Some European destinations say they will be ready to welcome tourists this summer once travel restrictions are lifted.
Iceland, which has detected three Covid-19 cases in May, has indicated that the country will lift the 14-day quarantine rule on arrivals at Keflavík International Airport from June 15.
In a press conference on Tuesday, prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said tourists will be screened at the airport and asked to download a tracing app, and will then be allowed on their way.
Minister for tourism Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir added: “Iceland’s strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us.”
In Portugal, Algarve Tourism said it is ‘open for tourists this summer’ once travel restrictions are lifted.
President João Fernandes said: “The country was quick to adopt preventive measures and extensive testing at an early stage to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, and as a result we have had much fewer cases than other European countries. Furthermore, the Algarve is one of the least affected regions in Portugal, and so we are now in a position to carefully plan a gradual reopening of its economic and social activity”.
Some golf courses, marinas and car hire businesses are already open with strict health protocols, he said, as are more than a third of the region’s hotels. Fernandes predicted 75% of properties will be open by June and “most” will be open by July.
Beaches will open in June, with health regulations and procedures in place, restaurants will open on May 18 with 50% capacity restrictions and water parks will open in June and July, the tourist board added.
Faro International Airport will give visitors temperature checks on arrival, have hand sanitiser at all points of the terminals, insist on the use of face masks and impose social distancing measures with plastic screens used at service counters and use “hospital-level disinfectants”.
Drivers will be isolated from passengers on public transport and face masks are mandatory for everyone.
Fernandes added: “The priority now is to reassure visitors, workers and residents that their safety is our first concern. In this sense, the Algarve is very well prepared.”
The Algarve has recorded 340 Covid-19 cases since January.
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