International destinations reopening

While all international travel has been banned by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, some destinations are making plans to reopen their borders for travellers.

Bali
With only a small number of coronavirus cases, Bali hopes to reopen its borders to tourists by October. The Indonesian island is currently off limits to all foreigners except diplomats, humanitarian workers and permanent residents, who must undergo a swab test upon arrival. 

Disobeying the strict social distancing laws can earn residents up to one year in prison. Beaches, tourist attractions and most bars and restaurants remain closed. The strict tactics seem to be working, as the island has only 350 confirmed cases and just four deaths from the coronavirus. 

Greece
Greece will be opening it’s to visitors from a select 29 countries. Luckily, Australia has made the cut.

From 1 July, direct international flights to Greece will slowly resume. Seasonal hotels reopened on 15 June to accommodate travellers and hopefully kickstart the country’s tourism industry back into motion.

Cyprus
Hotels in Cyprus reopened on 1 June, and international air travel restarted on 9 June, though only travellers from select countries are able to enter.

Saying that this Mediterranean island nation is eager to get its tourism industry back is an understatement. In fact, the Cypriot government has proposed an incentive to lure cautious tourists to its shores. If you test positive for COVID-19 while on holiday in Cyprus, the government will pay for your accommodation, food, drink and medication.

A letter shared with the CNN stated: “The traveller will only need to bear the cost of their airport transfer and repatriation flight, in collaboration with their agent and/or airline.”

There is also talk of a 100-bed hospital to care for foreign travellers who come down with COVID-19, and a 500-room hotel designed to home the quarantining friends and family of the COVID-19 patient, according to Nine News

Travellers from permitted countries will have their temperature checked on arrival and throughout their stay. They will also have to provide a valid certificate proving they’ve recently tested negative to COVID-19. 

Turkey
Having reopened cafes, restaurants, parks and sporting facilities on 1 June to prompt domestic travel, Turkey officially reopened boarders to international travellers on 18 June. Temperature checks, face masks and social distancing are a must for all visitors. Hotels are taking safety precautions such as 12-hour room ventilation post checkout to help keep tourists safe.

Thailand
Phuket International Airport has been closed since Thailand banned international visitors in March. Having reported more than 3000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths, Thailand has been cautious about the prospect of reopening to visitors, making health its top priority. However, as restrictions ease, tourists may be welcomed back into the country, with limitations on what regions they can visit.

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Yuthasak Supasorn told CNN Travel: “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.”

Would you feel safe exploring these international destinations? When would you next consider an overseas trip?

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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