Holidays outside Europe: Which long-distance trips are possible again

Status: 01.11.2021 9:54 a.m.

In the end, it was often not possible to flee into the warm before the cold season. Which countries outside of Europe have reopened their borders – and where travel is still not possible. An overview.

By Till Bücker,

Closed borders, travel warnings, strict quarantine rules and worries about a corona infection: The tourism year 2020 was characterized by canceled bookings, return campaigns and excursions on the doorstep instead of long walks on the coasts of the world’s oceans. According to the Foundation for Future Issues, only about every third German was on vacation for at least five days.

Long-distance travel destinations in particular were avoided. In the past year, only every 15th person traveled to countries outside Europe. Travel across European borders was last so unpopular at the beginning of the 1990s. But relaxation and the increasing desire to travel after a year and a half of the pandemic could change that again.

Wanderlust increases

Almost half of the people (44 percent) have already traveled this year, according to a survey by the management consultancy PwC Germany. Around a third (34 percent) are planning a vacation for the next six months. The fear of Covid-19 is noticeably decreasing, according to the study. Only a good third cite a possible illness as a reason why a trip is out of the question for them. For comparison: in the spring the share was still 58 percent.

Nevertheless, the Corona regulations remain an issue. Around two out of three of the 1000 respondents would still tend to cancel their trip if they had to be in quarantine on their return to Germany or if they found excessive restrictions at their destination. Especially outside of Europe, holidaymakers have often been denied entry in recent months – or there is a risk of long quarantine. Holidaymakers in fewer and fewer countries now have to fear this.

Vaccinated persons can travel to Israel again from November 1st. The vaccination must not be more than six months ago. In addition, tourists must also present a PCR test that is not more than 72 hours old. Travelers must take a second test upon arrival. After an initially applicable quarantine, if the result is negative, you can finally move freely around the country.

Thailand among ten most popular destinations

As of today, Thailand is also receiving fully vaccinated people from 46 countries for the first time in a quarantine-free stay – including Germany. The prerequisites: You may only have been in the countries classified as safe by the government in the three weeks before and you must present a PCR test that was carried out a maximum of 72 hours before the flight. In addition, tourists are obliged to install the “MorChana” tracking app, purchase special health insurance and the “Thailand Pass” and reserve a night in a SHA + hotel, where they have to wait for the test result on site.

Thailand is one of the longing destinations of many travelers – especially in the cold and dark season. According to a survey by Lufthansa City Center (LCC), the Southeast Asian state ranks sixth in the list of the ten most popular long-haul travel destinations for Germans. According to the Skyscanner search engine, the second most popular searches for trips to Thailand were in July and August when looking for deals for autumn and winter.

Other countries in the region are also popular places to brave the cooler temperatures. However, Indonesia with the island of Bali, Vietnam or Malaysia are not yet accessible again for travelers from Germany. Singapore, on the other hand, does: Fully vaccinated people are allowed to enter a certain travel corridor (“Vaccinated Travel Lane”) without quarantine. This requires, among other things, the booking of certain direct flights.

The countries Australia and New Zealand, which are often visited by travelers, continue to seal themselves off. There is an entry ban for tourists, which will probably not be lifted until 2022.

USA allow entry again

Most recently, according to Skyscanner, vacationers searched for trips to the USA. Suppliers such as TUI also report great interest from customers. After more than one and a half years, the entry restrictions are to be lifted from November 8th for fully vaccinated and additionally tested people from the European Union. According to the US government, tourists must show the relevant proof before boarding.

This means that city trips to New York or trips to Hawaii are possible again – without quarantine. Florida in particular, with its 1,400 kilometers of coastline, attracts many Germans to the United States in winter. According to LCC, the “Sunshine State” ranks third among the most popular long-haul travel destinations.

At the top of the popularity list is the Dominican Republic. According to the Federal Foreign Office, German holidaymakers do not even need a PCR test to enter the Caribbean island state, they just have to fill out a standardized electronic form.

Another alternative in the Caribbean is Cuba: From November 7th, the previously necessary quarantine of five days will no longer apply. Those who have been vaccinated will also no longer have to present a PCR test from November 15th. However, the Federal Foreign Office is currently warning against tourist trips to Cuba due to the overloaded health system.

Islands in the Indian Ocean can be easily reached

German guests have been able to relax in the Maldives for a long time. The archipelago in the Indian Ocean was a pioneer in “vacation in the bubble”: Those who spend their vacation in a resort shielded from the outside world do not need to be vaccinated. It is different on an inhabited island, where tourists are required to be vaccinated. A PCR test is always required upon entry.

A PCR test is now sufficient for trips to Sri Lanka, the Seychelles or Mauritius. Quarantine regulations have been lifted for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. A health permit is sometimes required. In the case of the Seychelles, too, the Federal Foreign Office continues to advise against a tourist stay due to the high number of Covid cases.

In Africa and South America, different regulations apply in each country. South Africa and Namibia, which are popular with German tourists, are no longer risk areas and allow holidaymakers to enter the country with a negative PCR test. In the winter destination of Mexico, there were hardly any restrictions during the entire pandemic. Argentina also wants to reopen its borders in November.

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