UPDATED: These are the 45 countries Americans can visit
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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
Editor’s note 9/13/20: This post has been updated with the latest information and will be updated often.
The State Department on August 6 lifted a level 4 “do not travel” advisory recommending against any international travel for Americans. In a news conference, the State Department said because some countries had managed to get control of the spread of coronavirus and with some international flights now flying it no longer made sense to have a blanket anti-travel advisory. Still, the government is urging caution, and the truth is most countries still don’t want to see Americans as the United States at one point had the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the world.
The United States has had more than 194,000 deaths, and has been one of the hardest-hit countries on the planet.
Indeed, the welcome mat has been rolled up.
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But there is some good news. Americans now have some options. So what’s open? Here’s the list:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica (some states)
- The Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Polynesia
- Grenada (sort of)
- Ireland (sort of)
- The Maldives
- Moldova (?)
- North Macedonia
- Puerto Rico
- St. Barths
- St. Lucia
- Saint Maarten
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Slovenia (maybe)
- South Korea (sort of)
- Turks and Caicos
- United Arab Emirates (Dubai only)
- United Kingdom (sort of)
The U.S. Virgin Islands
We included two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and the USVI) on our list of destinations — in part, because there are so few places that are open to Americans. One of those (USVI) has now canceled its reopening.
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Unfortunately, most of Asia, most of Europe and most of Oceania remain off limits. There are a few other countries where you can enter once you’ve quarantined in a third country that is accepting Americans. They are Jordan and Malta. You would need to go to Turkey first, spend two weeks, and then you’d be able to enter Jordan or Malta.
Be sure to read restrictions carefully before planning a trip.
What places are open for Americans?
Albania has reported more than 9,700 cases of Covid-19 and 296 deaths. On June 15, commercial flights returned to Albania, and the government lifted all restrictions on tourism on July 1.
There are no testing requirements for visitors, but temperature checks on arriving passengers at the airport are mandatory. If a passenger has COVID-19 symptoms and/or a fever they may be required to undergo a mandatory government quarantine.
Related: 5 reasons to visit Albania in 2020
Antigua and Barbuda
The country reopened to tourists on June 4. However, travelers will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public. All snorkel and dive excursions and other activities must be booked via visitors’ resorts. Travelers cannot explore the islands freely.
The country reports it currently has zero active cases of COVID-19.
The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly canceled an early June trip to Antigua after learning that he would have to stay on the resort “unable to do things I would really want to do.” Eventually, he was able to make the trip.
American Airlines resumed service to the Caribbean with flights to Antigua the last week of May, but it will be some time before things get back to normal.
- Face masks must be worn at all ports of entry and in public spaces from the moment of disembarkation from the plane. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
- Health screenings and temperature checks will be conducted at each point of entry. Officials will also collect a self-reported traveler accommodation form from each passenger.
- Arriving passengers may undergo nasal swabbing for rapid antigen tests.
- Hand washing and sanitization stations will be available in many public spaces.
- Customs and ground transportation will handle traveler luggage as little as possible.
- All people must abide by social distancing guidelines of six feet or more.
You will not need to present a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, but having one can help you bypass some of the screening protocols on the ground.
Every incoming traveler will be tested for COVID-19. The test will take 15 minutes to complete, and results will be released within 48 hours, according to Antigua’s travel advisory website. Travelers will have to pay for the test, which costs $100 per person.
However, recent legal actions by tourists may change protocols for future incoming tourists.
Aruba is in the middle of phased reopening, with American visitors welcomed back on July 10. Visitors from Europe were allowed in Aruba as of July 1.
Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes told the media, “As we prepare to reopen our borders, Aruba has put in place advanced public health procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on the island. We have taken careful and deliberate steps to assess the current situation and make certain it is as safe as possible and appropriate to begin the reopening process.”
Related: Aruba reopening in July
Arrivals will face new screening measures including the possibility of COVID-19 tests on arrival along with temperature checks and medical professionals available.
Americans from 20 states considered high-risk will need to upload proof of a negative test within 72 hours of flying to Aruba or they won’t be allowed to board. Those from less risky states will also need to upload a test or have one taken at Oranjestad’s airport. Those who take a test on arrival will need to quarantine at their hotel for up to 24 hours while awaiting the results. The tests are paid for by the tourist.
