While countries such as Switzerland, Greece and even Canada have been easing pandemic-related entry requirements and restrictions, sometimes altogether, there are a few historically popular destinations that are still closed or virtually closed to international travelers.
According to CNN, many of these countries are in the Asia-Pacific region, causing an uneven economic recovery, with countries like Thailand and South Korea, both of which are open to vaccinated travelers, recovering quicker due to their reopening and leaving others, like Japan and China, without virtually any tourists at all.
Japan is still closed to nonessential travelers; though on April 1, the government lowered the travel advisory notice for Japanese travelers heading to countries like the U.S., no longer advising against international travel to over 100 countries. The move is seen as a step in the right direction, though Japan’s reopening to international travelers could still be a ways away.
China is another country that is currently not permitting international travelers from entering for nonessential purposes. Neither can China’s people travel internationally right now, due to the country’s restrictive COVID-19 policies.
Hong Kong will begin allowing travelers beginning May 1, though travelers will be subjected to quarantine measures.
Macao and Taiwan are allowing certain types of visitors from certain places or for essential purposes only, but both are still closed to major international leisure travel. Bhutan is currently allowing travelers both vaccinated and unvaccinated to enter, though unvaccinated travelers are required to quarantine for ten days upon arrival. Vaccinated travelers are required to quarantine for five days upon entry.
While many destinations in the Pacific have reopened to cruise tourism and other types of international leisure travel, some, like Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia remain closed.
Some of these destinations are planning to reopen this year, like Vanuatu, which has announced a reopening on July 1, 2022. Travelers to the country will have to undergo pre- and post-departure testing, as well as fill out a health clearance form prior to departure to enter and practice physical distancing and mask-wearing when in public.
These destinations, some of which are members of the United Nations’ Small Island Developing States (including Vanuatu), rely upon tourism activities as a main economic driver and are some of the first destinations in the world to feel the effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels or loss of marine life due to warming waters.
For the latest insights on travel around the world, check out the guide below: