When will international tourism return?

Greece is one of the few bright spots for tourism in Europe - it may be open to travellers again in July

A guide to the travel status of some countries around the world, and their timelines out of coronavirus lockdown.


It’s not time to dust down the passport just yet – but some countries are gradually beginning to unshackle themselves from lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, as a travel tips website has revealed.

The Points Guy UK has compiled a guide to the international travel status of countries around the world and reports that ‘while very few countries are open to tourism right now, the good news is that some are providing timelines on when travel might again be possible’.

Below are some of the key global findings…


Norway is easing its lockdown, with some hotels beginning to open


The US State Department advises against any international travel


‘Some states are slowly reopening,’ says The Points Guy UK, ‘but most are still not welcoming tourists. In fact, Maine and Hawaii both have strict 14-day quarantine requirements in place for all out-of-state visitors.’

The site also points out that the CDC ‘has a strong warning against any nonessential travel within the United States’ and that ‘the US State Department also advises against any international travel’.


The Points Guy UK says: ‘Canada remains in lockdown and the border between the United States and Canada is closed. Canada has also banned province-to-province travel, putting the summer tourism season in places like Ontario in jeopardy.’ All visitors, it adds, must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. When that will be lifted is not yet clear.


The Points Guy UK explains that some Mexican states, including Quintana Roo — home to the tourist mecca of Cancun — plan on reopening on June 1 and that the country’s president said tourism is among several critical industries that could begin reopening by May 17.

Egypt has started opening its hotels to domestic tourists



President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for quarantine restrictions in Brazil

Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America – over 128,000, the site says. A travel ban on foreigners was extended through May 28 in late April, though there are some exceptions.

The Points Guy UK adds: ‘The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.’


Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, reveals The Points Guy UK, restricting all international commercial flights until September 1, 2020.



Every single nation in the Caribbean has closed its airports for the time being, The Points Guy UK reports.


Cuba has suspended international travel for tourists until further notice.


All airports and seaports have been closed for inbound international passengers through May 31, the site reports.




‘India announced back in March that it was no longer allowing foreigners into the country,’ says TPG. ‘A suspension of international flights has been lifted, but only for humanitarian or essential travel.’


China, ground zero for the outbreak, is not welcoming tourists from outside the country and there is no timeline when that might change, writes TPG UK. It adds: ‘China is allowing South Koreans to travel to some Chinese cities on business, but strict measures are in place to make sure outbreaks don’t spread.’

Hong Kong

The Points Guy UK writes: ‘As of March 25, all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane will be denied entry, including into the airport facilities, until further notice. All non-Hong Kong residents coming from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong, but entry will be denied if the non-Hong Kong resident has travelled to any overseas countries or regions in the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong.


Japan is under a state of emergency and is stepping up border controls and banning visitors from 70 nations — or anyone who has visited those nations in the past 14 days, TPG UK says.

South Korea

‘Just seven weeks ago,’ the Points Guy UK says, ‘the United States and South Korea had the same number of cases, but as of early May, South Korea had fewer than 300 deaths compared to more than 70,000 in the US.


The Points Guy UK says: ‘Singapore was an early leader in the fight against coronavirus — implementing screening of foreign visitors and some of the first quarantines. Contact tracing kept numbers and deaths low. It was also one of the first countries to ease its lockdown after that widespread testing and tracing led to a decline in cases. But a resurgence in cases has now forced it to re-impose severe restrictions.


For now, no foreigners are allowed into the country, including Bali, the site says.


Tourists are advised not to go and all international arrivals, including Malaysian citizens, are required to undergo 14-day quarantine.

The Philippines

No foreigners are allowed into the country.

Russians need a permit to travel, and foreigners are not welcome



The Points Guy UK says: ‘Foreigners are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and arriving citizens and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Australian leaders have said October is probably the earliest they would again allow international travel.’




On March 18, the government announced that foreigners would not be allowed to enter Israel. There are no current plans to ease that restriction, the site says.


The Points Guy UK says: ‘The United Arab Emirates is beginning to ease some strict lockdown measures, but is still not welcoming tourists and a curfew remains in effect. There are some flights between the UK and Abu

Dhabi. And on Wednesday, May 13, Dubai-based Emirates said it was resuming service to nine international destinations including London, Chicago and Melbourne among other destinations.’ Face masks on Emirates flights are now mandatory.


Qatar, which has a death toll of 12, banned inbound flights on March 18 except for cargo and transit flights. Tourists are not welcome.




There is no timeline yet on the country opening to tourists.


It’s hoped the country will be open to tourists by July 1, TPG UK reports.


The Points Guy UK writes: ‘Passengers arriving in France from non-Schengen member states are not allowed to enter the country. It’s unclear how long that ban will last.

‘The European Union’s ban on most foreigners expires May 15, but it’s likely to be extended.’


Spain announced that it will require all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days when they’re allowed in again.  TPG says: ‘A national state of emergency is expected to be extended to May 23 and potentially longer. The country announced that it will require all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days.’


International visitors are not welcome.


Tourism remains forbidden.


TPG UK says: ‘Any travelers who are permitted entry (there are strict restrictions) must self-quarantine for 14 days.’


Entry to Germany for tourism is strictly prohibited.


TPG UK reports: ‘The Austrian government says it intends to “cautiously” reopen the country’s tourism sector for foreigners this summer.’


Tourism is off the agenda for the time being, but the country is gradually reopening.


Spain announced that it will require all visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days when they’re allowed in again


Foreigners are banned and locals are allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days.


Hungary has banned foreigners, writes TPG UK, though Wizz Air is operating some flights between the UK and to other European destinations for essential workers and Hungarian citizens.


Russians need a permit to travel, and foreigners are not welcome, reports TPG UK.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is allowing visitors from nearby nations, says TPG UK, but they need to provide a negative Covid-19 test result at the border.


The UK has kept an open-border policy, says TPG UK. About 15,000 passengers arrive at UK airports each day. Heathrow Airport in London is set to test new screening methods soon including ultraviolet sanitation, facial recognition thermal screenings and contactless security.

The Netherlands

The country is in the process of a slow reopening, but that still doesn’t include tourists, says TPG UK.


The borders to Denmark are closed to foreign visitors until June 1 at the earliest, remarks TPG UK.


Norway is easing its lockdown, with some hotels beginning to open

Some hotels have partially reopened, says TPG UK, but it’s still not welcoming many tourists and it is unlikely international tourists will be allowed this summer.


There is currently a full entry ban into the EU in place for non-Europeans, including Americans.


Some tourist sites have reopened, but there is no timetable for allowing international visitors.




Egypt has started opening its hotels to domestic tourists

Egypt has started to reopen, reports TPG UK. It’s starting by opening its hotels to domestic tourists under the strict condition that they cannot operate at more than 25 per cent capacity until the end of May and can increase to 50 per cent capacity on June 1.


This island nation remains off-limits to tourists.


Since March 25, all international flights to and from Kenya have been suspended by the Kenyan government.


Morocco will remain on lockdown until at least May 20, reports TPG UK.


Foreign visitors will continue to be banned until at least June 1 and masks will be required in public places.

South Africa

It is not yet clear when normal commercial flights will be permitted to operate again.


Ted Thornhill, Mailonline Travel Editor

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