These countries are reopening their borders to international travellers

Reta Lee
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle

Having worked from home since February (I was recuperating from a surgery), and going through the partial lockdown in Singapore has made me miss travelling so much.

Although travelling is not in high demand right now, it is comforting to know some countries are welcoming visitors to their countries.

These countries intend to boost their economies after lockdown, by gradually restoring international flights and instilling confidence in travelling. Depending on which countries we travel to, we may have to resort to safety measures like wearing face masks on the plane, and observing social distancing with others.

Sri Lanka

Nine Arches Bridge also called the Bridge in the Sky is a bridge in Sri Lanka and it is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The country is welcoming guests come 1 August, but under strict guidelines officials shared.

Tourists must carry a COVID-19 free certificate issued not earlier than 72 hours before boarding.

But upon arrival, tourists must still take a virus test at airport arrival. Further checks will be conducted four to five days later - and a third if the tourist is staying for more than 10 days.

Not only that, travellers can only stay in hotels designated by the government and not travel on public transport on the island.

Italy

Aman Venice, Italy - Rear Garden and Canal. (PHOTO: Aman Venice)

After three months of lockdown, Italy will be lifting restrictions on international arrivals on 3 June. It’s a major step for the country as it slowly recovers after being one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the world.

However, the government says that local and state governments can curb travel in certain areas if there is a spike in new infections.

Restaurants, bars and cafes can serve customers as long as tables are at least 2 metres (6.5 ft) apart.

25 May 2020, Spain, Palma de Mallorca: People sunbathe on the beach of Arenal. After more than two months of forced closure due to the Corona pandemic, the holiday island and many other regions of Spain reopened their beaches on Monday. Photo: Clara Margais/dpa (Photo by Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Spain

Spain hopes to welcome visitors from June onwards. Right now, the Balearic and Canary islands are the first to open, ahead of the biggest cities including Barcelona and Madrid. However, the Spain-Portugal border will remain closed to tourists.

The country has one of the strictest lockdowns in place but is slowly lifting restrictions in different areas.

For now, international arrivals will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

MYKONOS, GREECE - MAY 25: The sunset scene in the Little Venice neighborhood on May 25, 2020 in Mykonos, Greece. After months of being on lockdown due to the coronavirus, Greece will begin to ease travel restrictions on movement between the mainland and the country's islands. (Photo by Byron Smith/Getty Images)

Greece

Greece’s prime minister announced that the Greek tourist season will kick off in June, and international charter flights will resume in July. Hotels can now be reopened on 15 June onwards.

Greece will be reducing value added tax (VAT) on all transport - flights, rail, bus - to encourage travellers to visit the country.

Gullfoss, Iceland. (PHOTO: Scott Dunn)

Iceland

The government is expected to ease restrictions on international arrivals no later than 15 June, and travellers will be given the choice to take the coronavirus test on arrivals or a two-week quarantine.

As of 24 May, only three known cases of COVID-19 infections are known to be active in Iceland

Tourist admiring the view in Azenhas do Mar, Lisbon. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Portugal

Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva announced last Friday (22 May) that tourists are welcome in Portugal, and some health checks will be in place at airports but there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in.

Most shops and restaurants have reopened under strict restrictions as part of measures to revive the country’s tourism-dependent economy.

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