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From restaurants, shops and museums to beauty spots and other tourist attractions, the world is beginning to open back up as governments ease lockdown measures and lift travel restrictions. Culture Trip lists the latest news on domestic tourism for users in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as up-to-date information on international travel bubbles.
In the US
The Florida Panhandle, Alabama’s Gulf Shores and the Hamptons in New York top the list of top domestic destinations to visit for this year’s Fourth of July weekend, according to new search data, Travel Pulse reports.
The sandy, family-friendly locations are among a list of hotspots across the US that have seen significant year-on-year growth in demand for Independence Day vacationing for rental site Vrbo.
Here is the list of US-based destinations that have seen increases in search demand compared to a year ago:
• Florida Panhandle
• Gulf Shores, Alabama
• The Hamptons, New York
• Hilton Head, South Carolina
• San Diego, California
• Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
• Outer Banks, North Carolina
• Gatlinburg, Tennessee
• Cape Cod, Massachusetts
• Charleston, South Carolina
Trade group Cruise Lines International Assn announced that cruises won’t restart at American ports until at least September 15, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Carnival has cancelled cruises through September 30. It has dropped any sailings from San Francisco through 2020, and sailings aboard Carnival Sunrise through October 19 and Carnival Legend through October 30.
Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises through July 31 but said on its website that its “goal is to resume operations on August 1st, 2020 for the majority of our fleet.” However the cruise line cancelled Canadian sailings through October 31 (because of port closures) and China sailings through June 30. Voyager of the Seas sailings are canceled through September 30, too.
Canada will not reopen borders quickly, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said, Reuters reports.
“I understand there are a lot of tourism firms and airlines who would like us to be able to once again to welcome tourists,” Trudeau told a daily briefing. “But these people all need to understand that if we take steps too quickly, if we are not sure of what we’re doing at each stage, we risk hitting a second wave … and having to close our economy again.”
A senior official from Air Canada, the country’s largest air carrier, urged the government to swiftly reopen borders and dilute quarantine requirements, citing what other nations were doing.
“Otherwise our sector and the Canadian economy will suffer far longer than it needs to,” Ferio Pugliese, senior vice president of government relations, told the House of Commons health committee.
In the UK
England’s pubs, restaurants and hotels will be allowed to re-open on July 4 in the next stage of easing the country’s coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, Reuters reports.
“All hospitality indoors will be limited to table service and our guidance will encourage minimal staff and customer contact,” he said in parliament.
“We will ask businesses to help NHS Test and Trace respond to any local outbreaks by collecting contact details from customers.”
Caravan sites across Wales have begun preparations as they prepare to reopen on July 13, WalesOnline reports.
The Welsh Government has signalled when the country’s tourism sector can reopen, with trips to outdoor tourist attractions allowed from July 6 and bookings for self-contained accommodation can start to be made from July 13.
Sinn Féin have proposed almost €1bn as an economic stimulus plan for the tourism and hospitality sectors, the Irish Examiner reports.
Under this scheme, every adult in the state, no matter their income, would receive a voucher worth €200, while every child would be entitled to a voucher worth €100, to be spent in businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors across Ireland until the end of 2021.
Funded through borrowing, and amounting to over €860m, Sinn Féin says this model, which has already been rolled out in Malaysia, Iceland and Italy in various forms, would revive the two sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queensland Government could keep borders closed to other states and territories after a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria, 9News.com.au reports.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she will reassess the July 10 border lift at the end of this month after 17 new cases of the virus were reported across Victoria overnight.
Ms Palaszczuk is facing mounting pressure to reopen Queensland borders as coronavirus cases start to rise in other parts of the country.
In New Zealand
New Zealand is introducing stricter measures to strengthen its border as more citizens access increased flights to come home, The Guardian reports.
The New Zealand government renewed its health order, mandating 14 days of quarantine, which also included a new measure to ensure that people arriving in New Zealand must have a negative Covid-19 test before leaving quarantine, and may be required to take multiple tests.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would extend the ban on cruise ships beyond 30 June, with exceptions made for cargo ships and fishing vessels.
In the US
Another sign appearing to show April as the low point of the pandemic’s effect on US hotels, three of the industry’s key indicators in May each increased from last month’s metrics, despite still showing sharp year-over-year declines, according to hotel industry analyst STR.
The May year-over-year occupancy level for US hotels declined 51.7 percent to 33.1 percent. Average daily rate was down 39.9 percent to $79.57. Revenue per available room dropped 71 percent to $26.35.
Travel Pulse reports on the status of all fifty US states in enforcing Covid-19-related travel restrictions.
Of note, Florida requires anyone arriving from the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) to self-quarantine for fourteen days or the duration of their stay, if it’s shorter.
All visitors and returning residents to Hawaii must self-quarantine for fourteen days following their arrival and proceed straight to their “designated quarantine location”.
While New York is not currently requiring arrivals to self-quarantine, anyone leaving the state is instructed to self-isolate at their destination.
Disney released details about its new Disney Park Pass system, which guests will need to use to secure admission at its parks when they reopen, Travel Weekly reports.
The company also said it will stop distributing free MagicBand wearables to resort guests, instead encouraging them to use to-be-introduced features on the My Disney Experience app.
Disney’s theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will begin to open to the public on 11 July, while its parks at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, are expected to open on 17 July. The parks have been closed since March.
Canada is allowing camping to resume at its national parks from 22 June – but only to those with an existing reservation, Lonely Planet reports.
This move comes three weeks after many parks reopened on 1 June, although their camping facilities remained closed. After the initial opening period, Parks Canada will gradually begin to accept new online reservations for some campgrounds over the coming weeks. Due to current travel restrictions, existing reservations from international visitors up to 7 August – including travellers from the United States – will be cancelled and automatically refunded.
In the UK
The tourism and hospitality industries in England are being “hamstrung” by the failure of the Government to set a date for the sector to reopen, while other parts of the economy have been given a green light to partially resume business, industry leaders warned, The i newspaper reports.
Representatives of businesses from tourist attractions to self-catering cottages in the UK’s £300 billion tourism and hospital sector said the decision to lower Britain’s coronavirus alert level meant there was now intense pressure on Whitehall to confirm when English companies can reopen their doors – with 4 July the preferred date for many.
Wales’ coronavirus travel restrictions could be lifted from 6 July so people can “travel as far as they like for all purposes”, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has said, BBC News reports.
Travel into and around Wales will be possible from that date, as long as coronavirus is still under control. However, rules that require people to stay local – within five miles (8km) of their home as a guide – will stay for now.
Scotland’s tourism and hospitality businesses – including pubs, hotels and restaurants – have been told to prepare to reopen on 15 July, BBC News reports.
Tourism secretary Fergus Ewing told the Scottish parliament that the local government hopes to confirm the reopening of tourism venues when it reviews lockdown measures on 9 July, with the intention of reopening the following week.
Officials in London plan to reopen parts of the city centre as outdoor dining districts when coronavirus restrictions are lifted in July, Lonely Planet reports.
Popular areas such as Covent Garden, Soho, Mayfair, Paddington, Chinatown and some streets near Oxford Circus are about to become London’s new al fresco dining zones. Councils in London have laid out plans to widen pavements and install temporary road closures in these West End districts to facilitate restaurants, cafés and bars when they open from 4 July.
Hook Lighthouse, one of Ireland’s most iconic tourist attractions, is reopening to visitors on 29 June with limited capacity as part of the government’s accelerated road map for reopening businesses across the country, the Irish Post reports.
Ireland’s 14-day quarantine for people arriving from other countries will remain in place until at least 9 July, and the government will review the issue at a meeting this week, acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, Reuters reports.
“My ambition … is to reopen between countries where the virus is as suppressed as it is here, but we want to do that in a coordinated fashion with other European countries, but that hasn’t quite happened yet,” Varadkar told journalists.
Double-digit increases of Covid-19 cases for six days in a row have prompted Victoria to extend its state of emergency well into next month, ABC Australia reports.
The spike in cases has also pushed the State Government to bring back tougher restrictions, including limiting visitor numbers inside homes to five people and outdoor gatherings to 10 people.
In New Zealand
New Zealand extended a ban on cruise ships arriving in the country and tightened measures for visitors to exit quarantine, after reporting more coronavirus cases linked to overseas travel, Reuters reports.
The country, which has recorded just 22 deaths from Covid-19, was among the first in the world to end all restrictions after declaring it had no active cases, but has seen a small number of new cases in recent days.
“We are extending the current cruise ship ban which was due to expire on 30 June,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference.
In the US
Overall travel spending in the US is expected to drop 45% this year, from $972 billion in 2019 to $583 billion in 2020, the US Travel Association reports.
The forecast prepared for the US Travel Association by Tourism Economics added that total domestic trips taken by US residents are expected to fall 30% from last year to 1.6 billion – the lowest figure since 1991, another recession year.
“The data is telling us that travel and tourism has been more severely damaged than any other US industry by the economic fallout of the health crisis,” said Tori Barnes, executive vice president for public affairs and policy at the US Travel Association, in a statement. “Given that travel employed one in 10 Americans and was the number-two US export before the pandemic, supporting this industry through to the recovery phase ought to be a national priority.”
UnCruise Adventures, a US small-ship adventure company, has confirmed that it will start Alaska sailings on 1 August, Travel Pulse reports.
“As one of the first companies to restart service, this is a pivotal moment for the travel industry and Alaska,” said Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures owner and CEO. “These initial departures represent a re-framing of what adventure travellers are increasingly looking for: small groups, inclusion and human connection.”
The move offers a glimmer of hope for some type of Alaska cruise season this year. The Alaska season was devastated by the Canadian government’s announcement on 29 May that it was banning cruise ships carrying more than 100 people until 31 October.
Cineplex is preparing for a gradual reopening of its Canadian movie theatres, starting in Alberta later this month before being implemented more widely across the country in early July, the Canadian Press reports.
Canada’s largest movie exhibitor says it plans to begin showing “previously released titles” at a reduced capacity in six Alberta theatres on 26 June.
The company then hopes to reopen on 3 July in as many other markets as government and health authorities allow, as Covid-19 restrictions begin to relax in different regions.
The reopening will introduce a number of new measures, including reserved seating in all auditoriums to ensure physical distancing between movie-goers, and staggered showtimes to reduce congestion in theatre lobbies.
In the UK
Gatherings at Stonehenge may be cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but you can still witness the midsummer sun rising over the ancient site virtually, The Guardian reports.
Audiences worldwide can tune into English Heritage’s Facebook page, which will livestream the sunset on 20 June (at 9.26pm BST) and the sunrise on 21 June 21 (at 4.52am BST). Each stream will last around 30 minutes and can also be accessed after the live event.
Stonehenge has been closed to visitors since 18 March and will remain so until 4 July.
The AA has launched a Covid Confident accreditation scheme for the hospitality industry, to help instil public confidence in domestic tourism, The Guardian reports.
The free scheme is open to hotels, B&Bs, self-catering properties, campsites and other accommodation, as well as pubs, restaurants, cafés and visitor attractions. The aim is to indicate to customers that a premises has the necessary health and safety measures in place to reopen to the public.
“Many members of the public will be looking to enjoy days out, short breaks, eating out and other experiences as lockdown eases, but confidence in the sector is vital,” said Simon Numphud, managing director at AA Media. “We hope that the Covid Confident scheme will be a valuable stepping stone for establishments to restore consumer confidence as lockdown eases.”
The reopening of the British tourism industry could be delayed beyond 4 July, the UK Culture Secretary has warned, the Daily Mail reports.
Hotels, campsites and guesthouses are taking bookings from the start of next month after Boris Johnson’s road map for exiting lockdown indicated that the tourism ban could end then.
But with the deadline barely a fortnight away, Oliver Dowden has said it was still too early to say whether Britain’s beleaguered tourist businesses would finally be able to open their doors.
“We have set out a road map,” Oliver Dowden said at the Number 10 briefing. “The next stage is 4 July. I very much hope that we’ll be able to stick to that roadmap and we will see tourism return to the UK… but we can only do so when it’s safe.”
An Irish island that was showcased in two Star Wars movies has decided that it will not open to visitors until 2021, Lonely Planet reports.
Skellig Michael, the dramatic rocky outcrop situated 12 miles off the coast of Kerry, is unable to open for its regular visitor season this year, as those in charge wish to maintain visitor and staff safety in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“On a mobile, constantly-moving platform like a boat, there are multiple touch-and-clutch points that passengers will hold onto, and of course they all need direct assistance to safely board the vessel and get off at the destination pier,” says the Office of Public Works.
Pressure is mounting on state leaders to reopen borders and allow free-flowing movement across Australia, 7news.com.au reports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he wants to see Australians travelling again by the end of July.
South Australia and Northern Territory have announced they plan to lift their respective border restrictions on 20 July.
Tasmania is likely to reopen its borders in late July, while Western Australia is yet to give a date. Meanwhile, the Queensland government has indicated its borders could open on 10 July.
New South Wales, including the ACT, and Victoria were the only states to keep their borders open during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Australia’s tourism industry is losing an estimated AUS$10 billion per month under travel restrictions. “Unlike every other sector, we are completely at the whim of governments in terms of borders opening,” said Margy Osmond, CEO of Tourism and Transport Forum Australia.
In New Zealand
New Zealand is expected to recover to just under 80% of its prior capacity levels as a domestic aviation market by the end of 2020, analysis firm CAPA – Centre for Aviation reports.
Domestic seat numbers are expected to reach close to 40% of 2019 levels this month as national restrictions are eased (under Alert Level 1), and then to rise gradually to approximately 60% of 2019 levels by early October.
CAPA Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison, said:
“Air New Zealand enjoys an envied position amongst world airlines – a domestic market free from Covid-19 transmission. New Zealand took bold action to lock down and has defeated the first wave spread of the virus, paving the way for a more rapid recovery in domestic airline capacity in the initial phase. As demand rebuilds, domestic seat capacity and route networks will be adjusted to optimise yields. In the absence of most international tourist markets feeding into the domestic network, however, we expect only a steady domestic aviation recovery.”
In the US
Airbnb has revealed the top 10 trending destinations across the United States, Lonely Planet reports.
As domestic tourism emerges from lockdown due to Covid-19, many customers have shown interest in family-friendly and beach destinations. Here is the list of top trending locations, based on “strong growth in bookings” according to the property listing platform:
• Big Bear Lake, California
• Miramar Beach, Florida
• Panama City Beach, Florida
• Smoky Mountains
• Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
• Destin, Florida
• Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
• Branson, Missouri
• Palm Springs Desert, California
• Port Aransas, Texas
The National Museum of the US Air Force (NMUSAF) in Riverside, Ohio will officially reopen to the public on July 1, Dayton Daily News reports.
The NMUSAF, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, temporarily closed its doors to visitors on March 15 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are thrilled to be able to reopen our doors to the public and continue our mission of sharing the Air Force and Space Force stories with those from around the world,” said museum director David Tillotson.
CTVNews.ca reports that the Canadian-US border will remain closed to all “non-essential” travel for another month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced.
“This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Trudeau said.
The agreement exempts the flow of trade and commerce, as well as temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited.
In the UK
BBC News reports that hit musicals Hamilton, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins and The Phantom of the Opera will not return to London’s West End until 2021, their producer has announced.
Sir Cameron Mackintosh said “drastic steps”, including redundancies, were required if the shows are to reopen “as early as practical” next year.
“This decision is heartbreaking for me, as I am sure it is for my employees,” he said in a statement.
