Updates on our Favourite Destinations
As much of the world is on various levels of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many travel plans have come to a halt. Although we are wondering when the pandemic will end, the re-opening of some of our favourite countries is something to look forward to. Below is all the information you need to know about when you can expect your holiday destinations to be open to tourists again, and the measures they have in place so that you can travel safely.
Entry to Australia is only open to Australian citizens and permanent residents, with a few exemptions. If you are eligible to travel to Australia, you must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a designated facility on arrival. Australia is unlikely to open for tourism until 2021.
Currently, the Australian government is working to set up a Tasman travel bubble with New Zealand that may allow tourism between the two nations. The main condition behind the implementation of this bubble would be maintaining zero community transmission of coronavirus in both countries.
What's a travel bubble?
Simply put, a travel bubble happens when neighbouring countries decide to open their borders to each other, allowing their citizens to move freely within the bubble without needing to quarantine. In other words, it’s an expansion of their quarantine zones to involve more people in the business and travel activities, helping to fix staggered economies. The most likely allies are to happen between countries with a similar situation in handling the COVID-19 cases, particularly, if they managed to contain the spread of the virus within their borders.*
The deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has predicted that the country is unlikely to reopen its borders to international leisure visitors this year. Popular tourist destinations Phuket and Bangkok have been coronavirus hotspots. However, the country has reopened its borders to select categories of travellers, such as family members, residence permit holders, diplomats, and more. Read more about who can travel to Thailand.
The United States was one of the countries that was affected most by the pandemic, with significantly more cases than any other country in the world. It is currently closed to all travellers arriving from Europe. Anyone coming from Europe, or who has visited Europe in the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter.
Entry to Indonesia is only permitted for Indonesian nationals and foreign nationals who hold a valid residence permit for Indonesia. Those eligible for entry will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 7 days prior to travel.
The Indonesian government had initially planned to open the tourist-loved island of Bali in September 11, but recently announced that international tourists will not be allowed until 2021. Instead, the island is only allowing domestic tourists to travel so that the local economy will survive amidst the pandemic.
India is slowly lifting its lockdown through various phases in different states. It is currently not allowing foreigners into the country. The suspension of international flights has been removed, but only for essential travel. There has been no announcement yet of plans to open the country back up to tourists.
South Africa was one of the strictest countries when it came to lockdowns, including a nightly curfew and complete ban on alcohol and tobacco sales. Restrictions are beginning to ease, but social distancing rules and masks are mandatory.
However, on September 16, South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will open to business travellers and tourists from October 1st. All visitors will have to present a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours before departure or quarantine on arrival.
On September 6, Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a new three-week long nationwide lockdown. The second shutdown comes after Israel registered more than 3,000 daily cases of COVID-19. As such, foreign nationals are not permitted to enter unless they are citizens or residents of Israel.
Unfortunately, many of your favourite destinations are closed to tourists for the foreseeable future, but don't worry, we've compiled a list of all the European Countries that are Open for Tourists. Take a look to see where you can travel to now. Also check out our State of Travel Blog to keep up to date with travel changes in countries. Alternatively, you can also check out our list of Museums and Attractions You Can Visit Virtually to see some of our favourite sights from the comfort of your own home.
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