The year 2020 has been a drag hasn’t it? Just when we thought cases were dropping, they suddenly skyrocket and our dreams of traveling shatters almost instantly. Traveling during the coronavirus has become somewhat of a desperate dream now as we continue to dread the staying at home and just wish to escape someplace nice.
The good news is that not all is bad, and there are some places that are open for travel. So you know that there’s still some hope for adventuring this year. Though it’s a narrow squeeze, with a bit of planning and research it should all be possible
Despite some places being open for travel, there are many destinations that follow strict guidelines set by the WHO and CDC as to where you can go and what you can do, as well as having to abide by general health and safety protocols.
The Maldives for example will only allow you to stay within the perimeter of your resort and you’ll have to book your stay at only one place for the duration of your visit. And in my opinion it’s not worth going to these places until all restrictions have been lifted.
With the way things are going right now, though it may be safe to travel to some countries I’d advise to keep visits as short as possible since there’s no way of knowing whether cases may rise again. There are some places that are consdering going back into lockdown and it’ll be bad to be caught in these places at the wrong time.
But for now, here are some places I’d want you to consider if you want to save your summer:
While I was traveling around Asia, the rest of my family sought their own sun in the rich lands of Turkey. Even today, they’ll not stop talking about how much fun they had and how beautiful of a country it is. The food they had, they wished they ate more of it. The sights they’ve seen, they wished they had more pictures to show off. The experiences, they wished the days went by slower so they could enjoy them more.
Turkey has already opened its borders to many countries and people can now freely roam around and go about their daily lives as once before. Of course with health and safety in mind, the new practices of wearing a mask and demonstrating social distancing is something you’ll be told to observe. But besides that it’s a pretty safe place to visit this time round, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, the summer is still ripe and you’re still enjoying the Mediterranean climate well into the autumn.
Important Information: All new arrivals into Turkey will be subject to examination and those wanting to enter must be clean of any Covid symptoms; depending on the results you may have to observe some quarantined days, the results which should be submitted within 72 Hours of arrival.
One of possibly the most underrated places to ever visit; living mainly in the shadow of Spain is Portugal. A mate of mine went to see her family recently and the pictures I’ve seen easily makes it one of my next go-to destinations for short trips.
The inner cities and coastal towns are a thing to behold and there’s plenty to take in. It’s such a clean country, filled with culture, history and gorgeous architecture dotted around for you to wonder at. The beaches too, with its warm yellow sand and sparkling oceans, never fail to look amazing.
These have been reopened to the public as well as the restaurants, having health protocols in place and establishments displaying a ‘Clean and Safe’ badge to show that good hygiene is observed.
Like many places, Portugal is still on high alert and so face masks are required, and social distancing practised.
Important Information: According to Gov.uk travel to Portugal is subject to entry restrictions, meaning that you’ll be required to take a health screening and anyone wishing to travel to Madeira, Porto Santo or Azores must take a Covid-19 test.
Holidaymakers from the UK might also be required to self-isolate upon return if they decide to go to these places. However, visitors from other parts of the EU and the Schengen area as well as some countries in Northern Africa, Asia and Canada will be able to travel mostly trouble-free to and from the country as Portugese Foreign Minister ‘Welcomes’ tourists back into the country.
It’s Italy baby. In the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak it was saddening news to see just how badly affected Italy was, with cases and casualties surpassing many other countries. Thankfully Italy has restored itself quite well and travel to and from the country has become more normalised with people able to enter without needing justification for travel.
Italy is a strong contender for the one who’ll save this year’s wanderlusters; trips to Tuscany, walking around Vatican City and soaking in the sun in Sicily. No introduction is really needed for Italy as millions of people already visit each year, coming back with amazing stories to tell and memories to remember for a lifetime
Travelers from the EU, the UK and Schengen Area will be able to freely visit Italy without having to undergo a 14 day quarantine. Italy is really eager to kickstart its tourism industry again and they look ready. Restrictions have been eased and peoples’ normal lives resume under new health and safety practices, as per usual the mask wearing and social distancing is mandatory.
Important Information: It should be noted that there is a small list of countries whose residents are still forbidden to visit Italy and for anyone who has stayed in these countries the last 14 days before entering. Please check with your country’s regulation in regards to Italy.
Another Mediterranean country? I’m just getting desperate at this point, the summer is nearly ending and I need to salvage the last couple weeks and make sure I get some sun in my system. Besides, who doesn’t dream of going to Cyprus? You do a little Google search and you’re greeted with pictures vibrant in colour, the blues, greens, creams; they’re all inviting you over for a week in bliss.
What’s more, it’s not too pricey either, the place is an all round win if you ask me; the food, the sights, the vibes.
Cyprus has finally reopened its borders, but only to a select few countries; two sets of countries to be exact. Set A and Set B. To be honest the number of countries welcomed to Cyprus in these two sets isn’t small.
Set A countries will mostly be able to travel freely to and from Cyprus, these are the low risk countries, whereas countries from Set B will be required to submit a negative health test result within 72 hours of arrival. Please check if your country is in either one of the categories before planning a trip.
Cyprus has a lickle secret you should know of too. If you just so happen to contract Covid-19 (God forbid) while in Cyprus, the government have a guarantee where they are willing to reimburse you for your travel costs. A free tip? Not worth catching the disease really. But it’s an offer they extend to anyone after visiting, think of it as free travel insurance for Covid.
Important Information: Countries from both Category A and B are allowed to freely travel to and from Cyprus, Category B travelers however must submit a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of arrival should they be allowed to stay. You’ll also need to check if you’re reqiuired to self-isolate upon returning from Cyprus
Wait… That’s it?
Only four entries on this list? There are plenty more countries where travel is permitted, but heavy restrictions apply where the freedom isn’t exactly an option; it’s either that or having to pay up to £2,000 in deposits like you would in Cambodia. Or if you were to visit Iceland you’d have to pay up to £90.
Like I mentioned before, if you want to visit the Maldives, you’ll have to stay in your resort at all times, I’d rather wait until next year then if that’s the case. I’ve only mentioned countries where free travel is mostly allowed, and surprisingly most of these entries fall within the Mediterranean zone, which isn’t bad at all, it’s why a lot of people travel after all. I just wanted to exclude the more high maintenance countries.
In all honesty, the entries above are pretty much the only places worth going this year without getting a migraine due to all the bollcoks regulations. I’d rather wait until this whole Covid-19 bollocks blows over, though it may still be a while.