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Covid-19 recovery: What countries are reopening?

While the Covid-19 virus remains a global threat, some countries are cautiously reopening their borders and industries.

In Europe, many destinations have reopened their borders with other EU and Schengen agreement countries. Greece has reopened to 29 countries while China has been forced to tighten it’s safety measures after a recent Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing.

We’ve collated the most up-to-date information about destinations reopening and their current events procedures, where applicable. However, this information is subject to change daily and it’s important to consider the safety regulations in the country you will return to.

Asia Pacific

Australia

Early June saw Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison implement a three-step plan to gradually reopen the country.

The first step allowed for business gatherings of up to 10 people and the opening of restaurants and cafés. Large venues in South Australia are now allowed to welcome up to 80 people in groups of no more than 20, while large venues in Western Australia can now permit up to 300 people.

New South Wales and Queensland continue to limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

Australia’s individual states and territories have control over the timing of implementing each step, however, the Australian economy is expected to fully reopen in July.

China

Despite enforcing some of the strictest anti-Covid-19 safety measures in the world, China, the first domino in the Covid-19 pandemic, has recently announced a new outbreak in Beijing.

This has called for the retightening of regulations and prohibits foreign flights from entering the country.

Japan

On 3 June, the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau released its ‘Guidelines for MICE Event Organisers for Infectious Disease Control.’ This provides a detailed checklist for planners of meetings and corporate events for before, during and after the event.

These measures include ‘Collaborative preparation with venues and associate companies’, ‘Prevent close-contact settings’, complete with layout charts, and more.

However, travellers who have been in the UK in the last 14 days are currently unable to visit Japan, other than in exceptional circumstances.

New Zealand

Following the enforcement of arguably the most stringent safety measures in the world, New Zealand had begun to reopen internally, beginning with dine-in restaurants, businesses and schools.

While social-distancing and border control measure remain strict, social gatherings and domestic business gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed.

A recent study conducted by the Business Events sector for Tourism New Zealand revealed that 94 per cent of the 230 New Zealand-based organisations polled said they are planning to hold a business event in the next 18 months.

UAE

Dubai Airport will begin receiving tourists from 7 July 2020.

Europe

Covid-19 recovery

Austria

Austria has relaxed travel restrictions for 31 European countries, allowing visitors to enter without a medical certificate or needing to quarantine. The government has issued a three-step plan for events.

Since 29 May 2020, indoor and outdoor events for up to 100 people have been permitted and from 1 July, the second stage will take effect with up to 250 people for indoor events and 500 people for outdoor events.

In the final stage, indoor events for up to 1,000 people and outdoor events for up to 1,250 people will be permitted from 1 August.

Belgium

Belgium opened its borders to EU countries, including the UK and the four other Schengen countries (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway) on 15 June.

Gatherings or demonstrations in public spaces are authorised from 1 July, with a limit of 200 people indoors and 400 people outdoors, always in compliance with social distancing measures. Receptions and party venues can accommodate up to 50 people

Czech Republic

Since 15 June, travellers from 20 European countries can now visit the Czech Republic while adhering to a colour-coded system from ‘green’ to ‘red’, based on how severe the outbreak is in the country they are coming from.

Anyone coming from ‘orange’ and ‘red’ countries is still banned from entering without an exemption from the Ministry of Health and a medical certificate.

Following Czech Republic’s five-step reopening plan, events of up to 500 people are now permitted and restaurants, bars and hotels have been fully reopened, with additional hygiene measures in place.

Denmark

Visiting Denmark comes with a six-night minimum stay requirement and only travellers from Germany, Norway and Iceland are permitted. However, visitors from cities with a population larger than 750,000 people will need to quarantine for 14 days. Visitors from Sweden are still prohibited.

Gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted, and larger gatherings are expected to be banned until August at the earliest.

Finland 

Travellers from  Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been allowed to visit Finland since 15 June and Finland will welcome travellers from Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Liechtenstein as of 13 July. There will be no border control for travellers from these countries and they would not need to self-quarantine on arrival in Finland.

Travel to Finland from Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland will also be allowed.

Hotels, sights and attractions have opened since 1 June.

Indoor and outdoor public events and public meetings with fewer than 50 attendees are allowed. Internal and outdoor events with more than 50 but fewer than 500 attendees are permitted, provided that safety can be ensured by promoting good hygiene practices, maintaining safe distances and limiting the number of visitors.

Outdoor events with more than 500 attendees are allowed with special separation arrangements.

The Government expects to allow events with more than 500 people to be organised in both indoor and outdoor spaces as of 1 August.

