The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic disease as of March 11, 2020. From that day, we closely monitor the outbreaks and the measures of local governments and health authorities worldwide. We pay close attention to our tour operator partners in the difficult period we are in. As all are aware, the year 2020 has been extremely tough for the travel and tourism industry, but travel professionals have worked to turn the challenges into positives. The year 2021 has finally arrived and we are hopeful that travel will return and that workers in the sector will be able to smoothly tailor and operate passenger’s travel plans from arrival to departure again.
We all experienced too much frustration from strict measures and restrictions on our everyday life therefore we are eager to start traveling safely and confidently again. The recent arrival of multiple COVID-19 vaccines to market has increased optimism among holiday lovers. Yet, the present situation is still complicated, it is hard to see where to travel and how. At this point, almost every country in the world has introduced some form of restriction on travelers entering from other countries – whether they be quarantine or testing requirements, or some combination of both – in hopes of preventing the import of fresh infection from outside their borders.
The winds of change to adhere to the current demands of safe, secure and responsible travel needs are felt across all the destinations. I am pleased to update you of a country-by-country breakdown of destinations you can travel in the first part of 2021. This list is made primarily for Americans, so always check the entry conditions according to your citizenship.
The amazing Aruba is open to Americans this winter but all visitors must meet a five-component requirement for entry. Travelers age 15 and older are required to present a negative PCR test result, to provide basic traveler information, to have insurance coverage as well as to complete a basic health assesment.
Bahamas also welcome American tourists in case they can show a negative PCR test result no more than seven days prior their arrival and apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Negative PCR test result is also a must in Belize, Bermuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, French Polynesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Panama, Peru, Saint Lucia and Turkey.
In Ghana, apart from the negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours, temperature screening and a second PCR test upon arrival for USD 150 will also be required.
In addition to a negative PCR test result taken no more than 96 hours before departure, Dubai also requires passengers to complete a Health Declaration Form confirming they are not showing any COVID-19 symptoms and must have medical travel insurance with international coverage for COVID-19.
One of the top destinations now are the Maldives famous for its crystalclear waters and luxurious overwater bungalows. This earthly Paradise is welcoming all international guests who can produce a negative PCR test result taken within 96 hours of arrival.
Some countries do not require to show proof of a negative PCR test result to gain entry, instead random breath tests will be taken to approx. 10 percent of arriving passengers like in the Dominican Republic or temperature checks and other health screenings are made upon arrival like in Mexico.
Hungary is not reopened yet to international travelers but we do hope the day comes soon when we open our borders and we regain the title of the top medical tourist destination in Europe. Before the pandemic, the country had hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors each year from every corner of the globe. Our excellent healthcare services along with exceptional wellness facilites attracted foreign patients all year round. International medical tourists can make savings up to 75% and they can combine their medical treatment with a pleasant family trip. Hungary has a lot of experience in treating foreign clients and offers a wide range of options for marvellous free-time activites.
Fingers crossed that SZIGET 2021 festival can be held as it is also a very popular event attracting many thousands of young people from all over the world.