(CNN) – How is it almost July? With more than half of the year 2021 in the rearview mirror, there is good news as more and more travel destinations are either opening their borders or relaxing their regulations.
In the US and the Caribbean
Good news Americans planning to travel domestically – more and more local restrictions are disappearing and new attractions are opening up. The first to open on June 24th was the Resorts World complex in Las Vegas.
The mega-complex houses a food hall, more than 40 bars and restaurants, a special poker room (that’s Vegas, after all) and three hotels – the Las Vegas Hilton, the Conrad Las Vegas and the Crockfords Las Vegas. There are also plenty of air conditioning units that anyone who has visited Nevada in July will no doubt appreciate it.
Meanwhile, the islands of Hawaii are gradually reducing their restrictions as vaccination rates reach 60% in the state of Aloha. State governor David Ige announced that vaccinated travelers from the U.S. mainland will be allowed to bypass pre-travel quarantine and testing requirements starting July 8.
On the same day, more new rules come into force. Indoor gathering sizes can range from 10 to 25 people, and restaurants can be up to 75% capacity.
Travelers who prefer to spend their beach vacation outside of the United States will be delighted to hear that the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe – Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Les Saintes, Marie Galante, and La Desirade – are now welcoming Americans.
Visitors must provide papers confirming that either a) the date of full vaccination is at least two weeks past, or b) they have a negative Covid antigen test within 72 hours of their arrival.
Unvaccinated travelers can also visit the islands, but must isolate themselves for seven days.
Zurrieq, on the southern tip of Malta, is now accessible to many British and American travelers.
Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters
It feels like the whole of Europe is opening up in the summer – at least if you’re from the US.
Austria comes first. The beautiful cities of Vienna, Graz and Salzburg will be open to American travelers from June 24th. To enter, tourists need one of three things: a certificate of vaccination, a certificate of recovery from Covid or a negative coronavirus test result. The documentation must be in English or German. The list of accepted vaccines are Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson / Janssen, Oxford / AstraZeneca, Sinopharm or Sinovac.
Good news if you want to extend your trip, because neighboring Switzerland has also confirmed that its borders will open to American visitors from June 26th. The rules: You must either be a) fully vaccinated within the last 12 months, b) recovered from Covid-19 within the last 6 months or c) with proof of a negative PCR test. These guidelines do not apply to travelers under the age of 16 unless they are accompanied by an adult.
Further south, the islands of Malta have also opened their borders to Americans – but not everyone American. Visitors must be from one of 40 states and territories to travel.
At this point, it might be easier to list the excluded states – Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. Everyone else – including people from Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia – can enjoy Valletta’s UNESCO-listed buildings and Gozo’s beautiful waters.
June 24th was clearly a milestone in Europe. Another border that opened for American travelers that day was the Netherlands, which did not impose any restrictions on the types of visitors who can come – such as no negative Covid test or other papers issued before booking yours Flight must be clarified. It is something like a trip back in time at this point.
Paris is a place where even the otherwise boring mall – like La Samaritaine pictured here – can be a work of art.
By StÃ©phane Aboudram / We are content
Celebrate the beautiful Farne Islands up in the UK, welcoming visitors after about a year and a half of closure. The islands off the Northumberland coast closed earlier than many tourist destinations and have not welcomed travelers since 2019. You can now book a boat tour that will allow you to get up close and personal with the islands’ adorable puffin colonies.
While we covered the reopening of France in a previous edition of this pandemic travel roundup, there are two new attractions worth adding to your list.
Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf, an Art Deco landmark on Rive Droite, finally reopened its glamorous department store to the public on June 22nd. The building, a listed building, was sadly neglected before the luxury company LVMH took over the financing of the repair. No less a figure than French President Emmanuel Macron was there to celebrate the reopening.
And on the other end of the Paris spectrum, Disneyland Paris debuted at the Hotel New York: The Art of Marvel on June 21, four days after the park reopened to guests. Fans of Black Widow, Captain America, Spider-Man and the others won’t want to miss the many selfie opportunities throughout the property.
In the Middle East and Africa
Dubai International Airport (DXB) has its own Covid test processing laboratory.
KARIM SAHIB / AFP via Getty Images
Further progress can be seen in the Middle East and Africa.
Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest hubs in the world, reopened Terminal 1 on June 25th. While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, it is a sign that international flights are returning – and of course bringing travelers with them.
“Dubai’s aviation sector has spearheaded a global campaign to restore key international air services with the opening of quarantine-free travel corridors between the United Arab Emirates and several countries around the world,” said Dubai Airports chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum in a press release.
In other words? This major international hub is poised to take more people to vacation destinations such as Italy, the Maldives and the Seychelles.
Nearby Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirates, also encourages travelers to visit. Big incentive? The city is offering free Covid-19 vaccines to any traveler who wants one. Previously, these vaccines were only available to citizens or resident visa holders, but the potential for “exit” could bring even more avid tourists – and their wallets – into the country.
The picturesque country of Mauritius in East Africa has embarked on the first phase of its multi-part reopening plan. From July 15 to September 30, vaccinated visitors can participate in a system similar to the âBubble Resortâ program in Sri Lanka, where they can stay for 14 days in an accommodation of their choice and then travel freely around the island after the semi-quarantine is complete .
And now something completely different
Now that the world is opening up again, what will you be doing on your long-awaited vacation? Many beach resorts are jumping on the “floating breakfast” trend, where you can enjoy breakfast in bed, only your “bed” is actually a private plunge pool and your breakfast … well, still breakfast.
It looks just as good on Instagram as it tastes in real life.
CNN’s Keith Allen, Josh Campbell, Karla Cripps and Zeena Saifii contributed to the coverage.