Northern Ireland’s hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes can reopen from July 3, BBC News reports.
Many in the tourism and hospitality industries had been calling for the date of 20 July to be brought forward, after the Irish government said the sectors in the Republic of Ireland could reopen on 29 June. The news means that Northern Ireland becomes the first part of the UK to announce such changes to its coronavirus regulations.
The Press Association reports that halving social distancing measures for pubs and restaurants from two metres to one would still be restrictive, the head of the vintners organisation has said.
Restaurants and cafes across Ireland can reopen – as well as pubs and bars which operate as restaurants – from June 29.
Failte Ireland said it has been told by health officials there could be “certain circumstances” where restaurants are allowed to adhere to a one-metre social distancing rule. The tourism group said the meals sold in such premises must be “of a kind for which it would be reasonable to charge not less than €9”.
The guidelines due to be issued this week state that food on offer would “be expected to be served as a main midday or evening meal or as a main course in either such meal”.
In Australia & New Zealand
Australia is unlikely to reopen its border to international travellers until next year, but will look to relax entry rules for students and other long-term visitors, trade minister Simon Birmingham said, Reuters reports.
Birmingham said a quarantine rule for returning citizens could be applied to international students and other visitors who plan to stay for a long period of time.
“We can simply work through the 14-day quarantine periods that have worked so well in terms of returning Australians to this country safely,” Birmingham said in a speech to the National Press Club.
The news appears to have caused a setback to plans for an imminent trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
“I do, sadly, think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off, just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first,” Birmingham added.
In the US
Fans of astronomy are in for a stellar treat as the Grand Canyon National Park is hosting a virtual stargazing party all this week, Travel+Leisure reports.
With the Grand Canyon National Park still officially closed due to coronavirus lockdown measures, between 13-20 June the park will broadcast two live videos on its Facebook page. The first video is a presentation from one of the eight guest speakers from the park’s Star Party Speaker Series. The second video is the official Star Party, where lovers of the night sky will hook up video cameras to their telescopes and pick out a number of stunning celestial objects for an hour and a half, according to the National Park Services website.
Passengers could be barred from flying with US airlines if they refuse to wear face coverings during their journey, Sky News reports.
Each carrier will decide what its specific mask policy is, and the repercussions for passengers who fail to comply, including being put on the airline’s no-fly list or being barred from boarding.
Carriers with the stricter policy include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, lobby group Airlines for America said in a statement.
A Vancouver Island First Nation council has issued an order aimed at protecting its members from Covid-19, just as the government of British Columbia is making plans to reopen for tourism, CBC.ca reports.
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC), representing 14 First Nations along 300 kilometres of territory, passed a motion prohibiting visitors on Nuu-chah-nulth land until the health and safety of its own members can be guaranteed by the province.
There are currently no active cases of coronavirus on Vancouver Island, but the NTC wants the US-Canada border kept closed for the duration of the pandemic, as the island’s west coast attracts many American tourists.
In the UK
Cineworld has announced it will reopen cinemas in England on 10 July, with new precautionary measures in place to protect customers, The Independent reports.
The cinema chain has confirmed that all of its sites in England will reopen, pending additional restrictions that may be announced by the UK government in the coming weeks. The reopening of Cineworld sites in Scotland, Wales and Ireland will be announced at a later date.
A new hiking route, set to stretch along the entirety of the English coast, will take walkers past examples of the nation’s natural beauty, The Evening Standard reports. Dubbed The England Coast Path, the trail will be 2,800 miles long, making it the world’s longest coastal walking route.
Due to be finished in 2021, the route will link up existing stretches of seaside paths as well as creating new trails.
Tony Juniper, the chair of Natural England, said: “England’s wonderful coastline is a national treasure. Our flagship England Coast Path is taking people through some of the finest and most important landscapes in England, opening up access to historic landmarks, natural wonders and breath-taking scenery, enabling more visitors to experience, recognise and value the benefits of our environment.”
Press Association reports that up to 5,000 people could meet in outdoor gatherings from September if the coronavirus outbreak stays suppressed, the Taoiseach has said.
Leo Varadkar also said that cinemas could reopen in August if people practise social distancing.
“If things continue to go in the right direction, and if the virus stays suppressed, I think we could see some small outdoor mass gatherings in September,” Varadkar said on Tuesday. “Maybe outdoor cultural events of a few thousand people, maybe three or four or five thousand people, but [it’s] unlikely to be more than that. I would envisage cinemas opening in August but socially distanced. That’s really hard for live performances in theatres, so that’s trickier.”
Covid-19 may have halted ocean cruising but riverboat cruises on Australia’s longest river are set to resume, Traveller.com.au reports.
Operators of cruises on one of the world’s most longest navigable rivers have become among the first in Australia to recommence, albeit in a limited capacity.
Having suspended operations due to Covid-19, Captain Cook Cruises will begin its first post-pandemic journey aboard its PS Murray Princess vessel on 23 June with 40 passengers instead of the usual 120, in keeping with social distancing requirements. The boat will sail between the South Australian towns of Renmark and Mannum, located on the banks of the Murray River.
In New Zealand
Air New Zealand will resume passenger flights between Auckland and Shanghai next week, the New Zealand Herald reports.
Because of strict border restrictions, the flights are aimed at Chinese nationals in New Zealand wanting to return to China, or Kiwis in China seeking to return home.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Air New Zealand operated seven return flights a week on its Auckland-Shanghai route. However, the route has been suspended since early February due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The airline will operate one return service per week on its Auckland-Shanghai route with the first flight departing Auckland on 22 June.
In the US
Officials in Los Angeles have announced they have cleared the way for tourism to resume in the city following the coronavirus shutdown, Travel Pulse reports.
Ernest Wooden Jr, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board president and CEO, said: “We are excited to roll out our signature red carpet once again and safely welcome back visitors to the City of Angels as Los Angeles County public health experts and government officials have officially announced leisure travel can resume beginning Friday, June 12.
“This declaration is a major step forward for our world-class hotels and hospitality businesses to gradually begin to reopen their doors after fully implementing stringent safety protocols and procedures set forth by Public Health.”
Hotels are now allowed to open their doors and safely welcome back visitors, and fitness centres, museums, zoos and other cultural institutions are also permitted to reopen, with new safety precautions in place.
Canada will take airline passengers’ temperatures before they fly and anyone with a fever will not be allowed to travel, Reuters reports.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news conference: “Temperature checks will not be detecting people with Covid-19. It’s an extra layer of safety to encourage people who might feel sick to stay home and not put others at risk.”
The screening will be phased in, with those arriving in Canada being screened by the end of June, and for those leaving the country, as well as for domestic travellers at the country’s four biggest airports, by the end of July.
Canada and the United States are set to extend a ban on non-essential travel to late July as both countries seek to control the spread of Covid-19, according to Reuters.
In the UK
Zoos and safari parks have been allowed to open their doors to visitors from Monday June 15, as part of efforts to begin reviving the economy.
Long queues of people formed outside ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park, west London, ahead of the park’s reopening for the first time since late March, the Express and Star reports.
Kathryn England, chief operating officer for ZSL London Zoo, said: “We’ve reconfigured the whole zoo so that people feel and are safe … There’s lots of signage around to remind them to keep a lion’s length apart, a tiger’s length apart.”
England took a major step back to normality as high-street shops around the country opened their doors for the first time in nearly three months, the Evening Standard reports.
As “non-essential” retailers have been permitted to open as of today, queues quickly formed outside shops including Primark, Nike Town, Zara and Selfridges in Oxford Street.
Jace Tyrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents traders on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, said: “The West End’s workers and employers have worked tirelessly to get to today and face a tough climb to make up for 12 weeks of lost sales.”
Almost 9 in 10 hotels across Ireland plan to reopen for guests by mid-July, according to a national industry-wide study, The Irish Sun reports.
