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Traveling during COVID-19

· Travel News

Hi everyone, it's been a while.

I've been so busy with clients trip rescheduling and my minuscule 2 hour work days. That I've had little time to write up any kind of updates or blog posts to the site. Honestly I've probably put in more 3-4 hour workdays every week than 2, without compensation. But it's all good I'm here for you, no matter what that takes. Fortunately after several weeks wait my state has finally approved my partial unemployment claim, so I'm less stressed knowing those funds will be forth coming.

Now on to the latest. Well I have tentative good news when it comes to traveling. Word came down this week that some airlines would be reinstating service from the US down to Mexico and parts of the Caribbean in the beginning of June. I've heard official reports of service to Cancun, Cabo, Cuba, Jamaica & Nassau, among other Caribbean islands.

American has some service overseas operating to Tokyo, London, as well as Mexico City. Details of service in June to Amsterdam & Frankfurt from DFW, and then in early July service is to begin to Dublin, Seoul, Lima and Sao Paulo, as well currently Madrid.

Delta so far in May has reinstated service internationally to Amsterdam, Paris, Seoul & Tokyo.

United currently has service to Hawaii, Sydney, Tokyo, Rio, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, London & Frankfurt.

Of course these countries mostly at this time cannot be accessed for tourism purposes.

But with these flights ramping up, it seems they are doing so with the knowledge that international travel to enter these destinations will soon be allowed.

The Mexican Tourism Board has received word that they fully expect to accept tourist as of the beginning of June and that Cancun, Riv. Maya and Cabo among other vacation friendly destinations in country will be able to accept guests in June. The Cabo Tourism Board claims at least 40% of resorts will be open the first week of June for guest with more to follow. The Cancun Tourism Board said just days ago any resorts that are prepared with social measures in place that are ready to accept guests can accept reservations for the first week of June and beyond.

Sandals one the worlds leading all inclusive adults only resort chains in the Caribbean put out a release last week that they can open nearly all their resorts in the Caribbean as of June 1st. They reserved the right to push this back dependent on each islands government decisions to delay opening islands to travelers.

Greece plans on releasing an official tourism notice soon, as they are planning on welcoming international travelers soon this summer throughout the country.

Italy's tourism board put out an official notice on their website that tourism in Italy will begin soon, and that Italy never intended to close it's country to tourism this summer. It stated:

Issued by Giorgio Palmucci, President of ENIT-Italian National Tourist Board in support of Dario FranceschiniMinister of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism.

“Tourism in Italy will start again, with all precautions and in maximum safety. Minister Franceschini did well to clarify that no border closure is expected. Those who love Italy must be allowed to return to enjoy it, in compliance with governmental and regional guidelines. It is a delicate phase in which it is essential to defend Italy also through correct communication. Misinformation and fake news risk creating serious damage and unjustified alarmism. It is therefore important to follow institutional sources and reliable news as much as possible, such as those provided by the Italian National Tourist Board, which provides an official bi-weekly update on the situation in Italy and in the world”.

Franceschini himself, when asked about the claims in Italy's Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday, said: "As is all too obvious, I have never spoken, nor ever thought, of closing the Italian borders to tourists for 2020,". "I am working on the exact opposite. I proposed yesterday at the meeting of Tourism Ministers of the European Union, a European uniformity of the safety rules with respect to the risk of contagion, allowing the free movement of tourists within the European Union. So we're starting bilateral talks with other countries that have a lot of tourism going to to Italy," he added.

"Unfortunately, it is clear that fake news on closed borders is being circulated, with hostile intentions towards our country."

Other European countries are also releasing statements of summer tourism intent. Some of those that sound very confident to reinstate tourism in next month or so include Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Germany, Iceland and Northern Europe. Yet heavy policies have been put in place in Spain & France, likely extending tourism being prohibitive for several months. France today gave notice that the national emergency policy has been extended into July. Spain gave notice that while they will start accepting international travelers, they will require a self quarantine stay in place order of 14 days in arrival city. Meaning you cannot travel from Barcelona to Madrid, to Seville, etc, etc. You arrive in Barcelona your required to give notice of hotel stay of two weeks. Your allowed out for essential purposes, but must wear a mask.

Australia and New Zealand plan on creating a COVID safe corridor of travel, that will include Tasmania. Details coming soon, but will this so called corridor be valid for international travelers or only Aussie and Zealanders...TBD? I'll not discuss Africa as for now it's going through it's initial COVID-19 case stages, and most of South East Asia is closed off to foreigners for now. However in China the tourism boom is back. Recently The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City among other sites outside of Beijing are now open. Reports of hotels filling up throughout the countries major cities and Disneyland Shanghai just reopened this week. 

As for cruises the CDC has put into place a 100 day ban on cruise travel from US ports. This brings up a date of late July, if not extended for cruises to commence again from the US. While this notice from the CDC does not apply to cruise departures from foreign ports, most foreign countries will follow a similar decision to allow cruises to start up again.

Briefly below you'll find the major lines planned commencement date.

  • AmaWaterways - August 1st
  • Avalon Waterways - September 1st
  • Azamara - June 13th
  • Carnival - August 1st
  • Celebrity - June 13th & July 1st
  • Costa - July 1st
  • Crystal - July 1st
  • Disney - June 20th
  • Holland America - Fall 2020 or later
  • MSC - July 11th
  • NCL - July 1st
  • Oceania - July 1st
  • Princess - Fall 2020 or later
  • Regent - July 1st
  • Royal Caribbean - June 13th
  • Silversea - June 14th
  • Uniworld - July 1st
  • Viking Ocean & River Cruises - July 1st

More when I have it!, and have time for it!! Ciao!

Derek Schemonitz

Avenue Two Travel

Luxury Travel Advisor