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As air travel continues to slowly pick up amid the ongoing pandemic, many airlines are completely reimagining their route networks. For United Airlines, that means announcing seven new long-haul routes, including three new destinations in Africa. United says it’s adding international flights where there’s existing demand, especially tapping into traffic from travelers from the African diaspora visiting their friends and families

Tourism in Africa: Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

The new routes include:

  •     Newark, New Jersey—Johannesburg: beginning spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Accra, Ghana: beginning late spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Lagos, Nigeria: beginning late spring 2021

Tickets will be available for purchase on united.com and the United app in the coming weeks, the airline says.

“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network and alliances, said in a statement.

Throughout the crisis, United has been taking an “opportunistic approach” to expanding its network, driven by demand, says Patrick Quayle.

United highlighted that when its new nonstop Accra service launches, the airline will be the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., home to the second-largest population Ghanaians in the United States, according to United.

In addition to Africa, United is adding nonstop flight routes to Israel, India, and Hawaii.

The new routes include:

  •     Chicago—Tel Aviv, Israel: beginning September 2020

  •     Chicago—New Delhi, India: beginning December 2020

  •     San Francisco—Bangalore, India: beginning spring 2021

  •     Chicago—Kona (Big Island), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

  •     Newark—Kahului (Maui), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

Last week, the carrier announced that it would end change fees for all domestic flights in premium and regular economy cabins. On Wednesday, it also expanded that policy to flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Many African nations are starting to reopen airports, remove curfews, and slowly resume international tourism.

Most countries in Africa have been very strict on containing the spread of the virus, with most of them going into complete lockdowns earlier this year. That means nobody in and nobody out. Now that case numbers are relatively low across the continent, some nations have already reopened, with others making plans on how to reopen responsibly

Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

Burkina Faso

Although land and sea borders are currently closed, commercial flights have resumed. International travelers will have to present negative COVID-19 test results 5 days before arriving.

Travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

This African country reopened its borders on August 15th and visitors will be required to present negative COVID-19 cases within 3 days of arriving.

Travelers may have to quarantine and get tested again after arriving.

Egypt

Egypt opened its borders on July 1st to travelers. Upon arrival, visitors are expected to have a valid visa, wear face masks, complete a health declaration card, provide proof of health insurance, and complete a temperature check.

Ethiopia

When visiting Ethiopia, travelers are expected to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results taken within 5 days of arrival. A 14-day quarantine will also be required as well as being tested again when arriving.

If visitors don’t have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, a mandatory quarantine will go into effect at an Egyptian government designated hotel for 7 days at the expense of the traveler. A test will be administered at the end of the 7-day quarantine.

Ghana

Starting September 1st, Ghana will open its borders to international passenger flights. Travelers will have to show negative COVID-19 test results taken within 3 days of arriving as well as being tested at the airport upon arrival.

Land and sea travel will still be prohibited.

Kenya

Kenya reopened for International tourism on August 1st. Visitors will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Liberia

July 1st marked the reopening of Liberia’s borders. Visitors will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival as well as a health and temperature check upon arrival.

Rwanda

All nations can visit Rwanda, which reopened on June 17th. You must email your negative COVID-19 test to lab@rbc.gov.rw within 3 days of arrival as well as print a copy of the email to show to customs when arriving.

Visitors will be tested again after arriving.

Sao Tome and Principe

Visitors arriving in Sao Tome and Principe will have to be tested and quarantined for 14 days in addition to showing a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Senegal

Senegal reopened its international borders on July 15th but land and sea borders are still closed. When arriving in Senegal, visitors will have to complete a health declaration form as well as provide a negative COVID-19 test taken less than 7 days from departure.

Seychelles

Seychelles opened its borders on June 1st and are accepting visitors from ‘low’ and ‘medium’ risk countries.

Travelers will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone reopened its borders on July 22nd but land borders are still closed. In order to enter, visitors must complete a travel authorization card, have a valid visa, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of arrival, and pre-pay for testing upon arrival.

