The Latest Updates on International Gathering and Travel Restrictions

Singapore has tightened gathering restrictions, while the Bahamas has waived testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.

covid 19 countries reopening

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What States Are Open?
See which U.S. states are reopening or adjusting their COVID-19 restrictions by heading to our roundup of the latest updates of U.S. reopenings.

Updated May 5, 2021

As many parts of the world continue to battle coronavirus outbreaks, leaders have paused the reopening process and announced new constraints on travel and gatherings. Meanwhile, some countries are easing restrictions. 

Singapore has tightened restrictions following a spike in Covid-19 cases, and has reduced the gathering limit for business events from 750 to 250 people. Yet the Bahamas is now allowing fully vaccinated travelers to skip the mandatory testing requirement. All visitors must apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which includes Covid-19 health insurance for the duration of their stay.

Canada has extended the closure of its land borders with the United States for another month, until at least May 21. Meanwhile, Greece has lifted quarantine travel restrictions for a handful of nations, including most of Europe and the U.S. Anyone flying into Greece from one of these countries will no longer need to quarantine for seven days if they show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. France plans to progressively lift Covid-19 restrictions beginning in May, and reopen for vaccinated Americans in the summer.

Also in Europe, England has announced that Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines will be added to its travel-ban list, due to rising Covid-19 cases. The country has begun easing restrictions as part of a four-step plan, with events expected to return in May. 

We are also constantly updating our list of state-by-state gathering restrictions.

Reopening status in countries that banned or restricted events

Aruba

Aruba opened to tourists from Europe, the Caribbean and Canada on July 1 and the U.S. on July 10, though all visitors are required to take a Covid-19 test prior to arrival or once they get to the Aruba airport. Those coming from a number of states must complete additional testing, uploading their negative results online within 72 hours before their flight. Travelers who choose to get tested at the airport will have to quarantine for up to 24 hours while awaiting results (which take an average of six to eight hours to come back), and those who test positive must remain in isolation until testing negative.

Australia

This country has slowly loosened lockdowns since its government announced a three-stage plan in May for easing restrictions. Melbourne, which has been under strict lockdown since July, loosened the rules starting Oct. 27. Restaurants, cafés and bars were allowed to reopen, and outdoor contact sports could resume. On Nov. 8, residents in Melbourne were longer restricted to traveling within 16 miles of their homes. Beginning Nov. 23, face masks are no mandatory in outdoor situations where physical distancing is possible and venues are allowed to host up to 150 people indoors and 300 people outdoors, depending on the size of the event space. In the rest of the country, public gatherings range from up to 20 people in New South Wales to 50 in Queensland, and 350 people indoors and 1,000 people outdoors in Tasmania. Meanwhile, the International Convention Centre Sydney has been given approval from the New South Wales Department of Health to hold corporate events and conferences for up to 1,500 people. The gatherings must abide by the venue's EventSafe Operating Guide, with one person per four square meters and no more than 300 people per room.

Austria

A lockdown remains in effect until Jan. 24. Residents are required to stay home except for essential reasons. Culture and leisure facilities have been ordered to close, and restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery. Events have been cancelled and hotels can only serve essential travelers; leisure travel is not allowed. The latest reopening updates can be found at Austria's travel portal.

The Bahamas

As of May 1, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to undergo Covid-19 testing before or after arriving in the Bahamas. Visitors must still apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which includes Covid-19 health insurance for the duration of their stay, and they must upload proof of vaccination. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines, or two weeks after their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Travel updates can be found on the Islands of the Bahamas website.

Belgium

Belgium entered a second lockdown on Nov. 2, which is expected to last until Dec. 13. During this time, nonessential shops and businesses must close. Employees are encouraged to work from home and public gatherings are limited to a maximum of four people. Bars and restaurants, which had been ordered to close for one month on Oct. 7, will remain shuttered for the duration of the lockdown. As cases began to rise after reopening, the country's leaders enacted a rule requiring masks to be worn in stores and on public transit, and residents returning from holidays must notify Belgian authorities 48 hours before their arrival. 