All guests must also purchase visitors’ insurance from the nation of Aruba to cover up to $75,000 in health insurance. For a week it will cost you about $100.
The country has also placed temporary capacity limits on some tourist spots, especially in popular destinations. Casinos will also reopen with new safety measures in place.
Aruba closed its borders to tourists back on March 29, although airline crew members were exempt from the restrictions.
The country has had 2,200 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12 deaths.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis announced on August 3 that the country would go on lockdown as ICU beds were at capacity and deaths from the coronavirus were on the rise. Healthcare workers in the Bahamas have also warned about overcrowded facilities.
“There has been an exponential increase in the number of cases, an increase in hospitalizations, an increase in the demand for ICU beds, and sadly, an increase in the number of deaths,” Minnis said.
The Bahamas in mid-July banned U.S. travelers from entering its borders by plane or vessel (expect those traveling by private jet) as cases in Texas, California and Florida spiked. That ban was later amended to allow Americans to visit but required them to quarantine for 14 days at a government facility.
Related: Bahamas reopening
The lockdown remains in effect for much of two major cities, and all arriving visitors must quarantine for two weeks.
On September 1, the government put in a new requirement that all incoming visitors to the Bahamas will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival. You’ll also need a “Bahamas Health Visa” required prior to arrival and will need to upload negative test results into that online form.
Good news: Barbados reopened to international travelers beginning on July 12. U.S. commercial flights resumed July 25 for JetBlue and August 5 for American Airlines.
They have instituted mandatory protocols that all inbound travelers have to follow:
- COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to departure for travelers from high-risk countries (one week for low-risk countries)
- Online embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms
- Test upon arrival without a documented negative COVID-19 PCR test result and mandatory quarantine at traveler’s expense until results are returned
- Social distancing, temperature checks and wearing face masks
The local government clarifies that high-risk countries are defined as those that have seen more than 10,000 new cases in the prior seven days and community transmission, which would include the United States. In addition, anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus will be placed in isolation where they will “receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.”
More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the government website.
Belarus is in the middle of a popular uprising against the man called the “last dictator in Europe,” so it may not be the best time to visit, but the country bordering Russia may be open to tourism. Several TPG readers have said Belarus is open to American tourists, and we have seen a few reports that suggest Americans are on a list of 70 countries that were allowed to enter as of August 15.
If you can find a flight, you’ll need to get a visa and a COVID-19 test within 48 hours is “recommended.” You’ll also need to fill out a health questionnaire and submit to temperature/health checks on arrival.
Belarus has had more than 72,000 cases of coronavirus and nearly 700 deaths.
Philip Goldson International Airport (BEZ) reopened on August 15, but the return of tourism has been delayed until October 1.
Visitors and returning citizens will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding their flight or will be tested on arrival.
In a statement, the tourism board said, “As the country reopens for travel, Belize wants to assure travelers and residents that hotels and restaurants will be cleaner and safer than ever before.”
Note that all visitors will have to stay at one of the country’s full-service hotels or resorts that have received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition. Among the requirements for this designation? The hotels must have private transportation to and from the airport, a restaurant on-property, and strict cleanliness protocols.
Belize tourism laid out the following guidelines and requirements for tourists.
- Obtain a certified negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure
- Book approved housing
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
- Download and verify information on Belize Health App
On the plane
- Wear a face mask while on the plane
- Practice social distancing to the extent possible
- Continue to wear face masks and practice physical distancing
- Get a health screening
- Check in daily on health app
Once at the airport, you’ll need to be medically screened as well as go through customs. If a passenger is showing symptoms they may be placed in quarantine.
Still no word on when cruise ships will be allowed to return.
Bermuda is the latest country to reopen post-coronavirus and roll out the red carpet to Americans. In fact, tourists from many nations are able to vacation in Bermuda again since July 1.
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The island resumed international commercial air service for visitors as part of its fourth phase of economic reopening after what it calls its “successful management of COVID-19 to date.” L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA) reopened July 1 as well.
Related: Bermuda opening to Americans July 1
In a news conference announcing the reopening, Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism & Transport Zane DeSilva said, “As we work to finalize the protocols and requirements for travel to Bermuda, rest assured, we will always place the safety of our island and its people above all else.”
