When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery
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Editor’s note: This post was last updated on July 21, 2021 with new information.
Travel is back. Americans are hitting the road again, and even if they’re not already traveling, many are ready to start booking future trips.
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And if you want to find out where U.S. travelers can go right now, follow this link for our complete guide to which countries are allowing U.S. travelers.
The United States was for many months the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. had more cases than any country in the world in late 2020 and early 2021. Cases have now declined to levels reported before the winter surge, however the Delta variant is causing case surges in certain regions of states where vaccination rates are low.
Important for travelers to the U.S. to know: As of Jan. 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires all air passengers 2 years of age and older traveling to the U.S. from abroad to take a viral COVID-19 test within 72 hours (three days) of departure for the U.S. and provide documentation of a negative PCR or antigen test result to their airline before being allowed to board; documented proof from a licensed health care provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. This applies to both non-citizens as well as U.S. citizens, even those who are fully vaccinated, returning to the U.S. from any international destination (with the exception of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
President Joseph R. Biden also signed an executive order soon after taking office in late January that mandates the wearing of masks on federal property and domestic public transportation, including planes and airports. It has been extended through Sept. 13. The CDC currently recommends that unvaccinated travelers get tested three to five days after any travel and isolate for seven days, or isolate for 10 days after travel without testing. It is advised that even fully vaccinated individuals get tested three to five days after returning from international travel, but they do not have to self-isolate.
All states are in the latter stages of fully reopening after surging cases from November 2020 to early February 2021 forced many to resume closure of some public spaces, ban indoor dining at restaurants and bars, limit gatherings, mandate mask-wearing and require quarantines or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test for incoming travelers. Many of those restrictions have now been lifted or are being phased out as the U.S. vaccination program moves forward and case levels decline. Variants continue to be a cause for concern, however, especially because they have led to hospitalizations among younger Americans and because several states — including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Wyoming — still have low vaccination rates.
The CDC has updated its domestic travel guidance for fully vaccinated travelers, but still strongly advises unvaccinated individuals to test before and after travel (with self-isolation after travel) within the United States. Check the CDC website for the latest updates.
Additionally, the U.S. has restrictions on visitors, including a ban on tourists driving into the country from Canada and Mexico through at least August 21, as well as a ban on all tourists (but not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S.) traveling from China, Iran, Europe’s Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa. See the CDC ban here and additional details here. On May 4, the U.S. also began banning entry by any foreign national who has been in India within the previous 14 days.
The border between the United States and Canada remains closed through at least August 21 for Canadians seeking to enter the U.S. by land, although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country will begin welcoming fully vaccinated American tourists on August 9. Currently, most foreign nationals, including Americans, are not welcome until then, except for those who have dual citizenship or are Canadian residents.
The August 9 reopening won’t apply to travel by cruise ship. On Feb. 5, Canada announced that it will ban all cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers from calling on Canadian ports through Feb. 28, 2022 (since changed to Nov. 1, 2021), thereby shutting down cruise tourism for summer and fall 2021 in the country’s Atlantic provinces, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and British Columbia (Vancouver is an embarkation port for many summer cruises to Alaska).
On Aug. 9, fully vaccinated Americans (14 days past their final dose) will be able to visit Canada without the need to quarantine. Those fully vaccinated travelers seeking to enter Canada must also provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal), including proof of vaccination prior to departing for Canada (subject to limited exceptions); meet the pre-entry testing requirements (a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of travel to Canada); be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation, along with the original) ready to show a government official on request.
Unvaccinated children under 12 will be allowed to enter Canada but must submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN and meet all testing requirements.
A little background: On Feb. 22, Canada began requiring anyone arriving in or returning to Canada to take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival and pay for a three-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel at a cost of $2,000 Canadian dollars (about $1,565) as they await their test result. But as of July 5, Canadian citizens who are fully vaccinated are able to return without having to quarantine in a hotel; the protocol requires a test upon arrival and self-isolation at home until the result is received. These requirements will end for fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9 and are scheduled to apply to vaccinated travelers from other countries as of Sept. 7, pending epidemiological conditions at the time.
Since Jan. 7, Canada has required all arriving airline passengers over the age of 5 to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival. All arrivals must still do that and those citizens or residents who aren’t fully vaccinated must undergo a required home quarantine and Day 8 testing after receiving a negative test during the three-day hotel quarantine. Details on the latest restrictions can be found here.
International flights are only being allowed to land at four Canadian airports: Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. Any foreigner attempting to enter Canada for reasons of tourism, recreation or entertainment will be turned away until Aug. 9. Certain immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens are able to enter Canada with government authorization for a stay of 15 days or more with the required testing, hotel quarantine and self-quarantine.
Canada has not banned province-to-province travel, although travel between some provinces is currently restricted as dictated by individual provinces. Rising cases in Canada in December 2020 prompted lockdowns in Ontario and Quebec through early February, with phased regional reopenings. However, a variant-fueled surge once again resulted in renewed restrictions and curfews in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia in early April; restrictions have gradually been eased as vaccination rates increase.
Mexico began a slow regional reopening on June 29, 2020, and many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. However, widespread community transmission remains a current concern and there is a federal “stoplight” system that limits activities in some regions.
Mexico eagerly flung open its doors to Americans — and has never required testing for entry. At first, it was just beach destinations such as Cancun, but now even Mexico City is open for tourism.
Related: Mexico reopening its beaches
All Mexican airports are open to Americans. Tourists are advised that enhanced screening and cleaning procedures are in effect. There are also health checks at all airports, but no testing requirements. However, as of Jan. 26, everyone age 2 and older traveling to the U.S. from Mexico is required to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed health care provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Many Mexico resorts have begun to offer on-property rapid antigen and PCR tests for guests returning to the U.S.
Mexico saw a major surge in cases in late December 2020 and early January 2021 following an influx of tourists. The U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory for Mexico is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, community transmission remains widespread. No states have been deemed “red” under Mexico’s stoplight system for the period ending July 18, but five states — including Baja California Sur, home to Los Cabos, and Quintana Roo, home to Cancun and Riviera Maya —are “orange,” requiring capacity restrictions of 50% in hotels and restaurants.
The U.S.–Mexico land border is closed to nonessential travel until at least Aug. 21.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., has officially reopened to all international travelers. To enter Puerto Rico, all travelers must complete an online Travel Declaration available on the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal and present a negative molecular COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. As of May 28, domestic travelers to Puerto Rico are allowed to present their vaccination card as proof of having completed vaccination (must be completed at least two weeks prior to travel), exempting them from pre-travel testing. To receive an Airport Exit Confirmation QR code, all travelers must upload their negative test result or their vaccination card to the online portal.
All international visitors still need to comply with the pre-travel PCR testing requirements (test taken 72 hours prior to arrival) even if they are fully vaccinated.
As of April 28, unvaccinated passengers who do not upload negative test results to the online portal before arrival face a $300 fine. Those awaiting results have 48 hours to upload the results and the fine will be dismissed; those who arrive without having taken a test are required to test on the island within 48 hours to have the fine dismissed. Details are here.
Upon arrival at San Juan International Airport (SJU), travelers will be subject to health screenings, including additional COVID-19 testing if symptomatic.
Puerto Rico experienced a surge in cases in late March, but cases have since leveled off. The CDC’s advisory for the island is at Level 2: Moderate Levels of COVID-19. Masks are required in all public spaces (and there is a $100 fine for noncompliance). Golf courses and beaches are open and water activities are allowed with appropriate social distancing. Casinos, museums and hotel pools are now operating at full capacity. Restaurants are also operating at full capacity, but buffets are banned and restaurant staff serve meals wearing gloves and masks. Bars and nightclubs have reopened at limited capacity.
Access to Old San Juan from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. is limited to residents and guests of hotels within the area. For updates, check here.
If you’re thinking of bypassing hotel restrictions by booking an Airbnb, keep in mind that many of the same rules will apply.
A note for travelers returning from Puerto Rico: The U.S. began requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test on Jan. 26 for all international arrivals by air, but passengers traveling back to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico will not be required to have taken a test.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, began welcoming back tourists on June 1, 2020, with restrictions. After a surge in cases, the islands returned to a “stay at home” order on Aug. 13, 2020, but again reopened to tourism on Sept.19, 2020.
Every traveler 5 years of age or older, even those who are fully vaccinated, is currently required to submit to the U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Screening Portal a negative COVID-19 molecular test result (PCR or rapid antigen) taken and results received within five days of commencement of travel to the territory, or a positive COVID-19 antibody test taken and received within four months of their travel date. Visitors must produce the original test result as well as the travel certification from the portal upon arrival. As of Jan. 25, travelers age 5 and older may be denied boarding of flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands without travel certification from the portal. Details can be found here.
No quarantine is required for healthy visitors who have negative test results.
Travelers who are asked to quarantine will be expected to do so at their own expense, and according to the government, “are responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care.”
Related: U.S. Virgin Islands reopening
Masks are mandatory when going into businesses and attractions and when using public transportation. Beaches are open, but social distancing is required. Gatherings of more than 100 people remain prohibited. Hotels, guesthouses, villas, timeshares and Airbnb accommodations are all accepting bookings. COVID-19 guidelines are in place for retail businesses and attractions, taxi vans, safari vehicles and limo services. The CDC’s advisory for the U.S. Virgin Islands is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.
A note for travelers returning from the U.S. Virgin Islands: The U.S. now requires proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test for all international arrivals by air, but passengers traveling back to the U.S. mainland from the U.S. Virgin Islands will not be required to have taken a test.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on June 4, 2020.
The government’s latest travel advisory requires all passengers age 12 and older who are arriving by air to have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result taken within seven days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. All travelers are also subject to assessment by Port Health Authorities for signs and symptoms through a series of checks and the completion of a health declaration form upon arrival.
All arriving passengers must complete a health declaration and stay at a certified property, where depending on their vaccination status they will quarantine and be monitored for COVID-19 for up to 14 days while being able to enjoy certified activities. Currently, travelers who are two weeks past having completed vaccination can stay at bio-safe certified accommodations; if staying in a private home, they must quarantine for 48 hours until receiving a negative result from an arrival test. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated will be allowed to stay at a COVID-19-certified accommodation/lodging or be subject to quarantine as determined by the Quarantine Authority. Any testing upon arrival or at the place of lodging will be determined by the health uuthorities (cost: $100 per person).
Travelers will also have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $5,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars (about $1,850) and/or imprisonment for up to six months. Hotels, beaches, excursions and restaurants are open; non-hotel bars remain closed and there is an island-wide curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
As of Jan. 26, everyone age 2 and older traveling to the U.S. from Antigua will need to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed health care provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. Many resorts in the Caribbean have begun offering on-property rapid antigen and PCR tests to guests prior to departure for the U.S., so check your resort’s policy before traveling.
American Airlines resumed service to the Caribbean with flights to Antigua.
Anguilla began welcoming pre-approved travelers as of May 25, after a monthlong suspension of all entries. However, as of July 1, only fully vaccinated travelers (final dose at least three weeks before arrival) are allowed and they must follow step-by-step instructions involving authorization, hotel and transfer reservations and testing, Fully vaccinated visitors no longer need to pay fees for on-island testing or quarantine.
The government recommends starting the application process at least seven days before your intended travel date. All visitors seeking a short-term stay or a work-from-Anguilla arrangement need to seek a Travel Authorization (each individual traveler, including children, must get an authorization), provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken three to five days (72-120 hours) before departure and then undergo a temperature check and take another test upon arrival.
Guests must stay in place at their accommodations until receiving their on-island test result, typically within 24 hours. Travel insurance is not required, but is recommended. See FAQs here. In addition, travelers entering/transferring via Dutch St. Maarten must complete St. Maarten’s health screening application form and pre-arrange boat or air travel to Anguilla.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Anguilla is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which oversees Anguilla, for additional information.
Aruba reopened to tourists last summer and American visitors were welcomed back on July 10, 2020. As of Nov. 1, 2020, all U.S. travelers to Aruba must complete an online Embarkation/Disembarkation card process within 72 to 4 hours prior to travel and those 15 years of age and older are required to provide a certified negative molecular COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 to 12 hours of travel to Aruba or take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival ($75) and quarantine in their hotel room until receiving a negative result (typically within 24 hours). Testing requirements for U.S. residents can be found here.
Note: As of July 14, fully U.S. travelers who are two weeks past their final dose and are in possession of a SMART Health Card no longer need to provide a negative pre-travel test result—but uploading a scan of the CDC vaccination is not acceptable proof. Details, which are likely to evolve, can be found here.
All guests must also purchase visitors’ insurance from the nation of Aruba to cover up to $75,000 in health insurance. The cost is $30 for travelers aged 15 and older and $10 for those 14 and under.
Visitors to Aruba are required to carry a mask with them and wear one in the airport and in businesses that require them. As of July 5, all restrictions have been lifted island-wide, but proper hygiene and social distancing are encouraged.
Visit the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao, which oversees Aruba, for additional information. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Aruba is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.
For the latest updates related to travel, check Visit Aruba’s Entry Requirements page.
The Bahamas hit several road bumps in its reopening, first opening up in July 2020 and then shutting down again before reopening its borders to international travelers in October 2020. There are still a few hurdles for visitors, but the process is fairly straightforward.
Americans are allowed to visit, but non-vaccinated travelers over age 10 must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival. As of May 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers (two weeks or more past their final dose) do not have to present a test result to enter the Bahamas or travel inter-island. All visitors age 18 and older, however, must purchase a “Bahamas Health Visa” prior to arrival (the cost varies by length of stay, ranging from $40-$70 person, and includes local health insurance), and upload negative test results into that online form. Vaccinated travelers must upload documentation of their completed vaccination. Details on pre-travel testing requirements can be found here.
While in the Bahamas, all visitors are required to wear a mask in public spaces (under penalty of a $250 fine or one-month imprisonment). Non-vaccinated travelers must also take a rapid Antigen test if they display symptoms and test on day five if their stay is longer than five days/four nights. And non-vaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result no older than five days for inter-island travel while vaccinated travelers are exempt.
Related: Bahamas reopening
All Bahamas hotels were allowed to open by mid-October 2020; they are also allowed to let visitors use their beaches. There are nightly curfews from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Nassau and Paradise Island, and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Grand Bahama. Updates are available here.
Barbados reopened to international travelers on July 12, 2020, and JetBlue resumed U.S. commercial flights on July 25, 2020, followed by American Airlines on Aug. 5, 2020. In mid-November 2020, the country announced a partnership with Stage Zero Life Sciences for pre-travel testing for travelers from the United States and Canada.
Barbados, which has seen intermittent spikes in COVID cases, has also developed a BIMSAFE app designed to expedite the entry and quarantine process. The main caveat for travelers? The island continues to require unvaccinated visitors to not only test but also quarantine in their hotel rooms for seven days.
Barbados’s mandatory protocols, which were updated and expanded on Feb. 3, 2021, still apply to unvaccinated inbound travelers—but as of May 8, 2021 vaccinated travelers who are two weeks past vaccination completion and who have not traveled through countries of special consideration (South Africa, Brazil or India) within the past 21 days have a shorter quarantine requirement.
As of May 8, 2021, all unvaccinated travelers must:
- Have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within 72 hours prior to departure, which is required for travelers age five and older from countries of all risk levels.
- Within 24 hours before traveling to Barbados, complete an online Immigration/Customs form (or use the BIMSAFE app) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms and upload their negative COVID-19 test results.
- Board transport to their pre-approved accommodations (a minimum of seven nights is recommended) and agree to in-room quarantine (no beach or leaving the property) for five days until they take a second PCR test and receive a negative result (available within another 48 hours). They must also self-monitor for symptoms for seven days, including daily temperature checks (bring a thermometer) and report them via the app or to public health teams who will call or text.
As of May 8, 2021, all fully vaccinated travelers must:
- Have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within 72 hours prior to departure, which is required for travelers age five and older from countries of all risk levels.
- Within 24 hours before traveling to Barbados, complete an online Immigration/Customs form (or use the BIMSAFE app) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms and upload their negative COVID-19 test results.
- Provide official proof of vaccination.
- Take a COVID-19 rapid PCR test upon arrival in Barbados, either at the airport or at their pre-approved accommodation.
- Board approved transport to their government-approved accommodations to await their arrival test results (typically within 48 hours) before ending their on-property quarantine.
Complete details on new protocols can be found here.
Social distancing and wearing face masks are mandatory in public spaces. There is an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Violators of quarantine and curfew rules could face stiff fines for jail time.
On Feb. 3, 2021, Barbados strengthened its COVID-19 protocols after the United Kingdom variant was found on the island. Restaurants, bars and non-essential shops were closed and beaches had limited hours for swimming or exercise. These restrictions were eased beginning March 15, 2021, and retail shops and bars (at 50% capacity) were allowed to reopen and restaurants were allowed to open for in-person dining. Beach hours have now been expanded to 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for swimming or exercise.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Barbados is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. The CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19. More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the Barbados government website.
Bermuda reopened to travelers, including Americans, on July 1, 2020. The island resumed international commercial air service for visitors as part of its fourth phase of economic reopening. There have been strict protocols in place, including pre-travel authorization and testing and quarantine, but the rules have changed as of June 20, 2021, including an easing of requirements for fully vaccinated visitors with proof of vaccination and a 14-day quarantine at a designated (and pre-paid) Quarantine Hotel for those who are unvaccinated.
Related: Bermuda opening to Americans
Here are the requirements posted by the government of Bermuda:
Pre-departure — All travelers must:
- Within 72 to 25 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. For additional information, check the Travel authorization FAQ
- Within four days of departure (changed from five days as of June 20, 2021), visitors must take a COVID-19 PCR test and obtain a negative result. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are nine 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 traveler 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.
- 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
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
- Test upon arrival and fully vaccinated travelers must quarantine at their hotel until receiving their result (in approximately 24 hours), then submit to subsequent tests on days four, eight and 14 of their visit
As of June 20, 2021, all non-vaccinated travelers are required to follow the above pre-travel protocols and also:
- Choose and reserve a Quarantine Hotel and pay for the full 14 days of quarantine
- Take a mandatory second COVID-PCR test upon arrival in the airport
- Quarantine until after receiving a negative result of a day 13 test
Related: Visiting Bermuda with kids
According to the U.S. Consulate General in Bermuda, the U.S. State Department advisory for Bermuda is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precuations and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
More information on coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here.
More reading: New resort and hotel options in Bermuda
Americans are welcome to visit Bonaire. All U.S. travelers age 13 and older must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival, plus a negative Antigen test taken upon arrival in Bonaire, or a negative COVID-19 PCR or NAAT test taken 24 hours before departure. Additionally, travelers must complete a health declaration form for the Public Health Department within 48 hours of their departure for Bonaire. For the latest details, check here.
As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Bonaire must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. Many resorts in the Caribbean have begun offering on-property rapid Antigen and PCR tests to guests prior to departure for the U.S., so check your resort’s policy before traveling.
Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines resumed flights from several U.S. airports to Bonaire as of June 5, 2021.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Bonaire is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19. For more information, visit the website of the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao, which oversees Bonaire, and for health and safety protocols in Bonaire, check here.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands officially reopened to tourism on Dec. 1, 2020. Americans can visit, but all travelers, especially those who are not yet vaccinated, must follow strict protocols. These include:
- Providing a negative COVID-19 PCR result taken within 120 hours (five days) of departure for the BVI.
- Registering on the BVI Gateway seven days (and no later than 48 hours) before travel, and completing the application no later than 24 hours before travel (the cost is $35 for fully vaccinated travelers and $175 for partially vaccinated or non-vaccinated travelers).
- Obtaining COVID-19 health insurance valid in the BVI.
- All travelers are also required to take a second PCR test upon arrival in the BVI (as of July 12, even fully vaccinated travelers are again required to test upon arrival and quarantine until receiving the result).
- Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must also quarantine at their resort for seven days or four days, respectively, while using an activated tracking system on their phones and wearing a wristband monitoring device.
- Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must take a third PCR test on day 7 or day 4, respectively, and await the results (typically given within 24 hours) before being able to move freely around the islands.
Complete details on travel requirements and restrictions can be found here.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the British Virgin Islands is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. Check the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which overseas the BVI, for additional information.
The Cayman Islands began a soft reopening on Oct. 1, 2020.
Only Americans who own homes in the Cayman Islands, dual citizens or those hoping to move to the Cayman Islands under long-term work arrangements via the island’s Global Citizen Concierge Program are allowed in—and visitors can’t leave until they have finished their mandatory 14-night quarantine and have tested negative.
Those who are approved for entry need to register with the TravelTime service before their trip, and as of Jan. 14, 2021, all travelers age 10 and older need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure for the Cayman Islands. Airlines will deny boarding to anyone without the required negative test results. As of June 23, 2021, travelers who are at least two weeks past being fully vaccinated must still provide the required negative pre-travel test, but must only quarantine for five days.
All arriving passengers no longer undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival in the Cayman Islands, but must quarantine and be tested again to exit quarantine, which remains at 14 days for unvaccinated travelers, who must also while wear a tracking device. A negative test result and sign-off by the Medical Officer of Health is required for the quarantine period to cease. Visitors are advised to allow 24-72 hours for off-boarding process, this includes a negative test result and return of monitoring equipment.
The Cayman Islands is taking its mandatory quarantine very seriously and violators are being prosecuted. A Georgia college student who broke COVID-19 protocol in December 2020 was ordered to serve four months in a Grand Cayman prison before her sentence was reduced to one month served.
Related: Cayman Islands reopening
Cuba welcomed international visitors back in July 2020.
The U.S. State Department has a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory in place for Cuba. Politics limits Americans travel to Cuba more than COVID-19. Long-standing travel restrictions were tightened by the U.S. government in late 2019, eliminating many of the reasons Americans were allowed to visit Cuba in recent years.
There are a number of additional restrictions for U.S. travelers visiting Cuba that are not related to the pandemic, and which remain active.
Curacao reopened to U.S. tourists in November 2020. All travelers are required to complete a digital immigration card and then, within 48 hours of travel, digitally fill out the Passenger Locator Card (PLC) via the same portal and carry a printed copy with you. A negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or an Antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure for Curacao must be uploaded to the portal and passengers are also required to carry a copy of the results. Children six years and younger are exempt from testing and the PLC. Details are here.
A second required test was added this past spring for travelers from high-risk countries (as of June 9, 2021, it’s also required of travelers from low-risk countries, which now includes the U.S.), who on day three after arrival must undergo an on-island Antigen test at a local lab. Travelers will be required to make an appointment for the test to complete their Passenger Locator Card prior to travel. Americans, now classified as from a low-risk country, still have to schedule and submit to a second test. Details can be found here.
Health insurance valid in Curacao is also required and travelers who test positive for COVID-19 while in Curacao will be quarantined at their own expense.
After a surge of cases, Curacao announced lockdown measures on March 24, 2021, that were eased on May 11, 2021. Retail shops have been allowed to reopen; restaurants can offer outdoor seating and some indoor dining; beaches, beach club bars and casinos are open. Social distancing measures are in place island-wide and face masks are required when distancing is not possible.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Curacao was recently changed to Level 1: Exercise Normal Precuations and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19. Visit the U.S. Consulate in Curacao’s website for additional information.
Dominica has been open to travelers since Aug. 3, 2020. All eligible travelers arriving in the country are designated as coming from Low-Risk, Medium-Risk or High-Risk countries (the United States is currently considered High-Risk) and travelers must follow these procedures, recently updated with less quarantine required for fully vaccinated travelers:
- Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival
- Present notification of clearance to travel in the form of a doctor’s note or similar document
- Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival
- Fully vaccinated travelers must upload their vaccination certificate
- Provide confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results
- Provide confirmation of a booking at a government-certified private property
- Undergo a health assessment upon arrival, including a temperature check
- Spend two days (if fully vaccinated) or seven days (if not vaccinated) in a Managed Experience at a Safe in Nature certified property, with a COVID-19 PCR test on day 5 and results returned within 48 hours
Any traveler with a high temperature, high-risk alert from their questionnaire or positive rapid test will be given a PCR test, and be taken into mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility or hotel at their expense until results are available. If the follow-up test result is positive, the traveler may be quarantined until released by an authorized health professional.
