a beach with rocks and water

Travelers can circle mid May on their calendars as the time it all began to change, for the better. In this week, Italy opened over 4,000 miles of pristine coastline, with glorious sun drenched beaches along with it. Greece, reacting to a heat wave and in need of its own cool down did the same, with France opening “green zones” for public bathing as well.

All along the riviera’s of Europe, beaches are beginning to open, and by mid June, many borders along with them.

Croatia’s public health officials are aiming to limit beaches to 15 people per 100 meters of beach. In Greece, plexi-glass panels will keep buffers in force in key tourism destinations like Santorini. But with temperatures on the rise and a desire for huge populations dependent on visitors to survive, those “beach closed” signs are being folded away in favor of “social distancing” reminders.

In the Netherlands, beach clubs are said to have bucked government advice to remain closed and open anyway, stating that any fines for doing so would be irrelevant. They’d be out of business soon without opening, at which point a fine would be a mute point.

a colorful buildings on a hillside by a body of water with Cinque Terre in the backgroundFrench locals in Nice and other “green zone” areas of the country where the worst outbreaks have been avoided are also adjusting to new rules. Currently, you can only swim, fish or surf,  and cannot linger for gatherings and or prolonged sunbathing on the beach. In France, fishing poles may become the ultimate summer beach fashion accessory, in the interim.

Even England, with hundreds of highly underappreciated beaches has opened things up. People are allowed “unlimited” daily exercise and movement within the country, which saw thousands flocking to the seaside in the midst of a stunning spell of weather for the United Kingdom. Speaking of underappreciated beaches, Sweden is also allowing residents to enjoy its magnificent coast.

a close up of a passportSo, can you go?

Europe plans to keep its external border closed to outsiders through June 15th, but already “corridors” between countries are emerging where travel is accepted. Italy will allow visitors from Europe starting in the first week of June, from the 3rd onward with Germany and Austria following suit. Italy will initially allow visitors traveling from within Europe who haven’t visited a country outside the UK, or any areas of Europe within 14 days of travel to Italy, regardless of nationality.

Greece plans to open up even more broadly from July 1st, including to travelers from outside of Europe. Iceland is actually going as far as to state Americans can visit come June 15th, should things go to plan.

Travel will of course be different anywhere you go, with regular health screenings and pass or fail results for the virus which could be the difference in boarding a plane, or not. For those who’ve had all the cabin fever they can take though, it’s a great sign of good things to come, if the world continues to squash the dreadful effects of this unprecedented crisis.


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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