Here’s the requirements posted by the government of Bermuda:
Pre-departure — A traveler must:
- Within 48 hours of departure, complete the Bermuda travel authorization process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveler is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. NOTE: Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30. Travel authorization FAQ
- Ideally within 72 hours, but no more than seven days before departure, visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are 9-years-old and younger are exempt and are subject to their adult travel companion’s quarantine. Children 10-17 must receive parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young traveller must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Test results must be entered as part of the online travel authorization process and be presented upon arrival in Bermuda. As of July 11, 2020, such visitors without a pre-departure test will not be able to obtain Travel Authorization and enter Bermuda.
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
Additionally, a traveller should:
- Acquire health insurance covering illness and injury outside of your home jurisdiction, including those related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis while in Bermuda. If this is not obtained, a visitor will be responsible for all health and accommodation costs should they require treatment and/or quarantine, including costs related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in Bermuda
- Pack a thermometer
Related: Visiting Bermuda with kids
More information on coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here.
More reading: New resort and hotel options in Bermuda
Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America with 3.3 million cases and more than 108,000 confirmed deaths as of August 16. Despite that, a travel ban on foreigners was totally lifted at the end of July. Tourists are welcome as long as they have health insurance.
Several carriers like United, Azul and LATAM are keeping their flights between the U.S. and Brazil open.
The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.
It wasn’t until May 5 that São Luís, the capital of Maranhão state, become the first major city in the country to implement a partial lockdown. More cities have passed lockdown measures since then, but many are now are re-opening. Some cities have progressed through their phases and are now opening larger centers such as malls, though masks are required.
The U.S. has announced a ban on travel by foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days. This adds to bans already in place for the United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland, Iran, and China.
Bosnia and herzegovina
The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina has reopened to international visitors as of September 13.
You will need a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of arrival to enter.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has had more than 22,000 cases of coronavirus.
Americans are again being welcomed to Costa Rica, but you must live in one of 12 select regions.
Citizens of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. can now enter Costa Rica, while travelers from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Colorado will be allowed in beginning Sept. 15. Visitors need to provide a driver’s license or equivalent government-issued ID in order to verify that they live in one of the approved states.
Travelers are also required to test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of arrival, fill out an online health form and purchase traveler’s medical insurance. You can purchase an insurance plan through approved Costa Rica providers, or you can choose an international provider so long as you can provide a certificate stating your policy meets these qualifications:
- Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.
- Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the pandemic COVID-19 disease while in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000.
- Includes minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for lodging expenses issues due to the pandemic.
Note that any emergency medical or dental coverage provided by credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve will not meet this requirement.
Costa Rica has had more than 43,000 cases of coronavirus and 453 deaths.
Croatia has reopened for tourists from all countries.
As of July 13, Croatia amended its COVID-19 policies due to a slight spike in recent cases. Incoming travelers must now produce a negative COVID PCR test taken less than 48 hours before departure, or else observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. Additional updates from the European Union will be announced soon.
Fair warning: The European Union has decided not to allow U.S. travelers into the E.U., but individual nations have decided to ignore that decision, and Croatia has done in regards to Americans. The Daily Beast is reporting, “… upon checking with the Croatian government directly, we can confirm that Americans can travel to Croatia for tourism this summer without quarantine.”
International tourism resumed in Egypt July 1. The Great Pyramids of Giza also reopened on July 1 after being closed since March, reported Reuters. The pyramids underwent a deep cleaning of all paths and touchpoints earlier this summer.
Related: Guide to world landmarks reopening
Hotels opened to domestic tourists in May under the strict condition that they could not operate at more than 25% capacity until the end of May; that increased to 50% capacity on June 1. Reuters also reported that hotels must implement new health measures, there must be a clinic with a resident doctor to regularly screen temperatures and disinfectant equipment must be installed, among other precautionary measures.
The health minister has indicated that Red Sea resorts, including in South Sinai, will be the first to open along with beaches west of Alexandria. It’s been estimated that Egypt has and will continue to lose 1 billion tourism dollars for each month that it’s closed.
According to the New York Times, Egyptian cafes are also reopened, but with only half capacity allowed. The pyramids at Giza are open, but temperature checks are required.
A reader told TPG a Cairo-based tour guide said he took his first American tourist (since March) to the pyramids in July. There are reports that international visitors do not have to have a negative COVID-19 test, but must fill out a health certification form and show proof of insurance.
