The German Government has announced plans to end a travel warning for tourist trips to 26 European countries, as well as Britain and four non-EU countries in the Schengen passport-free zone – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – from the 15 June. This is, of course, dependent on the continued decline in coronavirus case numbers in the respective destinations.
Spain has announced that it will no longer impose 14-day quarantining upon foreign visitors from 1 July. “The worst is behind us,” tweeted Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya. “In July we will gradually open Spain to international tourists, lift the quarantine, ensure the highest standards of health safety. We look forward to welcoming you!”
Various UK media outlets have reported that the UK government is allegedly in talks with Portugal about securing an ‘air bridge’ for tourists, which would allow British holidaymakers to avoid a 14-day quarantine upon arriving home. And Portugal has also announced that the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are to reopen to international travellers on 1 July, providing they present a negative coronavirus test done no more than 72 hours prior to departure, or are tested upon arrival, free of charge.
Over in the US, foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the last 14 days are no longer allowed into the country. A Whitehouse representative explained that the latest action will ensure that these individuals do not become a source of additional infections in the US, as Brazil becomes the second-worst country in terms of new coronavirus case numbers. The suspension, which will not apply to US citizens, or to the spouse, parent, legal guardian, or child of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (and most siblings under the age of 21), is to come into effect as of the end of the day on the 28 May.
Elsewhere, Japan, taking a leaf out of Sicily’s book, has announced that it is considering paying tourists’ travel expenses in order to encourage tourism to the country. While Sicily’s Tourism Director Manlio Messina detailed that Sicily’s improved tourism initiative included subsidising visitors’ accommodation costs, offering one night of a three-night trip for free (or, alternatively, two nights of a six-day trip), and distributing vouchers for cultural and heritage activities, Hiroshi Tabata of the Japan Tourism Agency recently announced that the country is planning to allocate US$12.5 billion to a new reimbursement programme. More details are yet to be revealed.