Despite concerns about the Omicron sub-variants – with the charming names BA.4 and BA.5 – Covid-19 appears to be gradually loosening its grip on the daily lives of the French. The pandemic has affected global tourism for two years, but this summer may open a new era. Where can you put your bags? What destinations require PCR testing? What countries have reopened their borders to foreign tourists? 20 minutes answer you.
Flexible rules in Europe
From Gaudi’s fantasies in Spain to reindeer in Finland and the turquoise blue waters of Crete, Europe offers a myriad of potential destinations. If you feel tempted, know that no country on the continent imposes quarantine even if many countries require a valid health permit (Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc.).
On the contrary, some countries have chosen to remove entry restrictions altogether. This is particularly the case in the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden and the Baltic states, but also for more Mediterranean destinations such as Greece, Croatia and Albania. For those who want to taste chocolate and enjoy the Swiss mountains, Switzerland does not require any formality to enter its territory.
China and Japan closed
Since March 2020, the Middle Kingdom no longer issues tourist visas. Chinese policy is very strict. Since the beginning of the epidemic, Beijing has implemented a “zero-covid” strategy, which leads to confinements and quarantines as soon as a few cases appear, but also PCR tests on langoustines or disinfecting entire streets. For vacationers who dream of setting their feet on the Great Wall of China, the wait can be long. If it is impossible to set a date for the reopening, Beijing has abandoned the organization of the Asian Football Cup scheduled for … June-July 2023.
The story is similar in Japan where the French will not be able to go this summer a priori. Issuance of a visa is already subject to a compelling reason – yes, more urgent than an irrepressible desire to visit Kyoto and relive many kawaii memories. However, the Land of the Rising Sun opens the door to carefully selected travelers. Only tourists from Australia, the United States, Thailand or Singapore, who have a triple-negative vaccine and a negative anti-Covid test, are allowed to enter and leave the territory.
North Africa opens the door
Morocco has canceled the obligation of PCR testing to enter its territory in order to encourage the return of foreign tourists and support a vital sector of the national economy, according to a government press release published on Tuesday evening. On the other hand, a health pass remains mandatory to enter Moroccan territory. Only 3.7 million foreign tourists visited Morocco in 2021, compared to 13 million in 2019, according to official statistics.
For its part, Tunisia refuses travelers who did not receive an injection. For others, a certificate of vaccination is sufficient. And if you dream of admiring the last wonders of the world that still stand, know that Egypt requires a vaccination certificate. For unvaccinated tourists, it is possible to enter the country through a test that is taken seventy-two hours prior to arrival.
The Americas are totally accessible
On the other side of the Atlantic, many countries have relaxed their conditions for entering the territory. Mexico, Jamaica and Chile no longer require tourists to show their credentials: whether they have been vaccinated or not, you are welcome. Canada, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina require a certificate of vaccination, and Peru and Colombia are adding an anti-Covid test.
Things get a little more complicated for the United States, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. These countries prohibit entry to the territory for unvaccinated tourists. For those who have received the injection, it will be necessary to present the certificate as well as a test against Covid dating less than seventy-two hours – or even the day before boarding in the US.