Related: Dreaming of visiting Egypt
The Dominican Republic’s borders had been closed by land, sea and air since March, but the island country announced in early June that it would reopen July 1, although only approximately 30% of the hotels opened at that time. Social distancing guidelines will still be enforced, but not much else by way of specifics have been announced.
Punta Cana International Airport confirmed to Caribbean Journal it restarted commercial operations on July 1.
There will be temperature checks on arrival, but it doesn’t appear there are tests required.
Apparently in early July, hotel occupancy rates were only around 10%.
The United States Embassy in Santo Domingo issued a level 4 health warning not to travel to the Dominican Republic due to the impact of COVID-19. The office warned American citizens to reconsider coming to the country in consideration of the situation with the pandemic:
The DR has had more than 46,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 910 deaths.
Related: Dominican Republic reopening July 1
El Salvador has begun reopening.
On September 19, international flights will resume to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador for the first time since mid-March. The country has said arriving passengers will face temperature checks. There is no official word on when tourists will be welcomed back, but the speculation is that it will be sometime in September along with other Central American nations.
A recent ruling from the country’s highest court ordered the government’s restrictions were unconstitutional and all businesses are now allowed to reopen.
El Salvador has seen 26,000 cases with 739 deaths.
Related coverage: French Polynesia reopening
French Polynesia officially reopened on July 15. The island nation implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travelers back in March, but it was dropped under pressure from the tourism industry (among others), and the nation has since seen a surge in cases. It has had 622 cases and zero deaths.
If you plan on traveling to French Polynesia, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to departure but have an immunity certificate from a doctor, you can bypass testing.
Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance. Luckily, credit card travel insurance satisfies this requirement. Use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for your airfare and hotel, then provide a copy of the card’s Guide to Benefits as proof of coverage.
Travelers are also required to have a medical certificate, with the specifics to be communicated by the tourism board.
Four days after arrival, you may be subject to another COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health and Prevention will be conducting these tests on a random basis, so keep that in mind. In addition to that, guests may also get visits from medical staff, authorized by the Department of Health to supervise.
All travelers are advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. If you do exhibit symptoms during your stay, you must self-report and self-isolate in your room until further instruction from local emergency operators.
If you’re itching to travel to French Polynesia, there are lots of options for getting there. Be sure to check out our guide on the best way to get to Tahiti using points and miles. The following airlines have or will resume flights:
- Air France
- Air New Zealand
- Air Tahiti
- Air Tahiti Nui
- French Bee
- Hawaiian Airlines
Unfortunately, the Le Meridien Bora Bora decided to use the slower times during the coronavirus epidemic to do an 18-month remodel. We’ll be sure to review it when it reopens!
Related: My ill-fated trip to Tahiti
Like its Caribbean neighbors, Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on August 1 — with many health conditions attached. Unfortunately it’s not going to be easy for Americans to visit.
Travel is supposed to be extremely difficult for “high-risk” tourists from places like America where coronavirus is still rapidly spreading.
Only chartered flights are allowed from these countries.
Anyone traveling to Grenada from a high-risk country will find a 14-day mandatory quarantine period awaiting upon arrival. Additionally, tourists from “Red Zones” will have to undergo quarantining at an approved state facility for the same period — subject to the discretion of local officials.
Additionally, requirements of low and middle-risk countries still apply. A negative PCR test result, dated at most seven days prior to entry, is needed — and rapid testing upon arrival will still take place. Tourists may have to stay 2-4 days at a government-approved accommodation while awaiting PCR results and be able to resume quarantine elsewhere (as long as they are not from the “Red Zones”).
Honduras has reopened its international airports for tourists. In fact, Spirit Airlines has resumed service from Fort Lauderdale and Houston, and American Airlines is flying from Miami.
All tourists have to fill out a form from the government and have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight to Honduras.
Honduras is a hotspot for the virus. It’s had more than 62,000 cases and almost 2,000 deaths.
Ireland is open to Americans, but you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
All arrivals from outside Ireland including citizens and residents are required to isolate themselves for two full weeks. You’ll also need to fill out a “Passenger Locator Form” saying where you will be quarantining. There is a fine of up to $2,860 or six months in jail for refusing to fill out the form or falsifying records.
Related: Yes you can go to Ireland, but..
