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Tourism: Countries now opening after months of travel bans

By Nneka Nwogwugwu

Following the COVID-19 lockdown declared by countries, some countries are now reopening and scrapping travel bans which have lasted for well over a year.

Kenya, France, Poland, Hungary and among others earlier this year entered lockdown.

NatureNews gathered from Forbes list of newly reopening countries which are scrapping travel bans.

1.Chile is fully reopening to fully vaccinated tourists
Beginning 1 November, if the results of a PCR test completed upon arrival into one of three Chilean airports (Iquique, Antofagasta, and Arturo Merino Benítez) are negative, then quarantine will be lifted for fully-vaccinated tourists.

Unvaccinated people will still be banned from entering for tourism purposes.

Foreigners have been allowed to visit since 1 October but must undergo a five-day quarantine.

2. India has ended its travel ban for foreign tourists
In March 2020, India initiated a travel ban on foreigners by disallowing visas for tourist reasons. It has recently announced that from 15 October, it will start reissuing tourist visas for people arriving through chartered flights.

India’s travel economy was crippled by severe spikes in people falling sick to Covid-19 in 2021 with as many as 4,000 deaths every day. Now, with new cases down to 20,000 every day, it will be looking to encourage tourism again–in 2020, figures show that under 3 million people visited the country, a 75% decrease on 2019 numbers.

3.Fiji is reopening its borders after a 21-month ban
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said in a statement that “for the sake of the tens of thousands of Fijians–and their families–who depend on our tourism industry, we are also preparing to re-open Fiji as one of the world’s safest tourism destinations.”

The country will reopen to everyone on the green list after a 21-month ban on tourism and travel. Then, when the country has reached an 80% vaccination rate, expected by November, the country will open to travelers from other places without a quarantine, as reported by USA Today.

4.Bahrain and the UAE now open to Europeans
The EU has added Bahrain and the UAE to its safe list–countries where travel restrictions should no longer be in force. EU countries can decide, however, to implement their own travel restrictions if they deem it necessary.

The newly revised list now incorporates Australia, Bahrain (new), Canada, Chile, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (new), Uruguay and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

5.The UK opened up 47 countries who were on its red list.
In one of the most radical changes to travel policy, the U.K. took 47 countries off its red list, opening up the holiday market to countries such as Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and the Caribbean. The result has been an explosion in international bookings for U.K. travel agents. InteleTravel’s agents have seen a 54% increase over 2019 pre-pandemic booking volumes.

Martin Ferguson, American Express Global Business Travel’s VP of Public Affairs, said it welcomes the government’s announcement “to reduce the travel red list to only seven countries. The positive momentum on a safe return to international travel continues to boost aviation and travel industry recovery.”

The seven countries remaining on the red list are Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Haiti, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, as reported by The Telegraph. These require mandatory quarantine in government-appointed hotels in the U.K. at a total cost of £2,285 per person ($3,110).

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