Canada

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As of Feb. 15, anyone arriving in Canada by land must show a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Currently, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents and essential travelers are allowed into the country. The land border between Canada and the United States has been extended by another month, now expected to remain closed until at least May 21. Nonessential travelers who enter Canada via land without a negative test result could be fined up to USD$2,362.

All travelers entering Canada by air are currently required to show proof of a negative PCR Covid-19 test result before boarding the plane. In addition, air travelers must take a second Covid-19 test upon arrival and book a three-night stay at a hotel while awaiting the test results. All travelers must complete a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon entering the country, even if their test result is negative. 

Many provinces and territories have restricted gathering sizes. The Canadian government has also released a risk mitigation tool for event planners.

China

The first country to be hobbled by COVID-19, China has been steadily reopening its economy, first its manufacturing sector and gradually expanding with the reopening of theme parks, hotels and other attractions returning, most recently cinemas and water parks.

Costa Rica

Beginning Sept. 1, U.S. travelers will again be allowed to visit the country, as long as they are residents of New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont or Connecticut. More states are expected to be added soon after. Previously, on Aug. 1, Costa Rica reopened its borders to residents of the European Union and Schengen Zone, the United Kingdom, Canada, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand.  

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has extended its state of emergency order until Jan. 22, and placed the country under level five of its five-tiered coronavirus framework. New restrictions include a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Public gatherings are now limited to two people. For weddings and funerals, a maximum of 15 people is allowed. Religious gatherings can continue at no more than 10 percent of the venue's seated capacity.

Denmark

Travelers from all but six EU countries are now are permitted to enter the country, as long as they book for at least six nights, but they must quarantine if they are coming from a city of more than 750,000 people. Visitors from Sweden are still prohibited. After imposing a nationwide lockdown, Denmark began easing its restrictions, reopening shopping centers on May 11, restaurants and cafés on May 18, and permitting outdoor sports without spectators. Gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted, and larger gatherings are expected to be banned until at least August.

Dominican Republic

Beginning Jan. 26, the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism and Public Health will offer free antigen testing to all international visitors staying at a hotel. The rapid tests will be administered by health professionals at the hotels. The destination also extended its free health coverage plan for all tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying at a hotel until March 31, 2021. The plan covers covers all medical emergencies, including those caused in the event of an infection or exposure to Covid-19 while in the country. Since late September, travelers arriving to the island nation have been subject to random Covid-19 tests upon arrival. Passengers are also required to complete an electronic entry and exit form in order to enter.

Finland

After lifting the border restrictions for a number of Schengen and/or EU countries on July 13, this Scandinavian country has since reimposed travel restrictions. Due to rising cases, travelers coming from Iceland, Greece, Malta, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, San Marino and Japan will be limited to essential trips beginning Aug. 24, with people returning from those countries required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Indoor and outdoor public events and public meetings with fewer than 50 attendees are allowed. Gatherings of up to 500 attendees are permitted if social distancing is ensured, and gatherings of more than 500 people are expected to be permitted beginning Aug. 31. 

France

France is in its third national lockdown, but President Emmanuel Macron announced plans to "progressively" lift Covid-19 measures in early May. Macron also said that vaccinated Americans will be permitted entry into France in the summer.

Current lockdown restrictions a nationwide curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. In addition, all nonessential businesses must close and travel between regions is forbidden. People are encouraged to work from home, and residents cannot travel more than six miles from their home without an exemption certificate. Bars, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, museums and gyms remain closed. Gatherings of six or more people are prohibited.

Germany

Germany has extended its lockdown until at least April 18, with restrictions based on regional Covid-19 rates. Only essential travel within the country is allowed and overnight hotel stays for tourists are not permitted at this time. A five-step plan for reopening had begun in March, but has now been paused due to rising cases.

As of March 30, anyone entering Germany by airplane must take a Covid-19 test prior to traveling and will only be allowed into the country if their test result is negative. The test must be taken within 48 hours before departure. 

Greece

Greece has lifted quarantine restrictions for travelers from all EU member states, Britain, the U.S., the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and Israel. Non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland that are part of a European travel pact are also exempt. As of April 19, any travelers flying into Greece from one of these countries are no longer required to complete a seven-day quarantine upon arrival, if they show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result taken within the previous 72 hours.

Greece has begun easing Covid-19 restrictions, although a partial lockdown remains in place. A daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in effect. People are encouraged to stay home and must send a text message to the authorities whenever they leave. Retail stores have reopened by appointment, but restaurants can only offer delivery or take-out. Gatherings remain prohibited.  

Hong Kong

The government has extended social-distancing measures until at least April 14. However, capacity limits for cinemas, theme parks and performance venues will be increased to 75 percent on April 1. Pools and beaches will also reopen on April 1. Gatherings of more than four people in public places remain banned. 

Hungary

Hungary imposed its strictest coronavirus measures to date on Nov. 10. The new restrictions include a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Businesses must also close by 7 p.m., and restaurants will only be allowed to serve takeout food. Family gatherings cannot exceed more than 10 people. Other events have been banned. The measures have been extended until at least Jan. 11.

Iceland

Iceland began allowing international visitors from Europe's Schengen area on June 15, with the option of taking a COVID-19 test upon arrival or spending 14 days in quarantine. Restaurants, bars, gyms and night clubs have been allowed to reopen, and public gatherings of up to 200 people are permitted.

Ireland

A lockdown in Ireland will continue until Jan. 31. Under the level-five restrictions, museums and nonessentials shops must close. No organized indoor or outdoor gatherings are allowed. Restaurants and bars can only serve takeaway food and delivery.

Italy

The Italian government issued new restrictions, effective March 15 through April 6. Half of the country's regions, including Rome and Milan, have been placed in the red zone of its color-coded map of Covid constraints. Areas in the red zone are effectively under lockdown, with all nonessential shops forced to close and individuals are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons. In orange zones, people are banned from leaving their town or region, except for work or health reasons, and bars and restaurants can only offer delivery and takeaway. A curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in effect for all regions, except for those in the white zone. The entire country will placed under the red-zone restrictions over Easter weekend. 

As of Jan. 7, nonessential travel is prohibited. Entry will only be permitted to residents and for reasons of work or study. All travelers must present a negative Covid-19 test, taken within 48 hours before departure. 

Jamaica

On June 15, the country began welcoming international visitors, conducting on-site health screenings at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Jamaica's government had previously announced a five-point recovery plan that will stagger the reopening of its attractions. Every hotel is required to designate a "COVID-19 safety point person" who conducts spot checks. Restaurants are open at 70 percent capacity, and gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted.

Japan

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has extended a state of emergency for Tokyo and other major metropolitan areas. The measure will now remain in effect through March 7. Residents are advised to leave their homes only for essential reasons and must avoid gatherings. Restaurants have been ordered to close by 8 p.m. 

In June, the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau released its "Guidelines for MICE Event Organizers for Infectious Disease Control," providing a detailed checklist for meeting planners for before, during and after the event. These measures include "collaborative preparation with venues and associate companies," "prevent close-contact settings" (complete with sample layout) and more.

Mexico

Mexican authorities have extended the closure of the U.S.–Mexico land border until at least April 21. Most of the country's tourist destinations have reopened to visitors, with some restrictions. The state of Quintana Roo began implementing the WTTC's "Safe Travels" health and safety standards for tourism-related businesses, including hotels, restaurants, bars and tour companies, requiring businesses to receive a certification indicating that it has met these standards before reopening. Beaches in the state are currently closed to all but resort guests. Los Cabos reopened to tourists June 15 and has been following its "A Safer Way to Get Away" plan, with destination-wide guidelines and certifications, and a partnership with Intertek Cristal's Protek Destination Assurance program. Mexico City continues to reopen, as businesses including bars, cinemas, public pools and museums now allowed to open, despite an uptick in cases. 