The survey of over 300 hoteliers was carried out by the Irish Hotels Federation, the national body for the hotel, B&B and guesthouse sector.
Tim Fenn, CEO of the Irish Hotels Federation, said: “It is really encouraging to see that 87 percent of hotels now intend to reopen by mid-July.
“We face a serious challenge, however, in terms of making up ground due to lost overseas business as highlighted by our survey.
“For the peak summer month of August, members project an average occupancy of 38 percent this year compared with an average occupancy of 90 percent for the same month last year – representing an enormous drop in projected business levels.”
States have begun announcing the reopening of their borders to welcome back interstate visitors, 7news.com.au reports.
South Australia and Northern Territory have announced they plan to lift their respective border restrictions on July 20.
Tasmania is likely to reopen its borders in late July, while Western Australia is yet to give a date.
Meanwhile, the Queensland government has indicated its borders could open on July 10.
New South Wales, including the ACT, and Victoria were the only states to keep their borders open during the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the US
Searches for domestic travel within the next 30 days grew rapidly in May in the United States and other markets, according to research from Tripadvisor.
The travel review company says consumers still want to travel, with 41% optimistic of taking the same or more trips compared to 2019.
The Beyond Covid-19 study also shows that consumers are now searching for nature destinations and are far more likely to want a trip where they can relax compared to before the pandemic.
More than half of consumers, 59%, say they want to go somewhere “off the beaten track”. Shorter trips that are close to home are also trending, with 44% saying they are most likely to take a road trip.
Alaska has become the first US state to offer the option of providing a negative Covid-19 test result as an alternative to a mandatory 14 days of self-isolation, AFAR.com reports.
Since June 5, travellers entering the state of Alaska have the option of providing proof of a negative test result for coronavirus to forgo what had previously been a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals into the state.
According to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, visitors can produce a negative test result within 72 hours of their departure to the state, or produce the same result within five days of departure and then get a second test when they arrive in Alaska, Lonely Planet reports.
The Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable, an organization comprised of members of the travel and tourism sector, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial premiers, urging them to reopen the provinces, territories, and country to travel, Daily Hive reports.
The plea says that travel and tourism must be permitted to open for the summer season, adding that the industry provides 1.8m jobs and accounts for $102bn of the Canadian economy.
The letter has received backing from companies across the travel and tourism industry, including Air Canada, Vancouver International Airport, the Business Council of British Columbia and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
In the UK
The owners of animal attractions across Scotland have appealed to the government there to allow the sites to reopen this month, BBC News reports.
Zoos and safari parks in England have reopened on Monday June 15, but those in Scotland must wait until July 15.
The Scottish government has told Scotland’s tourism businesses, including pubs, hotels and restaurants, to prepare for reopening on 15 July, but only if the risk from the coronavirus has been reduced.
Six sites managed by English Heritage reopened on Saturday June 13, after closing amid the Covid-19 outbreak, BBC News reports.
The charity, which oversees 400 historic buildings, monuments and outdoor spaces, says 45 more sites will be opened at the beginning of July, with the remainder open by August.
Visitors will need to book in advance and arrive at a designated time slot.
Here is a list of the sites that reopened on Saturday, June 13:
• Battle Abbey and Battlefield, East Sussex
• Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire
• Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, South Yorkshire
• Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Gardens, Warwickshire
• Old Sarum, Wiltshire
• Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
UK comic Mark Watson is launching a series of drive-in comedy shows across England this July, Chortle.co.uk reports.
The comic will head up a Carpool Comedy Club as part of a new touring venture called Drive & Dine Theatre, kicking off from July 7.
Other comics taking part include Shappi Khorsandi, Ed Byrne, Ed Gamble, Zoe Lyons, Hal Cruttenden and Daliso Chaponda.
Crowds of up 10,000 people will be allowed into Australian sports stadiums from next month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday, AFP reports.
Morrison said it would only apply to stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 or under, ruling out the likes of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Adelaide Oval for now. “We will be moving, as part of step 3, for events in stadia or other venues of that nature with a capacity of 40,000 or less to enable attendance at those events,” he told reporters.
In New Zealand
A number of cinemas across New Zealand have opened up their doors again to the public, NZHerald.co.nz reports.
Cinema chain Hoyts reopened all 10 of its theatres across the country, following a successful trial in Christchurch.
The firm is reshowing movies that were released earlier in the year, before the coronavirus pandemic forced a mandatory shutdown of all businesses and entertainment venues at the end of March.
Jojo Rabbit, Bloodshot, Sonic the Hedgehog and Trolls World Tour will screen over the next few weeks before Tenet, Mulan, and Wonder Woman 1984 are released next month.
In the US
Miami’s beaches in South Florida opened for the first time in three months on Wednesday June 10, an emotional moment for many residents whose leisure and financial wellbeing are tied to the sandy shores, AFP reports. “I almost started crying as soon as I came out onto the beach,” said Julie Isaacson, 63, a New Yorker who has lived for 27 years in Miami Beach, located on a barrier island directly across from Miami.
Disneyland Resort plans to reopen Disneyland and sister theme park Disney’s California Adventure on July 17, the 65th anniversary of Disneyland’s opening, USA Today reports.
The theme parks in Anaheim, California, will open a week after Walt Disney World in Florida, pending local and state government approvals, Disney said in a statement.
The statement further details that park capacity will be limited, with advance reservations required. The parks’ iconic parades, nighttime shows and meet-and-greets with Disney characters will not recommence immediately.
Museums are included in Ontario’s stage 2 framework for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, but officials at several Ottawa-area museums said they were not ready when eastern Ontario entered stage 2 on Friday June 12, CTV News reports.
Two landmark Manitoba attractions are getting ready to gradually welcome visitors back for the first time in weeks, after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, CBC.ca reports.
The Manitoba Museum announced its doors would reopen on weekends from 11 am to 5pm from Saturday June 13. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will also have a host of new measures in place when it reopens to visitors next week.
In the UK
Tourism leaders from some of Wales’s most popular visitor attractions have issued a joint statement calling for “urgent clarity” around dates for reopening following the coronavirus lockdown, ITV News reports.
With no clear dates for reopening in Wales, heads from the Snowdon Mountain Railway, Zip World and the National Botanic Garden of Wales warned the industry is on the “brink of collapse” as the main tourism season approaches.
Scotland’s tourism businesses, including pubs, hotels and restaurants, have been told to prepare to reopen on July 15, BBC News reports.
Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing told the Scottish Parliament that the local government hopes to confirm the reopening of tourism venues when it reviews lockdown measures on July 9, with the intention of reopening the following week.
MyLondon.News reports on some of London’s major tourist attractions and their plans for reopening as well as measures to ensure physical distancing.
Movie fans in Dublin have had the chance to enjoy some classic films on the big screen with the opening of a drive-in cinema at the RDS since Friday June 12. It screens three films a day, with Shrek, La La Land, the Lost Boys, A Star Is Born, Stand by Me and Dirty Dancing among the films set to play, RTE.ie reports.
The movies will be shown on one of the biggest LED screens in the country, and cinema-goers will be able to pick up the audio with an FM radio either on their phone or in their car. Tickets are €29.99 for a four-seater car and €33.99 for a seven-seater van.
The Irish government is considering a €500 staycation voucher scheme to kickstart the tourism sector, The Irish Mirror reports.
The project would give every household in the country a free voucher that must be spent at home on activities officially registered with our own tourism bodies. Hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and outdoor activities would all be part of the scheme being presented by the ITIC (Irish Tourism Industry Confederation).
Travellers within Australia should be free to cross all state borders from July under a renewed push by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Morrison told Parliament he wanted state and territory leaders to commit to the July timetable “at the earliest possible opportunity” so customers keen on booking winter holidays knew where they stood.
The Prime Minister added that the best way to help airlines including Qantas and Virgin, which is seeking investors after going into voluntary administration, was to scrap border controls. “If we’re concerned about Virgin employees, then it is very important that we open up the domestic borders in this country,” he told Parliament.
