Prepare to travel! That is the message that can sum up what is currently going on in France and in most of the countries of our clients.
It has been long awaited and seems almost too good to be true. But as you know, I have been looking across the world, specifically for our clients for over a year now and I can honestly see very similar messages in each country – all of whom are looking at when and how travel can be done more easily.
Here is a synopsis of what’s changed since our last worldwide roundup:
United States of America
Finally, Americans thanks to their strong vaccination program have got their long awaited for date to travel – and with no quarantine necessary. Following a statement on 29th April by French President Macron, the 9th June is the date that all of the EU member states who have not already opened their borders to the USA are looking at to welcome people from the USA.
Nothing has officially been released by the US government on when it is likely to ease restrictions for citizens who choose to travel abroad, but it is widely thought that an announcement on this is likely to happen mid-May.
On 29th April French President Macron laid out a 4-stage plan for lifting France’s lockdown stating it is time to resume the 'French way of life'. There will be lifting of restrictions in three-week stages, culminating in the end of the curfew on the 30th June.
France has now given a date that people can travel. From June 9th you will be able to travel to France if you have a negative PCR Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours and fill in a declaration stating that they have no Covid symptoms. “Covid Passports” should be in place to ease reporting covid status, but they are not a requirement – for example for Americans who are not planning on adopting them at all.
What is fantastic news is that there will be no compulsory quarantine for arrivals in France from the US, UK, Australia or New Zealand
On 26th April, Italy announced the relaxation of its strict coronavirus measures and Italians were once again able to enjoy meeting each other. Italy operates a “traffic light” system of zones and over 90% of zones are today enjoying the most relaxed measures since last year: Museums, cafés and leisure facilities are gearing up so that Italians can once again enjoy what their wonderful country has to offer.
Italy, as part of the EU is looking at the same rules for international travel from 9th June. At the moment travel between EU countries and Great Britain is allowed but includes 5 days self-isolation. By 9th June, the country is hoping to be able to fall in-line with the rest of Europe and open its doors to International Travel for tourism.
Switzerland re-opened its bars, cafes and leisure and sports facilities from the 19th April.
The current list of countries that are allowed in to Switzerland for tourism is updated regularly. It is more than likely that Switzerland will not lift any travel restrictions unilaterally; rather, it will act in accordance with EU guidelines as it has done since the start of the pandemic, so by the 9th June you should be able to fly in to Geneva for tourism.
We will keep watching how this progresses, but we are finally very confident that we will see many of you this season as each country, despite having its own issues now seems to be looking at a unified response to opening up our borders and allowing us to travel as freely as possible.
The UK is enjoying being able to go to shops, cafes and outdoor venues. The vaccination program is continuing at a rapid pace and people are hopeful that the timetable for June 21st being marked as the end of the restrictions will remain.
Large outdoor venues are being planned for the summer and people are looking forward to May 17th when the new “traffic light” system for international travel will come into effect. It is widely believed that it will be similar to EU’s later date of the 9th June, so that freedom to travel will be as simple as possible between EU countries as well as internationally.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand and Australia, have long been welcomed as international travellers, but their international flight carriers have announced they will not be scheduling flights again until at least October 2021. So although our Kiwi and Ozzie friends are welcome - it doesn't look as though we will be seeing many until 2022.
Having been affected much less than most of the world, Australia and New Zealand are taking an understandably cautious approach to international travel, with Australia’s health secretary indicating that federal restrictions on overseas travel are “unlikely” to be lifted before the end of the year.
Are you planning on travelling this summer? We would be really interested if you would share your plans with us on our Facebook page, so that we can all see what is happening across the world.
If you have any questions regarding trekking with us this summer, do not hesitate to get in touch.