Event organisers must ensure the safety of attendees by following the guidelines from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) concerning safe distances, hygiene practices and limiting the number of visitors, if necessary by dividing activities into smaller sections.

France

France has opened its borders to travellers from Britain, the EU and countries from the Schengen area. Visitors from other continents are expected to be allowed to enter France from 1 July.

Despite President Emmanuel Macron declaring the nation a ‘green zone’, public gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer and public events of more than 5,000 people are banned until at least September.

Germany

Travellers from the EU, Britain, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland can now enter Germany, with visitors from Spain expected to be granted entry by Sunday 21 June.

Private, cultural and commercial indoor gatherings of up to 150 people and up to 200 people outdoors are allowed. This is set to be increased to 300 participants for indoor events and up to 1,000 for outdoor events, from 30 June.

* Frankfurt: On Monday 22 June, events with up to 250 people will be allowed Hessen (the region containing Frankfurt).

Greece

Ahead of its peak tourist season, Greece has opened its borders to travellers from Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Israel, Switzerland, Japan, Malta, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Hungary, South Korea, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Finland.

In terms of gatherings, the government has not yet set out a plan but it’s good news for the incentive market as hotels, museums (including the Acropolis), gyms, spas have now opened, with social-distancing rules in place.

Iceland

Iceland reopened its borders to visitors from Europe’s Schengen area on 15 June. Travellers get the option of a Covid-19 test on arrival or self-quarantine for 14 days.

Restaurants, bars, gyms and night clubs have been allowed to reopen, and public gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted.

Italy

For a time, Italy was the worst affected country in Europe, but it was soon surpassed by England.

Italy opened its borders to travellers from EU countries, the UK and the Schengen area on 3 June and declared the 14-day quarantine requirement upon arrival was no longer necessary. However, gatherings are still prohibited across the country.

The Netherlands

On 1 June, the Netherlands reopened bars, theatres and museums. Currently, outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted but this is expected to be raised to 100 people on 1 July.

On 15, the country reopened its borders to tourists in 30 countries, including those in the EU and Schengen area. Events and concerts of more than 100 people are expected to be permitted from 1 September.

Norway

Since 15 June, the requirement to go into quarantine for ten days no longer applies to people who enter Norway from other Nordic countries that meet the Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s criteria.

Events with up to 200 people are allowed, provided that the event can be held in accordance with current infection control guidelines.

Slovakia

Borders open to 19 countries without quarantine. Most businesses open and events for up to 1,000 people are permitted from 1 July.

Spain

Borders open for EU, EFTA states, and the UK only. Residents can travel around the country without restriction

Sweden

Unlike other countries in the region, Sweden’s government didn’t enforce a lockdown and gatherings of 50 people or fewer are prohibited.

Switzerland

Switzerland reopened its borders with all EU/EFTA countries as well as the UK on 15 June and for all other Schengen countries, the borders are set to open by 6 July.

Public and private events of up to 1,000 people as well as “spontaneous gatherings” of up to 30 people are allowed.

United Kingdom

The UK’s borders are open but a 14-day self-quarantine applies to everyone. This regulation is to be reviewed on 29 June.

From 4 July hotels, restaurants, pubs and other businesses can open, under certain guidelines.

North America

Canada

Each jurisdiction in Canada has control over when and how they will begin the reopening process.

British Columbia began reopening in mid-May, including ‘small social gatherings’ of up to 50 people, with hotels and resorts beginning to reopen in June.

Alberta began the first stage of its reopening strategy on 14 May, allowing for the reopening of retail businesses and gatherings of up to 15 people.

Ontario began stage one of its recovery plan on 19 May. Many areas of the region have entered stage two, with groups of up to 10 permitted and restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen for outdoor dining.

Quebec’s premier began allowing indoor gatherings of up to 10 people on 15 June.

Barbados

All businesses in Barbados have been allowed to reopen and Barbados’ air space is set to reopen to commercial flights within the first two weeks of July.

Jamaica

The Jamaican Government has implemented a five-point recovery plan that aims to stagger the reopening of its attractions.

International visitors will be subject to health screenings on arrival at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and every hotel will have a ‘Covid-19 safety point person’ who will assess guests’ health.

Currently, gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.

USA

Each state in the US has begun to reduce its restrictions and in many places, businesses are beginning to reopen.

However, as many states reopen, others are becoming stricter due to high levels of new Covid-19 cases.

Information on the status of all states can be found here.

Is anything missing? Please email us at hpatrick@ntmllc.com