Daily US Times: Popular tourist destinations are beginning to reopen after months of Covi-19 lockdown despite most governments are still advising against “nonessential” international travel.
Earlier this month, the European Union unveiled an action plan to reopen its internal borders in time for summer, while countries such as Latvia, Lithunia and Estonia have formed “travel bubbles,” lifting restrictions for each other’s citizens.
Several Caribbean islands are preparing to open their doors to foreign visitors in June, but destinations such as Thailand and Mexico are planning to open up again region by region in the coming weeks.
Here’s a guide to the top destinations making plans to reopen–
The Mediterranean island nation is so keen to get its tourist destinations back on track. The country’s officials are offering to cover the costs of any travelers who test positive for Covid-19 while on vacation.
Cypriot government will pay for lodging, as well as food, drink and medication for tourists who are taken ill with coronavirus during their visit, according to a letter shared with CNN.
The detailed plan was set out in a five-page letter issued t tour operators, airlines and governments on May 26.
Officials have also prepared a 500-room “quarantine hotel” which will be available to patients’ family and “close contacts”, while the government earmarked a 100-bed hospital for foreign travelers who test positive.
The Indonesian island has also been successful in fighting with the coronavirus, with a total four deaths and less than 350 confirmed cases.
Bali now hopes to reopen tourists sports and welsome tourists back by October.
Bali’s economy is hugely dependent on tourism. In recent years, visitor numbers have been rising, with around 6.3 million people visiting in 2019.
Mangku Nyoman Kandia, a Bali tour guide, told “The coronavirus has collapsed the Balinese economy … it’s been a steep drop since [mid-March] when social-distancing measures were put in place.”
“No tourist, no money,” he said.
All foreign nationals, except for parmanent residents, humanitarian workers and diplomats are currently banned from Indonesia. Anyone entering the island must undergo a swab test and provide a letter stating they are free of Covid-19.
The country is one of the world’s top tourists attractions, receiving close to 40 million foreign tourists last year.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, visitors have been banned from entering the Southeast Asian country since March.
In comparison to other destinations. the number of cases here has been relatively low. Thailand has reported over 50 deaths and 3,000 confirmed cases, but it seems officials aren’t taking any chances when it comes to reopening the country.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said: “It is still dependent on the outbreak situation, but I think the earliest we may see the return of tourists could be the fourth quarter of this year.”
The governor went on to stress there will be limitations on who can visit the country and what regions they can go to once restrictions are relaxed.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, France was the most visited country in the world. But now, like the rest of the Eoropen Union, restrictions are currently in place on all nonessential travel from outside the Schengen Zone.
Travelers who do enter the country, will be subject to a compulsory 14-day coronavirus quarantine until at least July 24, with the exception of EU citizens or arrivals from the UK.
Government is slowly lifting the lockdown measures, but officials have made it clear the country is in no hurry to ease border restrictions for international travelers. Currently car journeys of up to 100 kilometers allowed and beaches beginning to reopen.
Tourism accounts for Greece’s one in five jobs, as well as almost 20% of the country’s gross domestic product. So it’s perhaps no surprise the Mediterranean nation is angling to reopen tourist destinations as soon as it possibly can.
Greece has managed to keep its coronavirus case numbers low by implementing a strict lockdown early on, plans to allow travelers back in on June 15.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on May 20 that tourism period begins on June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen.