With the sunny season now officially on the horizon, it’s easy to start dreaming about an international vacation. Some countries are already making plans to open their borders to foreign tourists, and summer flights from Canada are available right now. That said, there’s still plenty of rules in place.
If you’ve been wondering whether travelling outside of Canada will be possible this summer, there’s good news ahead.
For the last couple of months, the global pandemic has slowed international travel almost to a halt, and many Canadians have been concerned about whether their international summer vacation will go ahead.
For many countries, such as the United States and the U.K., the COVID-19 situation remains pretty unsteady, and therefore it’s unlikely that a British or American holiday will on the cards in the next few weeks.
However, several European countries are already beginning to reopen their economies and restart businesses, and they have plans to welcome foreign tourists as early as June and July.
Whether you’ve been dreaming of exploring the idyllic islands of Greece, or embracing the culture of Japan, an international adventure could be closer than you think.
Even better, some regions are offering travel perks and subsidies to help boost tourism, which means your trip could end up costing even less than you’d imagined!
Before making any travel commitments, it’s important to remember that Canada currently has a travel advisory in place, which recommends against all non-essential travel right now.
While this doesn’t explicitly ban you from heading overseas, it does mean it could be more difficult to return home than usual, and your travel insurance could be affected.
In a public announcement last week, the Greek prime minister confirmed that the country would be reopening to tourists this summer, with international visitors welcome as early as July 1.
To make the deal sweeter, there’s also plans to offer tourists reduced boat, plane and bus tickets.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has experienced relatively low COVID-19 numbers, with less than 3,000 total cases and fewer than 175 deaths.
International travellers arriving in Greece will not be required to quarantine, but may be asked a series of health questions and could be asked to undergo a test for the disease.
In an email confirmation to Narcity, Air Canada revealed that they intend to resume flight services to Athens by July 1.
Iceland was one of the first European countries to announce plans to start easing international travel restrictions, with tourists expected to be welcomed back no later than June 15.
While foreign travellers will be asked to choose between a two-week quarantine or a COVID-19 test, you’ll be able to visit the Nordic nation as early as next month!
Airline Icelandair is operating services out of Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, and you can fly to Reykjavik or Akureyri.
Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s foreign minister, confirmed that “tourists are welcome in Portugal,” as of right now.
For the time being, travellers entering the country will not be asked to quarantine, but there will be some health checks in place.
Air Canada is currently offering flights from various Canadian destinations to Lisbon, starting in June.
In a recent announcement, the head of the Japan Tourism Agency confirmed that the country was looking to welcome tourists back this summer.
After reopening the economy this week, there’s also a $17 billion plan in place to reboost tourism, by offering to pay a portion of travellers' vacation fees.
While the plan is yet to be finalized, and requirements are yet to be confirmed, it’s exciting news for anybody who’s ever dreamed of visiting!
There are flights available from Canada as early as June, providing travel restrictions ease-up as planned.
On May 16, the Italian government approved a plan that would allow international travel to resume, starting June 3.
Free travel across the nation will be permitted from that date, in an attempt to revive the tourism industry and help local businesses.
One region is even offering to help pay for your vacation, in order to bring tourists back ASAP.
The regional government in Sicily announced the plan earlier this month, and they’ll be giving out attraction vouchers and helping to cover hotel costs.
Flights to Rome, Venice and Milan will resume in July and August.
In a tweet, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed that Spain would be reopening to foreign tourists with no quarantine restrictions, starting in July.
While the country has already reopened its borders, a mandatory two week quarantine remains in place.
However, the minister’s tweet explained, "The worst is behind us. In July we will gradually open Spain to international tourists, lift the quarantine, ensure the highest standards of health safety. We look forward 2 welcoming you!”
Flights from Canada will land in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga, beginning in July.
Remember; due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to check the most up-to-date travel advisories and regulations in both your home country and destination country prior to making plans.
It's also worth noting that all possible flights, border reopenings and vacation bookings are subject to change, postponement and cancellation.
Right now, the Quarantine Act also ensures that any travellers returning to Canada must isolate for two weeks, so prepare to take extra time for your vacation if this requirement remains in place!