By VIANCA GAMBOA
People are looking forward to traveling again as early as second half of the year. Forecasts suggest staycations and domestic travel, but signs point to a phase-by-phase reopening of the industry with the essential addition of safety to the pillars of tourism.
The next big thing, and currently the economic recovery plan’s most ambitious feat yet, is the resumption of international leisure travel.
Some countries—although not a lot, with a great number unaware of which travel trend can be rather a hit-or-miss—are already capitalizing on their respective Covid-free status by reopening borders as the pandemic ebbs. To ensure safety and prevent another wave, they have restructured travel process with reservations: 14-day quarantines, arrivals from select countries only, slashed flight schedules, and eligibility and entry criteria.
Just a glimpse of this kind of news from the other side of the world excites us, but take note that international travel in the Philippines is still in the pipeline, and some of the most coveted destinations like majority of European and Asian countries, and the US have yet to lift travel restrictions.
It doesn’t hurt, however, to familiarize yourself with the foray of new protocols and additional documents that countries from your post-Covid travel bucket list may require upon entry.
Here is a list of destinations ready and/or hopeful to unseal borders for leisure travel once again.
Official Date: June 8
Several border control measures for all visitors entering the UK have been released prior its initial reopening on June 8. These include 14-day self-isolation within the intended place to stay before any traveling begins, and completion of a form that asks for your journey and contact details. These measures, however, may change over time since they will be subject to review every three weeks under the supervision of the UK government’s Roadmap to Recovery program.
Official Date: June 15
Greece has formally reopened borders to all foreign tourists across different countries on June 15. Along with the announcement, the officials have released a separate list of 29 countries that fall under non-restricted entry, meaning they don’t have to face quarantine measures and mandatory testing. On the other hand, visitors from all other countries that are not on the pre-approved list will have to comply with self-isolation for seven or up to 14 days at a specific hotel chosen by the government.
Official Date: July 1
Following the resumption of domestic travel operations and relaxations of safety measures in Egypt, the national government is set to open the country’s seaside hotspots including southern Sinai, Red Sea province, and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean to all foreign tourists with scheduled flights this July 1. These resorts are the least affected areas in Egypt and a few of the main contributors to the country’s one-billion-dollar tourism revenue.
Official Date: July 7
UAE flag carrier Emirates launches new air travel protocols to facilitate the reopening of Dubai to business and leisure travelers on July 7. These protocols for travel into and out of the airports were announced under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of Dubai. Tourists are required to present a recent Covid-19 negative certificate or undergo testing at Dubai airports, international health insurance, and completed Health Declaration Form.
Official Date: July 15
Accounting for the country’s largest foreign exchange earnings, the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives is set to reopen both uninhabited and inhabited islands (under special permits) to tourists from July 15, including leisure spots, resorts, liveaboards, guest houses, and hotels. Lenient guidelines and waiver of additional fees are imposed on every tourist, but those who may present symptoms will have to take a swab test at their own expense.
Official Date: July 31
The European country aims to be a candidate for one of the safest tourism zones for travelers in these times after its successful fight against the pandemic through a three-stage anti-crisis plan. Going with a new promotional tagline, “Safe Destination,” Prime Minister Giorgi Gakhari plans to do this by “creating a safe corridor on land borders with our neighboring countries, as well as by bilateral negotiations with countries that are interesting for us.”
Georgia is supposed to welcome tourists on July 1, but it has postponed the opening to July 31 to prioritize citizens’ safety and the current epidemiological situation in the country.
(Photos from Unsplash)