Visitors must also adhere to stringent on-site policies around social distancing and safe hygiene, which include wearing face masks at all times during the arrival process, up to and including departure from the airport; observing physical distancing guidelines; and following all instructions from local health care staff and officials.
For more information, see check U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s website and Dominica’s Travel Advisory.
The Dominican Republic reopened July 1, 2020, when Punta Cana International Airport restarted commercial operations, although only approximately 30% of its hotels opened at that time. Currently, most hotels and resorts have reopened or will reopen soon. U.S. travelers are welcome and there are no longer any pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements for visitors.
Travelers can expect mandatory temperature checks upon arrival, but as of October 2020, pre-travel testing has been replaced with spot checks. Airports and other ports of entry will administer a quick, aleatory breath test to a percentage of passengers upon arrival (travelers who present a vaccination card showing the final dose was given at least three weeks prior to arrival or who present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival are exempt from random testing). Passengers who present symptoms or whose test results are positive will be isolated and attended at authorized locations.
As of June 28, 2021, all travelers arriving from Australia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Kuwait, Monaco, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia and United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), or who have visited those countries in the past 14 days, do need a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours of their flight to enter the Dominican Republic (or proof of having completed vaccination at least three weeks prior). For passengers from Spain, either a negative PCR or Antigen test is accepted.
All travelers are also required to fill out and submit a digital Electronic Entry Ticket (mandatory as of May 1, 2021, for both arrival into and departure from the DR) to declare they have not felt any COVID-19-related symptoms in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days.
Masks and social distancing guidelines are in place for indoor public spaces, public transportation and outdoor situations where distancing isn’t possible. There is also an island-wide curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) and disobeying it can result in fines or jail time.
For the latest updates on restrictions in the Dominican Republic, check here.
Like its Caribbean neighbors, Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on Aug. 1, 2020 — with many health conditions attached. Strict protocols, including quarantine, are currently in place for all visitors, as the island is no longer dividing travelers into low-, medium- and high-risk, depending on their country of origin. But as of May 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers face a reduced quarantine.
Every visitor is required to obtain a Pure Safe Travel Certificate authorizing travel, present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days (72 hours) of arrival (children age five and under are exempt from testing), fill out online health forms in advance and have travel insurance valid in Grenada. All unvaccinated visitors will additionally need to show a confirmed reservation for no fewer than seven nights at a Pure Safe Travel accommodation and quarantine there until taking a PCR test on day five (cost: $150, payable when obtaining the Pure Safe Travel Certificate) and getting official clearance to either go out into the community or return home. Complete travel requirements can be found here.
Effective May 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers (those who are two weeks or more past their final dose) are still required to provide a negative PCR test taken within 3 days (72 hours) prior to travel and have a fully booked accommodation for a minimum of two nights, but with proof of vaccination will only be required to quarantine for 48 hours pending a negative result from a PCR test administered on arrival. Travelers will not be not allowed to leave quarantine until medical clearance is granted.
For more information on requirements and restrictions, check the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean’s COVID-19 page for Grenada. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Grenada is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
Haiti, which remains in political turmoil following the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, on July 7, 2021, has reopened its borders to regular international passenger traffic. It has also opened its land borders with the Dominican Republic.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, travelers visiting the country need to complete a health declaration form and submit it to immigration authorities upon arrival. They will need to keep this form for the purposes of self-quarantine and contact tracing as necessary. The embassy also reports that as of Feb. 9, 2021, all travelers to Haiti will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel to their airline; proof of a prior COVID-19 infection (positive test and documentation from the attending physician) is also allowed.
Jamaica officially reopened for tourism on June 15, 2020, but anyone planning a vacation there, especially those from a high-risk country (such as the U.S.), needs to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form within seven days of the intended travel date 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 travelers age 12 and older must present negative results of a COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test taken within three days (72 hours) of the date of arrival.
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 remain throughout their stay at accommodations within the “resilient corridors,” where hotels and resorts have been certified to accept tourists and adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in public. Travelers may leave their resort only to visit certified tourist attractions and are expected to follow any policies made by tourist and hospitality establishments.
For the latest updates on requirements for travel to Jamaica, check here.
Related: Jamaica reopening with lots of rules
Visit the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica’s website for additional information. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Jamaica is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
Martinique’s borders had been closed to tourism by the French government since Feb. 2, 2021, but Americans are now able to visit for tourism—if they are fully vaccinated.
According to the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean, fully vaccinated travelers may enter if it has been more than two weeks since their second injection of the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines or more than four weeks since the single-injection Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Travel is prohibited for unvaccinated persons unless it is based on an overriding personal or family reason, an emergency health reason or a professional reason that cannot be postponed..
All arrivals over the age of 11 who are permitted must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or rapid Antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure for Martinique and sign a sworn statement that they have no symptoms and have not been in contact over the past 14 days with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. Unvaccinated travelers granted permission to enter must quarantine for seven days until taking another test.
As of June 9, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. are once again allowed to visit St. Barths, after a four-month period when France closed down tourism to this and other overseas territories. All Americans age 18 and older planning to visit St. Barths must provide proof of being at least two weeks past their final vaccination (and four weeks past the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and all travelers age 10 and older must present a negative result of COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or an Antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival. A seven-day quarantine is not required for fully vaccinated travelers, who are currently the only Americans allowed to visit St. Barths.
The Caribbean island initially reopened to travelers in June 2020, but tourists had been banned since Feb. 2, 2021. U.S. travelers arriving in St. Barths via St. Marten will need to register in advance through the St. Maarten EHAS system and upload negative PCR results as well as pay a fee.
For updates on travel to St. Barths, check with the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis began a phased reopening on Oct. 31, 2020, but on May 29, 2021, changed its protocols to allow only fully vaccinated travelers to visit. Non-vaccinated children under 18 accompanied by fully vaccinated (two weeks or more past their final vaccination) parents will be allowed. After a surge of community spread on St. Kitts in May 2021, the islands are under a period of restricted movement (with a 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on weekends and only essential businesses open) through at least July 11, 2021.
As of July 12, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers (those who are at least two weeks past their final dose) are required to complete the entry form and upload negative PCR test results, but will be required to “vacation in place” at their approved resort for three days (reduced from nine days), with a negative test on day 4 allowing them to explore the island. According to the St. Kitts and Nevis tourism board, vaccinated Americans need to follow current Vacation in Place guidelines:
- Complete the entry form here and submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test completed within 72 hours of arrival from an accredited laboratory as well as confirmation of a hotel reservation at a certified hotel.
- Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
- Days 1-3: Visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
- Day 4: Submit to a test ($150) and with a negative result be able to integrate into the community.
Non-vaccinated children under the age of 18 will be able to follow the same protocols as their fully vaccinated parents.
One other note: Americans will need to stay at one of seven approved hotels for international visitors. Good news? They include the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, the Four Seasons Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriot Resort.
Travel restrictions for the UK, Brazil, India and South Africa remain in place; persons from these destinations will be denied entry into St. Kitts and Nevis at this time.
For complete details on travel requirements, visit the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism website.
Americans are welcome to visit St. Lucia, where flights to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) have resumed. And St. Lucia recently expanded the on-island activities for fully vaccinated travelers.
Visitors age five and older (from outside St. Lucia’s designated Travel Bubble) are required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of boarding their flights to UVF (this was reduced from seven days as of Feb. 10, 2021). All International travelers, including those from the United States, must also complete an online Travel Registration Form and upload the negative test results before travel, as well as present the Travel Authorization email they receive, or they may be denied boarding.
Once they arrive in St. Lucia, travelers will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken. All international visitors from outside the St. Lucia Travel Bubble will be required to remain at their COVID-19-certified property and only participate in certified tours and activities and visit only certified restaurants for the duration of their stay. Fully vaccinated travelers (those who are two weeks or more past their final dose) will now enjoy expanded access to the island, according to St. Lucia’s tourism website. After 14 days, unvaccinatedvisitors will be able to move around the island freely.
Masks and social distancing are required for the duration of the stay. There is also an island-wide curfew from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
For further details, visit the International Arrivals page on the St. Lucia Tourism website and the U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s website.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
An April 2021 eruption of the La Soufrière volcano on the island of St. Vincent has forced the evacuation of some residents and spread a layer of ash over many parts of the island, including the capital of Kingstown, and even on the neighboring island of Barbados.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines began reopening on July 1, 2020. Visitors from all countries are welcome, but everyone must fill out a health form within 24 hours of departure for the islands. Americans face especially strict requirements, which were updated as of Feb. 8, 2021, and modified for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 27, 2021.
All travelers from high-risk countries, which includes the U.S., will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of arrival. All high-risk travelers who are non-vaccinated may also be tested on arrival. They are also required to quarantine at an approved hotel for 14 nights and show proof of a fully paid reservation for those 14 nights. Then, retesting is required between day four and day seven, along with ongoing monitoring by a Port Health Officer.
All fully vaccinated travelers (two weeks or more past their final dose) must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of arrival, be retested on arrival and complete mandatory quarantine for 48 hours in an approved quarantine hotel at their own cost as they await results of entry test.
For more information on entry requirements for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, click here.
Travelers from 13 Very High Risk countries (which include Brazil, India and South Africa) must undergo a second test upon arrival and must quarantine for 21 days, with tests on days 7 and 14.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for St. Vincent and the Grenadines is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the islands is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. Check the website of the U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean for both COVID-19 and volcanic eruption updates.
Dutch Sint Maarten is open and welcoming U.S. and other travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).
Before arrival, travelers from high-risk countries (which includes the U.S.) are required to follow several protocols, including submitting the results of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of the day of travel. As of July 1, 2021, U.S. travelers can present either a negative PCR naso-pharygeal swab test taken within 72 hours of departure or the results of any FDA-approved rapid Antigen test done within 48 hours of departure, according to the St. Maarten Health Authorization System website and the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao, which oversees Dutch St. Maarten.
All travelers must also submit an online health declaration form in advance of travel (confirmation with a QR code must be shown at immigration). And as of Jan. 11, 2021, all travelers must also apply for the St. Maarten Visitor Protection Plan, which provides health insurance covering COVID-19 testing and treatment while on the island and costs $30 for travelers age 15 and older and $10 for those 14 and under. As travelers from a high-risk country, Americans are also expected to practice daily self-monitoring and reporting of symptoms for five days.
A travel ban is in effect since Jan. 27, 2021, for persons who have been in a banned country (including South Africa, Brazil, India and a dozen South American countries) over the past 14 days.
U.S. tourists are currently allowed to cross the border from Dutch St. Maarten to French St. Martin.
For more information on travel requirements, check the St. Maarten Health Authorization website.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March 2020 and banned tourists. The two islands began easing restrictions on May 12, 2020, but did not agree to begin welcoming visitors again until recently. The country’s borders are set to reopen on July 17, 2021 and all visitors are required to apply for a TTravel Pass. However, non-vaccinated travelers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine in State-Supervized Quarantine Facility.
All travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, and if vaccinated, proof of vaccination with a World Health Organization-approved vaccine. Complete details on the new protocols for entry can be found here.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said in May 2020 that the borders would remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained. The government also gave hotels some $50 million to remodel and prepare for when tourists are welcomed back.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Trinidad and Tobago is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19. Check the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago website for updates.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, began welcoming international visitors to Providenciales Airport on July 22, 2020. This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.
Travelers to Turks and Caicos age 10 and older are required to take a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within three days of visiting the islands as of July 28. Take note that antibody tests and at-home test kits are not accepted.
Also, travelers must have medical insurance valid for the treatment of COVID-19 in Turks and Caicos and obtain travel pre-authorization via the TCI Assured Portal. Masks are required in public places, and there’s a 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Restaurants and bars are open but are restricted to 70% capacity.
The U.S. State Department advisory for Turks & Caicos is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the islands is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19. The country recently reported that 65% of its adult population had received at least one dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Related coverage: Why I love Turks and Caicos
The Albanian government lifted all restrictions on tourism on July 1, 2020, and commercial flights have resumed, but some connections through major European hubs were reduced in December 2020.