Netherlands

The Netherlands has extended its lockdown through Feb. 9. All nonessential shops have been ordered to close, along with museums, theaters and salons. Bars and restaurants can only serve takeout and are required to close by 10 p.m. Business gatherings are restricted to no more than 100 people. Face masks are required in indoor spaces and on public transportation. Residents are encouraged to travel as little as possible and nonessential foreign travel is discouraged until mid-January. 

New Zealand

After enacting some of the most stringent lockdown measures in the world, New Zealand had lifted restrictions on June 8, and went on to report more than 100 days without community transmission of the virus. But a recent resurgence of cases has led officials to raise Auckland to Alert Level 3, restricting how businesses interact with customers and limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, while the rest of the country remains on Alert Level 2, allowing for gatherings of up to 100 people. Physical-distancing measures and tight border controls will remain. On June 3, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that when the country shifts down to Alert Level 1, all current restrictions on businesses and gatherings will be essentially lifted

Norway

As cases have risen throughout Europe, Norway has introduced requirements that travelers arriving from Great Britain, Austria, Greece and Ireland, as well as the city of Copenhagen must quarantine for 10 days. On May 7, the limit to group size was increased from a maximum of five to 20, as long as individuals remained at least three feet apart. Events of up to 200 participants at a time are now allowed in public places, and most businesses (including gyms, water parks and bars) are again open.

Portugal

A state of emergency has been extended until April 15. The country, however, started easing restrictions on March 15. The lockdown will be lifted gradually, as part of a four-step process. The measures will be reevaluated every 15 days. 

Commercial establishments were allowed to reopen on March 15, and museums can welcome guests back on April 5. Cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and cultural centers can reopen on April 19, and restaurants and cafes will be able to offer service until 10 p.m. on weeknights and 1 p.m. on weekends. Groups must be limited to four people inside and six people outside. Outdoor events also are expected to resume on April 19, with a reduced capacity set by health authorities. On May 3, restaurants and cafés can expand capacities to groups of six people indoors and 10 people outdoors. In addition, large outdoor and indoor events will be permitted with limited capacity. 

Saint Lucia

The island nation, which has been closed to international visitors since March 23, began the phased reopening of its tourism sector on June 4, with limited activities available when booked through registered hotels and travel providers. Hotels are required to meet specific sanitation and social-distancing criteria, and visitors will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of their flight, and they must use face masks and follow other precautions. Phase 2 should begin Aug. 1, with details expected to be released soon.

Scotland

Scotland moved to the highest level of its five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions on Jan. 4. As part of the level-four lockdown, schools must remain closed and residents are required to stay home with only a few exceptions. Nonessential shops have been ordered to close, while restaurants and bars are limited to takeout service. Indoor gatherings with nonhousehold members are prohibited. Outdoor gatherings cannot exceed more than two people.  

Singapore

Following a rise in Covid-19 cases, Singapore has issued new mitigation measures. The gathering limit for business events has been lowered from 750 to 250 people. Pretesting is required for all meetings with more than 100 attendees. Event organizers must also submit their plans to the Singapore Tourism Board for approval, and must adhere to specific risk-mitigation measures. The STB has launched the SG Clean initiative to audit the sanitation practices of all types of facilities; those that put the measures in place will earn a certification from the STB.

South Korea

After reducing the numbers of new cases, the government began to loosen its strict social-distancing rules on May 6. But a spike in new cases led officials to enforce stronger social-distancing restrictions for Seoul, Incheon and the nearby Gyeonggi province, prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. High-risk locations including nightclubs, karaoke rooms and computer gaming cafés have been closed.

