Special Report

These Countries Are Open for Tourists This Summer After COVID-19 Shut Them Down

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As summer ramps up and vacation season is around the corner, many people are left wondering where they can go during this COVID-19 pandemic. Travel during the pandemic is accompanied with risks and restrictions we’re not accustomed to.

With countries worldwide easing lockdown and other measures, it may seem like the tourism industry could soon open for business. Yet while domestic travel is allowed, international travel is still restricted in many parts of the world — but not everywhere.

24/7 Tempo compiled a list of 30 countries that are already open or will be open for international visitors in the summer. We did not include countries that allow entry to people only from a few countries, such as Denmark, or countries that won’t open their borders until August. Most European countries on the list are not open to U.S. citizens unless their spouse is a citizen of the country they want to visit or have other family there.

Eventually, people will be allowed to travel anywhere they please. Until then, if the U.S. is the only option, or if you’re just looking for a local perspective, these are the most beautiful attractions in the U.S.

Click here for 30 countries that are open for international tourists this summer. 

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1. Slovenia
> Open since: 5/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Slovenia added on June 15 two countries, Italy and Montenegro, to its list of epidemiologically safe countries. All border crossings with Croatia are now open. As of June 13, the Balkan nation required visitors from 32 nations, including the United States, to quarantine for 14 days, because of what the Slovenian government said was a “deterioration of epidemiological conditions.”

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2. Croatia
> Open since: 5/16/2020
> Allows visitors from: 10 European countries

Croatia restored on May 28 conditions for visiting the Balkan country to the ones before the pandemic to citizens of 10 members of the European Union: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Germany, and the Slovak Republic. Restrictions for visitors from these countries have been lifted.

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3. Tanzania
> Open since: 5/17/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

The African nation of Tanzania announced on May 17 it was admitting visitors without conditions, one of the earliest countries to do so. President John Magufuli said no foreign visitor will be forced to quarantine. However, visitors are asked to observe protective measures such as social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing hands with soap and water.

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4. US Virgin Islands
> Open since: 6/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

The U.S. Virgin Islands announced on May 26 that the tourist destination will reopen to leisure travelers on June 1. Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte said in a press release that a state of emergency because of the pandemic will remain in effect through July 11. The territory has been building COVID-19 mitigation and response capacity, and preparing protocols to protect locals and tourists.

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5. Bulgaria
> Open since: 6/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU, Schengen Area, UK

Bulgaria, a popular ski and beach destination, currently allows visitors from the EU, Schengen Area (26 European countries without border controls between them), Serbia, Macedonia, and the U.K. However, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, arrivals from Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, and the U.K. must quarantine for 14 days.

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6. Italy
> Open since: 6/3/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU, UK, Schengen Area

Italy reopened its international and regional borders on June 3 and ended the 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors arriving from other countries. The regulations apply to those coming from countries that are members of the EU, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican. The rules do not apply to the United States. Travel bans on other nations remain in place at least until July 1. Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 or have been in contact with those with the virus must adhere to mandatory quarantine measures.

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7. St. Lucia
> Open since: 6/4/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

St. Lucia began a phased reopening on June 4. Visitors must present certified proof that they have tested negative for the virus within 48 hours of boarding the flight there. Health officials of the island nation may conduct random temperature tests at ports of entry. Visitors to St. Lucia are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism in St. Lucia employs more than 20% of the workforce and contributes about 14% to the country’s GDP.

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8. Antigua and Barbuda
> Open since: 6/4/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Like most of the Caribbean vacation spots, the economy of Antigua and Barbuda heavily relies on tourism. Upon arrival, visitors must undergo a COVID-19 test and stay in their hotel for up to 24 hours until the test results are known. Travelers also must wear a face mask in public areas.

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9. Portugal
> Open since: 6/6/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU

Portugal began on June 6 allowing visitors coming by air from EU nations except for Italy and Spain. Portugal also resumed flights from the U.S. two days earlier but will only allow in those carrying a Portuguese passport. The government will not allow U.S. citizens in until the United States removes travel restrictions on European visitors. Visitors in Portugal have to wear masks and adhere to social distancing rules. Those traveling to the Azore islands have to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before arriving.