Americans can visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Albania, and the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Albania is now Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution while the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
There are no testing requirements for visitors, but temperature checks on arriving passengers at the airport and mask wearing in all indoor public spaces are mandatory. If a passenger has COVID-19 symptoms and/or a fever they may be required to undergo a mandatory government quarantine. The U.S. Embassy also notes that travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
Albania has an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until further notice and all bars, restaurants and fast-food outlets can offer delivery only during those hours. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces.
Armenia has reopened its borders to Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. All visitors are now required to present either documentation of a completed vaccination at least 14 days prior or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken with 72 hours of arrival, or submit to a test (cost: $40) in the public area of the arrivals hall of Zvartnots International Airport and self-isolate until receiving the result, usually within 24 hours. Masks are mandated in public spaces and on public transportation.
Tourism had not been allowed in Austria, but the country reopened its hospitality sector effective May 19, 2021—although pre-travel clearance is required for everyone who enters. Travelers from most European Union countries, along with travelers from other countries with a “low-incidence rate,” are currently allowed to visit for tourism, with testing but no quarantine requirement. The United States was recently added to the list of low-incidence countries, which can be found here.
As of June 24, 2021, Americans can visit Austria by presenting one of the following: proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours of arrival) or rapid Antigen test (taken within 48 hours of arrival) or proof of having recovered from an infection within the past six months. Details and updates on entry requirements can be found here. According to Austrian authorities, travelers are considered “vaccinated” starting on the 22nd day after their first dose, lasting for three months. After the second dose, the validity extends for another 270 days. Vaccines that only require one dose are valid from the 22nd day after that dose.
Austria entered a second lockdown in November 2020 and since March 2021 had stay-at-home restrictions with national curfew hours of 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. These restrictions, along with entry regulations, were lifted as of May 19, 2021. The country does still require that face masks be worn on public transportation and in all shops, museums and businesses. In addition, many indoor and some outdoor public spaces require proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for entry. For details on current restrictions, check here.
As of Jan. 15, 2021, all travelers entering Austria must register electronically for a pre-travel clearance, and according to the U.S Embassy in Austria, all pre-travel test results must be written in German or English and dated within 72 hours (PCR) or 48 hours (Antigen) of the travel departure date.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, as of June 21, 2021, U.S. citizens—as well as citizens of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Hungary, Israel, The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar—can fly to Azerbaijan on special flights. Entry by land is not permitted, however, and all travelers over the age of 18 must have proof of having completed vaccination or proof of immunity from a previous infection, as well as a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours of departure for Azerbaijan (for passengers over the age of one). The 14-day quarantine for travelers was lifted on June 2, 2021.
The country is under special restrictions through August 1, 2021. Restaurants, cafes and most other businesses are open; beaches and shopping centers reopened on June 10, 2021; and the Baku metro has reopened for weekday service. Masks are required in all indoor spaces.
Azerbaijan also requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test to depart the country, if required by the destination country. As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Azerbaijan must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Belarus is in the middle of a popular uprising against Alexander Lukashenko, called the “last dictator in Europe,” and the country’s government set off an international furor on May 23, 2021 when it ordered the diversion of a Ryanair flight traveling from Greece to Lithuania in order to arrest opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19, so it may not be the best time to visit—but the country bordering Russia is open to tourism. According to the U.S. Embassy in Belarus, Americans are on a list of countries that were allowed to enter as of Aug. 15, 2020, but only through Minsk National Airport. Land borders are closed to American travelers.
If you can find a flight, you’ll need to get a visa. A COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours is required and travelers from a “red-zone” country (which includes the U.S.) must self-quarantine for 10 days—and complete the full quarantine in Belarus. You’ll also need to fill out a health questionnaire and submit to temperature/health checks on arrival.
As of June 21, 2021, Belgium is allowing Americans into the country, according to the U.S. Embassy in Belgium. Belgium, which has been hard hit by COVID-19, had been under a severe lockdown and some restrictions remain.
According to the Embassy and Consulate of Belgium in the United States, Americans can currently visit Belgium for tourism without acquiring an Essential Travel Certificate and without having to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test as long as the U.S. remains a green or orange country. Results from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure is required for travelers from red countries (or anyone who has been in a red country over the past 14 days), so Americans are urged to check Belgium’s list of countries by color status before travel. All travelers to Belgium must fill out a Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours ahead of arrival. Details and updates are here.
Travelers from red countries may also be required to quarantine based on their Passenger Locator Form. Those considered “high-risk” will receive a QR code via text message for testing and must quarantine upon arrival and test again on day seven.
On Jan. 25, 2021, Belgium banned all leisure/tourism travel for its own citizens and residents and severely restricted entry to just travelers entering the country for approved essential business, family or humanitarian purposes through April 18, 2021. Belgium has also instituted social distancing restrictions that remain in place. For more information, check the country’s Current Measures updates.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Americans can travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and, according to the U.S. Embassy, all visitors over the age of seven must present one of the following: a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) not older than 48 hours if coming from Europe and not older than 72 hours if arriving from other countries (including the United States); a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing full vaccination completed 14 days prior to arrival; or a doctor’s certificate of COVID-19 recovery in the period 14 to 180 days prior to arrival.
U.S. citizens are once again allowed to enter the country as of May 1, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. Entry regulations are currently valid through at least July 31, 2021. Bulgaria categorizes countries as green, orange or red to determine if citizens or residents can enter. The U.S. is currently orange, but travelers are advised to check the U.S. Embassy website regularly for any changes.
According to the U.S. Embassy, as of July 1, all travelers entering the territory of Bulgaria from a green or orange zone country, regardless of their citizenship, are allowed entry without quarantine if they present an EU Digital COVID Certificate showing that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has received a negative COVID test result, or has recovered from COVID-19. National authorities are in charge of issuing the certificate. The certificate may be issued by test centers or health authorities, or directly via an eHealth portal. The digital version can be stored on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a paper version. Both will have a QR code that contains essential information, as well as a digital signature to make sure the certificate is authentic. Similar documents which contain the same data as the EU digital certificate are also accepted.
U.S. travelers can once again visit Croatia—but they must have proof of accommodation paid in full in advance of arrival. Croatia had reopened for tourists from all countries, but then on Dec. 1, 2020, the government restricted entry and border crossings and instituted varying levels of lockdown to help limit COVID-19 transmission, and as a result, entry for tourism purposes was not permitted for U.S. citizens. That changed as of April 1, 2021.
- a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or an approved rapid Antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival
- a vaccination certificate showing vaccination was completed at least 14 days before entry to Croatia
- a certificate confirming recovery from a COVID-19 infection with a positive test result having been received within 12 and 180 days of arrival in Croatia
Unvaccinated travelers can also test upon arrival (at the traveler’s cost) and self-isolate until receiving a negative result. All travelers visiting for tourism purposes must also provide proof of accommodation paid in advance in full or they will not be permitted to enter the country. The U.S. Embassy says that “in the case of a multi-destination visit, documentation showing paid accommodation for the first location is sufficient.”
The U.S. Embassy also notes that entry requirements are subject to change at any time without notice and that the Croatian Border Police have final authority regarding entry into Croatia.
Incoming travelers from the EU and Schengen Area “Green List” countries and those from limited other countries on the EU safe list can enter without producing a negative COVID-19 PCR test; EU and Schengen Area residents from countries not on the list must provide proof of vaccination, recovery from previous infection or a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, a negative rapid Antigen test from the approved list taken within 48 hours or take a test upon arrival (at their own expense) and self-isolate under receiving the results.
Croatia requires that masks be worn in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing can not be maintained. Current restrictions also mandate outdoor dining or take-out and delivery only by restaurants and bars.
Cyprus, a small island nation off the coast of Turkey, is now open to Americans arriving directly from the United States.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus, “the United States is classified as an “Orange” category country. Tourists may travel from the United States to the Republic of Cyprus without mandatory self-isolation provided they have an approved “Cyprus Flight Pass” and have uploaded either proof being fully vaccinated or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Cyprus. Non-vaccinated U.S. travelers must also complete another PCR test upon arrival at their own expense (30 euros) and vaccinated travelers can still be selected for random testing upon arrival. Children under the age of 12 do not require testing.
Face coverings are required in all public spaces for people age 12 and older. According to the U.S. Embassy, many venues, such as malls and retail centers, are restricted to those with a valid “Safepass,” defined as either a negative (PCR or rapid Antigen) test in the previous 72 hours, proof of at least one dose of vaccination at least three weeks prior, or proof of having contracted coronavirus in the previous six months. But for tourists, proof of a Cyprus Flight Pass suffices. Only the police or health officials have the right to request these proofs. Restaurants are open for both indoor and outdoor service, with indoor seating open only those with a valid Safepass or Flight Pass. This is expected to remain in effect through at least July 31, 2021.
The Czech Republic, which in early and mid-March 2021 experienced the fastest virus spread in Europe, was under an emergency lockdown through April 12, 2021— but cases have since declined. According to the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, Americans are allowed to enter the country as of June 21, 2021 for any purpose, including tourism. Check for updates here.
A negative test is currently required for entry by both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated U.S. citizens into the Czech Republic (the U.S. is currently on the green list of countries, which requires a Passenger Locator Form and a negative test result for entry).
All arriving travelers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. Those from green countries (low risk) or orange countries (medium risk) and all travelers from high or very high risk countries must also show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (or an Antigen test taken with 24 hours) before boarding. Those from high and very high-risk countries must also test again and isolate. For details, check here.
The U.S. Embassy also notes that travelers need to show one of the following when entering a museum, attending a public event or checking into a hotel: a negative PCR test less than three days old; a negative Antigen test less than 24 hours old; proof of being 14 days past receiving a single-dose vaccine (valid up to nine months); proof of being 22 days past either the first or second dose of a double-dose vaccine: (valid up to nine months); or medical proof of recovering from COVID-19 in the last 180 days.
The latest updates on restrictions, which now include wearing FFP2 masks (equivalent to N95 masks) in public indoor spaces such as buses, trains and shops, can be found here.
Denmark began welcoming fully vaccinated American tourists on June 5, 2021 and unvaccinated American tourists on June 19, 2021. Pre-travel testing, testing upon arrival and isolation are not required for fully vaccinated Americans since the U.S. is an OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) country and is categorized as Yellow. Denmark labels all countries by color—Yellow, Orange or Red—with specific entry requirements for each. Travel restrictions for Denmark can be found here.
To enter Denmark as a tourist, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens who are at least 14 days past their final dose of Pfizer or Moderna or their single dose of Johnson & Johnson must present their official vaccination certificate. The U.S. Embassy in Denmark “strongly recommends you print out and carry with you a copy of the Danish government guidelines to demonstrate to airline personnel that you are exempt from COVID-related travel restrictions in place.”
Testing is not required for fully vaccinated Americans, but Americans who are not yet fully vaccinated must submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival. Masks are required in many public settings and the fine for failure to wear a face mask, violating gathering limits, or loitering in areas deemed “hotspots” is 2500 Danish Kroner ($400). Entry rules for Denmark can be found here.
Estonia reopened to Americans as of June 21, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, including for tourism. U.S. travelers who have proof of being within six months of being fully vaccinated or having recovered from COVID-19 can enter without having to fill out a declaration of health form. All unvaccinated U.S. travelers are required to complete an online declaration of health up to 72 hours prior to arrival. See more information here.
According to the U.S. Embassy, travelers arriving in Estonia from high COVID-19 risk countries (which the U.S. is not) may show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior, or undergo testing at the port of entry to shorten the 10-day restriction of movement requirement. In both scenarios, an additional negative test must be taken no sooner than 6 days after the first. Country lists can be found here.
Estonia’s Green list is evaluated weekly, and if U.S. cases continue to rise, it could change requirements to include a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test.
Estonia entered a lockdown on March 11, 2021, to try to stem rising cases. The order has been eased, with shops and museums allowed to reopen and restaurants operating with social distancing measures in place.
Finland remains closed to Americans. According to the U.S. Embassy in Finland, some exceptions exist for essential travel, transit, work-related travel, those with Finnish residence permits, and family members of Finnish nationals and residents. Entry is determined upon arrival and permission is not granted in advance of travel. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Finland should prepare for the possibility that entry may be denied.
