Cyprus is so keen to get its tourism industry back on track, officials are offering to cover the costs of any travelers who test positive for COVID-19 while on vacation in the Mediterranean island nation.
According to a letter shared with CNN, the Cypriot government will pay for lodging, as well as food, drink and medication for tourists who are taken ill with coronavirus during their visit.
Officials have also earmarked a 100-bed hospital for foreign travelers who test positive, while a 500-room “quarantine hotel” will be available to patients’ family and “close contacts.”
“The traveller will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline,” the letter says.
The news came shortly after Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced hotels in the country will reopen on June 1, while international air travel will restart on June 9.
Once the destination reopens, visitors from only chosen countries will be allowed to enter.
Travelers heading to Cyprus will need to provide a valid certificate proving they’ve tested negative for Covid-19, while they’ll be subject to temperature checks on arrival as well as testing at random during the course of their trip.
Bali has also been successful in containing its coronavirus outbreak, with less than 350 confirmed cases and, at the time of writing, a total of four deaths.
The Indonesian island now hopes to welcome tourists back by October, provided its infection rates stay low.
According to a statement from Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, secretary of the ministry, Yogyakarta, situated on the island of Java, is likely to reopen first, along with the Riau islands province.
All foreign nationals, except for diplomats, permanent residents and humanitarian workers, are currently banned from Indonesia, and anyone entering the island must undergo a swab test and provide a letter stating they are free of COVID-19.
Visitors have been banned from entering Thailand since March because of the pandemic.
While the number of cases here has been relatively low in comparison to other destinations – Thailand has reported more than 3000 confirmed cases and over 50 deaths – officials aren’t taking any chances when it comes to reopening the country.
“It is still dependent on the outbreak situation, but I think the earliest we may see the return of tourists could be the fourth quarter of this year,” Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) told CNN Travel.
The governor went on to stress there will be limitations on who can visit the country and what regions they can go to once restrictions are relaxed.
The ban on incoming international commercial flights – excluding repatriation flights – was recently extended until June 30 and Phuket International Airport remains closed.
Like the rest of the EU, restrictions are currently in place on all non-essential travel from outside the Schengen Zone (a grouping of 26 countries which normally have open borders).
Travellers who do enter the country, with the exception of EU citizens or arrivals from the UK, will be subject to a compulsory 14-day coronavirus quarantine until at least July 24.
Officials have made it clear the country is in no hurry to ease border restrictions for international travelers.
Although some businesses have been given permission to reopen, the country’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafÃ©s are to remain closed at least until June 2.
The European country, which managed to keep its coronavirus case numbers low by implementing a strict lockdown early on, plans to allow travelers back in on June 15.
“The tourism period begins on June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on May 20.
Although non-essential travel to Germany is prohibited at present, the nation intends to lift restrictions for EU countries from June 15, according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
Officials are also considering allowing entry to visitors from Turkey, the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, although a final decision is yet to be made.
The Austria/Germany land border is also reopening – travel between Austria and Germany will be possible from June 15 – and restrictions around the country are being relaxed.
Mexico is aiming to welcome visitors back within weeks.
While the nation remains in lockdown, officials are planning to reopen the country bit by bit in order to get things back on track.
“The plan for the country is to open in stages and by regions,” WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara told CNN Travel recently.
“The target is domestic travelers first, followed by travelers from the US and Canada and then the rest of the world.
The border between the US and Mexico border is closed to “non-essential” travel until at least June 22 and most international flights in and out of Mexico’s key airports are currently suspended or significantly reduced.
According to Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the destination plans to restart domestic tourism by the close of May and hopes to receive international visitors from mid-June.
The country has set out new guidelines for its hotels and resort facilities, such as temperature checks at entrances and at least 12 hours of room ventilation after checkout. Guests will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.
Meanwhile, restrictions on intercity travel have been lifted, while restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities are permitted to reopen from June 1, along with beaches and museums.
Italy has been one of the destinations worst hit by the pandemic, but travellers from the EU, along with the UK and the microstates and principalities of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, will be allowed to enter without having to go into quarantine starting June 3, in a move the government has described as a “calculated risk.”
Visitors were previously required to undergo a two-week quarantine before being allowed entry.
Spain’s lockdown was one of the toughest in Europe, but restrictions are gently being lifted. Beaches set to reopen in June while hotels in some parts of the country have already been permitted to resume business.
From July 1, the European destination, which welcomed a record 84 million visitors in 2019, will grant EU travelers permission to enter without having to quarantine for two weeks.
It’s already one of the most lavish destinations in the world, but the Maldives looks set to become even more exclusive once it reopens.
The island nation, made up of over 1000 islands, closed its national borders and cancelled all flights shortly after recording its first two coronavirus cases in March.
However, around 30 resorts here have stayed open, with tourists opting to self-isolate in the famous honeymoon destination rather than return home.
While it was previously thought the destination would reopen at the end of the year, officials have brought this forward to July.
A phased reopening has been proposed that would see private jets and super yachts allowed entry from June 1.
Visitors will also need to present a medical certificate confirming proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at least two weeks before landing in the destination.
The Maldives received more than 1.7 million visitors in 2019 and the destination had expected numbers to rise to two million in 2020.
Portugal is still in the process of relaxing lockdown restrictions, allowing restaurants, museums and coffee shops to reopen at reduced capacity from mid-May.
While visitors from outside the EU are banned until at least June 15, some routes in and out of Portuguese-speaking nations such as Brazil are still operating.
The land border between Portugal and Spain, which has been closed to tourists since March, is unlikely to reopen until EU travel restrictions are lifted.
Although the prospect of reopening to international tourists appears to be a little while off, officials are putting measures in place to ensure foreign travelers will feel confident to return once they’re able to.
Rita Marques, the country’s Secretary of State for Tourism, has launched a “don’t cancel, postpone” scheme, allowing tourists to reschedule any pre-arranged holidays to Portugal until the close of 2021.
The Egyptian government suspended passenger flights back in March, while all hotels, restaurants and cafes were closed and a night curfew imposed.
These measures are currently being relaxed, with hotels that meet certain requirements, such as having a clinic with a resident doctor on site, being granted permission to reopen for domestic visitors at a reduced capacity.
But a curfew remains in place between 8pm and 5 am, and the government has made wearing masks mandatory in public places and public transport.
Although international flights are yet to begin operating again – bar a select few routes – cabinet spokesman Nader Saad recently stated they may gradually recommence during June and July.
While other destinations are relaxing travel restrictions and bringing in measures to lure travelers back, the UK is choosing to enact stricter regulations.
Despite previously opting against a mandatory quarantine for travelers, the government recently announced that, as of June 8, all arriving travelers will be required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.
Under the new rules, all arrivals will have to provide an address, at which they must remain for two weeks.