Beaches and Sun | 8 minutes

How Europe’s Top Sun Destinations are Preparing to Welcome Visitors

As lockdown restrictions all across Europe begin to lift, many of us are yearning to see something new besides our own communities and take a break from the stress of the past few months.

If you feel ready for a much needed holiday, read on to discover how Europe’s most popular sun destinations are preparing to safely reopen for tourism this summer! Or jump to your favourite sun destination:

Summary of the European sun destinations:

The Canary Islands

When will The Canary Islands be open?

The Canary Islands have had relatively few COVID-19 cases comparatively, and are in a great position to begin reopening to tourism, with a few creative safety measures, of course. Lockdown restrictions have been easing in all of Spain for the past few weeks. The official reopening date to leisure travel in the Canaries is 1 July 2020.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in The Canary Islands? 

There will be no mandatory 14-day quarantine period in place for anyone visiting Spain after the reopening on the first of July 2020. 

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in The Canary Islands? 

The Canary Islands are some of the most popular sun destinations in the world, so they’re taking extra precautions to ensure that tourists can safely visit. There will be regular temperature checks at the airport, and the use of face masks in public spaces where social distancing is not possible will be compulsory. 

Pre-travel testing for COVID-19 will be highly encouraged, and anyone who cannot arrange a test prior to their holiday will be tested on arrival in the Canaries. Any tourist tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to a safe hotel or hospital to isolate at no additional cost. Others in their travel party and any other close contacts will also be tested and all can isolate together if needed. 

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in The Canary Islands?

While hotels have been allowed to reopen since May and hope to attain 50% capacity this summer, many have lingering doubts about attractions in the Canaries. After all, without the exciting things to do and try, why take a holiday this summer? 

Well, as of June 8th, all of Spain has entered Phase Three of their return from lockdown plan, which means restaurants and bars can open with 75% capacity on terraces and serve drinks and food inside with 50% capacity. Bar service is even permitted as long as social distancing of 1.5m is upheld. Other safety measures which may be employed in certain attractions include sanitising stations, screens, one-way walking paths, and temperature checks. 

The stunning golden-sand beaches the Canaries are famous for have been open since Phase Two in May, and will maintain a 2 metres of physical distance rule when tourists return.

The Algarve 

When will The Algarve be open?

The Algarve region of Portugal has opened its beaches to tourists since 6 June 2020. Flights to Faro have already resumed from Ireland, with more expected to pick up in July.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in The Algarve? 

There are currently no quarantine requirements upon entry to mainland Portugal.

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in The Algarve? 

With over 100 sandy beaches to choose from, there will likely be no issue physical distancing in the Algarve. Tourists will be required to maintain 1.5 metres of distance between them and 3 metres between parasols on the beach.

The use of face masks in public is mandatory, and many attractions have introduced additional safety measures like one-way walking paths, limited seat capacity in theatres and cinemas, and easily-accessible sanitising stations.

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in The Algarve?

Museums, cultural sites, and leisure spaces have all reopened in the Algarve, with circulation measures and social distancing guidelines. Even cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, and showrooms have opened with ⅔ capacity regulations. Portugal is adopting a “Clean & Safe” seal implemented by the Turismo de Portugal to identify establishments that meet all hygiene and safety measures. This seal will ensure that tourists can enjoy all sorts of attractions with peace of mind, knowing that they have been thoroughly cleaned and outfitted for social distancing. 

Costa del Sol & Salou

When will Costa del Sol and Salou be open?

As with the rest of Spain, the Costa del Sol and Salou will officially reopen to tourism on 1 July 2020. Costa del Sol and Salou have officially entered into Phase Three of the government’s four-phase return from lockdown plan.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in Costa del Sol and Salou? 

There will be no mandatory 14-day quarantine period in place for anyone visiting Spain after the reopening on the first of July 2020.

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in Costa del Sol and Salou? 

As Spain continues to adjust to this new normal, several safety precautions are in place to ensure that tourists can have safe holidays. Face masks will be required to be worn in public places, especially where social distancing can’t be maintained, as with all forms of public transportation. The government recommends people not from the same household keep 1.5 metres of distance between them at all times. Hotels, restaurants, and other leisure venues are to be regularly cleaned and crowds kept to a minimum in common areas.  

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in Costa del Sol and Salou?

Now that the Costa del Sol and Salou have entered Phase Three of Spain’s emergence from lockdown, many leisure sites are permitted to reopen with social distancing safety precautions in place.

