Top Countries that are Reopening for Travel

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Since the spread of COVID-19, travel has remained a distant dream for a world that quickly went under what felt like never-ending isolation. It literally brought the world to a standstill. However, as some countries begin to ease their restrictions, lift their lockdowns, and embrace a “new normal”, tourism seems to be slowly creeping back.

But what countries are open — and to whom? What are their health and safety protocols? Here’s what we know.

1. Costa Rica

Ziplining in Costa Rica's cloud forests of Monteverde
Monteverde in Costa Rica is one of the best destinations for ziplining anywhere in the world.

Costa Rica opened its doors for tourism in November and has eased its restrictions since.  

You can now explore the beautiful landscapes of Costa Rica again. There are stunning national parks, rainforests and beaches, as well as a food scene that focuses on fresh, healthy ingredients.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Not required

2. Croatia

Croatia is one of the first countries to open in the EU after COVID-19
Croatia is offering you an opportunity to travel for the first time in almost four months.

Croatia is one of the first European countries to open its doors to tourists. As of May, Croatia has given the green light to all foreign travelers as long as they can provide COVID-negative test results, are vaccinated or can prove they have recovered from COVID.

With the UNESCO-recognized old towns of Dubrovnik and Split, complete with Roman ruins, the beautiful island of Hvar, and numerous beaches, Croatia offers a much-needed slice of laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: No testing

3. France

Cannes is one of the best cities in France
Cannes may be most known for the film festival by the same name, but there is so much more to do than just be star struck.

If you’re from anywhere in the EU zone, Australia, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea, you can travel to France with a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours prior departure. Travel to France from elsewhere, however, is restricted; you'll need a "compelling" reason for visit.

The sheer thought of strolling through the vineyards in Champagne, the Loire Valley, and Bordeaux, experiencing the high life in Cannes, tasting the amazing food in Lyon and Marseille, indulging in history and grand streets in Paris, and soaking in the dramatic coastline and sites for World War II buffs in Normandy, are enough to embrace all the travel precautions.

  • Quarantine: Requirement varies upon nationality. Travelers from the UK have to quarantine for 7 days.
  • Test on arrival: No testing

4. Iceland

glacier tour on jokulsarlon in iceland
Take in the stupendous view of Jokulsarlon glacier in Iceland.
Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland is a popular tourist attraction
No matter time of the year you visit, Gullfoss will leave you astounded. This is why it is a popular stop in the Golden Circle route.

The land of Vikings, this island nation is known for its glaciers and stark, beautiful landscapes; for its hot springs, the sun that shines bright at midnight in summer, and its charming towns.

And the country has recently reopened its borders. Travel restrictions have been dropped to welcome visitors as long as you have a certificate of vaccination or can prove previous COVID infection.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Yes. If you cannot provide the neccessary documentations mentioned above

5. Italy

A visit to the best cities of Italy must include a visit to Venice.
The City of Bridges, Venice is definitely the most sought after destinations among Italy's finest cities.
Portofino is a fishing village and is a picture perfect location in Italy.
Enjoy the view of boats and yachts bob continuously in the iconic U-shaped port in Portofino.

Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, has recently reopened to tourists from the EU and Schengen regions. The country is currently welcoming arrivals from most EU countries. Non-European countries including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore and South Korea are allowed entry but travelers have to isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Travelers from the UK are not allowed in without quarantine and must provide a negative COVID test result taken 48 hours before arrival. Travelers from the USA should arrive on a 'COVID-tested' flight.

A trip to Italy could be the perfect cure right now — with far fewer tourists in a usually bustling summer season. Imagine hiking the stunning coastline of Cinque Terre, seeing the sights of Florence (birthplace of the Renaissance), getting a selfie with Pisa’s leaning tower, exploring the sights of ancient Rome, and eating authentic pizza in Naples. The list goes on and on.

  • Quarantine: Depends on where you are from
  • Test on arrival: Not required

6. Spain

The Canary islands is an archipelago of eight stunning islands in Spain.
No matter what your travel style, there is always an island in Spain for you that suits your style.

Good news for Spain-lovers: this country is open for business. Those from the EU, Japan, Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Israel and Thailand are allowed to enter Spain for a vacation with no restrictions. 

You’ll be able to travel to the volcanic Canary Islands, the beautiful party-and-hippie-centric island of Ibiza, explore the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona, see Muslim history at Granada — and enjoy tapas galore as you go. A facemask is required in public, however.

  • Quarantine: Depends on where you are coming from
  • Test on arrival: Not required

7. Tanzania

Wildebeest Migration involves crossing rivers
Witness herds of Wildbeest cross the Mara river to reach Kenya from Tanzania.

The famous Serengeti National Park is possibly the biggest draw of Tanzania. And no wonder — it’s cited as one of the ten natural wonders of the world, famed for the million-strong herds of wildebeest as they make their epic migration. Combine your travels here with a visit to Zanzibar, with its storied history and gleaming beaches, for an amazing adventure.

Travel restrictions have eased from 7 June last year. Currently, commercial flights are operating to and from Tanzania. However, flights from India have been temporarily suspended. All travelers will have to undergo a health screening on arrival and should show a proof of negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior departure. Nonessential businesses, attractions, bars and restaurants are all open in the country.

  • Quarantine: Not required (those with symptoms will be asked to quarantine for 14 days)
  • Test on arrival: Temperatures will be taken

8. Portugal

Algarve Coast is known for its beautiful beaches
Spend a sunny day with your family on the beach in Algarve Coast.
Known for its wine production Porto is a coastal city in Northwest Portugal
Discover the allure of this stunning town of Porto in Portugal.