In New Zealand
More than 50,000 rugby fans have purchased tickets to weekend one of Super Rugby Aotearoa, Stuff.co.nz reports. Top-level rugby is resuming after a near three-month hiatus due to coronavirus, and crowds now permitted under alert level 1 with no cases of Covid-19 reported in the country.
In the US
Travel+Leisure reports on drive-in fair food events popping up across the country, serving your beloved fair snacks — from funnel cakes to corn dogs — in a socially distant way and without the crowds.
The Walt Disney World Resort has revealed that it will reopen some of its hotel properties to guests and Vacation Club members, beginning June 22, Travel Pulse reports.
Also reopening at limited capacity on June 22 are Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, and select Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Villa Resorts: Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort; Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge; Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village; Disney’s Beach Club Villas; Disney’s BoardWalk Villas; Disney’s Old Key West Resort; Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows; Disney’s Riviera Resort; Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
There are numerous opportunities to enjoy drive-in and drive-through events across the country, the website AutoTrader.ca reports.
The publication has compiled a list of events and activities that drivers can enjoy this summer while staying socially distanced from the comfort of your car.
Of note: in the Toronto area, the Toronto Zoo is hosting a drive-through service with limited tickets. There are other zoos to drive through in Ontario as well, such as the Indian River Reptile Zoo, which now offers a Dinosaur Drive-Thru tour for $16.93 to $22.23 per vehicle, depending on the date.
In the UK
Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas were given the green light to reopen in England from June 15, as long as they adhere to social distancing rules. The announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson came after London Zoo and other institutions across the country warned they may face permanent closure if they were forced to remain closed.
Tayto Park – Ireland’s only combined theme park and zoo – has reversed its decision reopen next Thursday, The Irish Independent reports.
On Tuesday June 8, 2020, the amusement park in Co Meath issued a statement saying that it would be reopening on June 18 and was taking online bookings. However, after its website was “overwhelmed” with bookings, it reversed its decision to reopen after reviewing “statutory regulations”.
“However, on reviewing statutory regulations that were published late yesterday evening [June 8], it is with regret that Tayto Park will have to remain closed until regulations permit us to reopen,” reads a statement. Those who have booked tickets will be reimbursed.
Over a third of tourism businesses in Western Australia have said they will go under unless border restrictions are eased, The Daily Mail Australia reports.
The Tourism Council of Western Australia surveyed thousands of operators and 34 per cent agreed they would struggle to remain open without interstate tourists, who remain barred from the state under Covid-19 lockdown measures. “This shows that interstate visitors are vital for tourism businesses to survive and retain jobs in their regional towns,” Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said.
In New Zealand
Air New Zealand said that “social distancing is no longer a requirement” for the airline for domestic flights as New Zealand has lifted almost all of its coronavirus restrictions in the country, Business Traveller reports.
New Zealand moved to alert level 1 on June 8, the lowest level in its four-tier alert system. Under alert level 1, social distancing is not required, but borders remain closed to foreigners. The country has reported no new Covid-19 cases for more than two weeks.
“Social distancing is no longer a requirement, unaccompanied minors will once again be able to travel domestically, and customers will be able to travel around New Zealand again with pets as checked baggage,” Air New Zealand’s general manager of customer experience Nikki Goodman said in a statement.
In the US
California’s Yosemite National Park reopened for the first time in three months on Thursday, June 11, Travel Pulse reports.
Most areas of the park, including 800 miles of trails and popular sites such as Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy will return under this stage of the park’s phased reopening.
Visitors will be required to reserve a day pass in advance at recreation.gov starting Tuesday at 10am ET (7am PT). The National Park Service will offer 1,700 vehicle passes each day as part of the temporary system.
The Excalibur Hotel & Casino opened its doors once again on Thursday, June 11, USA Today reports.
The Excalibur is the latest Las Vegas property owned by MGM Resorts International to reopen its doors. The Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature all returned to business on June 4.
“We are very pleased by the enthusiasm we are seeing from guests ready to come back to Las Vegas,” said Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO and president of MGM Resorts. “As business demand increases, we are able to open additional properties and bring more of our employees back to work.”
The website blogTO reports on the list of tourism and recreational attractions in the Toronto area that are permitted to reopen with restrictions under Stage 2 of the province’s economic reopening plan.
In the UK
Beer gardens in England will not be allowed to open before the end of the month, Downing Street has said, quashing suggestions that ministers were considering allowing pubs to serve beer outside from 22 June, The Guardian reports.
A group of ministers nicknamed the “Save Summer Six” were reportedly weighing up plans to open beer gardens. But Downing Street played down suggestions that the government was preparing to expedite its roadmap, which states that pubs, bars and cafés can reopen from 4 July, subject to advice at the time.
Gatwick airport is preparing to re-open the North Terminal from 15 June and double its opening hours, The Independent reports.
The main tenant of that terminal is easyJet, which shut down its operations in late March. The airline is expected to resume a skeleton service of mainly domestic flights from 15 June, starting at 7am with a departure to Glasgow.
Failte Ireland has today published operational guidelines for every sector of the tourism industry to ensure the safe re-opening of businesses on 29 June.
The recommendations offer sector-specific advice to boost public confidence and relaunch businesses while adhering to public health regulations.
Melbourne’s major cultural institutions will welcome back Victorians in time for the winter school holidays, TravelWeekly.com.au reports.
Last week, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley announced that the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, State Library Victoria and parts of Arts Centre Melbourne will officially reopen to the public on Saturday, 27 June.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has launched a new tourism campaign – “Queensland – You’re Good to Go” – projected to deliver $1 billion in overnight accommodation takings for tourism operators over the next four months, TravelWeekly.com.au reports.
The move comes in a bid to encourage Queenslanders to explore their own state, with Tourism and Events Queensland expecting locals to spend more than 9 million nights enjoying what Queensland has to offer now that intrastate travel restrictions have eased.
In New Zealand
Borders are effectively closed except for returning citizens and residents, who are quarantined for 14 days, The New York Times reports. New Zealand and Australia have talked about a possible “travel bubble” between them, but New Zealand has said that is unlikely to happen while travel between Australian states remains restricted.
In the US
Montana’s Glacier National Park has begun its phased reopening. From today, visitors are able to access more of the park until 4:30pm, via the newly reopened west gate at West Glacier.
A press release from the National Park Service explained that a slow reopening will help protect the park, employees, and the surrounding gateway communities from the spread of Covid-19 by allowing assessment periods during each new phase of opening, Travel+Leisure reports.
Provinces have been releasing plans for easing restrictions that were put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Here is what some of the provinces have announced so far, according to The Canadian Press news agency:
Parks and pools can reopen across the province but are still be subject to physical distancing and other health measures. Camping is now allowed outside the Montreal and Joliette regions, as are cottage rentals.
Golf courses can reopen, though clubhouses can only open for washrooms and takeout food. Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches can also open, as can private parks and campgrounds for trailers and RVs whose owners have a full-season contract, and businesses that board animals.
Drive-in movie theatres and baseball batting cages reopened May 31 with physical distancing measures in effect. Short-term rentals, including lodges, cabins, cottages, homes and condominiums, were allowed to resume operations on June 5.
Backcountry campers returned to provincial parks on June 1 with certain stipulations. No more than five people can occupy a single campsite, unless they live in the same household. Provincial parks also expanded permission for picnics and off-leash pet areas.
• British Columbia
Conventions, large concerts, international tourism and professional sports with a live audience will not be allowed to resume until either a vaccine is widely available, community immunity has been reached, or effective treatment can be provided for the disease.
In the UK
Pubs in England could reopen again as soon as 22 June, two weeks earlier than planned, The Independent reports. Under the current schedule, bars, hotels and restaurants are due to stay shut until July at the earliest – although they can serve customers outside their premises. A group of ministers, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, are said to be looking at ways to help pubs to reopen using beer gardens, terraces and marquees.