Meantime, Ireland is dealing with visitors who are violating the country’s 14-day self-quarantine rule. The New York Times wrote a whole article on this problem. Some TPG readers have also reported that Americans are going to Ireland, skipping quarantine and visiting other parts of Europe. Not only is that illegal, but it’s also unethical and endangers other humans. Don’t do that.
Jamaica officially reopened for tourism beginning June 15, but anyone who is hoping to plan a vacation here will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travelers have to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travelers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All incoming travelers should expect thermal temperature checks upon arrival, and anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill upon arrival will be quarantined. Even after all those procedures, travelers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in public. Travelers are also expected to follow any policies made by tourist and hospitality establishments, which are most likely derived from the government’s 119-page guide for local hospitality procedures.
Related: Jamaica reopening with lots of rules
As of Aug. 18, a new requirement was added: All U.S. travelers must bring along negative results of a COVID-19 test, dated within 10 days of the date of arrival.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still spreading in Jamaica, so keep that in mind. The country has reported 2,459 confirmed cases and 21 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Related: Visiting Jamaica with family
Americans can go to Kenya and move about freely with few restrictions.
The African nation said on July 7 it was beginning the first phase of reopening. International flights resumed on August 1, and the only requirement for entry is a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of arrival.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said back in July, “Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to lockdown.”
Kenya has had more than 34,000 cases in total and 581 deaths.
Kosovo has reopened its borders to Americans. Unfortunately, Kosovo is also one of the deadliest countries due to coronavirus.
No testing or quarantine is required for travelers arriving in Kosovo, however, some reports suggest American citizens have been denied entry if they are not citizens or residents of Kosovo, so tread carefully with this one.
Here’s the advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo:
“We urge you to postpone or cancel travel to Kosovo this summer. Kosovo remains under a Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19. The health situation is deteriorating, and public institutions are struggling to keep up with demand. It is possible that border restrictions could be re-imposed with little notice, and the frequent changes are causing confusion at airports and borders.”
That’s not exactly encouraging.
Kosovo is reported to have 13,791 cases of coronavirus with 539 deaths.
The Maldives has announced one of the most liberal opening policies in the world. As of July 1 all are welcome with no testing or quarantine required.
The Tourism Ministry is reporting there are no screenings or tests required. But all tourists must stay at one resort or hotel for their whole stay. There are no new visa requirements or COVID-19 related fees.
Emirates Airlines is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhbai to the Maldives starting July 16. Turkish Airlines started flights from July 17.
Related: Maldives reopening in July
TPG’s Zach Honig wrote about this risky reopening plan, and points out the country only has two hospitals and 97 ventilators, so if you were to get sick there, it would be dangerous.
The Maldives has had more than 2,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths.
Mexico is now mostly open to American travelers, with Cancun accepting international flights and visitors from the United States starting back in June, and Los Cabos and Baja following in July.
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun told The Points Guy it had plans to reopen July 4 and is offering guests up to 44% off. In a press release, Daniela Trava Albarran, General Manager at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun said:
“Our top priority remains to be providing a safe and enjoyable environment for both our guests and staff. The resort has become known for its high standard of friendliness and sincerity and we have worked hard to maintain this level of service while making the necessary modifications to enhance sanitization measures. We look forward to once again hosting guests as they create new memories along our private beach, open-air landscape and social distance adapted amenities.”
Cancun’s International airport (CUN) has reopened to domestic and international flights.
Related: Mexico opening beach destinations
In July, the international terminal at Los Cabos International (SJD) opened, and international visitors are permitted to enter. From August to September, Cabo is planning to “slowly recover” national and international arrivals, especially those postponed in March and April.
Still, tourists are warned that Mexico is one of the epicenters for coronavirus.
Mexico has had more than 611,000 confirmed cases, and 65,000 deaths from coronavirus.
Moldova declared a public healthcare emergency May 15, and it has been extended until September 15. It is, however, open to tourism from some countries though it remains unclear if that includes the United States. All international flights have resumed. Some TPG readers are reporting Americans are being allowed, but we were only able to confirm that Americans with dual-citizenship in Moldova are allowed.
Moldova has seen 36,700 cases and 992 deaths from COVID-19.
Montenegro is allowing Americans with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival. No quarantine is required.
The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro posted the following notice on its website:
“Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? YES, with a negative PCR test for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) not older than 72 hours or a positive coronavirus antibody test result (SARS-CoV-2) of the IgG class obtained by ELISA serologic test not older than 72 hours. This does not apply to children up to the age of 5. Travelers must not have stopped, nor transited through, countries that are not permitted to enter Montenegro within the previous 15 days.”
