Although our initial coronavirus-panic may have subdued in recent weeks, we are still very much in the midst of a pandemic. Many parts of the world, the middle east in particular, are seeing spikes in new cases (Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Tunisia, to name a few). Despite this, lockdown measures are still being lifted, which means summer might not be cancelled after all.
The UAE, which just welcomed numerous residents home, after a complete lockdown that lasted three months, has now announced that citizens and residents will be allowed to travel to any international foreign country.
With a follow up announcement confirming that international tourists would be welcomed back to the UAE as of July 7. Visitors must download the COVID-19 DXB app and conduct a PCR COVID-19 test no more than four days ahead of their departure.
Tunisia officially opens its borders on June 27, and like the UAE, travellers still have to do a PCR COVID-19 test in advance as well as undergo a seven-day quarantine at their hotel.
Saudi Arabia, which opened its borders to tourists for the first-time last year, maintains their suspension of all tourist visas. Umrah is still suspended, but the Kingdom just announced that Hajj will still be on, but they will be limiting pilgrims to include only those who already live in the country.
Hoping to visit Petra? That won’t be possible just yet, unless you’re already in Jordan. The nation resumed domestic flights on June 6. However, in a meeting yesterday, Jordan’s King Abdullah stressed the importance of re-opening the nation’s tourism sector, saying that it is “among the countries best equipped to reopen”, so the likelihood of their borders reopening is likely to happen soon.
Whether you’re travelling within the region or abroad (the EU has kept its borders open and are asking visitors to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival), it’s important to keep yourself and others safe, here are five tips on how to travel this summer during the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the World Health Organization, a 14-day quarantine is still recommended.
Social distancing practices are a must. Here’s a guide on how to social distance, according to the CDC.
Always wear a mask when outdoors. Here’s how to properly wear one.
Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces, especially while travelling through airports.
Remain alert for coronavirus symptoms. Monitor your temperature, watch for coughing, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, or new loss of taste or smell.