Spain

A state of emergency, which was declared on Oct. 25, has been extended until May 9 by the Spanish Parliament. A nationwide curfew is in effect, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., with some exceptions for commuting to work, buying medicine, and caring for elderly and young family members. Regional leaders will have the ability to modify the curfew, close regional borders to travel and limit gatherings to no more than six people from different households. 

Until further notice, the country has suspended flights from Great Britain, except for those carrying Spanish citizens or people with Spanish residency.

On Sept. 8, Spain became the first European country to surpass 500,000 Covid-19 cases, so the country's leaders have paused some of their reopening plans, closing night clubs and late-night bars, while prohibiting outside drinking and smoking in a number of regions, as well as expanding a mask-wearing mandate beyond public transportation .

Sweden

Sweden is imposing its toughest coronavirus restrictions to date. Beginning Nov. 24, gatherings of more than eight people will be prohibited. The measure is expected to remain in place until Dec. 6. Unlike other countries in the region, Sweden's government avoided a significant lockdown, leaving shops, restaurants and bars open and asking that citizens voluntarily keep their distance from one another. Previously, gatherings of up to 50 people were allowed.

As of late December, the country has suspended all incoming travel from Great Britain and Denmark until further notice.

Switzerland

On Dec. 10, train travel between Switzerland and Italy was suspended indefinitely, according to the Associated Press. The Swiss federal railway service said it doesn't have the resources to carry out Italy's health requirements that train operators check passenger temperatures, even though travelers also must show they’ve tested negative for the coronavirus and carry travel authorization from their employers. On June 15, Switzerland opened its borders with Austria, France and Germany. One of the first countries to ban large events and among the first nations to see an ebb in new cases, Switzerland began easing its lockdown restrictions earlier than expected. Bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen on May 11 rather than June 8, as originally planned. Schools, museums, gyms and libraries also started welcoming patrons on May 11. Public and private events of up to 300 people as well as "spontaneous gatherings" of up to 30 people are allowed. Officials expect travel restrictions within the Schengen area will also be largely lifted July 6.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai has announced new coronavirus measures that will remain in effect through the end of February. During this time, all bars and pubs are closed. Restaurants and cafes are open, but must cease operations at 1 a.m. Hotels can operate at 70 percent capacity, and indoor seated venues are not to exceed 50 percent capacity. 

United Kingdom

The stay-at-home order in England expired on March 29, and outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households are now allowed. The country is gradually easing restrictions as part of a four-step plan. Step one included the reopening of schools on March 8. As part of step two, which is expected to occur after at least five weeks and no later than April 12, outdoor attractions will be able to reopen. The government will also begin a pilot program for events to study how large a gathering can be without the need for social distancing. Step three will begin after at least five weeks and no later than May 17, allowing entertainment venues and attractions to reopen. Some large events will be permitted with capacity limits. Indoor gatherings will be restricted to 1,000 people or 50 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is fewer. Outdoor seated events are not to exceed 10,000 people or 25 percent capacity. Other outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 percent capacity, up to 4,000 people. Step four is scheduled to begin after five weeks and no later than June 21. It will include reopening the remaining closed businesses and removing all legal limits on social contact. The government also hopes to use findings from the pilot program to lift event restrictions in phase four.

England will add Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines to its travel-ban list. Effective April 9, there will 39 countries on the list. Anyone who is traveling from or has passed through these countries will be denied entry, unless they are a British or Irish national or have residency rights in the U.K. If so, they must quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Anyone who does not comply will face fines of up to USD$13,847 and potential jail time

Those coming from a country that is not on the banned travel list must quarantine at home for 10 days and take two Covid-19 tests during quarantine. Visitors quarantining at home can shorten their isolation time by opting into the "Test to Release Scheme," which includes taking a second Covid-19 test on the fifth day of isolation. All travelers arriving in England by plane, train or boat are currently required to show proof of a negative test result, taken within 72 hours before departure, in order to enter the country.