The year 2020 changed the face of the world. Literally the world was all along wearing a mask! In the first quarter of this year Europe became the center of the Covid-19 grip and there was a complete lockdown.
Cities and countries were all under a spell of doom and gloom. However, strict policies and smart lockdowns enabled the countrymen to slowly open up. Although there is still no vaccine, yet there has been a change of things.
Parks, schools, and malls opened up with intact social distancing. Europe as a continent has a great tourist footfall in summer. The year 2019, saw 9.6 million Americans traveling to Europe between March and July.
As summer is peaking countries have had many policies changed to keep their people safe. However, Europe has many countries dependent on tourism. But as COVID is here to stay, this time local tourism has been encouraged for a better summer.
However, the EU itself has had a better plan. They opened borders for neighboring countries that had a lower COVID stat.
In totality, Europe did a few things it introduced travel corridors with other countries of low COVID ratio.Secondly, they implemented COVID testing upon arrival.Also, they continued the revision of list that holds countries with whom travel is permitted
As of now the list that is valid allows these countries to travel to Europe.
- New Zealand
- South Korea
The list could also include China if China agrees to allow EU travelers to visit as well. Serbia and Montenegro were a part fo the previous list. However, these countries were removed from the list of July 16. The US is still a troubled country due to higher cases of COVID. However, each European country has its rules as well so the destination in this continent reserves the right for their final traveler list.
The most visited country in the world started opening up in June. They opened doors for international visitors in July. These visitors were from the list of countries shared above. Nightclubs have been closed, while bars and restraints have been opened with health measures in place.
But visitors will get to view the French art, beauty, and fashion on the streets and parks so their vacation is truly French experience.
The first European country to open for international visitors was Italy. However, we all remember that it was badly gripped by the pandemic,
Therefore, their measures have been very calculated. US citizens are not allowed. Also, travelers arriving and departing from Rome’s airports will be subjected to health checks, including temperature checks from thermal scanners at different points. However, other European Union countries could come.
Spain also has opened up for the European travelers for US travelers, there are clauses. They allow travelers who are Spanish nationals, legal residents of Spain, long-term visa holders, or those who are coming from European Schengen countries. The government has imposed the rule of face masks to control cases in the second wave of COVID.
Germany had opened borders for European countries by June 22. They have also opened up their borders for travelers coming from Australia, Georgia, Canada, Montenegro, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
As every country is looking for tourism revival, Germany is willing to lift the restrictions from a few countries provided that they also approve bi lateral travel ease. These countries that Germany wishes to consider are Japan, South Korea, and China.
Since July 4th many public places have opened up in the United Kingdom. Their government has made a list of countries whose travelers they deem as safe. US travelers are not in the safe countries list.
The UK marked Aruba, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, and Vietnam as the exempted countries.
Greece was a much lucky country as they curtailed their cases very early in the pandemic. However, as tourism is their important industry they are willing to take many tourists. At present their mode of travel tourists entry is as such
- Travelers are required to take a COVID-19 test.
- This test should be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in the country
- Twenty-four hours before arriving in Greece, travelers also have to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), which requires them to share their place of departure, previous travel history, and address of stay in Greece.
Croatia is more welcoming for non-European citizens. But this does not mean they are careless. Their regulations begin right at the time of booking. Any traveler wishing to visit Croatia has to fill a travel form online with their hotel details and accommodation booking. After filling the form they receive a set of guidelines for visiting Croatia.
These guidelines also include the procedures upon entering Croatia. To sum it up, the traveler has to provide results of negative COVID test which is procured within 48 hours of entering Croatia. Moreover, there are strict rules about quarantine. In case of not following it, travelers will be fined heavily for it.
Other parts of Europe
Portugal has been fairly active in opening up and so they have fairly allowed most safe-countries list travelers to visit. Moreover, they have opened up hotels and restaurants and beaches with strict policies of distancing.
Turkey has also opened up, with hopes that they can fight COVID with good social distancing. So is the case with Malta. Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, and Iceland too have opened up. However, they do have COVID testing as a rule in a few countires, if not all. Travelers from the US, due to their COVID statistics are not easily welcomed by European nations
Travel will resume, but with new protocols. This may take time to be leanrt and implemented but eventully the worls will become normal again.