People might get to travel this summer, after all, but would you want to? The answer to this question will vary: while some people wouldn’t risk traveling while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect several places in the world and favor virtual tours, for the time being, others will certainly be eager to finally get a break after months and months of continuous stress. These 9 major travel destinations around the world announced recently that they’ll be reopening their doors this summer. Some of these places will be accepting international travelers, while others will stick to domestic travel only this summer season.
Iceland, the beautiful country of waterfalls and ice caves is determined to open its borders to international travelers very soon – on June 15. The Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, announced that tourism will be resumed in mid-June, but all international travelers will be required to either take a coronavirus test at the airport or stay in quarantine for two weeks before they can enter the country.
A special pass is granted to citizens of the Faroe Islands and Greenland, who can visit the country without quarantines and testing since May 15. Statistical data reports 1,803 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland and 10 related deaths as of the end of May 2020.
Another tourist hotspot, the island of Bali in Indonesia declared it would start accepting travelers again in July. The island relies on international tourism, with 1.5 million travelers arriving every year from Australia alone. The decision caused an uproar of public disagreement, as there are 17,514 cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia and 1,148 deaths.
To counter the unsettling statistics with more statistics, officials point out that Bali itself had reported a much lower number of coronavirus cases and fatality rate – 348 cases and only 4 deaths.
Italy remains the European country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The country is currently at the stage of gradually lifting various restrictions imposed in the country since March. For the first time in 3 months, the doors of famous museums, such as the Vatican in Rome, as well as restaurants and cafes have been reopened to locals earlier this week.
Starting June 3, major destinations like Venice, Rome, and others will reopen to visitors from the European Union, and on June 15, all international travelers will be allowed to travel to Italy without any self-quarantine or testing required. Some regions in the country, such as the island of Sicily, will be offering to pay half of the flight costs and a third of the hotel costs for tourists that decide to visit the island.
Spain has already reopened its beaches to domestic travelers at a lower, 30% capacity earlier this week, and the country plans to reopen major museums and galleries, but not La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona just yet. Given that the country was extremely affected by the pandemic, witnessing 27,709 deaths from the coronavirus, they are not promising to lift travel restrictions until the end of June.
As of now, visitors have to go through a two-week quarantine before entering Spain. As Transportation Minister José Luis Ábalosthe Ábalos stated in an open statement, “Spain must be made an attractive country from a healthcare perspective” before they agree to lift the travel restrictions.
5. The Forbidden City and Other Destinations in China
While some countries are determined to reintroduce international travel immediately, others decided to limit travel to local visitors only. In China, where the virus is believed to have originated in December 2019, all the major tourist sites have been already reopened, but only for locals. Major destinations, like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace are functioning at a lower capacity.
To ensure visitors abide by social distancing rules, tourist sites imposed a maximum quota of people allowed to enter the place daily. In addition, only tourists that have pre-booked tickets online are allowed to enter major tourist destinations. Temperature checks at the entrance and face masks are likewise mandatory to all visitors.