Meanwhile, one of the UK’s biggest holiday park firms, Butlin’s has taken the decision to extend the closure of its resorts until at least 2 July, iNews reports. “This includes our May half-term breaks,” a statement from the company said, “which we know will be disappointing, but these are unprecedented times for everyone. We’ll get through this and back to providing great breaks for you all when the time is right.”
The Irish Times reports on the revised reopening plan for Ireland post-lockdown, including the following, which affects domestic tourism and experiences:
• Phase Two, Monday, June 8:
Outdoor camps are allowed for children with no more than 15 people involved. Greyhound racing can resume, but without spectators at tracks.
Domestic tourism can resume, but no date has been given yet for recommended air travel. This includes hotels, hostels, museums, galleries and caravan parks.
• Phase Three, Monday, June 29:
Domestic tourism can resume, but no date has been given yet for recommended air travel. This includes hotels, hostels, museums, galleries and caravan parks.
• Phase Four, Monday, July 20:
Theatres, cinemas, nightclubs and casinos can reopen, but only where social distancing measures can function. Festivals and cultural gatherings can resume, but with limited attendance. Attendances at sports events will resume, but with restrictions on numbers.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on reopening dates for some of Australia’s principal museums:
The Australian Museum, Sydney – November
Sydney Living Museums, Sydney – reopened week commencing June 1
Melbourne Museum, Melbourne – June 27
Immigration Museum, Melbourne – August
In New Zealand
Sports fans will be allowed to fill stadiums when top-flight rugby resumes in New Zealand this weekend, organisers said on Monday June 8, hailing the move as a world first after professional sport’s coronavirus shutdown, AFP reports.
New Zealand Rugby made the announcement after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern eased a range of virus-related restrictions, meaning social distancing requirements no longer apply.
In the US
Stay-at-home orders have been lifted in almost every state, with a number of restrictions on open spaces having been eased. The New York Times reports on the latest states to have softened lockdown measures, including the reopening of tourist attractions.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advises against any non-essential travel within the United States. “It is possible that some state and local governments may put in place travel restrictions, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures while you are travelling,” it says on the CDC website.
USA Today reports on the list of US states that require visitors and residents returning from other states to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Californian governor Gavin Newsom loosened rules by allowing restaurant dining rooms and shopping malls to open again in counties that met the new criteria.
In Florida, restaurants, malls, libraries and gyms are now able to open at 50% capacity, according to CNN.
The Florida Keys welcomed back visitors on 1 June, though they cut occupancy by half, according to local officials.
Museums and cultural institutions across the country are also beginning to reopen, with new protocols for visitors in place, from compulsory mask wearing and temperature testing, to timed tickets for entry and social distancing of 2m (6ft) between household groups.
More museums are due to open with new social-distancing policies in place, including the Wichita Art Museum on 23 June and the Cleveland Museum of Art around 30 June.
USA Today reports on which US landmarks – including national parks – have begun to reopen their doors to visitors. Yellowstone National Park overlaps three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. On 1 June the park reopened all entrance gates and announced that lodges, campgrounds, dining and tours were to go back into operation.
Visitors to the park will initially be restricted to the lower section of the Grand Loop Road, with access to Lake, Canyon, Norris, Old Faithful, West Thumb and Grant Village.
Walt Disney World in Florida aims to reopen its four theme parks – which have been closed since March – in two phases in July. Disney currently plans to reopen the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks on Saturday 11 July, with the Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks due to reopen on Wednesday, 15 July.
Disney representatives have said the following safety protocols will be introduced: face coverings for guests and cast members; physical barriers to encourage social distancing including Plexiglas at cash registers; enhanced cleaning throughout parks, including more sanitising stations; temperature checks for guests and cast members; reduced capacity in retail stores and restaurants; contactless payment systems, and high-touch areas (such as play areas) will be closed.
MSN.com reports on a fuller list of theme parks across the United States and their plans to reopen, and gives details on the precautionary measures being enforced to maintain safety and physical distancing.
Space Center Houston, the official visitor centre of Nasa Johnson Space Center, is reopening on 1 July, boasting new exhibits, spacious outdoor experiences and additional health and safety measures.
The roulette wheels of Las Vegas, Nevada started spinning again on 4 June. Hotel-casinos in suburban Sin City opened first, followed by a restart of the iconic Bellagio fountain and reopenings of many neighbouring resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, including Caesars Palace and Flamingo Las Vegas. Wynn and Encore resort complexes are also open again, with 16 restaurants, six bars and lounges, three shopping esplanades, five pools and two salons up and running. The casinos and 18-hole golf course are due to reopen to the public soon.
Miami beaches and hotels officially reopened on 1 June, and around 60,000 hotel rooms are now available, although rules and restrictions are being enforced.
Tourism in Kentucky fired back up on 1 June. Resort parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins are all now available to the public, including the Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls State Resort Parks. The Salato Wildlife Education Center reopened on the same day with limited capacity, as reported by the Lane Report.
Elvis is back in the building. On 21 May Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee – one of the most visited houses in the country – reopened its doors to the public, with tours are reduced to 25% capacity.
Theme parks Universal Orlando and all Six Flags locations let the public return on 5 June with limited capacity, with face masks required to be worn. Certain Orlando hotels reopened on 2 June, including Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Royal Pacific Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Endless Summer resort.
The Boston Herald reported that Yosemite National Park is planning to reopen “on or about June 11”; however, reservations will be required and visitor numbers will be halved.
The Grand Canyon’s South Rim’s south entrance is now open 24/7, while the remote North Rim entrance will open for day use. For campers with reservations, the South Rim’s Mather campground will also be open, The LA Times reports. North Rim lodging will reopen June 15, with the North Rim campground reopening July 1.
The largest art museum in the United States, the Met, in New York, announced plans to reopen “in mid-August”. However, this move is predicated on New York City’s meeting the seven benchmarks set by governor Andrew Cuomo, which include details related to ICU capacity, testing per capita and contact tracing capabilities.
Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee, is to fully reopen on 11 June. The 50-acre heritage park reopened to the general public on 1 June, but attractions such as the Discovery Center, its on-site museum, the Starship Theater, Earthquake Simulator and Cooper Tower will all reopen, although operating at 50 percent capacity, as reported by KFVS.
The Saint Louis Zoo has announced that it will reopen on 13 June. Jeffrey Bonner, president and CEO, said: “I am amazed at the incredible care our staff has provided to the animals during this pandemic and the diligent work underway in preparation to provide our guests with safe and memorable experiences.”
In South Carolina, amusement venues at Myrtle Beach were back up and running on 1 June, while SkyWheel, Ripley’s Aquarium, WonderWorks and Family Kingdom are also all open to the public again.
The US Space & Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama’s most popular paid-for attraction, has reopened its doors to budding astronauts and keen amateur scientists although it is currently only available to museum members.
The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida has flung open its doors again, offering free admission to all guests until September. Two public spaces, the Wolgin Education Center and Jody Harrison Grass Lobby, were also unveiled.
The easing of lockdown restrictions continues across the country. For a province by province breakdown, check this report dated June 4. According to The Washington Post, Nunavut, which has been virtually unscathed by Covid-19, has reopened from Monday June 8, while most businesses in Nova Scotia were able to reopen on June 5, as reported here.
Museums, art galleries and other tourist attractions across the country are reopening with physical distancing measures in place. The largest museum in western Canada, the Royal Alberta Museum, is open to the public but has a restricted capacity to 100 people at a time and tickets must be pre-purchased online.
Museums, libraries and drive-in cinemas across Quebec have also been permitted to reopen – however, it will take longer for some museums to adapt to new guidelines, CBC.ca reports.
