Amid Covid-19, a look at Countries that are Welcoming Tourists Back

·6-min read

While travel is no longer the same as it used to be, many countries have started to reopen borders for international tourists. Countries permitting general tourism in 2021 have shrunk again as they experience second and third waves.

Growth in international tourism can happen around mid-2021 when countries start to lift restrictions again and as vaccines and improved testing protocols become accessible. The health risks are obvious and In the end, it's your decision if you want to travel to international destinations.

Countries might change their regulations at any time. One may have to adhere to stricter mask mandates and curfews, violating which could involve hefty fines and other charges can be pressed against offenders.

So, where can you travel right now? Following is a list of countries and territories allowing tourists to enter:

Austria: Currently experiencing new restrictions/closures. The country had officially opened its borders to tourists on June 16, 2020. EU/EEA and select third-party nationals were visiting restriction-free since reopening. Austria went into a lockdown from November 3 and partial lockdown and curfews are in effect after December 6. Tourism in Austria is not encouraged at this time.

Bali (Indonesia): Not open for general tourism barring business visas. Travellers have been entering the country under business visas, albeit with some expenses and protocols. The island was expected to open its borders for tourism on September 11, 2020, but was retracted. General tourism is not anticipated until mid 2021.

Belgium: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. Belgium reopened its borders to tourists on June 15, 2020 initially allowing select countries to visit. The country went into lockdown during November and is now required travelers to quarantine upon arrival.

Brazil: Open with restrictions. Brazil reopened its borders for tourism on July 30, 2020. From December 30, 2020, a 72-hour negative PCR test is needed by all for entry into Brazil.

Egypt: Egypt first officially reopened for tourism started on July 1, 2020 and later expanded to other areas. All arrivals will need to bring a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 72 hours prior to departure of the last direct flight into the country.

France: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. France reopened for tourists on June 15 to EU nations, and to a few approved third-party nations on July 1. Travellers need to bring a 72-hour PCR test.

Germany: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. Germany reopened to tourists on June 15.Germany is under lockdown at the moment with a 5-step phased plan throughout March/April 2021.

Greece: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. Greece reopens to tourists starting in June, 2020. On July 1, Greece started accepting travelers from third-party nations. All travelers need to bring a negative 72-hour PCR test and quarantine for 7-days.

Italy: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. Starting June 3, 2020, Italy reopened to tourists from 26 countries without restrictions upon arrival. July 1, the country started accepting select third-party nations. Travel from the EU will need a 48-hour antigen or PCR test for entry.

Malaysia: Closed for tourism. Malaysia reopened for select travelers starting in July, 2020. Later in September reciprocal green lane passengers, expat property owners, and other categories were permitted entry.

Maldives: Open with restrictions. Maldives reopened its borders for tourists on July 15, 2020. Tourists from all countries can enter the Maldives. A negative 96-hour COVID-19 PCR test is required.

Nepal: Open with restrictions. Nepal did not open its borders for international tourism until December, 2020. Travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departure.

Russia: Open with restrictions. Russia started reopening its borders to a few select nations on July 15, 2020. Passengers must bring a negative 72-hour PCR test.

South Africa: Open with restrictions. South Africa officially reopened for tourism on October 1, 2020. All passengers must present a negative 72-hour PCR test, prior to departure.

Spain: Experiencing new restrictions/closures. Spain first reopened for tourists on June 21, 2020, from countries within the European Union on June 21. A 72-hour negative PCR test is now required to enter the country.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has only reopened its borders for tourism in January 2021. The entry restrictions into the country are very strict. Travelers will be limited on their stay within Sri Lanka for the first 14 days.

Switzerland: Open with restrictions. Switzerland officially reopened to international tourists on June 15 2020, starting by permitting visitors from 30 countries. Passengers must present a 72-hour negative COVID-19 prior to the first embarkation point.

Thailand: Partially open for select tourists. The country is cautiously reopening for tourists and allows select tourists at this time under strict entry preconditions, including a 14-day quarantine.Thailand plans to shorten the quarantine to 7 days for vaccinated commuters.

UAE (Dubai): The travel corridors are currently open with restrictions. Dubai, UAE reopened its borders for tourism on July 7, 2020. Passengers must bring a 96-hour negative PCR test.

UK: Experiencing restrictions at the moment. Reopened to international tourists in June, 2020. Since January 18, the UK is asking all arrivals to carry a 72-hour negative PCR test. International travel can resume post mid-May 2021.

USA: Partially open including restrictions. Passengers travelling from the UK, Europe, Iran, Brazil and China are banned at the moment. January 26, 2021 onwards, a negative COVID test (either PCR or Antigen) is needed for all travellers entering the US, including citizens returning home.

Zimbabwe: Currently open including restrictions. Officially reopens on October 1, 2020 for tourism. Tourists must carry a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departure.

Countries Reopening For Tourism:

Albania – July 1Andorra – July 1Anguilla – August 21Antigua and Barbuda – June 4Armenia – August 12Aruba – July 1Austria – June 16Bahamas – July 1Bali (Indonesia) – September 1Barbados – July 12Belarus – July 15Belize – August 15Belgium – June 15Bermuda – July 1Bosnia and Herzegovina – July 16Brazil – July 30Bulgaria – June 1Cayman Islands – October 1Colombia – Sept 21Costa Rica – August 1Croatia – June 1Cuba – July 1Curaçao – July 1Cyprus – June 1Czech Republic – June 15Dominica – August 7Dominican Republic – July 1Egypt – July 1Estonia – June 1Finland – July 15France – June 15French Polynesia – July 15Georgia – July 31Germany – June 15Ghana – September 1Greece – June 15Grenada – July 15Guadeloupe – July 1Guatemala – Sept 18Haiti – July 1Honduras – August 16Hungary – JulyIceland – June 15Ireland – July 21Italy – June 3Jamaica – June 15Jordan – September 8Kenya – August 1Kosovo – June 28Latvia – July 1Lebanon – July 1Lithuania – JulyLuxembourg – July 1Maldives – July 15Malta – July 1Mexico – June 8Montenegro – June 1Netherlands – June 15Nepal – September 1Nicaragua – October 1Nigeria – September 5North Macedonia – July 1Panama – Oct 12Pakistan – Oct 5Poland – June 13Portugal – June 15Romania – July 7Russia – July 15Rwanda – June 17Serbia – May 22Seychelles – June 1Slovenia – July 17Spain – June 21Sri Lanka- postponedSt. Barths – June 22St. Kitts and Nevis – OctoberSt. Lucia – June 4St. Maarten – July 1St. Vincent and The Grenadines – July 1Sweden – June 1Switzerland – June 15Tanzania – June 1Thailand – August 1Tunisia – June 27Turkey – June 10Turks and Caicos – July 22UAE (Dubai) – July 7Uganda – October 1Ukraine – June 15U.S. Virgin Islands – June 1Zambia – JulyZimbabwe – October 1