, the European Commission has recently stated that the tourism industry might open up in the coming weeks. This post highlights several destinations in Europe that you may be able to visit this summer.
Foreigners will be allowed to enter Iceland on June 15, 2020. The country will require all incoming travelers to undergo a COVID-19 test, provide paperwork of a recent negative coronavirus test, or agree to a 14-day confinement in their hotel.
Travelers entering the country will also need to download a contact-tracking app. Iceland has proactively tested thirteen percent of their population for COVID-19, which is substantially higher than other countries across the globe. Thordis Kolbrun Gylfadottir, Iceland’s tourism minister, stated that the country’s wide-scale testing, tracking, and isolation technique has been efficient in curbing the spread of the virus.
Iceland has reported 1,804 positive cases, and ten people have succumbed to the pandemic.
Germany has been successful in suppressing COVID-19 fatalities through contact tracing, social distancing and substantial testing. The country is set to allow foreign visitors sometime in mid-June, but final details have not been announced. Germany also opened its border with Austria on May 15, 2020 and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to eliminate border controls in Schengen countries on June 15, 2020. According to its official government statement, Germany will also lift the travel restrictions on thirty-one European nations on June 15th.
The statement also notes that revitalizing tourism is essential for both the German travel sector and travelers. It is also vital for the economic strength of the target nations.
Germany has registered 182,452 coronavirus infections and 8,570 deaths (as of the date of this article). However, the number of new infections is plummeting.
Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish prime minister, gave a statement allowing visitors to enter Spain starting in July. Guests will also not be subject to the 2-week quarantine from July 1 onward, and officials in Canet d’en Berenguer have instructed the town to practice social distancing, thus allowing beach fans to schedule visits to the sand through their mobile apps.
Beaches in Spain will be subdivided into socially distanced zones. There will be different arrival schedules, and visitors have the option of spending time at the beach during either the morning or afternoon sessions. Visitors cannot go to the beach during both sessions. The beach will also allow 5,000 (half the usual number) individuals per day to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Currently, Spain has 284,986 coronavirus cases and 27,719 deaths. However, it has registered lower death cases in the past two weeks.
Although Italy received one of the worst hits from COVID-19, Giuseppe Conte (Italian prime minister) has ordered its borders to be opened from June 3rd onward. The measures put in place in early 2020 to stop travelers from entering the country had made it unreachable by international travelers.
However, from June 3, people from EU countries will be allowed to visit Italy. Inter-region travel restrictions in Italy will also end in early June.
Luigi Di Maio, Italian Foreign minister, has hailed calls for a re-launch of the tourism industry in Europe in the following weeks, and he referred the border-opening day as the new ‘D-Day’ for tourism.
Tourism is a significant factor in Italy’s economy. In normal circumstances, it acquires 10% of its GDP revenue from tourism. The Italian tourism sector also employs 5% of the population.
Italy has reported 231,731 COVID-19 infections and 33,142 deaths; however, it is registering lower COVID-19 numbers than the previous two months.
Greece is a beautiful country and reaps up to 20 percent of GDP revenue from its tourism sector. Greece has reported low numbers of COVID-19 cases (2,882 infections) and is opening up to tourists this summer.
The country values the health and safety of its citizens, and it has been quick to impose COVID-19 measures to reduce and stop the spread. Its officials recently confirmed that they would be accepting tourists in July. With the EU borders set to open by June 15, visitors are preparing for their summer trips. Greece is highly interested in welcoming guests soon.
The Portuguese nation had 16 million international visitors in 2019 and is seeking to rescue its summer season in 2020. Its tourism industry accounts for 15 percent of the country’s GDP. Some of its airlines will be resuming international travel between June and July. Portugal TAP Air recently announced that it will be restoring flights come July 1.
Portugal is gradually lifting its lock down, and last week they reopened cafes, museums, restaurants, and art galleries. On May 22, the Portugal Foreign minister Santos Silva Augustos confirmed that the nation is open to international tourists.
Portugal reported 31,946 COVID-19 cases and 1,383 deaths, but the number of new coronavirus cases is declining.
Planning and Travel Insurance
Most travelers will have to wait until mid-June to start traveling, but there is a high probability of more destinations opening to tourists in the following weeks. Tourists can start planning and booking travel now, and all travelers should consider a comprehensive travel insurance policy to protect against a myriad of unexpected issues or an optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade, if they want to be able to cancel due to fears of another surge in COVID-19 cases as well as travel bans.
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