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10. United Kingdom
> Open since: 6/8/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

The United Kingdom, one of the most visited countries in the world by tourists, required as of June 8 those arriving in the U.K. to self-isolate for 14 days, or the duration of their visit, whichever is shorter. Visitors who fail to self-isolate or do not provide accurate contact information can face severe monetary penalties. The requirement will be revisited every three weeks.

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11. Cyprus
> Open since: 6/9/2020
> Allows visitors from: Some European countries

Cyprus began allowing direct flights to the island in the eastern Mediterranean beginning on June 9 from 19 countries over two phases. In the first stage, Cyprus allowed flights from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Israel. Visitors will have to test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of their flight. The second phase is due to begin June 20, with flights from Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Croatia, and Estonia allowed to land in Cyprus. No test will be required.

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12. Hungary
> Open since: 6/9/2020
> Allows visitors from: European countries

Landlocked Hungary, known for its many historic sites, is open for tourists from Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia who need not quarantine. Hotels are reopening in phases. Hungarians or permanent residents returning from outside of Hungary must quarantine for 14 days.

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13. Mexico
> Open since: 6/10/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Mexico is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and the state Quintana Roo — where vacation spots such as Cancun and Riviera Maya are located — and the Pacific Coast city of Los Cabos have begun to open for visitors. However, hotels are only opening at 30% of their capacity, and they hope to reach 50% in July. Travelers arriving at Mexico’s airports undergo a temperature check.

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14. Turkey
> Open since: 6/10/2020
> Allows visitors from: Several countries in Europe and Asia

Turkey, one of the most visited countries in the world, announced in early June that it planned to resume flights to and from 40 countries in several stages, starting on June 10. Turkey has also reached a preliminary accord to resume reciprocal flights with 15 nations that include Italy, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Belarus, Jordan, and Morocco. Hotel guests will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

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15. Slovakia
> Open since: 6/10/2020
> Allows visitors from: Some European countries

Slovakia began reopening on June 10 and has published a list of 19 epidemiologically safe countries, all of which are in Europe. Anybody entering Slovakia who has visited a country not considered safe in the previous 14 days must either submit a negative test result to the authorities or self-isolate and take a test within five days.

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16. Germany
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU countries

Germany reopened its land borders to travelers from the surrounding countries of Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Denmark on June 15. It also lifted restrictions on air travel from EU countries with the exception of Spain, which will be subject to restrictions until June 20. Germany will continue to restrict nonessential travel from non-EU countries until June 30.

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17. Jamaica
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Tourism-dependent Jamaica reopened its borders to travelers on June 15, becoming the largest Caribbean destination to do so. Resorts on the island are also reopening, and Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines have said they will resume flights to Montego Bay. Visitors are subject to on-site health screenings, including thermal temperature checks. Anyone deemed ill is required to quarantine.

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18. Iceland
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU and Schengen Area

Iceland, which has so far reported only 10 coronavirus-related deaths, reopened to visitors on June 15 and is requiring that every person arriving either take a COVID-19 test, which will be free until July 1, at the airport or quarantine for 14-days. Anybody who tests positive has to isolate for 14 days. “There is a lot at stake that Icelandair continues operations, and it’s in reality a life-or-death question for tourism in Iceland,” Bjarnheiour Hallsdottir, the chair of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, told Iceland’s Public News Service RUV.

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19. France
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU and Schengen Area

France reopened its borders on June 15 to all travelers arriving from within the EU, the U.K., and the Schengen Area, regardless of their nationality. Visitors don’t need to provide proof anymore that their travel is essential. France is recommending but not requiring that people arriving from the U.K. and Spain self-quarantine for 14 days. Both those countries have imposed 14-day quarantines on international arrivals.

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20. Austria
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: EU countries

Austria has reopened its borders to all EU countries except for Portugal, Spain, and Sweden, as well as the U.K. The restriction on Spain will be lifted June 21. Travel from all other countries is still strongly discouraged or impossible. Potential visitors have to show a medical certificate that is not older than four days stating they have tested negative for the coronavirus.