The country uses a traffic light model to determine on a weekly basis who is allowed to enter, with testing and quarantine required. Finland had restricted entry from all Schengen countries except Iceland to only those traveling for essential purposes through June 21, 2021. Since that date, EU and Schengen residents who are fully vaccinated or within 180 days of having recovered from a COVID-19 infection can enter Finland, but restrictions on external borders (for most non-Schengen countries) remain in effect. Updates can be found on the Finnish Border Guards website.
For the latest on vaccination, testing and quarantine restrictions, check here.
Since Jan. 31, 2021, France had banned all but essential travel by anyone outside of the European Union and Schengen zone countries—but that all changed on June 9, 2021 when France reopened to tourists from select countries, including the United States, which is now a “green list” country.
All travelers from the U.S. must possess proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to France without mandatory quarantine. France uses a “stoplight” system, with three different colors: green, orange and red. Those coming from green countries can enter without restriction if vaccinated, while those in red countries are mostly barred from entry except for essential purposes.
The U.S. is now on the green list along with all Schengen countries, Canada, Israel and others. You can enter France from a green country without having to quarantine if you’re vaccinated or possess a negative COVID-19 test and sign a sword statement attesting to a lack of symptoms and no contact with an infected individual. Here are the requirements:
- Proof of being fully vaccinated, with the following vaccines accepted: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer
- If not vaccinated, proof a negative COVID-19 test, which needs to be a PCR or Antigen test taken within 72 hours of boarding
Regardless of where you travel from, you must wait a set amount of time after your COVID-19 vaccine in order to enter France: two weeks after the second injection for two-injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca) and four weeks after the injection for single injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson). If it hasn’t been long enough, simply get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure.
Check the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France for additional updates.
France, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus, extended lockdown measures and restrictions to all regions on April 3, 2021, with all non-essential services closed. A gradual reopening plan has been rolled out. On May 19, 2021, cafés, bars, and restaurants were allowed to reopen outdoor terraces, non-essential shops reopened. The nationwide curfew was lifted on June 20, 2021. Details are available here.
France continues to require face masks in public spaces. And the U.S. Embassy reports that on July 12, French President Macron stated that as of July 21, a health pass will be needed to enter events with more than 50 people — and that as of August 1, a health pass will be needed for airplane, train and long-distance car trips as well as cafes, restaurants, medical facilities and shopping centers. Details still need to be approved by parliament, so check for updates.
Americans are welcome in the country of Georgia, according to the U.S. Embassy, including those who have documented proof of completed COVID-19 vaccinations and those willing to stay for six months and work from home in the country. However, there continue to be widespread community transmission of the virus and the U.S. State Department’s current advisory for Georgia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
Unvaccinated U.S. citizens or residents arriving by air through permitted countries are required to complete an application form, present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel and take a second PCR test (at their own expense) on the third day after arrival in Georgia. Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens only need to present their vaccine certificate. Details and links to requirements are available on the U.S. Embassy website.
Related: Work from home in these countries
Georgia had hoped to attract freelancers and self-employed foreigners. Those interested in applying can expect to provide personal information, a certificate of employment and proof of travel insurance (valid for six months). Travelers must submit the application and obtain relevant confirmation documents prior to arriving in Georgia.
The German government confirmed on June 18, 2020, that Americans are welcome as of June 20, 2021.
The U.S. has been removed from the list of countries Germany considers high-risk for the coronavirus. The news was announced by Germany’s health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, during the release of its updated global COVID-19 risk evaluation for countries around the world.
This means that U.S. tourists who have proof they’re fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 and been cleared by a doctor or have a negative test result will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival.
Testing and quarantining are required for entry for some travelers, depending on their country of origin or where they have traveled in the past 14 days, as well as their vaccination status, with all unvaccinated travelers required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result taken within 72 or 48 hours of arrival, respectively.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Germany, the testing requirement is waived for those who are fully vaccinated (15 days after the second shot of a two-dose vaccine or the first shot of a one-dose vaccine) with an approved vaccine, as well as those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months, unless they are entering from a virus variant area of concern.
Germany entered a “hard lockdown” on Dec. 16, 2020, that was extended through May 9, 2021, with some limited easing of restrictions in regions with low cases.
Currently, Germany requires that all people wear FFP1 or FFP2 medical-grade face masks when on public transport..
Greece began welcoming U.S. travelers on April 19, 2021, after accelerating its plans to reopen for tourism purposes, originally slated to happen on May 14, 2021. Several cruise lines, including Celebrity, have also said they plan to sail the Greek islands from Athens beginning in late June 2021.
Greece still has a relatively high number of cases, after hitting record highs in March and April 2021, and tourists are subject to the country’s ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Those restrictions are being eased, beginning with cafes, bars and restaurants reopening for outside dining as of May 3, 2021 and museums reopened as of May 14, 2021. Restrictions on travel between regions have also been lifted.
All travelers eligible to enter Greece without self-isolation—those residing in E.U. & Schengen Area countries, United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Serbia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Thailand, Rwanda, Singapore, the Russian Federation, North Macedonia, Canada, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, China, Kuwait, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Saudi Arabia—should expect to adhere to Greece’s “five lines of defense” strategy. Those lines include:
- All visitors must be fully vaccinated (14 days or more past completion) or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival (children age five and under are exempt from testing)
- A checking system at Greece’s airports and borders, where passengers can be selected randomly to take a rapid test
- Any visitor who tests positive for coronavirus will be isolated in a “quarantine hotel”
- All tourism industry workers must be vaccinated (they will move up the priority list once the most vulnerable Greek citizens get the vaccine)
- Strict adherence to safety protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing.
All travelers must also complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 48 hours before their travel date. The requirement to self-isolate has been lifted for those with a negative test of proof of completed vaccination. Complete details on entry requirements can be found here.
Greece had been a rare bright spot for foreign tourists, but not for Americans until the Greek government announced stricter measures to combat rising COVID-19 cases. It began using a two-tiered system on Nov. 3, 2020, and entered a national lockdown on Nov. 7, 2020, with some minor easing of restrictions in late January 2021. But an uptick in cases in Athens throughout February delayed the city’s gradual reopening, which had been scheduled for March 2021, and lockdown measures continued with easing throughout April and May 2021.
Non-E.U. residents are advised to book a direct flight to Greece. Check the U.S. Embassy in Greece website for additional information.
Related: Can Americans finally go to Europe?
Hungary banned foreigners entirely early in the pandemic and began lifting lockdown restrictions on its own citizens in May 2020. But last fall, the country again banned foreigners, including Americans.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, only Hungarian citizens and their relatives can enter Hungary, with a few exceptions, and all who do enter are subject to a 10-day quarantine after receiving a health screening at the border. An exception to this is if they can credibly show two negative coronavirus tests taken at least 48 hours apart and taken in Hungary (or one can be taken before arriving in Hungary from a Schengen country, the U.S. or Canada and the other after arrival).
On May 1, 2021, Hungary began easing restrictions, with most indoor hospitality venues limited to those who are vaccinated or immune after a previous infection. Many restrictions have since been lifted and masks are no longer required either indoors or outdoors.
Iceland is welcoming U.S. travelers—but they can only avoid arrival screening/testing and a five-day quarantine if they’ve completed their COVID-19 vaccination or can present proof of a previous infection via a positive antibody test. Vaccinated U.S. travelers no longer needed to test upon arrival, as of July 1, 2021, but beginning July 27, 2021, they will need to pre-test before travel. All travelers to Iceland will be required to present a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), taken within 72 hours of departure, before boarding an aircraft to Iceland.
To avoid the required quarantine, all travelers to Iceland must present proof of either:
- A completed AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
- A previous COVID-19 infection, as confirmed with a positive antibody test or positive PCR test older than 14 days
All visitors also need to pre-register before travel and can present an official paper or electronic COVID-19 vaccine certificate that includes the traveler’s name, date of birth, date and location of vaccination, vaccine administered and the manufacturer and batch or lot number, as outlined on this page. Per the revised April 6, 2021, guidelines, vaccinated U.S. travelers had been required to take a test upon arrival, free of charge—but this requirement was lifted as of July 1, 2021. However, beginning July 26, 2021, all travelers will be required to present a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen) before boarding an aircraft to Iceland, taken within 72 hours of departure.
Unvaccinated travelers must be visiting from eligible countries (the U.S. is currently eligible, but restrictions can change without much notice—see who can travel to Iceland here), will need to fill out a pre-registration form and get a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport upon arrival. Then, five to six days after this initial test, they are required to get a second COVID-19 test. During that time frame between tests, travelers must self-quarantine until the results of both tests come back negative.
Iceland had discussed welcoming back American tourists as early as June 2020 but then changed its mind and a ban on American tourists remained in effect through March 2021. TPG’s Andrew Kunesh booked a last-minute flight shortly after the ban was lifted, but before Iceland’s government decided it needed more time to ensure procedures were in place. You can read his account here.
There is an active volcanic eruption taking place on the Reykjanes Peninsula near the capital, Reykjavik, but the Blue Lagoon, a major tourist attraction, has reopened.
Check the U.S. Embassy in Iceland website for additional information.
Ireland has been technically open to Americans, but the Irish government advised against visiting and a months-long lockdown along with quarantine restrictions have made travel there complicated. The good news: That has changed as the 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine for Americans was lifted in June and testing and quarantine restrictions were lifted for fully vaccinated U.S. travelers on July 19, 2021. Unvaccinated U.S. travelers must still present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and self-quarantine for 14 days (with a negative PCR test done on day 5 or later ending quarantine). Details on the latest restrictions can be found here and here.
A person arriving into Ireland without a negative PCR test or valid proof of vaccination or recovery faces a fine of €2,500 or six months in jail. Aer Lingus also offers helpful information on travel requirements as of July 19, 2021.
On Oct. 21, 2020, Ireland decided to reinstitute lockdown, which meant the entire country was placed on Level 5 lockdown. The country has been easing out of Level 5, with hotels open with strict restrictions (essential travelers only) and restaurants operating on take-out and delivery only. A gradual lifting of restrictions began on April 12, 2021 and continued through May and June, with the full reopening of hotels on June 2, 2021 and outdoor dining available as of June 7, 2021.
Ireland’s new travel entry protocols as of July 19, 2021 align with the EU’s approach to non-essential travel from third-party countries, which includes the U.S. Travelers from a country where the EU emergency brake (to control travel from areas of concern) has not been applied will be able to enter Ireland without testing or quarantine if they present proof of having completed their vaccination.
All visitors must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. Those who are unvaccinated will need to present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, self-quarantine and undergo post-arrival testing. Travelers from countries where an emergency brake has been applied will need both pre-travel and post-arrival testing (even if fully vaccinated) as well as self-quarantine (for vaccinated travelers) and mandatory hotel quarantine (for unvaccinated travelers).
For additional information, visit the U.S. Embassy in Ireland’s website.
Americans are once again allowed to visit Italy for tourism—and with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure for Italy, quarantine is no longer required as of June 19, 2021. This is valid through at least July 30, 2021.
In May 2021, Italy initially approved “COVID-tested flights” from the U.S. (on Delta from Atlanta and New York to Rome and Milan as well as on select American and United flights) that allow quarantine-free travel. Passengers on these flights, regardless of vaccination status, must fill out the digital Passenger Locator Form, present a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding, take a rapid test just prior to boarding and then test again upon arrival in Italy. With a negative result on all three tests, travelers do not need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Passengers arriving on other flights were required to self-isolate until June 19, 2021; then Italy lifted quarantine for U.S. travelers (as well as those from other EU countries, Canada and Japan) if they fill out the digital Passenger Locator Form, have a certificate showing proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure for Italy. Details for U.S. travelers can be found here. The latest updates by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found here.
Regions in Italy are divided in a color-coded system—white (very low risk), yellow (low risk), orange (high risk) and red (very high risk)—depending on transmission rates, availability of hospital and ICU beds and other parameters. Different restrictive measures apply to each zone.
The country has been among the hardest hit in Europe and the government imposed an Easter lockdown through April 6, 2021, with restrictions in certain regions eased since then as infections have slowed.
Related: Dreaming of Italy
Travelers from certain countries are restricted from visiting and others (divided into groups of List A, B, C, D and E) must fill out a Passenger Locator Form and provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours or 72 hours of entering Italy. Travelers from some countries are required to self-isolate. Updates on restrictions can be found here.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Italy is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. Check the U.S. Embassy in Italy website for updates and information.
Kosovo has reopened its borders to Americans — and according to the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo, the U.S. State Department’s advisory is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
All foreign citizens entering Kosovo who come from high-risk countries, according to the official list of ECDC, must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel; those permitted to enter Kosovo without a test must self-isolate for seven days. While testing is currently not required for those traveling from the United States, the U.S. Embassy nonetheless recommends a test for all air travelers to Kosovo:
“A COVID-19 test is not required when departing the U.S en route to Kosovo. However, due to quickly evolving COVID-19 testing requirements worldwide, we strongly recommend that all travelers obtain a COVID-19 test prior to air travel. Airlines, transit points, and destination countries impose a patchwork of different testing requirements and airlines have recently refused boarding to some passengers (including U.S. citizens and Kosovo residents). Airlines have the sole authority to decide who they allow to board their aircraft. Pre-travel testing can help avoid expensive and time-consuming delays or cancellations.”
Pristina International Airport is open to all travelers, according to the embassy. There is a curfew in place and intercity movement restrictions in some high-risk municipalities.
Here’s the heath advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo: “The health situation is moderate. U.S. citizens report equipment shortages and a lack of space available at local and regional hospitals.”
Latvia, which began a gradual lifting of its state of emergency on April 7, 2021, had gone several months with only essential businesses open and restaurants limited to take-out and delivery only. The country began welcoming American tourists as of June 19, 2021, as well as travelers from other low-risk countries.
The U.S. Embassy in Latvia says Americans need to follow these requirements:
- Vaccinated travelers who can present an interoperable digital EU certificate (either in an electronic smart device or printed out) or a vaccination certificate issued in the EU, the EEA countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom are excepted from this requirement and can travel to Latvia for nonessential travel without a negative COVID test or requiring self isolation.
- Upon entering Latvia, all travelers entering Latvia aged 11 and over who do not meet the exception will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours.
- Travelers arriving from outside of the EU/Schengen zone will also be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at their own expense. If the result is positive, the traveler must pay for self-isolation in one of the tourist accommodations specified by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency.
Any traveler who has visited a country not designated as low-risk for COVID-19 in the past 14 days will not be able to enter Latvia.
Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein, meaning that as long as you are qualified to enter Switzerland, you are able to enter Liechtenstein, since there’s an open border between the two countries. Americans are allowed in for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy. U.S. travelers arriving by airplane must fill out a digital entry form and present proof of being fully vaccinated within the past 12 months or having recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months, or provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight (children age 16 and under are exempt from testing).
At this time, entry to Liechtenstein (and Switzerland) is permitted for EU nationals and residents of other countries that are not on the list of high-risk countries. Travelers from non-high-risk countries (as of April 5, 2021, the U.S. is no longer considered high-risk) do not have to quarantine; unvaccinated travelers from high-risk countries in the EU are required to self-quarantine for 10 days, with an opportunity to shorten quarantine after seven days with testing. Switzerland/Liechtenstein has also banned entry from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Shops and museums in the two countries reopened on March 1, 2021, and restaurants and bars (for outdoor seating only) and some indoor cultural and leisure facilities reopened April 19, 2021. On June 28, 2021, additional COVID-19 restrictions and rules in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were also eased. Details are here.
Lithuania reopened its borders to other EU members, and as of June 1, 2021, to fully vaccinated Americans (and those who are unvaccinated but willing to test and self-isolate for 7-10 days). It also has different entry requirements for countries depending on their COVID-19 cases (the list is here). Fully vaccinated travelers do not have to test or quarantine. All travelers, however, must complete a registration form to receive a QR code to present before boarding and those from Red or Gray countries (which includes the U.S.) who have not been vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an Antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure and self-isolate for 10 days (with a shortening of time after a negative test on day six). Lithuania entered a national lockdown that ended June 30, 2021, with citizens urged to avoid non-essential travel and work from home.
U.S. passport holders and residents are allowed to enter if they have “a document issued by a medical establishment, a country-specific vaccination certificate, or an international vaccination certificate confirming the complete vaccination with one of the COVID-19 vaccines (COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen [Johnson & Johnson], Comirnaty [Pfizer BioNTech], COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, or Vaxzevria [Astra Zeneca]) administered under the vaccination schedule approved by the competent authority of the country where the vaccination was carried out,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania. The country continually updates its rules for all arrivals from abroad and details can be found here and here.
The U.S. Embassy also notes that since there are no direct flights between United States and Lithuania, it is the traveler’s responsibility to be informed about entry/exit requirements of the countries the traveler intends to transit on the way to/from Lithuania.
Luxembourg had allowed only E.U. citizens, E.U. residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter and the U.S.was recently added to that list. Americans who are not fully vaccinated will need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (or rapid Antigen test taken within 48 hours) of travel. Proof of completion of a vaccination with Moderna, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines exempts visitors from testing. Travelers age five and under are also exempt.
More information about restrictions can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg website. On Oct. 29, 2020, the country adopted new COVID-19 safety measures that limited gatherings, set restrictions for shops and closed restaurants (but both inside and outside dining are now allowed with capacity restrictions). Details can be found here.
U.S. citizens had been banned from entering Malta for non-essential travel, but as of June 17, 2021, residents of certain U.S. states are allowed to visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Malta. Initially the U.S. was on the Amber List, but as of July 14, 2021, the U.S., along with many other countries, has been moved to the Red List—meaning only fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are allowed to visit.
Vaccinated U.S. residents can currently visit directly from the U.S. and must fill out the digital EU Passenger Locator Form. The regularly updated list can be found here. Pre-travel testing is not required without proof of vaccination, but that could be subject to change and travelers heading to Malta to board a cruise ship are likely required to take a COVID-19 PCR test before departure.
The latest update from Visit Malta also indicates that U.S. travelers will need to verify their vaccination card through an app, beginning August 1, 2021. The Health and Tourism Authorities are proceeding with technical arrangements for the verification of the United States CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
As of July 19, 2021, Malta will recognize the United States CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with an EMA-approved vaccine (full course and 14 days post last dose) as a valid vaccination certificate.
As of August 1, 2021, the United States CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card will need to be verified through a specific app to be acceptable as a valid vaccination certificate. Details on this verification app will be issued in the coming days. See the latest details here.
Non-essential shops in Malta were allowed to reopen as of April 26, 2021 and restaurants reopened on May 10, 2021 and can now serve until midnight. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces and outdoors for those who are unvaccinated or for all people in groups of two or more.
Malta is a small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean, and it began its initial reopening on May 1, 2020. At the time, the country’s Prime Minister Robert Abela said at a news conference, “I am pleased we have managed to weather the storm without having succumbed to pressure to order a total lockdown.” As you can see in the video below, the county had an advertising campaign with the tagline, “Dream Malta now, visit later.”
Moldova declared a public healthcare emergency on May 15, 2020, and it has been extended until further notice. The country is, however, open to tourism from some countries. According to the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, Americans can now enter Moldova, but the embassy doesn’t specify if that applies to travel for tourism purposes. As of March 5, 2021, travelers age five and older who do enter Moldova must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers are now exempt from testing requirements.
The Embassy of Monaco in Washington, DC. reports that as of June 9, 2021, and until further notice, fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and Canada are permitted to travel to Monaco (whose immigration is overseen by France) with proof of full vaccination and no further testing, while unvaccinated U.S. travelers can visit with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or a negative Antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding. Travelers meeting the above criteria will not need to quarantine upon arrival.
France handles immigration and customs for Monaco. Details are here.
Montenegro is open to Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro notes that as of July 3, 2021, citizens coming from the U.S., Canada, European Union, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Albania, The Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, Ukraine, Israel, Norway, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Northern Macedonia, as well as citizens of those countries and foreigners who have permanent or temporary residence or are in the period of at least 15 days before entering Montenegro continuously residing in those countries, can enter Montenegro without having a new coronavirus test (SARS-CoV-2) or proof that they were vaccinated.
These measures are valid through July 30, 2021, but could be subject to change. The country had previously required U.S. travelers to provide one of the following: a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival; a positive antibody test not older than 30 days; or proof that seven days have elapsed since completing a COVID-19 vaccination (one shot or second of two shots).
Face masks and social distancing requirements remain in effect for public transportation and shops, but as of May 1, 2021, restaurants, cafes and bars are open at full capacity with a maximum of four people per table.
According to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands, Americans are allowed to visit the country as of June 24, 2021. Travelers will need to complete a health declaration, but because the U.S. is on the list of “safe countries,” Americans arriving from the U.S. or another safe country currently do not need to follow testing protocols.
On Jan. 20, 2021, the Netherlands instituted tough new testing measures that require all non-EU/EEA nationals to not only present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight to the country but also provide a negative rapid test result taken no more than 24 hours prior to departure. Those rules remain in effect for travelers from countries that are not on the safe list. The Netherlands has a “checklist” for incoming travelers. For the latest updates on who is allowed to visit and what the testing and/or self-isolation requirements are, check here.
In November 2020, the Netherlands announced tightened measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and then entered a tough national lockdown on Dec. 14, 2020; some restrictions have been eased, and shops and restaurants with outdoor seating areas were allowed to open as of April 28, 2021, and a 10 p.m. curfew was lifted. Additional restrictions were lifted throughout May 2021 and on June 5, 2021, the Netherlands entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan.
North Macedonia is now open to all tourists, including Americans. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) reopened on July 1, 2020. But North Macedonia has mandated a 14-day quarantine for all travelers arriving from India. There are also restrictions on public gatherings and social distancing (only outdoor dining is allowed) after cases in the country surged in March and early April 2021.
All arriving passengers will face temperature screening, but there are no quarantine or testing requirements unless passengers are arriving from India. Check the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia website for updates.
Norway is closed to most travelers, according to the U.S. Embassy. The country’s travel ban, enacted on Jan. 29, 2021, allows only Norwegian citizens or foreign nationals with a Norwegian residency to enter. The government also recently enacted strict new regulations regarding activities and capacities in effect until further notice.
All travelers to Norway over the age of 12 who are allowed to enter must now complete a registration form prior to traveling, present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 24 hours of travel and also be tested again for COVID-19 as soon as possible after arrival (usually at the airport and it must take place within one day) and enter and pay for a 10-day quarantine in a quarantine hotel (reduced to 7 days with two negative tests, one upon arrival and a PCR test no earlier than day 7).
On April 29, 2021, Norway also introduced stricter testing requirements for travelers who have been outside the EEA/Schengen area. The latest updates on testing and quarantine can be found here.
Poland had been open only to citizens or legal residents (and their spouses and children) of European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia who meet current exemptions. But U.S. citizens are now permitted to visit if they arrive on an international flight (unless they qualify for certain exemptions).
To avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine, any traveler entering Poland from within the Schengen Zone must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test taken at least 48 hours prior. Travelers arriving from outside the Schengen Zone must quarantine for 10 days or until they receive a negative result from a test taken no sooner than seven days after arrival in Poland; those who can show a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with an E.U.-approved vaccine are exempt from quarantine.
Poland entered a period of restrictions in late December 2020 that closed hotels to tourists, closed ski resorts and shopping malls, and limited restaurants to take-out and delivery only. Restrictions began to be eased on May 1, 2021, hotels reopened on May 8, 2021 at 50% capacity and outdoor dining is allowed as of May 15, 2021 and indoor dining as of May 29, 2021 (at 50% capacity). Face masks are mandatory in indoor public and public transportation.
Portugal has reopened to American tourists, according to the U.S. Embassy in Portugal. As of June 15, 2021, U.S. travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted within 72 hours of departure for Portugal (rapid Antigen tests taken within 48 hours are also accepted). There are specific requirement for Madeira and the Azores. Travelers also face a health screening and those from certain countries must self-quarantine for 14 days. Details are available on the TAP Air Portugal website.
The rules for entry will be reviewed every two weeks, reports the U.S. Embassy, with the next scheduled review set for July 25, 2021.
Cases have been rising in recent weeks and Portugal remains in a nationwide State of Calamity and masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outside when social distancing isn’t possible.
