Are you and your clients ready? Europe is rolling out the red carpet to welcome American tourists this summer. In hopes of reviving the crucial summer tourist season and as vaccinations rates increase, Italy, Greece, Croatia and Iceland are already welcoming Americans. France and other countries have stated that they will open in coming weeks. There are still some restrictions, and some annual events have been cancelled or postponed, but Europe is now welcoming American tourists.
For travel, Americans will need either a vaccination certificate, a recent negative Covid test or proof of recovery from Covid within the past six months. These policies may vary by country. As a standard precaution, masks are required indoors, even for people who have been vaccinated. Masks may not be required outdoors, or when social distancing is possible.
In the United Kingdom it’s now possible to have a pint at the pub again. Shops and restaurants also are fully open. Theaters in London are open and so are museums and historical sites, many with special exhibits. Some of the U.K.’s festivals have had schedule changes, so it is best to confirm before planning a trip around a certain event. Americans heading to England must get a Covid test before flying and then are subject to multiple tests and a 10-day quarantine period upon arrival, even if they have been vaccinated. The U.K.’s travel restrictions/precautions are updated every three weeks, and the next adjustment expected June 7.
Visitors to Italy who take “Covid-tested flights” from the U.S. to Italy offered by certain carriers including Delta, Alitalia and American can avoid a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. Museums such as the Uffizi in Florence and Rome’s Galleria Borghese are among the many museums that will require reservations this year. In Venice there will be many events to celebrate the city’s 1,600th birthday, and the opportunity to see churches and art not usually on display to tourists.
This week, after more than a year, France will welcome visitors from the U.S. There are many famous attractions in France that are outdoors, including the Champs-Élysées, Luxembourg Gardens, the Place des Vosges and Place Vendôme. The Eiffel Tower can only be seen from below until July 16, when it will be possible once again to enjoy its spectacular views by taking the elevator or stairs. The Palace of Versailles now requires timed reservations, and in Paris, most reopened museums also require reservations.
Greece has been open to tourists from the U.S. since mid-May. There is currently a push by the Greek government to vaccinate all of its citizens, which will attract more tourists and bolster summer business. The Acropolis in Athens is open, as are most outdoor cultural sites throughout Greece. Ferries to the Greek islands also require proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test or proof of recovery.
Iceland was the first European country to let in vaccinated tourists from outside of Europe. Several major airlines are offering flights to Reykjavik. Nature lovers will enjoy a new 590-mile driving route around Westfjords in the northwest part of the country taking visitors to see cliffs, fjords, waterfalls and traditional Icelandic villages. Another driving route is the 155-mile Diamond Circle, which passes by massive waterfalls, the horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon.
Croatia is also now opened up to U.S. visitors. Tourists must prove they have paid for accommodations and there is also a vaccine-test-recovery requirement. Later this summer, Delta and United will have direct flights from the U.S. to Dubrovnik.
Even though the CDC recommends essential travel only at this time, be aware that ticket prices and demand will increase dramatically at the slightest policy change here in the U.S., or in your destination country.
I hope you have your clients signed up for travel to Europe and that you are too!