In Montreal, the McCord Museum will reopen on 23 June and the Stewart Museum on 25 June. In Quebec City, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) will reopen on 29 June. Quebec is currently talking about reopening concert halls, movie theatres and other venues before the Fête Nationale on 24 June, according to the Montreal Gazette.
CTV News reports that on 11 June, the Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Maritime Museum will reopen to the public.
As reported by Globalnews.ca, 29 of Canada’s 48 national parks have resumed some operations, including Banff, Pacific Rim and Cape Breton Highlands. Parks Canada explained that, in most cases, the gradual reopening includes access to day-use areas, trails, beaches and green spaces and some access for recreational boating and fishing.
In Toronto, a first-of-its-kind immersive drive-in experience featuring Vincent Van Gogh’s art is set to open on 18 June, CBC reports. Fourteen vehicles per time slot will be allowed to drive into the 370sqm (4,000sqft) downtown industrial space and park. Occupants will then turn off their engines and watch a 35-minute show while remaining inside their cars. The exhibit will feature digital reproductions of some of the Dutch painter’s masterpieces, including Starry Night, Sunflowers and many self-portraits.
On Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove Resort forest campground and marina is now open, with accommodation, a pub, cafe and stores available; Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site in Colwood are also open.
Campgrounds in Alberta opened for public use, reported Global News.
Popular Canadian attraction Osoyoos Desert Centre was due to reopen on 6 June. The attraction includes an interpretive centre, plus a 1.5km (1mi) raised boardwalk through the desert from which visitors can view unique plants and animals, the Penticton Herald reports.
In the UK
Under the UK Government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy, people are now permitted to drive to open parks and spaces “irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there”.
However, as the guidelines in England differ to those in other parts of the UK, the strategy states: “When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.”
The new rules have sparked dismay in tourist hotspots such as Cornwall and the Lake District, where heads of tourism are concerned the influx of visitors will undermine efforts to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
UK campsites, hotels, holiday parks and tourist attractions are preparing to reopen in July, with social distancing measures in place and reduced capacity. According to the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy, accommodation providers may be able to resume business from 4 July, subject to certain conditions.
According to The Guardian, Cool Camping, a UK camping and glamping website, has stated that since Boris Johnson announced the recovery plan in early May, bookings have increased five-fold.
Retailers that can reopen on 15 June under new guidelines include gift shops in museums, retail spaces in theatres, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites, paving the way for visitors to tourist attractions.
Bargain hunters at the ready – luxury shopping outlet Bicester Village will be back in business from 15 June, The Oxford Mail reports. The collection of high-end fashion outlets – among them Mulberry, Gucci and Prada – has become a consumer hotspot for international and domestic shoppers alike. In 2019, more than 7m people visited the shopping mecca.
Museums in England, meanwhile, remain closed until at least 4 July. Some English leisure venues and public spaces will be able to reopen in step three of the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy, but could be postponed depending on scientific advice and whether certain lockdown measures – such as a sustained fall in death rates, and a manageable rate of infection – are being met.
The Welsh and Scottish governments have not yet announced specific policies relating to museums reopening, the Museums Association reports.
The National Trust is gradually reopening countryside car parks for visitors to explore open spaces. More than 200 coast and countryside car parks across England are welcoming back members, while some coast and countryside car parks in Northern Ireland have been gradually reopening. All car parks in Wales have to remain closed due to local government guidance, the Trust’s website states.
For a small number of car parks, the Trust has rolled out a booking system to help manage visitor numbers and maintain safe social distancing. Visitors are being warned to check the Trust’s website to see which areas will be available and to pre-book a parking space.
Some National Trust gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland, including Sissinghurt Castle Garden and Scotney Castle in Kent, have reopened their doors. Around 27 more sites are expected to open to those with pre-booked tickets. Only around a third of the usual number of visitors will be permitted in order to maintain social distancing, BBC News reports.
English Heritage is also planning to reopen some of its outdoor spaces and historic sites. On 13 June it will start the first phase, with further sites reopening in early July. It hopes to have all sites open again by August.
ITV reported that Warwick Castle was opening to the public from 8 June onwards and would open exclusively on 6 and 7 June to Warwick and Merlin Annual Pass holders only. Anyone wishing to visit will need pre-booked tickets. The extensive grounds and gardens will be open, however the indoor areas are still temporarily off limits
A new drive-in cinema experience will tour the UK from July, running for 12 weeks across 11 cities: @TheDriveIn invites passengers to enjoy a host of drive-in experiences, popping up twice in London: at a yet-to-be-named south London location from 2-5 July, and in east London at the end of the tour, from 17-20 September.
Alton Towers has unveiled new guidelines ahead of a reopening date this summer. The popular Staffordshire-based theme park – closed until at least 3 July – will introduce measures to allow visitors to continue social distancing and stay safe. The gardens of Alton Towers, however, were to reopen on 6 June with a limited capacity and reduced hours of operation.
New measures include: temperature checks at the gates (for both staff and guests, after which anyone with a high temperature will be turned away but permitted to rebook for another day), spatial markers at queue lines and communal areas, one-way systems at shops, allowing riders to board rides only with their groups (with a row between each family), additional hygiene stations built across the park, staff given Covid-19 training and face masks becoming non-mandatory, as current guidance only advises that they are worn in indoor spaces.
Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures are to reopen from 4 July, The Sun reports. Some attractions, such as the interactive children’s play areas, will remain closed, but the majority of both parks will be functioning at reduced capacity.
Chester Zoo, one of the biggest zoos in the UK, is preparing to reopen safely – although no date has been given yet – having installed a host of new physical safety measures, Blooloop.com reports. These include self-scanning ticket lanes and floor markings to indicate social distancing. According to an update, all indoor animal habitats will remain closed, as will restaurants and cafés. Outdoor food and drink kiosks will be open, and there will be an increased number of outdoor picnic areas.
Famous outdoor markets across the UK, including Borough Market in southeast London, are now open to the public again, with fruit, veg, cheese and hot meals all on offer as traders get back to business.
Buckler’s Hard and Exbury Gardens, two popular attractions in the New Forest, reopened in late May.
With Wales easing lockdown, Wales Online reports that its country parks are set to reopen. All 18 parks in Neath Port Talbot reopened on Thursday, 4 June, including the popular Margam Country Park.
Tatton Park in Cheshire welcomed back visitors on 3 June. The gardens have been available to prebooked parties from 8 June, although the farm and mansion are to remain closed.
The Irish Republic began the first of five phases of relaxing coronavirus restrictions on 18 May. Some outdoor public and tourism amenities, including car parks, beaches and mountain walks, have reopened. However, the 5km (3mi) travel limit on journeys from home continues to apply.
Under phase two of relaxing lockdown measures, due to take place on 8 June, restrictions on exercise were extended from within 5km (3mi) of your home to 20km (12mi) and some shops will reopen.
Under phase three (due to come into effect on 29 June), some cafés and restaurants can reopen, while under phase four (due to come into effect on 20 July), museums, art galleries and other cultural destinations where people are moving can reopen, as well as hotels, caravan parks and holiday parks. Pubs, bars and nightclubs won’t open until 10 August, under phase five of lifting the restrictions.
Heritage Ireland has provided a list of Ireland’s heritage sites and national parks and their roadmap to reopening. The list includes some of Ireland’s most popular free-to-enter attractions, including Kilkenny Castle Parklands, Glendalough in County Wicklow, National Botanic Gardens and Castletown House Parklands.
Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James has unveiled plans to play a series of drive-in concerts across Ireland, in order to spread his music while complying with social distancing guidelines, Extra.ie reports. James will play live on stage in Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick and Waterford, while audience members watch from the safety of their cars.
Dublin Zoo has also reopened, allowing a limited number of visitors who will have to follow strict social-distancing rules and have pre-purchased tickets.
The Australian government is asking its residents to avoid non-essential travel within the country. States and territories can apply their own restrictions as well, including closing their borders and requiring self-isolation.