Portugal is currently open for tourism to most Schengen/EU countries and the USA. If traveling from a country with a higher COVID rate, i.e, India, Brazil or South America, you will only be allowed in for essential travel and you must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Proof of a COVID-negative test taken within 72 hours prior departure is required.

Portugal is known for its pristine beaches, great surfs and stunning seaside. Discover medieval castles on cobblestone streets or indulge in fresh seafood under the warm golden sun.

  • Quarantine: A 14-day quarantine is required if you test positive for COVID
  • Test on arrival: Not required 

9. Mexico

A well lit cathedral and the town at dusk in Mexico
Jardin Allende is one of the key highlights of the enticing town of San Miguel de Allende.

Mexico has opened its airports for travel and is welcoming visitors from all over the world. Flights are free to soar over its sky. However, the land border between Mexico and the United States remains closed. Check to see if you will require a test or quarantine upon returning to your own country.

Overflowing with a rich culture and savory foods, Mexico also has numerous quaint, traditional towns, such as Oaxaca and Chiapas. The coastline is covered in idyllic beaches for relaxing in the tropical sunshine and its resort towns like Cancun and Tulum attract tourists from all around the globe.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Not required

10. The Maldives

 

Maldives luxury holiday
A scenic flight above the islands in Maldives.
Banana Reef in Maldives is the best destination in Asia for honeymooners.
Maldives is emerging as the ultimate destination in Asia.

The Maldives has reopened its borders for some travelers. However, the capital city of Malé is closed to tourists. Visitors from South Asia are temporarily banned. Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to adhere to any regulations as long as they can provide proof for two weeks prior to arrival.

With beaches and resorts galore, Maldives boasts white-sand shores and crystal-clear cyan waters. There are countless islands ripe for relaxation and this island country is an oasis for divers and snorkelers.

  • Quarantine: Travelers from the UK are subject to a 10-day quarantine
  • Test on arrival: Not required

11. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is allowing international travel under certain conditions. Travelers must provide proof of negative Covid test taken within 96 hours of departure. Another test will be administered upon landing. Additional tests will be administered after five days and again after two weeks of stay in the country. Tourists can stay at approved hotels and visit approved sites at certain times, but can have no interaction with locals for the first two weeks after arrival.

An affordable land full of natural wonders, Sri Lanka is a hidden gem that has it all. Discover temple ruins, tropical treks, diving on deserted beaches and the famed train ride through the countryside that makes for the perfect Instagram feed.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: A COVID test is taken upon landing 

12. Egypt

Sharm el Sheikh is the best beach in Egypt
Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt provides you with access to the Red Sea.

Travelers to Egypt must provide proof of a valid health insurance. Travelers from most countries are required to obtain an e-visa before entering. The proof of the Covid test required can be extended to 96 hours before departure for Japan, Thailand, China, North America, South America, Canada, London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Egypt is home to world-famous pyramids, one of the few wonders of the world, and its desert hiking trails provide a dreamy wonderland to wander through. The sparkling Red Sea and the mighty Nile are some of the iconic fixtures of its landscape.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Not required

13. Morocco

 

the blue alleys of Chefcauouen in Morocco
 The white and blue town of Chefchaouen is best explored on foot.
Agadir is a coastal town worth visiting in Morocco
When in Agadir in Morocco, hitting the beach is the best thing to do.

Morocco has recently opened for tourism with some restrictions.This includes business travelers who can show proof they have been invited by a Moroccan company. Only international travelers from visa-exempt countries who have a hotel reservation are allowed in and must provide proof of negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior departure. However, Morocco has suspended most passenger flights for the time being.

Morocco is a diverse Mediterranean mecca of majestic landscapes and vibrant, colorful cities. Partake in popular pastimes like exploring markets and cafes in Marrakech and Casablanca during your stay in the country. From mountains to deserts to coastlines, there are several serene settings to set your sights on.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Not required

14. Namibia

November is a good season to go to Namibia to see the wildlife
In the dry season, animals crowd the watering holes giving you a chance to see the diversity.

The major airport for international travelers in Namibia has reopened and the country has not banned travelers from any specific country. However, its land borders are still closed, which means all travelers must enter into the country by air. All non-Namibian travelers are required to present proof of a COVID-negative test taken within 7 days prior departure even if vaccinated.

Namibia is home to some of Africa’s most beloved natural landmarks, from sands and seas to dead-tree valleys, golden, grassy plains and rugged mountain peaks. The scenery is otherworldly, and it is an ideal wildlife-watching destination with the Big 5 in abundance.

  • Quarantine: Not required
  • Test on arrival: Routine health screening 

15. South Africa

 

Located at the foot of the Table Mountain, Cape town is a stunning city.
Cape town, a vibrant city with a mix of diverse cultures, landscapes and cuisines, is a popular destination in South Africa.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa
The famous black-maned Kalahari Lion is a probable sight at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa.

South Africa is open to international travelers. However, only 20 out of its 53 border crossings are open for now. Travelers are required to show proof of negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior departure.

South Africa is home to some of the biggest game reserves. Whether it is a trip to coastal Cape Town or a nature reserve filled with spectacular native creatures, the natural wonders that await here will warm any traveler's heart.

  • Quarantine: Any traveler without proof of a COVID-negative test will be required to stay in a quarantine for 14 days at their own expense
  • Test on arrival: Not required

If you have missed traveling in the past lockdown-months and have promised yourself to take a vacation when it finally ends, the time has come. Keep the promise, do yourself a favor, and go travel!

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