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21. Belgium
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: Most EU and a few other European countries

Belgium currently allows travel without restrictions from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania. Travelers from a number of other European countries are subject to quarantine or other restrictions. Travel is not allowed from Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Malta, and Norway. People outside of Europe are not permitted to visit yet.

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22. Czech Republic
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: European countries

The Czech Republic is allowing travel from the EU and several other European countries without restrictions. It is maintaining a ban on countries identified as high risk: Portugal, Sweden, and part of Poland. Czech citizens returning from those countries must be tested or quarantined. Belgium and the U.K. are considered medium risk, and nationals of those countries are still not allowed entry.

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23. The Netherlands
> Open since: 6/15/2020
> Allows visitors from: 30 countries

The Netherlands has reopened to tourists from all EU and Schengen Area countries with the exception of Sweden and the U.K. There is no quarantine requirement. Non-essential travel from people from third countries will be allowed after July 1. Flights from affected areas to the Caribbean part of the Netherlands — Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba — will be allowed after July 1 as well.

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24. Montenegro
> Open since: 6/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: Countries with a rate of transmission less than 25 per 100,000 inhabitants

There have been no COVID-19 cases in Montenegro as of May 24, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Foreign nationals have been able to enter the country as of June 1. There are no restrictions on people arriving from countries with fewer than 25 active coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Quarantine is required for arrivals from countries exceeding 25 cases per 100,000.

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25. Spain
> Opening: 6/21/2020
> Allows visitors from: Schengen Area, U.K.

Spain, among the worst-hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic, currently has a two-week quarantine in place for all international travelers. The country plans to open its borders and lift quarantine restrictions to members of the Schengen Area and the U.K. on June 21. The border with Portugal will reopen on July 1.

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26. Aruba
> Opening: 7/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: Canada, Europe, Caribbean

Aruba, which has so far recorded just over 100 cases of coronavirus and three related deaths, reopened to some neighboring islands on June 15 and will permit visitors from the rest of the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe, and Canada on July 1. On July 10, travelers from the United States will be allowed to enter. Visitors should expect screening measures, including temperature checks, upon arrival at the airport.

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27. Greece
> Opening: 7/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Greece is opening up for tourism in phases. Visitors from EU countries have been allowed to enter the country since June 15, with flights landing in Athens and Thessaloniki. Tourists from countries with high COVID-19 transmission rates, as listed by the EU Safety Agency, are to be tested upon arrival.

After July 1, international flights will be permitted into all airports in Greece. Visitors are subject to random tests upon arrival. Arrivals by sea will be allowed after July 1 as well.

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28. Egypt
> Opening: 7/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

Egypt suspended passenger flights, closed all hotels, restaurants, and cafes, and imposed a night curfew back in March. These measures are currently being relaxed, with hotels that meet certain requirements, such as having a clinic with a resident doctor on site, allowed to reopen for domestic visitors.

International flights are expected to be allowed after July 1, or mid-July at the latest. Foreign tourists will be allowed to stay at seaside resorts. Foreigners who don’t want to stay at these resorts will not be allowed to enter the country.

Source: vvvita / Getty Images

29. Georgia
> Opening: 7/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: TBD

Georgia’s tourism industry was thriving before the COVID-19 pandemic. About 5 million travelers visited the country in 2019, a 7% increase from the previous year. International travelers will be able to come back after July 1. However, it is yet not clear citizens of what countries will be allowed in and whether tourists will be required to self-isolate for a period of time. It is possible that the country will require potential visitors to get tested for the coronavirus three days prior to arrival. Another option is to allow only people who have been in a “safe country” for two weeks before arriving in Georgia.

Source: Ljupco / iStock via Getty Images

30. The Maldives
> Opening: 7/1/2020
> Allows visitors from: All countries

The Maldives, a famous honeymoon destination made up of over 1,000 islands, will be open to tourists of all nationalities starting in July. As of mid-June, the plan was to allow tourists to enter the country without prior testing or a mandatory quarantine period. There will be no new visa requirements either.

More than 1.7 million tourists visited the Maldives in 2019, and the country had expected, before the pandemic, the numbers to rise to 2 million in 2020.

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