What European countries are rolling out the red carpet to revive the EU’s crucial summer tourist season?
Even if you have been vaccinated, visitors to the U.K., for example, must get a COVID test before flying. Upon arrival, they will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine.
The WSJ reports, however, ”The U.K. updates its color-coded lists every three weeks with the next adjustment expected June 7.”
Countries Halting Barriers to Entry
- Italy, Greece, Croatia and Iceland are among countries that have dismantled barriers to entry.
- France and others have indicated they will open in coming weeks. (According to Travel and Leisure, visitors to France can present either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.)
- The European Union is expected to give its own green light soon to American tourists, and then it will be up to the 27 member states whether to add restrictions.
The WSJ also warns would-be travelers to be ready to act fast on travel arrangements: “Ticket prices and demand tend to shoot up at the slightest policy change.”
What Americans Will Need
- Vaccination certificate
- Recent negative COVID test
- Proof of recovery from COVID in the past six months
On June 9, France plans to welcome visitors from the U.S. again after more than a year.
Some of Paris’s most beloved attractions are outside, from the Champs-Élysées to the Luxembourg Gardens, the Place des Vosges and Place Vendôme. Visitors can gaze at the Eiffel Tower from below but must wait until July 16 to enjoy its spectacular views by taking the elevator or climbing up.
The Palace of Versailles, a short excursion from the City of Light, reopened in May to visitors with timed reservations. Further afield, the Avignon Festival, from July 5-25 in Provence, offers weeks of visual and performing arts in cloisters, courtyards, gardens and other places around the medieval walled city.
Most reopened museums require reservations. One housing the collection of François Pinault just opened in the city’s former commodities exchange.
The Louvre is displaying masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Caravaggio’s “The Fortune Teller,” as well as the exhibition “Italian Renaissance sculpture from Donatello to Michelangelo,” which runs until June 21. For those seeking French Impressionism, the Orsay Museum has reopened.
Visitors who take “Covid-tested flights” from the U.S. to Italy—offered by carriers including Delta, Alitalia and American—can avoid the obligatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival.
Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre
For outdoor activities, the Amalfi coast and the Cinque Terre—a collection of fishing villages on the Italian Riviera linked by paths—are already filling up with walkers.
The Uffizi in Florence and Rome’s Galleria Borghese are among the many museums that don’t normally require reservations, but will this year.
Pitti Palace has set up a special exhibition to display Raphael’s “Portrait of Leo X with Cardinals Luigi de’ Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici,” following a two-year restoration and a period on loan in Rome. The portrait of the Medici pope will remain at the Pitti rather than return to its former home at the Uffizi. The exhibit is set to close in late June but might be extended.
Venice is hosting dozens of cultural, musical and religious events to celebrate its 1,600th birthday. Legend has it that in 421, the first stone of the Saint James church was laid near the base of what is now the Rialto bridge. The anniversary is a chance to see churches and art not usually on display to tourists. Also, the city’s Architecture Biennale, where countries build an exhibition around a theme, runs through November.
Not everything is back. The July 3 running of the Palio, where jockeys ride bareback three times around Siena’s Piazza del Campo, has been canceled due to coronavirus restrictions. Local officials haven’t decided yet on the August 16 Palio.
The United Kingdom
The country is inching toward normalcy. That means it’s finally possible to have a pint at the pub again, both indoors and out. Shops and restaurants also are fully open. The Tower of London and many other historical sites have reopened in the capital and across the country.
Theaters in London are open and so are museums. On exhibit until Sept. 12 at Tate Britain is a show of works by 19th-century British landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. On July 7, Tate Britain opens a retrospective of Paula Rego, with more than 100 paintings, drawings, collages and other works by the 86-year-old Portuguese artist who studied in London.
The Glastonbury Festival, the U.K.’s most famous summer shindig, isn’t happening, but there are plenty of alternatives. The Reading and Leeds Festival is on for Aug. 27-29 with acts including former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher and English rapper Stormzy. The BBC Proms classical musical festival opens July 30 at London’s Royal Albert Hall and runs to Sept. 11. Glyndebourne, the summer opera festival in Sussex, runs through August and includes Mozart’s “Così fan tutte” and Verdi’s “Luisa Miller.” The Edinburgh International Festival, with theater, opera and music performances, is scheduled for Aug. 7-29 at outdoor venues throughout the Scottish city.
Soccer fans can gather on July 11 when the final of the European Championship will be played in London’s Wembley Stadium.
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