Tanzania

There will be no quarantine in place for travelers to Tanzania but visitors will have to go through temperature checks, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Togo

Visitors must complete an online immigration form prior to arriving and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of arrival.

Tunisia

Tunisia reopened it’s international borders on June 27th and is allowing visitors from certain countries to enter with no testing or quarantine while others will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 3 days of departure.

Zambia

All nations are able to visit Zambia as long as proof of a negative COVID-19 test is provided.

 

 

The Eastern Caribbean island of Dominica is now opened to all foreign visitors

The country, known as the “Nature Island” for its abundant natural beauty, has announced a streamlined process for all travelers.

What it means is that all tourists and Dominican nationals must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test result recorded within 24 to 72 hours of arriving in Dominica.

Jamaica is a land with a very distinct personality, so much so that much of its culture has filtered down to some of the smaller islands of the Caribbean; everything from the music to the fashion and lingo. Jamaican culture has also gone international, seen in the most significant way on the entertainment scene, with international musical acts being influenced by Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae. The result being an ever-evolving musical contribution that is a fusion of places, cultures, and people.

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Nova Felder of Queens flew from New York to the west African nation of Ghana in March. It was supposed to be a 17-day trip, to the country where his parents were born.

On March 13, however, Ghana’s president closed the borders indefinitely and halted all flights into and out of the country, an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Four months later, Felder is still in Ghana — stranded, he says, along with hundreds of other Americans.

Puerto Rico is all set to welcome back tourists from July 15, but with all health and safety measures in place. It is part of the island’s four-phased reopening plan.

The vibrant island has a distinct vibe, which is the result of a mashup of cultures–African, Spanish, French, Dutch and British blood pumps through the veins of the islands’ diverse population.

With this step, Puerto Rico will join the expanding list of Caribbean islands opening up for tourism. However, Puerto Rico never closed its borders to the citizens of the United States, or foreign nationals who hadn’t been to Iran, China, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, or any of the European Schengen area in the previous 14 days.

During all this time, a 14-day quarantine rule was applied on anyone who was flying into Puerto Rico, along with other stringent lockdown measures, which meant that tourists were discouraged from visiting the island.

Reportedly, Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez recently announced that from now on, travellers who can show negative COVID-19 test results, which were obtained 72 hours prior to arrival, will not be required to undergo quarantine.

Here’s what you should know:

When You Arrive At The Airport

Arriving travelers may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days no matter whether they have symptoms or not. The National Guard will be assisting with health screenings of all arriving passengers, including rapid COVID-19 tests.

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Getting Around

Ridesharing options like Uber have mandated face coverings for both the drivers and the passengers.  The front seat will be prohibited.

Certified transportation carriers will properly disinfect vehicles and have hand sanitizer available. In addition, drivers will wear gloves when handling doors and luggage.

Things To Do

Restaurants will open with a maximum occupancy of 25% in their dining rooms. Similar to the airport, temperature checks will be performed before entering. Anyone with a temperature of 100.3 will be denied entry.

Employees will be required to use face coverings, and buffets, salad bars, and self-serve options, as well as reusable menus, are prohibited.

Attractions, with the exception of outdoor recreation spaces, including public beaches, natural reserves, and golf courses are closed.

Shopping malls will enforce social distancing and some stores even require appointments before entering.

If you’re planning to attend a casino,  wellness checkpoints will be conducted at entryways, which includes temperature checks and hand sanitizer.

Gaming stations and slot machines will be cleaned every hour of after each guest.  Social distancing will be strictly enforced.  Face coverings by employees and guests are required.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the latest in Puerto Rico, click here for its visitor health and safety guidelines.

 

As the world slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, some countries are planning to lift the travel restrictions that have been imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 in time for summer. Other countries, meanwhile, will remain closed to foreign visitors.

With many people around the world aching for a summer vacation after a difficult start to 2020, it is important to know which destinations will be possible to travel to in June, July, August, and September.

We’ve created a comprehensive list of what’s open and what’s not.

The Caribbean

Popular destinations, including Antigua, Jamaica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Lucia are already open.

The Bahamas and Bermuda have opened their borders to travelers who comply with certain safety measures.

Aruba will welcome residents of Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean islands (excluding the Dominican Republic and Haiti) on July 1. Americans can join on July 10.

Puerto Rico will open its borders on July 15.  Travelers can head to Turks and Caicos later this summer on July 22.

As far as Grenada, the country announced on social media that they would consider a June 30 reopening.

Some islands, including St. Lucia, Bermuda, and Jamaica are requiring negative Covid-19 tests at least 48 to 72 hours before entering.

Europe

For now, the European Union has banned Americans from traveling to Europe, citing the way the United States handled the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States has reported more than 2 million cases of coronavirus and over 120,000 deaths – more than any other country.

The New York Times added that the list of acceptable countries would be revised every two weeks, so the US could be added later on.

Asia

There are widespread closures across Asia with some hope that countries will start opening as early as August.

Thailand has reportedly announced a potential reopening for Aug, 1. Thailand’s draft plan includes three phases of reopening:

  1. Phase One: Business travelers, investors, skilled workers, people with Thai family members, teachers, etc.
  2. Phase Two: Medical tourism travelers
  3. Phase Three: General tourists

Bali is said to be reopening in October but there are no reported dates just yet.

The Maldives are is resuming commercial flights on July 1 but the country has testing and visa protocols that require at least a 14-day quarantine.

Sri Lanka is preparing to reopen its borders to all nationalities on Aug. 1, if individuals can produce proof of medical insurance, plan to stay at least five nights, and can show a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 72 hours before departure.

Cambodia announced foreign travelers could enter upon paying a $3,000 deposit to cover a mandatory Covid-19 test, hotel stays (pending results or for as long as 14 days should anyone on your flight test positive), necessary treatment fees, and even a funeral.

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French Polynesia

French Polynesia announced tourists from all countries can arrive from July 15. That includes Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora

If you’re planning to go, you will be required to have either a negative Covid-19 test (administered 72 hours before departure) or an “immunity certificate” that proves you’ve recovered from a previous infection.

North America

Mexico is opening state by state. Quintana Roo, where Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Tulum are located, has opened.

Los Cabos has officially opened as well,

Meanwhile, in the United States, the popular destination Hawaii may forgo its 14-day quarantine requirement with its new pre-testing program.

Canada has two-week quarantine requirements. The border closure for nonessential travel between the U.S. and Canada has been extended through July 21.

The Middle East

The Middle East is not open for travel yet with the exception of Dubai, which is aiming to reopen between July and October.

Africa

Popular African tourist destinations, such as Morocco and South Africa, have not announced plans to loosen border restrictions yet but South African officials hope to open as early as September with 2021 being the worst-case-scenario.

Seychelles opened to tourists in mid-June arriving on a private jet, chartered flight, or yacht. Plans to resume commercial flights are set for July.

Tanzania welcomed tourists from all nations in May, one of the earliest countries to do so. The country has been criticized for a lack of transparency regarding infection rates, as well as statements by President John Magufuli that the coronavirus could be cured by drinking ginger and lemonade, as reported in CNBC.

South America

Many South American countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, remain closed to travelers.

Colombia banned all passenger flights until the end of August and Argentina has a flight ban through September

Travel Advice for Summer Holidays 2020

Many people are asking “will coronavirus be gone in summer?”. In the majority of countries, COVID-19 has not been completely eradicated, although the number of cases is dropping and the likelihood of catching it is falling at the same time.

A number of countries will insist that visitors take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and even in locations without such rules, it is a good idea to follow these safety tips:

  • Practise social distancing — maintain a distance of at least 2 m between yourself and strangers.
  • Wash your hands frequently and when returning from outside.
  • Wear a protective face mask when in public.
  • Cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself until you can be tested and alert the local medical authorities.

In addition to checking the travel restrictions for the destination, travelers should consult global visa information and check if they require any travel authorization to enter the country.