After being hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry is ready to revive after a long halt. With the improvement of the situation in some regions, especially in Europe, measures will be eased in the coming weeks ahead of the upcoming summer season. A lot will depend on the individual situations of countries as well as the regulations imposed in them. To have a better understanding of the situation, Tourism Review brings you an overview of the situation in various popular travel destinations across Europe.
After gastronomy made a fresh start, the hospitality industry followed on May 29. In addition, all leisure facilities opened again, and cultural events are now allowed with a little caution. Visitors cannot expect full theaters immediately in Austria, but the guest limit will steadily increase until August. Regarding restrictions at hotels, they are not significant, and no safety distance is required with groups of guests.
All entry into Belgium that is not absolutely necessary is prohibited, the same applies to travel abroad. The measures were announced in March until June 8 and should only be eased in consultation with the respective neighboring country and if the virus situation on both sides of the border is comparable.
One of the very popular destinations on the Black Sea is gearing up for a summer season under Coronavirus requirements. Bulgaria is one of the countries relatively unaffected by the pandemic. The summer season for foreign tourists should start in June or at the latest on July 1. Deck chairs are already spaced apart on the beaches, while dispensers with disinfectants should be standard. However, Bulgarian tourism is heavily dependent on international flights, about which there is still no clarity.
The country heavily dependent on tourism can hardly wait for the European borders to finally open up. Already since May 9, foreigners who can show an accommodation booking have been allowed to enter without a Coronavirus test and without quarantine requirements. The same applies to foreigners on business trips, travelling to a funeral or who own a property or boat in Croatia. The authorities are also working on new rules to prevent large crowds of people on beaches.
There is no fixed timetable for reviving tourism, but intensive negotiations are ongoing with neighboring countries. Borders with Germany and Austria could open in mid-June. The old town of Prague, usually a magnet for people from all over the world is currently almost deserted.
Denmark was one of the first countries in Europe to close its borders on March 14. Since then, tourists and other foreigners without a specific reason for entry have not been able to enter the country. However, there have been signs of opening recently and the Danish government plans to present a plan “for a controlled and gradual reopening of summer tourism” in the coming days.
The French government has recommended the people in France to aim primarily at domestic travel. A large part of popular travel destinations in France will reopen by the end of June. Some beaches are already accessible again, but under strict rules. The government will provide an outlook on further developments later on. Large museums such as the Louvre hope to be able to open again in mid-July. Smaller museums can receive visitors again. Cafes and restaurants may reopen from June 2, but only in regions where there are less people infected.
Greece has announced that it wants to restart tourism from abroad. In the coming days, the Greek pandemic crisis team is to announce the list of countries from which tourists can arrive without having to go into a two-week quarantine. Flights from abroad to Athens will restart on June 15. From July 1, all regional airports will also be open for flights from abroad. A corona check will be carried out randomly at the airports after landings from abroad.
From June 3, entry for EU citizens should be possible again – without then having to quarantine. South Tyrol is already vigorously courting holidaymakers, especially from Bavaria. The regions of Veneto and Sardinia say that they are “COVID-free”, meaning that the situation is under control, although of course there were also infections there. For most visitors, the decisive factor will be whether they will have to be quarantined after a holiday in Italy, which is expected to be decided in the next days.
Vacation in Holland, one of the very popular travel destinations in the EU, is possible again. Bungalow parks are gradually opening their gates and holiday apartments are being rented out again. From July 1, all campsites and holiday parks will be reopened. Sanitary facilities will also reopen on July 1 on beaches and in natural parks. Museums will be able to receive visitors from June 1 – provided they register online beforehand. Restaurants, cafes, beach pavilions and pubs can each serve a maximum of 30 guests. Up to 100 guests will be allowed from July.
A summer vacation in the fjords is difficult to imagine at the present time. The Norwegian borders have been tight for foreigners for no specific reason for over two months. In mid-May, the government announced that the entry ban should continue until August 20. Until July 20, Oslo wants to see whether the borders can be opened to travelers from “individual nearby European countries”. It is thus necessary to wait and see.
The country will maintain border controls with other EU countries until June 12. Foreigners are not allowed in. So far there are exceptions for people with residence permits, truck drivers and diplomats. Hotels and shopping centers have reopened on May 4. Restaurants and cafes are also allowed to open again.
The country wants to gradually open up to foreign tourism again. It was announced that most hotels could be open again in mid-July. The tourism authorities also want to build trust with a new hygiene seal under the motto “Clean & Safe”. Tourist institutions can apply for it free of charge.
A lot will likely depend on Danish developments in Sweden. Because, for example, if you want to travel to Sweden by car, you usually drive via Denmark. Flight connections are currently limited, while there is also a provisional entry ban in Sweden until June 12. However, this does not apply to countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Association.
After a long period of uncertainty, friends of Spain can finally start planning their summer vacation in the country. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that his country will open its borders to foreign tourists in July. In addition, the two-week obligatory quarantine for all travelers will be lifted on July 1. “We will guarantee that tourists will not take any risks and that they will not pose any risks to us,” Sanchez said. According to reports, Madrid is negotiating with countries such as Germany, France or Great Britain to set up so-called “security corridors”
Hiking and wellness yes, festivals and concerts no. Major events have been cancelled in Switzerland this summer but from June 15 hoteliers will be allowed to welcome tourists. There will be obligatory hygiene and safety rules. Customers on cable cars, buses and trains are requested to get tickets online, if possible, to avoid queues at the spot. Wearing mouth and nose protection is recommended in tight spaces. Tables will be spaced apart in restaurants and hotels will offer wellness but with necessary safety distances.
Turkey, another popular travel destination for the sun-loving Europeans, hopes to attract tourists again from mid-June and prepares airports, beaches and hotels accordingly. International flights of Turkish Airlines should be available again from June 10, domestic flights from June 4. Hygiene instructions have been issued to hoteliers and other facilities. Coronavirus tests will be carried out at airports, while a government certification program for hotels, restaurants and other business is also underway.