Galleries, museums, historical sites, drive-in cinemas (not regular cinemas), outdoor amusement parks and zoos (including Sydney and Dubbo’s Taronga Zoos) are now permitted to reopen to the public, with restrictions in place. These may include timed entry and one-way flow through gallery spaces, while visitors may also be asked to provide contact information to allow public health tracing.
There will also be increased signage throughout buildings and more frequent cleaning of “touch” areas.
The state institutions that have reopened or announced reopening dates include:
• Art Gallery of NSW – reopened on Monday, 1 June
• Art Gallery of SA – reopened on Friday, 5 June
• Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) – reopened Monday, 18 May
• National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – Tuesday, 30 June
The Canberra Times reported the reopening of the National Museum of Australia and the National Gallery to the public on 2 June.
The Qantas Founders Museum in Queensland will reopen on 1 July after shutting three months ago due to coronavirus movement restrictions, Australian Aviation report.
Australia’s major ski resorts – Vail Resorts-owned Mount Hotham, Perisher and Falls Creek – will open for skiing and snowboarding on 24 June under changed operating conditions, 9news.com.au reports. Visitors will only be able to access the resorts with a pre-purchased pass or lift tickets (on-the-day lift ticket purchases will not be available).
The best views in Sydney are once again available. The Sydney Tower Eye reopened to the public on 4 June. Visitors also have the option of the outdoor adventure Skywalk since 6 June.
Live music and play readings started to take place again at Brown’s Mart Theatre in Darwin on 5 June. It was the first theatre in the country to reopen following the lockdown.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Centre are reopening to the public, Aus Leisure reports. Sea Life is already open again, as is Legoland. Both attractions have implemented new safety measures.
Major casino the Star in Sydney has reopened, IAG reports, with a maximum of 20 guests and social distancing rules in place, although capacity will increase to 50 on 21 June.
Outdoor thrill seekers will be pleased to hear that the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, in Victoria, and the Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures, in New South Wales, are all back in operation. The Merlin Entertainment group says the elevated walkways and rainforest zip line will be following strict health and safety procedures.
In New Zealand
New Zealand was in alert level 2 in its four-level alert system to manage the outbreak across the country until Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement on June 8, as the NZ Herald reported.
Museums and cultural institutions nationwide are in the process of reopening. The Museum of New Zealand, the country’s national museum in Wellington, is operating a phased reopening, registering visitors on arrival for contact tracing, and taking steps to ensure they can practise distancing and good hygiene. The New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland has also reopened.
Under Covid-19 alert level 2, attractions and hotels across New Zealand had reopened to boost domestic tourism.
Two Ngāi Tahu Tourism businesses reopened on 30 May, with Hukafalls jet boating and Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters tours operating as usual and the company’s other eight attractions hoping to be operational as soon as they can.
Hobbiton, one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations, reopened on 30 May, although currently only 20 visitors (as opposed to the usual 41) are permitted at a time.
The Mt Aspiring and glacier helicopter flight is running again, at a reduced cost, while day-trip guided tours up Ruapehu and Tongariro are back on at reduced prices: visit the Adrift website for more information.
Go-Karting in the Cromwell highlands can also be enjoyed once again.
On 16 May, the panoramic gondola Skyline Queenstown experience reopened to the public. The company also provides fully guided bike tours around Grants Peak.
Queenstown dropzone skydives recommenced operations on 27 May with 12,000ft and 15,000ft tandem skydives. Visit their website for more information.
The iconic Wellington cable car is back in full operation and kids can travel for free on weekends until 28 June
Auckland Zoo is open to the public again, and offering reduced day pass rates. However, the zoo will not be selling tickets on the door so visitors must book in advance.
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, along with its shop and café, will reopen to the public on 13 June, Scoop reports. New exhibition Civilisation, Photography, Now will coincide with relaunch, with capacity limits and physical distancing measures in place.
The United States and Canada have agreed to keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel until 21 June, The Associated Press reports.
The border was initially shut for 30 days on 21 March in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. On 18 April, the restrictions were extended until 21 May, as cases continued to go up on both sides of the border; on 19 May they were extended for another month.
Since 8 June, a 14-day quarantine has been imposed on new arrivals to the UK to help prevent a second spike, with fines for anyone who breaches the measure, The Guardian reported. Airlines have launched legal proceedings against the government as they say they don’t see the evidence to support the move and feel it will destroy their business.
Home secretary Priti Patel announced that mandatory self-isolation would not apply to people coming from Ireland, medics tackling Covid-19 and seasonal agricultural workers.
Travellers will have to fill in a form providing contact and travel information so they can be traced if infections arise. They could be contacted regularly during the fortnight and face random checks from public health authorities to ensure compliance.
Breaches will be punishable with a £1,000 fixed-penalty notice in England, while devolved nations can set out their own enforcement approaches.
All passengers arriving at Irish ports and airports will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, RTE reports.
However, due to the Common Travel Area, the British Government will not require a 14-day period of self-isolation for people travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK.
The plan for a Trans-Tasman bubble to allow Australians and New Zealanders to travel between the two countries could be presented to both governments as early as next week, and could be operational by September, The Guardian reports.
The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group – a 40-strong expert panel which includes representatives made up of government agencies, airports and airlines, health experts and border agencies – has been working on a proposal for the two nations to reopen their borders to one another.
It says it will be ready to present the plan to both the Australian and New Zealand governments in “early June”.
The Independent reported that on 3 June, Italy reopened its borders and ended travel restrictions between regions, encouraging tourists to visit the country this summer. Tourists arriving from most European countries will not face any restrictions upon entering Italy.
As the first “travel bubble” in the European Union, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia opened their borders to each other on Friday, 15 May, hoping to jump-start their economies, Al Jazeera reports.
Citizens and residents of the three Baltic nations can travel freely within the region; however, those arriving from other countries will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Spain will reopen its borders with France and Portugal on 22 June. The compulsory 14-day quarantine upon arrival will also be dropped, 9 News reports.
Portugal announced that it would reopen its beaches from 6 June. Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that sunbathers will need to comply with social-distancing rules, which in Portugal require a distance of 1.5m (5ft) separation, The Independent reports.
Beach capacity will be reduced, but holidaymakers can download an app that will notify them if there is sunbathing space available.
Greece’s tourist season will officially begin on 15 June, the country’s prime minister has announced. Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an address. “The tourism period begins then and seasonal hotels can reopen. Let us make this summer the epilogue of the [Covid-19] crisis.” He added that international flights to popular destinations across the country would resume in July.
On 2 June, restaurants and bars in France reopened, as well as some museums, parks, beaches and theatres. The prime minister of France has announced that the country will begin to reopen borders on 15 June, The Telegraph reports.
Iceland aims to welcome international travellers back by 15 June, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced. However, according to Bloomberg, visitors will be required to undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival and be declared negative to avoid a 14-day quarantine.
Saint Lucia became the first Caribbean island to reopen to international tourists on 4 June, Insider reports. Visitors have to present a negative coronavirus test upon arrival, and should expect temperature checks at the airport and in hotels and restaurants, as well as requirements to wear a mask and social distance.
Cambodia has removed its ban on visitors from some countries, imposed since mid-March.
The Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) national news agency reported that foreigners from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US are allowed to enter Cambodia, but with some conditions.
The AKP report added that all travellers entering Cambodia will be required to have a health certificate confirming that the passenger has been tested for Covid-19 and obtained a negative result. A health risk assessment will also be applied to anyone entering the country. In addition, foreign nationals must provide proof of insurance coverage during their intended stay in Cambodia with a minimum medical coverage of at least $50,000.
Germany plans to reopen borders to most European countries from 15 June, provided there are no entry bans or large-scale lockdowns in the reciprocal country, The Telegraph reports.
This article was first published on 18 May at 20:30 BST. It was last updated on 23 June at 18:00 BST.