Europe, Reopening Day Is Here

On June 15 and 16, a tentative welcome mat is being laid out for visitors in many European countries and a few Caribbean island – Europe, Reopening Day

As the world slowly reopens to tourism, June 15 — and, in some cases, June 16 — has emerged as a significant date, especially in Europe, where the European Union plans on lifting many internal borders.

Additional waves of reopenings are expected later in the summer, but for now, visitors from the United States aren’t typically on the invite list.

Some European countries, including Greece, Croatia and Portugal, have already started reaching out to tourists, as have a few Caribbean island nations, including St. Lucia. In other regions, the pace is slower. Tourism remains banned across much of the African continent, as it is in many parts of South America. In Asia, Vietnam continues to ban all travel unless it is for “official or diplomatic purposes.” And Japan, which was hit early in the outbreak, has maintained a widespread travel ban, listing more than 100 countries, including the United States, whose citizens cannot enter.

Another country absent from the return to tourism is New Zealand, which remains closed to almost all international travel. Instead, on June 15, the nation plans to celebrate its successful elimination of the virus. Similarly, Australia is not yet permitting much international travel.

Varying government policies, morphing “travel bubbles” and frequently canceled flights will continue to complicate international travel, but starting June 15 and 16, here are some of the places — again, many still not open to Americans — that are tentatively putting out a welcome mat.

Permitted nationalities Austrian Airlines resumes flights June 15. The following day, visitors from member states of the European Union, except Sweden, Spain and Portugal, can enter Austria without a medical certificate or quarantining. Travelers from Britain are prohibited. (Austria opened its borders to Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary on June 4.)

But other “cross-border travel is still strongly discouraged or impossible,” according to Austria’s Official Travel Portal. With rare exceptions, Americans are prohibited from traveling to Austria, which is listed as a State Department Travel Advisory Level 4 “Do Not Travel” country.

Restrictions Visitors from other countries must submit a medical certificate confirming a negative test result from within four days of entering Austria. Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and Britain, as well as others traveling from within the Schengen area may commit to a 14-day home quarantine in lieu of the test.

Diners in restaurants will not have to wear masks, starting June 15.

Information You can track the country’s gradual reopening here.

Permitted nationalities Belgium welcomes travelers from within the European Union, as well as Britain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway, as of June 15.

Restrictions Supervised sports and cultural activities cannot exceed 20 people in June and 50 in July. Cafes and bars have been open as of June 8 and may remain open until 1 a.m. Tables are 1.5 meters (about five feet) apart with no more than 10 people per table. Waiters must wear masks and customers must stay seated at their tables.

Cinemas, casinos and banqueting and reception halls with a maximum of 200 attendees will reopen July 1. Nightclubs will not reopen until at least the end of August.

Information For more on the reopening, including precautions within the country, go here.

Permitted nationalities Citizens and residents of 20 European countries will be allowed entry, with restrictions guided by a color-coded system based on the severity of the outbreak in those countries.

Restrictions Visitors from low-risk “green” countries may enter the Czech Republic without documentation of testing, quarantine or purpose of travel.

Citizens and residents of “orange” and “red” countries are banned from entry, unless exempted by the Ministry of Health Protective Measure, and with the submission of a medical certificate. (Medical certificates and other forms necessary for cross-border travel can be found here.)

Borders between the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria will include police spot-checks to ensure compliance with the health ministry’s measure.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and other dining facilities, as well as hotels, have been fully reopened with heightened sanitary measures since May 25. (More information about safety procedures at restaurants and hotels may be found here.)

Masks are required inside all public buildings, as well as on public transit and in areas with at least two people where social distancing is not possible. Inside restaurants, wait staff must wear masks and customers must wear masks when not seated at the table.

Social distancing is required at hotels, and guests must be provided with information about safety procedures and have access to disinfectant.

Information For more on restrictions, go here.

Permitted nationalities Starting June 15, travelers from Germany, Norway and Iceland may visit with documentation of a valid booking for a stay of at least six nights. Those visitors may also stay overnight in Copenhagen, following the same booking requirements.

Restrictions Quarantine is not a legal requirement in Denmark, but travelers from cities with populations larger than 750,000 people in Norway, Germany and Iceland are advised to do so, according to the Foreign Ministry and the official police site.

Currently, visitors from Sweden, which has a significantly higher death rate per capita than the rest of the Nordic region, are prohibited from entering the country without daily commuter restriction exemptions.

However, the Danish government announced Wednesday that it is exploring options to allow visitors from Finland and the south of Sweden. Additionally, business travel across the Nordic region opened June 1.

Restaurants and cafes have been open with distance and hygiene restrictions since May 18.

Information For more about how Denmark is handling the outbreak, go to the Danish Health Authority website.

Permitted nationalities Tourists with residency in DenmarkGreenlandNorwayGermany and Iceland may travel to the Faroe Islands starting June 15. Visitors from other countries are “still strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days,” according to government guidelines.

Restrictions Visitors from the approved countries do not need to self-quarantine, but must have a medical certificate showing a negative Covid-19 test taken within five days of arrival.Per government recommendations, people must remain apart at least one meter — or just over three feet — in public spaces and are advised to keep two meters, or about six-and-a-half feet, away where risk of infection is considered greater. Bars, restaurants and other venues are advised to close by 10 p.m.

Information can be found at the government’s official website.

Permitted nationalities At midnight June 16, borders will open and restrictions will ease for travelers from the European Union, Britain, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. However, Germany excludes citizens and residents from countries with large-scale lock downs and entry bans. Visitors from Sweden may not enter, and those from Spain will be excluded until June 21. On Wednesday, the German cabinet extended travel warnings for visitors from more than 160 countries, most outside Europe.