Montenegro has had just over 5,000 reported cases of coronavirus, and 104 deaths.
Namibia is reopening to tourism in September and lifting most restrictions.
International flights and tourists are now allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), but they must have a negative COVID-19 test on arrival taken within 72 hours of arrival, fill out a health questionnaire and stay in their hotel or other lodging for seven days before being allowed to move freely in the country.
President Hage Geingob said in a televised address, “The virus is likely to remain in our midst for a prolonged time and we must learn to live with it … learning to live with the virus means adapting our attitudes and behaviors so that we can reduce the damage it can do to our country.”
They’ve had more than 7,200 cases and 82 deaths.
North Macedonia is now open to all tourists. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) opened on July 1. All passengers will face temperature screening, but there are no quarantine or testing requirements.
North Macedonia has had 14,762 COVID-19 cases and 606 deaths.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., officially reopened to all international travelers on July 15, but don’t expect everything to be back to normal.
Upon arrival, travelers will be subject to health screenings, including COVID-19 testing. You could be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.
Hotels will limit capacity at pools to 50%. Fitness centers and spas, which are currently closed, will reopen and operate at 50% capacity sometime later this summer.
Public beaches and water activities are allowed with appropriate social distancing.
If you’re thinking of bypassing some of these restrictions by booking an Airbnb, keep in mind that many of the same rules will apply.
Restaurants are currently open with reduced capacity. As is now the norm in the age of COVID-19, buffets will not reopen and restaurant staff will serve meals wearing gloves and masks.
Shopping malls will be open but accessible via appointment only. No plans have been announced regarding casinos and playgrounds reopening.
San Juan International Airport (SJU) is open, and TPG found flights as low as $137 roundtrip on Spirit Airlines from Miami.
Puerto Rico has seen more than 34,000 cases.
Rwanda is one of the few countries in the world that is now open to American visitors again. Now might be the perfect time to plan that safari adventure you’ve always wanted to take if you are able to swing it. Rwanda has done a good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak with only 4,020 cases and 16 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Rwanda is home to three major national parks. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.
Related: Visiting Rwanda during COVID-19
The land-locked country reopened to all nationalities back on June 17, and the international airport reopened to commercial flights Aug. 1. All arriving passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test taken within 72 hours before arriving in Rwanda.
VisitRwanda says, “For passengers entering Rwanda, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours, during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.”
Rwanda is offering visa on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com.
There are no border restrictions in Serbia. The U.S. embassy in Serbia writes, “There are currently no restrictions on entry to Serbia for U.S. citizens. However, travelers should be prepared for restrictions to change with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the Government of Serbia for additional information.”
Serbia has among the most liberal entry requirements with no testing or quarantine required. There was unrest in Serbia in July as protests against coronavirus restrictions turned violent, but it seems to have quieted.
Serbia has reported 31,676 cases and 718 deaths from COVID-19.
Slovenia has reportedly reopened its borders to tourism, but it has a traffic light system of entry requirements. Countries on the red list face a mandatory two-week quarantine on arrival. You guessed it. The U.S.A. is on the “red light” list.
And the U.S. embassy website suggests Americans still aren’t being welcomed because of the EU ban on Americans, but Slovenia may one exception to that rule. Call the U.S. embassy before planning a trip.
The CDC calls the risk of catching COVID-19 in Slovenia “high,” and says, “The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Slovenia. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Slovenia.”
Slovenia has had more than 3,000 cases and 134 deaths.
On May 18, the government of Saint Lucia announced a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible manner beginning June 4.
Good news for Americans, as Phase One of reopening included welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only.
Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flights to UVF. Once they arrive, guests will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.
The country shut its borders on March 23. St. Lucia has only had 26 confirmed cases and zero deaths.
Phase Two began August 1.
St. Barthelemy (St. Barths) opened to tourists beginning June 22 , but there are lots of caveats.
Related Coverage: Country-by-country guide to reopening
If you want to visit the Caribbean vacation spot, you’ll need to prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours or less before you arrive. Those unable to provide such documentation will be tested on arrival, and will need to isolate at their lodging until results become available.
Visitors who test positive for the virus will be moved into quarantine on the island.