On Feb. 1, 2021, amid rising cases and spiking death rates in the country and the threat of imported cases of COVID-19 variants from abroad, Portugal implemented a lockdown and banned all non-essential international travel for its own citizens for two weeks. The general stay-at-home measures were extended, but since early April 2021 are being eased via a phased reopening. The country’s state of emergency ended on April 30, 2021 with the reopening of shops, museums, cafes and restaurants with hour and capacity restrictions.
Romania has reopened to some Americans. According to the U.S. Embassy in Romania, as of June 1, 2021, foreign citizens may enter Romania but are subject to a 14-day quarantine, unless they present the required testing (a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of their flight for travelers aged 4-16), or proof of completion of vaccination at least 10 days prior or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days (for those age 16 or older). The Embassy cautions that regulations continue to change so before traveling to Romania, travelers are advised consult their airline as well as the Embassy of Romania in Washington, D.C. for entry requirements.
Per the U.S. Embassy in Romania, some travelers face quarantine requirements depending on whether the traveler’s point of departure is in a yellow zone or green zone. Surging cases in the country this spring increased restrictions that have gradually been relaxed in May and June.
Americans had not been allowed to travel to Russia, even as the country has mostly reopened businesses and transportation after many restrictions were eased in June 2020. However, the U.S. Embassy now reports that, according to the Decree of the Russian Federation No. 1745-r, U.S. citizens are now permitted to travel to the Russian Federation under certain conditions. For more information, visit the website of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow also reports that it has received reports that U.S. citizens transiting through certain third countries to the Russian Federation have been denied entry. It appears that U.S. citizens are permitted to enter the Russian Federation only from countries with which the Russian Federation has officially resumed flight connections. A list of countries can be found here.
Since March 18, 2020, the Government of the Russian Federation had banned the entry of all foreign nationals, however on Jan. 25, 2021, Russia lifted its travel ban for Finland, Vietnam, India and Qatar. Anyone who is granted permission to enter the country, including those with valid residence permits, must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and complete a health form.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Serbia, Americans can visit, but they will need to provide a negative PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours. If a U.S. citizen’s travel originates in the U.S., they can provide either a negative PCR or Antigen test.
There was unrest in Serbia in July 2020 as protests against coronavirus restrictions turned violent, but it seems to have quieted. COVID-19 cases remain problematic and face mask and social distancing measures are in place. On March 22, 2021, all shopping malls, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants and bars (except for takeout and delivery) were ordered to close, but outdoor dining has been allowed to resume. Cultural institutions and public transportation are open but at limited capacity.
Slovakia first opened its borders to a few countries in Europe but now, according to the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia, travel for tourism or regular business from the United States to Slovakia is permitted, as long as the traveler has already legally entered the Schengen zone, including as a tourist through the airport in Vienna, Austria.
Per the U.S. Embassy, as of July 19, fully vaccinated travelers do not need COVID test results and do not need to self-quarantine. Fully vaccinated means at least 14 days (but not more than 12 months) have passed since the second dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna); at least 21 days (but not more than 12 months) have passed since vaccination with a single-dose vector vaccine (Johnson & Johnson); or at least 14 days (but not more than 12 months) have passed since the first dose of either an mRNA or vector vaccine if person has also recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days.
Travelers over the age of 12 must register at korona.gov.sk/ehranica and present the registration at the border, the U.S. Embassy notes. One registration is valid for six months, but travelers must present it at each entry. Travelers entering the Slovak Republic and claiming an exemption from testing and/or self-quarantine due to vaccination or recovery status much show a medical certificate or appropriate documentation in Slovak, English or Czech upon entry. Vaccination cards from all countries are accepted as long as they are in Slovak, English, or Czech.
Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 years must also register and present the registration at the border. They must fill out a new registration for each entry. Unvaccinated travelers must self-quarantine for 14 days, or they may self-quarantine for at least 5 days, take a PCR test, and self-quarantine ends upon receipt of negative test results. In this case, the Slovak government will automatically register the traveler for a free PCR test and send appointment confirmation via text message and/or email.
The U.S. Embassy notes that flights to the Schengen zone through Vienna, Amsterdam or Frankfurt permit transit as long as the traveler has documentation to prove that the final destination in the EU will allow their entry. All persons who arrive to Slovakia by airplane are required to fill out the registration form: Health Passenger Locator Form and to obey all epidemiological measures as ordered by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic.
Vaccinated travelers arriving from the following countries do not need results of a negative COVID-19 test: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, China, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Georgia, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Canada, South Korea, Kosovo, Cuba, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macau, Hungary, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Germany , Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, San Marino, Northern Macedonia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, USA, Mexico, Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican. Vaccinated travelers aged 12 years and older who arrive to Slovakia by air from countries not on the list need to present negative results of a PCR test less than 72 hours old, in addition to their korona.gov.sk/ehranica registration and vaccination card in Slovak, Czech, or English.
For details on transiting from neighboring countries by means other than air, check the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia website.
As of May 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy, Slovakia has divided countries into three groups for border entry requirements: Green, Red and Black. The U.S. is currently a Red country. Details can be found here.
Slovakia entered a new partial lockdown in December 2020 that was in effect through Feb. 7, 2021. On Feb. 8, 2021, it adopted a new “traffic light” system using regional controls based on the number of hospitalizations. Slovakia also began requiring the use of FFP2 masks in all indoor spaces and on public transportation as of March 15, 2021.
Slovenia has reportedly reopened its borders to some E.U. travelers as well as Americans, but it has a traffic light system of entry requirements. Travelers from countries on the red list must test, be immunized or fully recovered from COVID-19 or they face a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival.
The U.S. Embassy in Slovenia confirms Americans are now welcome for tourism, but they must be fully vaccinated (at least seven days past their second dose of Pfizer or 14 days for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) or present proof of recovery from COVID-19 infection (a certificate of a positive result of a PCR test, older than 10 days but not older than six months). They can also enter with a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel or a rapid Antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel. Details are available here.
Hotels in Slovakia have been permitted to reopen with a maximum of 50% capacity. Museums and shops are open with social distancing restrictions. Restaurants with outdoor terraces are open and indoor dining is allowed with restrictions.
Spain began welcoming back fully vaccinated American tourists on June 7, 2021. Those who are two weeks or more past (and under one year since) their final dose of Pfizer, Moderna or Astra-Zeneca or their one dose of Johnson & Johnson did not require a test to enter—and then on June 24, 2021, the country reopened to all U.S. travelers, regardless of vaccination status, and does not require testing or proof of vaccination to enter. But all U.S. travelers must present a QR code generated by the Spain Travel Health Portal.
The U.S. Embassy in Spain notes that there is no requirement to bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test if you are traveling from the United States to Spain. However, this may change with short notice, and cases are on the rise in both the U.S. and Spain, so be sure to review this information as close as possible to your travel date.
Details on entry requirements can be found here.
According to the the U.S. Embassy in Sweden, as of July 1, 2021, travelers who reside in the United States are now exempted from Sweden’s entry ban. The ban remains in place for all travelers, including U.S. passport holders, who reside in non-exempted countries. For more information, including the list of countries exempted from the entry ban, please refer to the Swedish Border Police’s website.
A negative COVID test is required for non-resident travelers originating outside the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland), including U.S. citizens, even those who are fully vaccinated. The test must have been administered less than 48 hours before arriving in Sweden. This time restriction is strictly enforced and individuals whose test is more than 48 hours old are routinely denied entry to Sweden. Antigen tests, PCR tests, and LAMP tests are acceptable for compliance with Swedish testing requirements.
The following information must appear on the certificate in order for it to be valid: Name of the person who has been tested; when the test was performed; whether the test performed is an antigen, PCR, or LAMP test; the test result; and issuer of the certificate.
Sweden has become well-known during the coronavirus crisis for not shutting down, instead hoping the population would develop “herd immunity” without hurting the economy or killing too many people. Unfortunately, Sweden has the highest number of deaths and cases in Scandinavia, and cases soared in December 2020 and January 2021, leading to a critical shortage of hospital beds. A third wave of infections is slowing but still ongoing as of mid-May 2021.
On Dec. 14, 2020, the country did enact stricter regulations pertaining to public gatherings and restaurant capacity, including that face masks be worn on public transportation. Face masks had not required and are generally not worn. Sweden also passed a law that as of Jan. 10, 2021, allows the government to use tougher emergency lockdown-type restrictions, including closing certain businesses.
Americans are allowed in for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland. U.S. travelers arriving by airplane must fill out a digital entry form and present proof of being fully vaccinated within the past 12 months or having recovered from COVID-19 within the past six months, or provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight (children age 16 and under are exempt from testing).
At this time, entry to Switzerland is permitted for EU nationals and residents of other countries that are not on the list of high-risk countries. Travelers from non-high-risk countries (as of April 5, 2021, the U.S. is no longer considered high-risk) do not have to quarantine; unvaccinated travelers from high-risk countries in the EU are required to self-quarantine for 10 days, with an opportunity to shorten quarantine after seven days with testing. Switzerland has also banned entry from the United Kingdom and South Africa.
To combat rising cases in early 2021, the Swiss government put in place additional restrictions, which have been eased in phases. Shops and museums reopened on March 1, 2021 and on April 19, 2021, restaurants and bars reopened for outdoor dining only, with indoor seating reopening on May 31, 2021.
Turkey’s international borders are open for travelers from a number of countries, including the U.S., according to the U.S. Embassy in Turkey. Cases had been surging in Turkey and on April 29, 2021, the country entered a nationwide lockdown through May 17, 2021, which prohibited the movements of citizens not tourists, and limited shop hours and restricts restaurants to delivery only.
On May 16, 2021, the government announced a gradual normalization period starting on May 17, 2021 (and extended on May 31, 2021) but most restrictions were lifted as of July 1, 2021, although cases remain at a sustained level. Tourists are exempt from restrictions. Check the U.S. Embassy website for details.
Related: Turkey is open to Americans
Since Dec. 30, 2020, all international travelers six years of age and older are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCT test result taken within 72 hours of travel and submit it at airline check-in. Travelers without the required test results will not be allowed to board flights or enter the country. Since March 15, 2021, all travelers six years of age and older must also complete a Turkey Entrance Form within 72 hours of their flight (a printout or mobile screenshot of the completed form must be presented before boarding). Full details are on the Turkish Airlines website.
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.
According to the U.S. Embassy, on June 28, 2021, the government of Turkey announced the suspension of all flights (as of July 1, 2021) from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka until further notice. Travelers who have been in any of these countries over the past 14 days must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entering Turkey and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Restrictions put into place in September 2020 mandate the wearing of face masks at all times when in public. On March 1, 2021, Turkey’s government announced a four-tier system for local COVID-19 related restrictions. Provinces are now divided into 4 risk groups: low (blue), medium (yellow), high (orange), and very high (red) based on infection and vaccination rates.
Travelers should note a couple of precautions unrelated to COVID-19:
- The U.S. State Department currently advises against travel to Turkey due to concerns over COVID-19, 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.
The State Department’s travelers’ checklist is here.
Per the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine’s website, U.S. citizens are currently able to enter the country. All U.S. citizens age 12 and older entering Ukraine from the U.S. or another “Red Zone” country are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, a negative rapid Antigen test or a document confirming the receipt of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines on WHO’s list of approved vaccines.
U.S. citizens traveling to Ukraine must also demonstrate that they have medical insurance covering all expenses related to COVID-19 treatment while in Ukraine.
Ukraine is under adaptive quarantine until August 31, 2021, and mask-wearing is mandatory on public transportation and in indoor public spaces.
Americans can travel to the United Kingdom, but are strongly advised not to—and the U.S. State Department on July 19, 2021 upped its advisory for the U.K. to Level 4: Do Not Travel on the very day Britain was heralding as “Freedom Day” as it relaxed nearly all COVID-19 protocols for citizens, even as cases surge due to the Delta variant. Nearly 45,000 new cases are being reported daily.
Those who do visit will still face pre-travel testing, a 10-day quarantine, and in most cases, additional tests on days 2 and 8. In England only, quarantine can be reduced after one negative COVID-19 PCR test taken on day 5 under its Test to Release scheme. The U.K. also now requires all arriving travelers to fill out a passenger locator form within 48 hours of travel and to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure for the U.K. Lists of red, amber (the U.S. is amber) and green countries, which dictates requirements, can be found here.
