12 tourist hot spots planning to reopen this June
- Despite nonessential travel still being discouraged in many places, some tourism-reliant countries are beginning to hatch plans to welcome back tourists.
- Italy announced plans to allow international travel starting June 3, even though it saw Europe's deadliest coronavirus outbreak.
- Saint Lucia expects to become the first Caribbean island to reopen to tourists on June 4.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Last week, the European Commission announced a plan to save its summer tourism in order to help the struggling travel industry. The plan includes opening borders back up and putting health measures and testing in place.
But it's not just the EU eyeing its summer travel.
Despite many countries still discouraging nonessential travel - and while questions of Covid-19 infection rates and the possibility of second, and even third waves remain - a lot of tourism-reliant economies around the world are planning to open their doors to travellers as soon as June.
Keep scrolling to see which tourist hotspots hope to welcome visitors.
"Tourists are welcome in Portugal," according to Portugal's foreign minister.
Portugal, after easing out of lockdown by reopening some shops and restaurants in mid-March, has become one of the first European countries to welcome back visitors, according to Reuters. However, since flights from outside the EU are not allowed until June 15, these tourists are mainly from Europe.
Santos Silva, Portugal's foreign minister, said that health checks will be implemented at airports.
According to Johns Hopkins, Portugal saw 31,007 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,342 related deaths.
The Florida Keys are expected to welcome back visitors by June 1, though they will initially cut their occupancy in half.
According to Florida Keys officials, the Keys are hoping to be open to visitors on June 1. The island chain has been closed to tourists since March 22.
Disinfecting and social-distancing guidelines will be put in place, and the first phase of reopening calls for lodging to be limited to 50% occupancy, which will be reevaluated in late June.
"Tourism is the economic lifeblood of the Keys and almost half of our workforce is employed in visitor-related jobs," Rita Irwin, chair of the destination management office for the Florida Keys and Key West, said in a press release announcing the reopening.
Cancun, Tulum, and Riviera Maya hope to be back in business, tourism-wise, by the beginning of June.
Some of Mexico's most well-known tourist hotspots, Cancun, Tulum, and Riviera Maya, aim to welcome international travellers by June 8-10, according to Mexico News Daily.
The Quintana Roo tourism board (the state in which the destinations are located) told Riviera Maya News that this reopening will coincide with the resuming of flights from the US, Canada, and Europe to the area and that it expects travel to initially center around weddings and conventions. It says that new hygiene protocols will be put in place.
Cancun and other destinations in Quintana Roo are also offering free overnight stays and other steep discounts to incentivise tourists to visit this year.
According to Travel + Leisure, Los Cabos similarly announced a phased reopening plan, which includes putting in place a "Clean Point" quality certification for cleaning measures that hotels, restaurants, and tour providers must obtain. Phase 1, starting June 1, will allow for limited travel while these new health and safety protocols are enforced, while phase 2, which is the opening of the airport's international terminal, is targeted for July.
Cyprus plans to open its borders on June 9 — but only to visitors from "safe" countries.
Cyprus is set to start welcoming tourists back on June 9. However, it only plans to allow visitors from countries it deems "safe," and that have similarly low infection rates. There are 19 countries on this list, such as Germany, Austria, Greece, Finland, Denmark, and Norway.
The Eastern Mediterranean island has seen 941 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 17 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.
Further, it says it will pay for the accommodation, meals, and medication of any tourist who contracts Covid-19 while visiting the island.
Iceland aims to be open to international travellers by June 15, and plans to test all arrivals for Covid-19 at the airport.
Iceland's prime minister said that the island nation aims to be open to tourists by June 15. The country plans to test all arrivals for Covid-19, thereby allowing travellers who test negative to bypass quarantine. Anyone testing positive, however, will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Iceland's population of about 364,000 has seen 1,803 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 10 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins' coronavirus resource center.
Greece, which emerged from the pandemic relatively unscathed, hopes to welcome visitors by mid-June.
Greece went on lockdown early, which it credits with having a relatively low number of coronavirus cases and related deaths. According to Johns Hopkins data, Greece, which has a population of 10.72 million, has seen 2,836 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 165 deaths.
Many of its businesses, such as hair salons and bookstores, have been back open since early May, and most nonessential businesses followed suit May 18, which is also when travel restrictions within the country were lifted. Hotels aim to reopen June 1, and tourists will be invited back into the country starting mid-June.
According to a previous article by Business Insider, Greece's prime minister added that Covid-19 testing will be in place at airports, and temperature checks will be implemented in hotels and restaurants.
Italy announced that international travel will be allowed starting June 3.
According to Italy's La Repubblica newspaper, Italy's government announced that it plans to allow international travel starting June 3 and that this date will also mean the end of requiring arriving visitors to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Business Insider's Kieran Corcoran notes that initially it may be possible that only Europeans are able to visit, as the EU requires member states to keep borders closed to non-Europeans until June 15.
Taking it a step further, the Italian island of Sicily has offered to pay half of visitors' flight costs and a third of hotel expenses should they visit later this year.
The U.S. Virgin Islands have been working on a plan to welcome back tourists by June 1.
According to a press conference, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. has been working with the Department of Tourism, the Department of Health, and the U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism Association on a plan to welcome tourists back by June 1. Further details haven't yet been shared.
The same conference shared that the U.S. Virgin Islands saw 69 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and six deaths. Currently, there is one patient hospitalised with the virus.
Saint Lucia is expected to reopen to tourists June 4.
Saint Lucia's government announced a phased reopening to tourists beginning June 4, when it is expected to allow international flights and tourists. Visitors will have to present a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival, and should expect temperature checks at the airport, hotels, and in restaurants, as well as mask and social-distancing requirements.
Saint Lucia has had 18 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and no deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Antigua and Barbuda will allow international flights to resume on June 4.
Caribbean National Weekly reports that Antigua and Barbuda's tourism minister Charles Fernandez said in a virtual meeting on reopening the country that an American Airlines flight from Miami scheduled for June 4 will mark the Caribbean country's return to tourism. The paper notes that this will be the first international passenger flight to the country in 10 weeks, and that this will be a daily flight.
According to the Miami Herald, the government plans to implement new health measures before then and that anyone wanting to enter the country will need to present a negative Covid-19 test. There's also the possibility that visitors may have to stay on their resorts' premises.
Antigua and Barbuda saw 25 Covid-19 cases, and 3 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.
According to its transportation minister, Spain aims to welcome back tourists in late June.
According to Reuters, José Luis Ábalos, Spain's transportation minister, told broadcaster TVE that he hopes for tourists to be able to visit from late June.
However, no further details have been given. While a mandatory 14-day quarantine was implemented for arriving visitors in Spain last week, Ábalos says that this, as well as travel restrictions, will be gradually lifted. "We must make Spain an attractive country from the health point of view," he said.
With 27,709 deaths, per Johns Hopkins, Spain had one of the highest coronavirus death rates in Europe.
Aruba's government announced tentative plans to reopen its borders sometime between June 15 and July 1.
Aruba announced that it will welcome back visitors sometime between June 15 and July 1. Its visitors' bureau says that this is subject to change, however, as they "may consider additional precautionary measures as needed."
Nonessential businesses such as malls, cinemas, outdoor restaurants, beauty salons, and childcare facilities are set to open by May 25. However, the island country has a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, requiring all nonessential businesses to close by 9 p.m.
Aruba has had 101 Covid-19 cases and three related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
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