Bruno Magras, president of the island’s territorial council, told the Caribbean Journal:
“Whether you are visiting an island friend or local resident, returning to spend time in your vacation home or coming back to spend some vacation time on the island, St Barth is pleased to welcome you back. Island beaches are open without restriction, restaurants and boutiques are operating as usual, houses of worship are open and holding services and nautical services as well as the other services to which you are accustomed are being provided as usual.”
Related: St Barths reopening on June 22
For those staying longer than seven days, a second COVID-19 test will be required.
You’ll need to plan carefully. There are no direct flights from the U.S. so make sure the country you are arriving from is allowing American tourists.
St. Barths has reported only 18 cases of coronavirus and zero deaths.
St. Maarten was planning to reopen on July 1 for Americans, but the uptick of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has impacted the reopening policies.
They are requiring several protocols to be followed for tourists, such as submitting results of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test that is no older than 72 hours prior to the day of travel. There is also a health declaration form for all arriving passengers to submit in advance (confirmation must be shown at immigration).
U.S. tourists are not being allowed to cross the island border between Dutch Sint Maarten to French Saint Martin until further notice.
Several resorts are again accepting reservations.
Delta had planned to resume service from the U.S., but this plan appears to be on hold, if temporarily.
There are several protocols that travelers are expected to follow, and it won’t be a vacation away from the social distancing that you may have hoped for initially. This graphic illustrates some of what you can expect, including face coverings, health screenings, and increased cleaning.
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines began reopening July 1. Visitors from all countries are welcome, but everyone has to fill out the “VINCY” coronavirus questionnaire form and Americans face special requirements.
All Americans will need a negative COVID-19 test within a week of arrival. All travelers are also being tested on arrival. St. Vincent and the Grenadines are now also requiring proof of a fully-paid reservation in an approved hotel for five nights, and a quarantine of five days at that hotel or other lodging.
Americans can now travel to The Seychelles, but the country prefers only those with big bucks.
Related: Seychelles reopening
Foreign tourists are allowed to vacation in the Seychelles, but the government’s tourism ministry is only looking for “high-end” visitors for now, according to Seychelles Nation. During the first few weeks of reopening only chartered and private jets were being allowed.
But commercial flights started back up in July.
Tourists will be required to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours before they arrive, and will have to present proof of their lodging arrangements before being granted entry.
Visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures, and the tourism department is planning to introduce an app that will track tourists’ movements to facilitate contact tracing.
Americans can go to South Korea, but a mandatory two-week quarantine will make it undesirable for most folks.
Unless you have long-term visa, you will have to quarantine at a location overseen by the government.
Most international arrivals to South Korea can expect the following on arrival. (This information was accurate as of August.)
- You will go through the quarantine stands, where staff members from the Ministry of Health and Welfare check your body temperature and ask if you have any COVID related symptoms and medications that you may have consumed. At this point, they will also check if you have downloaded relevant apps for the 14-day quarantine depending on the staff member.
- Assuming that you are considered non-symptomatic, you proceed to stands (depending on your legal status in Korea) where a soldier of the Korean Army will check for your self-quarantine eligibility. For most foreigners without a specific visa, you will get documentation for the mandatory 14-day government quarantine; if you disagree to any portions of the government quarantine, you may be asked to leave the country. App status may be checked again in this stage.
- Travelers undergoing government quarantine may be asked to group together afterwards to prevent anyone defecting, overseen by either a public health official or a police officer who will escort through the following steps.
- You will go through passport checks and submit relevant immigration forms, just as you would have done before the pandemic. Afterwards, you pick up your luggage and go through customs.
- After exiting to the main lobby, police officers (if they haven’t already) may separate those who are self-quarantining and are going to a government facility. At this time, the National Fire Agency provides buses for those undergoing government quarantine.
- Upon arrival at the government-run facility, public health officials and soldiers in the Korean Army will go through a “check-in” process with you. At this point, you will pay 2.1 million KRW (roughly $1,760, depending on the prevailing currency exchange rate) per person. All meals and coronavirus testing conducted during this time will be covered with this payment.
Tanzania is now accepting tourists under pre-COVID rules, with no quarantine conditions attached. The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and all arriving travelers are “subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary COVID-19 rapid testing. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit. Readers have confirmed that they have had no issues flying into the country.
