Reopening tourism is a trending topic these days. Many European countries already published their plans about how they will receive tourists this summer. This reopening may be an essential step to normality and a sign that the pandemic is closer to an end.
Considering the pandemic evolution, let’s examine how the main countries from Europe plan to reopen tourism to the world.
The government of the following countries has already come up with a plan on how they intend to receive tourists this year. After a difficult year, tourists have the possibility to go on vacation by following some simple rules.
Greece has reopening tourism on May 14 by targeting foreign visitors; the campaign is called All you want in Greece.
This reopening is the most extensive promotional program that the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) has organized in a decade, features five videos and a website visitgreece.gr . Although the videos focus on promoting the country’s natural landscapes, the minister said this year’s real challenge was not promoting Greece’s natural beauty but safety in the context of COVID-19 and health.
Having returned from foreign tours promoting Greece as a safe tourist destination for the summer, Theocharis (Greek politician) said all visitors would need to present a vaccination certificate against COVID-19, a recent negative PCR test, or a document certifying current recovery from the virus.
The UK allows people/tourists starting May 17. According to Reuters.com, the most current changes are part of the country’s strategy to lift its latest lockdown restrictions gradually. These changes allow people to meet indoors in groups of up to six people.
While there will still be several rules to follow, bars, cafes, and restaurants will host customers indoors, and sports venues can resume their activity.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“The roadmap remains on track; our successful vaccination program continues more than two-thirds of adults in the UK have now had the first vaccine – and we can now look forward to unlocking cautiously but irreversibly.”
Italy is officially open to all travelers, following a series of announcements that indicate the beginning of the pandemic end in one of Europe’s most popular destinations.
Luigi Di Maio, the foreign affairs minister, said on May 8 that “tourism is a key part of Italy getting back to normal,” and adding that the government’s objective is “to reopen to visitors from foreign countries which have reached a high rate of vaccination.”
Italian premier Mario Draghi has invited tourists to book their summer holidays in Italy, announcing plans to introduce a covid travel pass from the middle of May. He announced that Italy would launch its own “green” national travel pass for those vaccinated, for those who have just tested negative, or prove that they have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Spain prepares to reopen for international and overseas tourists in June 2021. Travelers will need to present evidence of vaccination, recovery, or a negative COVID test.
The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, announced that travelers who have the vaccine would be welcomed to Spain, regardless of their country of origin, starting with June 7.
Starting May 24, Spain allows visitors from ten nations, “low-risk” outside the European Union, to enter the country without a negative PCR test. Because of the substantial increase of infections during the third wave of COVID-19, the government has placed a series of restrictions on specific areas and territories to ensure visitor’s safety.
France reopens to tourists on June 9.
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has established a reopening plan that would allow foreign tourists with a health pass to enter France if COVID-19 levels remain under control. One of the most calming things about the reopening is that European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune, on May 16, 2021, said, “France would offer free PCR tests to tourists.”
If you want to travel to France this season, expect rules to be fluid, with the government making changes as needed. Be flexible with your travel plans and expect the unexpected.
If you want to travel this year, the best option is to get vaccinated; vaccinated people may have multiple advantages. Another option is to have a recent negative PCR test, but be prepared to support the cost of this test; the only exception so far is France who offers free PCR tests to tourists. In case you current recovered from the virus, you can present a document explaining this.
Travel is beautiful, but since the pandemic is not over yet, let’s be conscious that reopening tourism depends on us.
Travel safe and be safe.