Restrictions Larger-venue events, including concerts, festival and spectator sports have been banned until at least Aug. 31. The reopening process varies across Germany, with the country’s 16 governors determining when certain places reopen, including cinemas, tattoo parlors and brothels.

Information For rules and regulations regarding Germany’s reopening go here. For updates about how the outbreak is affecting travel to Germany, go here.More information on foreign travel can be found here. American travelers can also visit the Embassy website.

Permitted nationalities As of June 15,Greece is allowing visitors from the following 29 countries: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Israel, Switzerland, Japan, Malta, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Hungary, South Korea, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Finland.

Restrictions According to Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority, some travelers may be required to quarantine or take Covid-19 testing.Random visitor tests will be conducted and the list of acceptable countries for travel will be updated again before July 1.

Indoor-dining restaurants, fast-food spots, bars, internet cafes and open-air nightclubs have been open since June 6. As of June 15, seasonal hotels, museums, historic buildings and areas, theme and entertainment parks, gyms, saunas, spas and thermal springs will be open to visitors.

Information Greece’s tourism website is a good resource for dates and restrictions.

Permitted nationalities After June 15, visitors from 30 countries may visit. Visitors from Sweden and Britain are prohibited.

Restrictions Travelers from high-risk areas noted on this list are required to complete a health screening form and encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days. Face masks are not required at Dutch airports, and temperature screenings are not typical practice.

Tourists must have proof of hotel or lodging reservations to cross the border. Travel within the Netherlands is not restricted, although tourists are urged against going to busy locations. Tourists who do not follow local rules may be fined.

Social distancing and good hygiene rules apply, and public transportation is only allowed for essential travel — which does not include tourism. Face masks must be worn on mass transit.

If you prefer to eat inside a restaurant or cafe — as opposed to outside — you must reserve ahead. Diners must be seated and keep 1.5 meters, or about five feet, away from people not within their own household.

Information Go to this travel website for additional information about the Netherlands’s response to Covid-19.

Permitted nationalities On June 15,Switzerland will open borders with Austria, France and Germany, “thereby abolishing all travel restrictions to these countries and re-establishing the free movement of persons,” according to a government news release. The country will keep its borders with Italy shuttered, although Italy opened its own borders June 3.

Restrictions The country’s Federal Department of Home Affairs maintains the right to “order a medical examination at the border for certain groups of people, including a temperature reading, a health questionnaire or quarantine, for any person from a high-risk country listed in the Covid-19 Ordinance who wishes to enter Switzerland.”

Restaurants have been open for about a month, with social distancing measures in place.

Information For more on Covid-19 travel measures in Switzerland, go here.

Permitted nationalities Last week Adil Karaismailoglu, the transport minister, said that in June Turkey will resume flights to and from 40 countries, with 17 of those locations added June 15.

By that day, people from the following places will be among those who can visit: Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Northern Cyprus and Singapore. Later in June, travelers may come from additional locations including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea.

Restrictions The Turkish Ministry of Health may require individuals to quarantine for 14 days if they have symptoms of Covid-19, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey. Face masks must be worn anywhere people are “collectively located,” including in private cars with two or more people. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Turkey notes: “Local authorities may put in place additional Covid-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice.”

The Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency is tracking restaurants and accommodations voluntarily certified as “Safe Tourism” locations, based on intensive sanitation and social-distance measures taken.

(The U.S. Embassy announced Friday that Turkish Airlines plans to resume direct flights to the United States from Turkey June 19. Several airlines are also resuming international flights, mostly into Europe, and the embassy said that U.S. citizens may book these flights on routes returning to the United States “starting immediately.”)

Information Turkey’s response to Covid-19 can be found here, along with updated statistics.

The Caribbean

Permitted nationalities Jamaican will welcome international visitors on June 15, according to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett’s Facebook post. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs keeps Jamaica at a Level 2 travel advisory — exercise increased caution, with a Global Health Advisory warning people against the effects of such travel on the pandemic.

Restrictions At Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Health Ministry officials will conduct on-site health screenings, including thermal temperature checks. Anyone deemed ill must quarantine. At the airport, visitors are instructed to socially distance and will be monitored to ensure compliance. Ticketing counters will include plexiglass screens. Face masks are mandated inside the airport, in taxis and at hotels. Safety protocols will be revised every two weeks.

Information Pre-Travel Screening Questionnaire is “coming soon” to Jamaica’s tourism website.

Permitted nationalities The island will reopen its borders to visitors from Bonaire and Curaçao on June 15. Starting July 1, visitors from most of the Caribbean (but not the Dominican Republic or Haiti), as well as Canada and Europe will be admitted. Americans can visit starting July 10.

Restrictions Travelers without medical certificates showing negative Covid-19 results before arriving in Aruba must take a test upon arrival and undergo a 24-hour quarantine at their accommodations while the test is being assessed.

Travelers with medical certificates will have their temperatures checked and undergo a health interview, which, if clear, will enable travelers to continue on without additional testing or quarantine. Those with positive results must isolate at a government-specified location until testing negatively.

Travelers must wear masks on flights to Aruba and they are encouraged to continue wearing them while on the island. With the exception of 24-hour pharmacies, “all establishments” close by 10 p.m. and casinos, bars and nightclubs will not be open.The government website says that all open establishments must “adhere to the rules and regulations of the New Normal,” which include proper hygiene and social distancing standards.

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