While there have been several news reports of countries opening up to tourism, most of such announcements are plans or proposals that have yet to be enacted or involve only a specific, essential type of travel. Moreover, many such intentions to open up involve travel bubbles where only people coming from selected countries are allowed to enter. Mostly, this would involve countries within the immediate periphery of the destination in question.
This list, on the other hand, aims to show countries which are currently open to visitors from all countries and nationalities without the abovementioned restrictions. I will update this article as and when new countries open up.
As a disclaimer, by coming up with this article, I am not necessarily endorsing leisure travel at this time. This is for informational purposes only.
As of this writing, the Republic of Serbia has opened up its borders to all citizens. This has likewise been confirmed by the US Embassy in Belgrade. In addition, visitors are not required to take any swab tests or isolate themselves upon arriving in Serbia. Actually making your way here may still prove to be a challenge as air links are still somewhat limited. The good news is that the national carrier, Air Serbia, has already resumed flights to Zurich, London, Vienna and Frankfurt; with flights to as far as New York some time in June. The country’s main gateway, Belgrade, also used to have flights to Doha and Abu Dhabi – where folks from Asia-Pacific usually transit – but these are still suspended.
Tanzania is the first African country to accept foreign visitors in view of the current pandemic. In May, the country lifted restrictions. Visitors no longer have to subject themselves to a 14-day quarantine that was previously required and the country’s main international airports can accept commercial flights again. However, it is widely believed that COVID-19 cases in the country are under-reported and the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam has issued a warning, discouraging Americans from visiting despite the lifting of Tanzania’s travel ban. It is worth noting that as of this writing, Tanzania has not released updated local cases of the virus in more than a month.
Antigua and Barbuda
Touted to be one of the safer countries to visit at this time, the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda is among the first countries to open to all international visitors. This is not to say that entry procedures have gone back to the way they were before – visitors need to submit health declaration forms and may need to undergo a rapid swab test. Once there, folks need to wear masks while in public areas. But the good news is that you don’t have to quarantine yourself. While frolicking in one of the country’s secluded beaches, wearing a mask isn’t required as long as social distancing protocols are followed.
— Ministry of Tourism (@MoTmv) June 10, 2020
Maldives is the first Asian country to completely open its borders without any Covid-19 related restrictions. In a video tweet by the country’s Ministry of Tourism (check it out above!), it states that visa on arrival will be available to all with no quarantine requirements or additional fees starting July 2020. This is probably the most open travel policy seen so far in this new era, matched only by Serbia.
United Arab Emirates (enter via Dubai)
The emirate of Dubai, one of the 7 emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), opens for tourism starting 7th of July 2020. While entry procedures are not totally free from Covid-19 related requirements, people of all nationalities are welcome provided they have been tested with 4 days from departure or are tested upon arrival in Dubai airport. As long as there is no positive result, it is not required to quarantine (those who test positive need to be quarantined for 14 days). Incoming passengers are also required to have travel insurance. As of now, it is not clear whether travelers are allowed to travel only around Dubai or whether they can also visit the other emirates of the UAE like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, etc.
In contrast to the other countries that have opened up to all, Dubai may very well be the destination that is most accessible at the moment as the airline Emirates has also announced resumption of passenger flights to at least 48 destinations including Singapore, London, Paris, New York and Kuala Lumpur.
As reported here, North Macedonia has reopened its borders to all countries as of 1st July 2020. All visa requirements prior to Covid-19 will apply. As per the 1st July reopening, entering passengers will not be required to go on quarantine nor will they be asked to take a swab test or present a certificate. As of now, there are operating flights to Skopje, the capital, from several European capitals like London, Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul and more. From Asia, Skopje is accessible via Doha and Dubai.
Albania reopened its borders on the 1st July 2020 to passengers from all nationalities without any Covid-19 related restrictions. There are also no requirements to go on quarantine or take a covid-19 test although arriving passengers who are found to have a fever (37.5 degrees temperature and above) will be subject to a quarantine. As of now, Tirana, the capital of Albania, is accessible from several European cities like London, Paris and Rome. Your best bet to arriving in Tirana if you are coming from another continent is via Istanbul from where there still are several intercontinental flights operating.
Effective 1st July 2020, the Dominican Republic will once again welcome all international visitors. There is no requirement to do a rapid test except for passengers who are found to have a fever upon arrival. Masks are required to be worn in almost all premises, from the airport to the hotel and even the restaurants and bars. Only some 50% of hotels will be open to accommodate international travelers.
That’s all – this is a very short list for now. Fingers crossed it becomes much safer to travel again and I can update this list with several more countries in the near future.