The State of Travel, Part 1: Most Popular Destinations


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Curiosity about travel in the COVID-19 era has been steadily increasing once some countries opened up for tourism. Many are eager to travel again, even with various pre-requisites and limitations in place.

So where do people want to go? Below are the 5 top-searched destinations in July, with a detailed review on their travel status. All destinations are rated on a scale of 1-5 on the following categories:

  • Openness to Tourists
  • Ease of entry
  • COVID-19 infections rate
  • Availability of leisure activities

Jump to country:

Greece | Croatia | Portugal | Tunisia | Turkey


Greece

Openness to tourists – 3/5

Greece has initially planned to open its borders country-by-country, based on epidemiological profile. This plan was changed to follow the EU recommendations on on safe countries, and is adjusted from time to time.

At the moment, it is possible to travel to Greece from EU+ countries (EU members, as well as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) and the EU approved third countries (Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay).

Greece is updating the list of countries regularly, removing some countries that were previously allowed (e.g., Montenegro and Algeria), and adding others. Some of the arrivals will be subject to enhanced screening.

Ease of Entry – 4/5

Arriving to Greece is not completely hassle-free. All arrivals must complete a Passenger Locator Form, no less than 24 hours before arriving, with their travel history and accommodation details. After filling this form you will receive a QR code that will determine if you should undergo a health screening upon arrival.

All tourists are also recommended to install the Visit Greece app before arriving.

Tourists arriving from Romania and Bulgaria are also required to present a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours before departing.

COVID-19 infections – 5/5

Since opening up for tourism, the number of infection in Greece rose slightly, as expected. However, the number of confirmed cases remains low, and Greece is considered a safe destination.

Availability of leisure activities – 5/5

Accommodations, leisure activities and tours are available throughout Greece. Health measures such as limit on number of people and distance requirements are in place, and everyone is required to wear masks in public. It is advised to book tickets, tours and activities in advance.

Summary – 4/5

Greece is a perfect destination – if you are allowed to enter.


Croatia

Openness to tourists – 5/5

Croatia is accepting tourists from all countries, however entry requirements from different origins vary.

Ease of Entry – 3.5/5

Citizens and residents of EU and Schengen member countries can enter Croatia freely, with no additional procedures.

Citizens and residents of all other countries are required to book accommodations in advance, and present the booking when entering Croatia. In addition, such tourists will be required to present a negative PCR test from no more than 48 before departing, or quarantine for 14 days.

It also recommended to fill in this form in advance.

COVID-19 infections – 4/5

Though Croatia has seen a rise in cases since opening its borders, the latest trend shows a decrease in new infections.

Availability of leisure activities – 5/5

Accommodations, leisure activities and tours are available throughout Croatia. Safety measures such as visitors capacity limits and required distance are in place, and masks are required on public transportation and some businesses.

Summary – 4.5/5

It is pretty hassle-free and safe to travel to Croatia, assuming flights are available and your accommodation is booked.


Portugal

Openness to tourists – 3/5

Portugal is open for tourism for citizens and residents of EU and Schengen member countries, as well as arrivals from some of the EU’s whitelisted countries – Canada, China, Morocco, South Korea and Tunisia.

Ease of Entry – 3/5

There are different entry requirements between mainland Portugal, Madeira and Azores.

Mainland Portugal

A temperature screening is in place for all arrivals, and those arriving from the United States and CPLP countries (only for essential travel) are required to present a negative PCR test.

Azores

Anyone planning to travel to the Azores archipelago is required to fill in a health declaration, and present a negative PCR test from the 72 hours prior to arrival. Arrivals without test results will be required to take a test upon arrival and quarantine in their accommodations until results are in.

Madeira

Anyone planning to travel to Madeira is required to fill a health questionnaire 12-48 hours before arrival and present a negative PCR test from the 72 hours prior to arrival. Arrivals without test results will be required to take a test upon arrival and quarantine in their accommodations until results are in.

COVID-19 infections – 2.5/5

Though number of infections in Portugal remain steady, there are spikes in some areas of the country. These result in re-imposing restrictions, and keeping Portugal on the quarantine list of some European countries.

Availability of leisure activities – 4/5

In general, leisure activities both on the mainland and the archipelagos have resumed with various health measurements in place. However, these change from time to time with changes in infection numbers. It is advised to make reservations in advance.

Summary – 3.5/5

Traveling to Portugal will not be smooth in the near future, but once you arrive, you can enjoy all it has to offer.


Tunisia

Openness to tourists – 3/5

Tunisia is open for tourists arriving from countries the government classifies as Green and Orange. This classification is reviewed on a weekly basis, and the updated lists can be found here (in French).

Ease of Entry – 3.5/5

Entry requirements differ between Green and Orange countries.

Arrivals from Green countries are recommended, but not required, to present a negative PCR test when entering Tunisia.

Arrivals from Orange countries are required to do the following:

  • Present a negative PCR test from no more than 72 hours before arrival
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days, at their own expense
  • Sign a declaration that you will abide by these rules

COVID-19 infections – 5/5

Tunisia has lately seen a slight increase in infections, but overall numbers remain low and the EU has defined Tunisia as a green country.

Availability of leisure activities – 5/5

Leisure activities in Tunisia are available, with limits on the number of people and health measures such as masks in place. It is advised to make sure activities are available on your desired dates and book in advance.

Summary – 4/5

Tunisia is a great option for those who are allowed to enter.


Turkey

Openness to tourists – 5/5

Turkey has opened its borders for all tourists, however specific destinations might be banned, based on infection rates.

Ease of Entry – 4.5/5

All tourists arriving to Turkey will be screened for symptoms and might be required to take a PCR test, based on results.

COVID-19 infections – 3/5

Number of infections remains steady in the past few weeks, however it is still not considered a completely safe destination to visit.

Availability of leisure activities – 5/5

Leisure activities in Turkey are available with some added health measures in place. Here as well, it is advised to book in advance.

Summary – 4/5

Turkey welcomes tourists from all over the globe, and has few restrictions in place, however it advised to keep infection rates in mind and act with caution.


Have you travelled to any of these countries recently? Tell us in the comments!