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Pandemic travel news: EU to welcome US tourists, New York and California reopen


(CNN) — It’s been another huge week in travel news, and once again CNN Travel is here to help you keep track of the constantly changing world of global restrictions.

Come to these round-ups each week to learn about the countries relaxing entry rules, the attractions reopening the doors and the places that have shuttered because of Covid-19 outbreaks.

Latest from Europe

Good news for Americans! The European Union‘s governing body has recommended that the bloc lift restrictions on non-essential travel from 14 countries, including the US, a move that would allow visitors from these destinations to vacation in Europe far more easily.

The other countries to make the cut are: Albania, Australia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Republic of North Macedonia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China. Find out more here.

One country conspicuous by its absence is the UK, where things haven’t been going so well. Grand plans to lift the UK’s remaining Covid restrictions on June 21 have been delayed until July 19, due to rising cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

There’s also been a lot of confusion over the UK’s “traffic-light” system of travel regulations, but fear not — CNN Travel has put together these explainers for UK residents and for people wishing to travel into the UK.
Arrivals are allowed into Italy from most of Europe. Rome's Trevi Fountain iis pictured in June 2021.

Arrivals are allowed into Italy from most of Europe. Rome’s Trevi Fountain iis pictured in June 2021.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

It doesn’t stop there, though. We also have explainers with everything you need to know about travel into France, Greece, Italy and Spain. You’re going to want to bookmark those babies.
The island of Cyprus is open to vaccinated travelers from 65 countries, including the US and the UK. Slovenia has also reopened to tourism with its own traffic light system and testing requirements, which you can read about here.
The Netherlands is welcoming tourists from “safe countries with a low Covid-19 risk,” while Iceland, a member state of the European Economic Area, opened its borders to vaccinated travelers back in April. It’s going pretty well, too, judging by this CNN story from earlier this week.

Croatia is also welcoming vaccinated travelers, as well as those who present a negative PCR test or proof that they’ve recovered from Covid-19 within the past 180 days, and no less than 11 days before they arrive.

The Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea, is reportedly on course to fully reopen its borders with the UK on June 28, having been closed to almost all non-residents since March 2020. That’s the same day as Switzerland hopes to reopen to vaccinated Americans.

Ireland, which has had one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns, will reopen to the EU, UK and US on July 19. Non-EU unvaccinated travelers will have to arrive with a negative test, then self-quarantine until they take a second post-arrival test.

North America

California lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions Tuesday as part of a grand reopening in which the state will end capacity limits, physical distancing and — at least for those vaccinated — mask requirements. CNN’s Dan Simon reports.

On June 15, almost all pandemic restrictions were lifted in New York state (including New York City) as 70% of New Yorkers 18 or older had received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccination series. Find out more in our New York explainer.
Over on the West Coast, California reopened the same day — and yes, we have an explainer for that as well. One of the state’s most popular hiking trails, Big Sur’s Pfeiffer Falls Trail, is also reopening after a devastating wildfire led to it being shut for 13 years.
Cable cars will be returning to San Francisco‘s streets in August for the first time since the pandemic started and, get this — rides will be free.
And if you’re in the States but are just keen to get the heck out of there, we also have this comprehensive guide to the destinations currently welcoming US tourists.
One place not on that list is Canada. The border between the nations has been shut since March 2020, and on Friday Canada extended its Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential international and US travel until July 21.

Middle East, Africa and Asia

Morocco reopened to international travelers on June 15 and Algeria is also starting to reopen air travel.
In the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi will end mandatory quarantine for international travelers on July 1. That’s the same day Phuket will be reopening over in Thailand.
Mauritius, meanwhile, will be welcoming international visitors from July 15.

Here’s a peek inside Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport, a stunning new addition to the “world’s best airport.”

India is still dealing with a devastating new wave of the pandemic (read more about that in our explainer), although case numbers are thankfully beginning to drop. The Taj Mahal and other protected monuments reopened this week.

Disney Parks

Disneyland Paris also got back into business this week. And do we have a Disney Parks explainer? Why, of course we do.

Cruise news

Royal Caribbean announced this month that six of its ships will sail from major US ports in Florida and Texas beginning in July. However, this week the company postponed the inaugural sailing of its cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas after eight vaccinated crew members tested positive for Covid-19.
For more info about booking a cruise ship from the US this summer, be sure to check out — yes, you guessed it — our explainer.

Catch you all next Saturday for another travel round-up.

CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Tamara Hardingham-Gill, Marnie Hunter, Alexandra Meeks, Hollie Silverman and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.


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