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Is it safe to travel right now?

With borders still restricted indefinitely and COVID-19 still very much at large, you may be wondering if it’s safe to travel at all. 

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to venture abroad, and unfortunately, for the time being, it’s still advised to stay put in Singapore to avoid unnecessary risk of infection of the coronavirus. 

As it stands, the Singapore travel advisory which was issued on 18 March 2020 to defer all travel abroad remains unchanged. 

While certain exceptions are being made for international travel, such as those with an ill relative who needs caring for or other essential travel, all non-essential international travel has not been given the green light just yet. 

Should you have a pressing matter which allows you to travel internationally or you’re planning a trip for once the pandemic is over, it’s always advised to buy travel insurance to stay covered during your trip.

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While most travel insurance providers may not be providing coverage for COVID-19 during the pandemic, it’s still wise to stay covered for other situations such as theft, medical emergencies and luggage loss. 

Which countries are opening their borders? 

While for now, non-essential travel remains something to look forward to in the future, if you’re planning ahead for a trip a little way down the line, you’ll be glad to know that countries around the world are starting to open up their borders. 

Here’s a list of countries who are beginning to welcome tourists.

Croatia

With its beautiful coastlines, crystal blue seas, and ancient walled towns, Croatia has long been an idyllic Mediterranean getaway for travellers. 

The country officially opened its borders on May 9. However, visitors are required to provide an accommodation booking, fill out this form and, if travelling from outside Europe, bring a negative test result from within 48 hours of arrival (or self-quarantine for 14 days).

Cambodia

With one of the largest temple complexes in the world at 162.6 hectares, Angkor Wat in Cambodia has remained a favourite site among travellers of Asia. 

The country officially opened its borders in late May without restrictions for countries of origin. 

However, as of June 11, all travellers will have to pay a $3,000 deposit that covers a mandatory COVID-19 test ($165, to be deducted from the total) and any other treatment costs incurred while on holiday. You will also be subject to testing on arrival and have to self-quarantine for 14 days even if you test negative. 

Zanzibar

The Tanzanian island of Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean is a gem for travellers with sand bars for wading, World Heritage Site Stone Town and breathtaking beaches overlooking turquoise waters. 

The island officially opened its borders on June 6 to all travellers. 

Travellers are screened on arrival, must hold a valid health insurance policy, and those who display symptoms will be transferred to an isolation centre.

Grenada

Grenada, a Caribbean island, is known as Spice Island to many, as it accounts for about 20% of the world’s nutmeg production. 

The island’s borders have now opened for international travel but will require visitors to fill a health declaration form and register on Grenada’s contact tracing app which can be found here.

Anyone arriving from high risk countries will be required to quarantine for up to 14 days in an approved facility, regardless of test results.

St Lucia 

This sovereign island country on the Caribbean Sea is a lush and tropical destination sharing a boundary with the Atlantic Ocean.

Saint Lucia has been gradually opening their borders since June 4, 2020. You’ll need to be tested for COVID-19 up to 48 hours before your flight. You can find out more about their COVID-19 travel restrictions from their COVID-19 statement.

You must present a negative test result from within seven days of arrival. Authorities will also be conducting temperature checks on arrival.

Note that this is not an extensive list of countries that have opened up its borders. For more information, click here to find out more.

Safety first

While more borders are slowly beginning to open, it’s important to remember that the current Singapore travel advisory remains to avoid all non-essential travel. And even as travel restrictions start to loosen, it’s best to remain vigilant and take precautions like wearing a face mask when travelling. 

As for those of you who want to consider a holiday a little closer to home, you might want to consider these long weekend ideas and staycations in Singapore for 2020.

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