Tanzania has received a lot of criticism on how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic. The government hasn’t actively revealed data about infection rates or death. The president says that releasing the data was “causing panic.”
Travelers should note that Tanzania’s reported coronavirus cases are comparatively low, but experts say the toll is probably much higher.
Turkey is welcoming Americans again.
Turkey’s international borders are open for travelers from a number of countries, including the U.S.
Travelers who show signs of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board flights or enter the country. Upon arrival, travelers will be asked to fill out a passenger information form and undergo medical screenings for infection, and anyone showing symptoms upon arrival will be tested for coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will be referred to a Turkish hospital for quarantine and treatment.
However, the Turkish embassy’s website states that tourist travelers do not need to provide specific health documentation to enter or exit Turkey unless they are arriving for medical treatment.
However, travelers should note a couple of precautions unrelated to COVID-19:
- The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory guide lists Turkey at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, due to concerns over terrorism and arbitrary detention. Travelers are strongly advised to avoid the areas bordering Iraq and Syria due to terrorist activity.
- U.S. travelers will still need to apply for a visa before entering Turkey. You can do so via e-visa application, which takes about three minutes.
We should also note that Turkey has reported more than 275,000 coronavirus cases with Istanbul especially hard-hit.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, reopened for international visitors beginning July 22. The Providenciales Airport reopened that day.
Related: Turks and Caicos reopening
This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.
Travelers to Turks and Caicos will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test within five days of visiting the islands.
Related coverage: Why I love Turks and Caicos
Resorts and hotels are also reopening. Ocean Club Resorts told TPG that its properties began reopening July 22. They are offering 25% off for the remainder of the year.
Turks and Caicos has reported 555 cases of coronavirus and four deaths.
Ukraine had been open to American tourists with lots of restrictions but in late August, during an emergency session of parliament, the country again closed its borders amidst a new surge in cases of COVID-19. Those restrictions are in place until at least October 31.
When it reopens eventually it will likely have similar restrictions with all arriving passengers needing to download an app called “Dii Vdoma” and fill out forms for arrival. if you are from a so-called “Red Zone” country (including the U.S.) you will likely need to do one of the following:
- Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of crossing the border
- Enter an isolation unit
- Quarantine for two weeks at your destination which you must register for in the app
You’ll also have to prove you have health insurance. There is much more information available at the Visit Ukraine Today website.
Ukraine has had more than 154,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,100 deaths.
Americans are allowed to visit the United Kingdom. Britain will allow Americans, but there is a giant caveat. Americans must quarantine for 14-days on arrival. The penalty for breaking this quarantine is steep running to more than $1,200 dollars a night in fines for violations.
We have seen some reports of Americans trying to get to the European Union from the U.K., but it’s not allowed and you are likely to be turned back (and you would potentially be breaking the law).
The United Kingdom has had more than 340,000 cases and 41,000 deaths.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands is again closing down. A new surge in coronavirus cases after an initial reopening is behind the governor’s stay-at-home order. Beginning Monday, August 17, all non-essential businesses and churches were ordered to cease operations and the public was ordered to stay at home. The new order on tourism was effective Wednesday, August 19, and will last for a period of at least one month. Hotels will not be allowed to check in new guests after that date.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix, was under a state of emergency until July 11, but it welcomed back tourists as of June 1 with restrictions. That allowance has now been rescinded.
Related Coverage: State-by-state guide to coronavirus reopening
A toolkit for travelers and other updates are available at www.usviupdate.com.
Important caveats and things to know
COVID-19 continues to spread around the world. While some countries have done a good job of containing the virus, there is still much we don’t know. Travel is still considered a risky undertaking. Know the rules and regulations for the place you are planning to visit, and make sure you have completed all the necessary steps (like pre-departure testing in some cases). There is also the possibility countries could change their minds on reopening at the last minute (like we saw in Portugal and Iceland), so make sure you are booking refundable tickets and hotels or purchasing travel insurance.
What about Europe?
Most of the EU is still closed to Americans and will likely remain that way until the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. falls. Americans can go to the U.K., but a 14-day required quarantine and restrictions on internal travel make the prospect less than ideal.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Ariana Arghandewal, Jordyn Fields, Zach Honig, Brian Kelly, Brian Kim, Samantha Rosen, Victoria Walker, and Zach Wichter.
Featured image from Aruba in December of 2017 by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
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