Restaurants may serve customers at somewhat limited capacity and Spain’s beautiful beaches are open as long as physical distancing is maintained. Cinemas and cultural centres in the area may open as well, at a limited capacity to enable social distancing. Overall, there may be some changes from your typical Spanish holiday, but with these guidelines in place, you’ll be able to get quite a lot out of the experience. 

The Balearic Islands

When will the Balearic Islands be open?

As is the case with the rest of Spain, the Balearic Islands, including Majorca, Menorca, and Ibiza, will officially reopen to tourism on 1 July 2020. The Balearic Islands have officially entered into Phase Three of the government’s four phase return from lockdown plan.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in the Balearic Islands? 

There will be no mandatory 14-day quarantine period in place for anyone visiting Spain after the reopening on the first of July 2020. As long as tourists pass a temperature check at the airport and don’t display COVID-19 symptoms, they will not have to isolate or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in the Balearic Islands? 

The Balearic Islands are actually the first of Spain’s many tourist destinations to be reopening this summer. They are undergoing a “trial period” prior to the country’s official reopening in July where about 6,000 German tourists will visit, just to test out new airport, hotel, and leisure centre safety measures and healthcare efficiency. Therefore, Menorca, Majorca, and Ibiza will be some of the safest Spanish destinations to visit once the country officially reopens on the first of July.

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in the Balearic Islands?

Following the same protocol as other Spanish destinations, many attractions will be ready and open with limited capacity and social distancing and other hygiene measures in place. Many hotels and ports in the Balearic Islands closed quickly to combat the spread of COVID-19 and are now in a great position to reopen safely. Maintaining 1.5 metres of physical distance, frequent sanitising, one-way circulation walking paths, and other limitations will remain in place to ensure the safety of tourists. 

Malta

When will Malta be open?

Malta will officially reopen to tourism on 1 July 2020, and Ireland is on a list of 18 countries whose citizens will be permitted to visit.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in Malta? 

Tourists entering the country will not have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Malta. 

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in Malta? 

Malta has rolled out various new measures going forward to ensure that tourism is seamless and safe. A set of strict procedures especially for tourist establishments include “social distancing, enhanced hygienic practices and the minimisation of COVID-19 infection risks.” The Malta Tourism Authority and the Health Authorities have provided such establishments with checklists and in-depth guidance on these protocols, and they ensure the public that they will be regularly logged and certified.

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in Malta?

Attractions in Malta have been gradually reopening since the middle of May. When visiting Malta this summer, you can expect to see theatres and cinemas, restaurants and bars, hotels, shops and shopping malls, and museums and cultural sites (with limited hours) open. Of course, these establishments must comply with social distancing and other health & hygiene measures, but will be open to the public nonetheless!

Halkidiki & the Greek Islands

Aerial view of Lindos in Rhodes

When will Greece be open?

Greece will reopen to travel from EU countries on 1 July 2020.

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when I arrive in Greece? 

Tourists entering the country will not have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Greece. 

How will they ensure tourists’ safety in Greece? 

Though tourists visiting Greece won’t need a test or to quarantine for 14 days, they will have to observe certain safety measures at the airport and beyond. Tourists will be expected to wear a facemask at all times in the airport and in public places where social distancing cannot be maintained. They will also need to complete a health questionnaire before their trip. 

Similar to other European countries coming out of lockdown, social distancing of 1.5 metres and face mask use is to be maintained as much as possible.Throughout the spread of COVID-19 in Europe, Greece has been one of the lesser-hit countries with just over 3,100 confirmed cases as of June 2020. Therefore, mainland Greece and the Greek Islands are likely some of the safer places to visit this summer. 

Will attractions, museums, bars & restaurants be open in Greece?

Greece began opening beaches and other attractions in mid-May with strict guidelines on public health and safety. Beaches across the country have installed ticketed entry systems to track the number of people on the beach at any given time, which cannot exceed 40 people per 1,000 square feet. Physical distancing must be observed on beaches, with umbrellas being kept 13 feet apart. 

Restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels soon followed, opening in advance of the predicted June 1st date due to the overall positive outlook on coronavirus cases. Though large gatherings such as concerts and festivals may be cancelled, many of Greece’s main attractions and experiences will thankfully proceed.  

Returning to Ireland

Will I have to quarantine for 14 days when returning from my holiday?

Currently, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the HSE mandate that anyone returning from another country must self-isolate for 14 days and fill out a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. You can complete the form before you leave for your trip, and it will help Health Authorities contact you if necessary and contact trace should there be a confirmed case from your flight or travel party.

We do not yet know how long the mandatory 14-day quarantine when arriving back in Ireland will apply, but we will keep our customers and website up to date with any changes.

For more information about returning to travel, check out our Guide Travel Safety Measures!


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