On Feb. 8, 2021, the U.K. also increased the fine for non-compliance and anyone who fails to comply will be subject to a fine of 1,000 pounds ($1,360). The government also revealed stiff fines and even jail time for those who try to circumvent the mandates or lie on their required passenger locator forms; the latter could be a 10,000 pound ($13,789) fine or 10 years in jail. Details are here.
Lockdown measures have been gradually eased in England and Wales with shops having reopened and restaurants and pubs permitted to open for outdoor dining on April 12, 2021; Scotland has also begun to lift its restrictions in phases. All four nations that comprise the U.K. have separate testing and quarantine requirement: England’s are here, Scotland’s are here, Northern Ireland’s are here and Wales’s are here.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his team announced on April 5, 2021, that the country would introduce a “traffic light” system for international travel beginning as early as May 17, 2021. Passengers coming from so-called “green” countries will not need to quarantine on their arrival in the U.K., but they will need to test prior to entry and on their return from travel. But on May 7, 2021, it was announced that U.S. citizens would not be among that group. This includes fully vaccinated Americans. The U.S. remains an Amber List country as of July 21, 2021.
Any American citizen or resident age two and older returning from the U.K. to the U.S. must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of flying (now a requirement for all international travelers to the U.S., effective Jan. 26, 2021) or documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days.
Testing requirements but not quarantine rules do not apply to international passengers transiting U.K. airports.
Visit the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom for regular updates.
Philip Goldson International Airport (BEZ) reopened on Aug. 15, 2020, and the return of tourism began Oct. 1, 2020, with travel requirements in place. Americans are welcome to visit Belize and anyone who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now visit without pre-travel testing by presenting proof of vaccine completion at least two weeks prior to arrival.
All visitors to Belize must complete a Customs & Immigration form given to them on their flight and those age five and older who have not yet been vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours or a Rapid Antigen test (by Sophia, SD Biosensor or Abbott/Panblo) taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight or they will be tested on arrival for $50 (cash only accepted). If a passenger tests positive and is notified by the Belize authorities, they must quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 14 days at their own cost.
Belize currently has a ban in place for anyone who has originated travel from, traveled to or transited through India or Bangladesh.
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 currently has a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (midnight to 4 a.m. Thursday to Saturday) but no regional travel restrictions. Tourists are, however, encouraged to remain within established “safe corridors.” Restaurants are open with capacity restrictions as well as for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery. Masks are required in all public spaces.
Costa Rica began its reopening in September 2020, and on Nov. 1, 2020, began welcoming visitors from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico — without the need for a negative COVID-19 PCR test. However, COVID-19 cases surged in late May 2021 and there remains a moderately high level of transmission in the country.
To enter Costa Rica, all travelers must complete a digital form called HEALTH PASS within 48 hours of travel. A form needs to be submitted for each individual traveler, including minors. It is also mandatory that all travelers have travel insurance that will cover accommodations (minimum of $2,000) in case of quarantine and medical expenses (minimum of $50,000) due to COVID-19 illness. For details, click here.
Most businesses are open and face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public settings and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible. Beaches are open and national parks are welcoming visitors at 50% capacity.
As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Costa Rica must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted. Many resorts in Costa Rica have begun offering on-property rapid Antigen and PCR tests to guests prior to departure for the U.S., so check your resort’s policy before traveling.
Travelers can also check the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica website for information.
The country of El Salvador reopened for commercial flights on Sept. 19, 2020, to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador. The country has, however, has banned visitors from both the United Kingdom and South Africa, or anyone who has visited either country in the past 30 days, because of the new COVID-19 variants in both countries.
- The government of El Salvador is requiring all airlines to obtain from their international passengers ages two and older, a printed original negative Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test result issued within 72 hours of the scheduled arrival at El Salvador to allow them to board. (Note: the 72 hours is counted from the date and time of the reception of the test result, NOT from the time a sample is collected). The printed lab report must state that the test is RT-PCR.
- As of March 29, 2021, adult travelers who have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations can present proof of vaccination instead of a negative PCR test, but the embassy cautions travelers to check with their airline to ensure that it will allow you to board without a negative test.
- Wear face masks and practice social distancing in all public settings, including at the airport.
The country has said arriving passengers will face temperature checks. A curfew is currently not in place and there are no quarantine requirements for visitors. The U.S. Embassy notes, however, that the Salvadoran Ministry of Health can place municipalities under special quarantine with little or no prior notice when a high number of COVID-19 cases is detected.
Guatemala began slowly reopening to tourism on Sept. 18, 2020, and Aurora International Airport is accepting international arrivals. Americans are welcome to visit. The country is, however, prepared to deny entry to any traveler (including U.S. citizens) who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom or South Africa over the past 14 days, and/or require those allowed in to quarantine.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, arriving passengers age 10 and older must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test conducted within 72 hours of arrival, proof of vaccination completion no less than two weeks before arrival, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within three months of arrival. They must also complete a Heath Pass. Any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.
Current protocols for travelers require airlines to confirm the entering visitor’s negative coronavirus test result, completed vaccination or recovery from infection or boarding will be denied. Upon arrival, travelers must pass through health checkpoints and soldiers are enforcing the mandatory use of masks.
Honduras reopened for tourists from all countries on Aug. 17, 2020, with its international airports in operation. Spirit Airlines has resumed service from Fort Lauderdale and Houston, and American Airlines is flying from Miami.
Entering visitors must complete a government registration form and present a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid Antigen test result taken within 72 hours of check-in at the airport or their original vaccination certificate indicating they are 14 days or more past completing their vaccination. They will also be required to sign an affidavit and complete customs forms. Masks are required in all public spaces. Updates on guidelines can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras website.
Non-resident Hondurans and tourists from the United Kingdom and South Africa, or anyone who has visited or transited through those countries within the past 21 days, are banned from entering Honduras. The local health authority maintains the right to grant or deny final approval for entry, based on their determination of risk of COVID-19 from any visiting travelers.
There is a national curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through at least July 18, 2021. Bars and nightclubs are closed and most businesses are required to operate with limited hours and reduced capacity.
Nicaragua never really shut down. There were never any stay-at-home or social-distancing orders and because of these relaxed rules, there have been questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has. The Nicaraguan government also never officially implemented any travel restrictions, but its borders and airports effectively closed until October 2020; only limited flights have since resumed (on Avianca and Copa) and two U.S. carriers (American and United) have set tentative dates for late summer and fall resumption of flights.
The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua notes that the Nicaraguan government has yet to officially impose any domestic travel restrictions or national quarantine policies. The embassy also states that U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Nicaragua, and a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 72 hours of travel is required for entry. Travelers should also be prepared for additional health screenings and may be asked to produce their negative test. Anyone entering Nicaragua from a country with a known yellow fever risk must also show proof of vaccination at least 10 days prior to arrival.
Panama began reopening its airport back in late August 2020 and reopened to tourism on Oct. 12, 2020, with one of the most comprehensive reopening guides. But widespread infections in late 2020 and early 2021 and a phased reopening plan have slowed progress. The U.S. Embassy in Panama notes on its website that the CDC has issued a Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 and the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory.
Panama currently requires travelers to register via an online health affidavit and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Anyone unable to obtain a negative coronavirus test within that time frame can take a COVID-19 rapid Antigen test at the airport upon arrival (cost: $50), but if the result is positive they must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel. Details are available here.
Effective May 3, 2021, travelers arriving in Panama who have been in or who transited through the United Kingdom, India, South Africa or any country in South America must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the last 48 hours and also undergo a PCR test upon arrival (at their own expense). Passengers who test positive will be transferred directly to a hotel-hospital for a 14-day quarantine; those who test negative must undergo a 3-day quarantine at a government designated hotel.
Panama has also instituted a 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. nationwide curfew along with stricter curfews paired with movement restrictions that vary by region, depending in infection rates. Face masks are required in public spaces.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international visitors indefinitely, according to the U.S. Embassy in Argentina. Some international flights have resumed, but they are limited and only Argentine citizens and foreign residents of Argentina, along with some essential and government workers, are allowed at this time.
All permitted arrivals (who have received a port of entry letter) must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel, be tested by Argentine authorities upon arrival, have proof of health insurance valid for COVID-19 treatment in Argentina, and self-isolate for seven days.
The country, which like much of South America is still battling high levels of COVID-19, has extended current restrictions for the foreseeable future.
Bolivia had been off-limits to tourists, but the country is now open to visitors, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia. However, the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Bolivia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
U.S. citizens will need to obtain a tourist visa ($160 and valid for 30 days). Entry rules recently changed and now travelers to Bolivia, regardless of their country of origin, must:
- Submit a certified negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight (children five years old and younger are exempt)
- Quarantine for at least 10 days after entering Bolivia (diplomats are exempt)
- Submit a sworn statement of location of stay within Bolivia
- Take another PCR test 7 days after arrival (the cost of this test must be covered by the traveler)
- Those who do not have permanent residence in Bolivia must have health insurance with coverage for COVID-19 upon entry to Bolivia
Face masks are required in all public spaces and social distancing rules are in place.
The U.S. Embassy reports that commercial flights have resumed—Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) airline has flights between La Paz and Miami—but that travelers should expect that additional restrictions affecting international travel could be put in place with little advance notice.
Brazil has the most coronavirus cases in South America as well as a COVID-19 variant that has caused many countries to ban entry of travelers from Brazil and continues to spike cases to record levels in the country (roughly 2 million monthly cases in both March and April 2021 and 1.7 million since mid-June) causing hospitals to be at or close to capacity. Daily cases remain at a very high level and the country has surpassed 537,000 deaths.
A travel ban on foreigners entering Brazil, however, was lifted at the end of July 2020. Tourists are currently welcome and while Brazil no longer requires proof of health insurance for entry, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Brazil and continues to recommend that all travelers purchase insurance before departing the United States. The CDC’s advisory for Brazil is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
For updates, check the U.S. Embassy in Brazil’s website.
Since Dec. 30, 2020, all travelers age 12 and older arriving in Brazil by air, both tourists and residents, must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to boarding and complete a Traveler’s Health Declaration form.
The U.S. Embassy also notes that international flights to Brazil originating in or passing through the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are currently prohibited and foreign travelers coming from or passing through the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the last 14 days will not be permitted to board flights to Brazil.
Despite ongoing surges in infections, the Brazilian government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro has denied the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home. There is a recommendation, however, that anyone experiencing symptoms enter a voluntary self-quarantine for 15 days.
Brazilians are currently not allowed to travel to the U.S., which has also banned entry by any foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days.
A trip to Chile is no longer possible, at least not right now, as the country has temporarily suspended entry by all non-resident foreigners until at least July 25, 2021. Americans had been allowed to visit Chile since Nov. 23, 2020, according to the U.S. Embassy in Chile, when the country began to gradually reopen its borders to foreign visitors via Santiago Airport.
Anyone who is currently allowed to enter is required to present three documents: a completed Affidavit of Travelers electronic form (done within 48 hours of travel); proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their final flight to Chile; and proof of a health insurance policy that provides coverage for COVID-19 and related health issues ($30,000 minimum) during the traveler’s stay in Chile.
Since Dec. 31, 2020, anyone entering Chile with the three documents described above has also been required to undergo a 10-day quarantine, with a test taken on the 7th day and a negative result releasing them from quarantine. But as of March 31, 2021, the government said the first five days of quarantine must be spent in a “transit hotel” (at the traveler’s cost) and after receiving a negative test, travelers will be released to finish their quarantine at their chosen hotel or residence. All non-resident foreigners are also required to complete a 14-day “Period of Vigilance for Travelers,” by reporting their location and health condition to authorities daily via email.
Chile is under a State of Emergency through September 2021 and much of the country is under mandatory quarantine restrictions, which vary by region and neighborhood; some movement between regions if restricted, there is a nationwide 9 p.m. curfew and face masks are required in public.
LATAM resumed flights between Santiago and the U.S., but before November 2020 they had been used mostly for humanitarian and repatriation flights.
Americans are allowed to travel to Colombia, where international flights resumed on Sept. 21, 2020, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, that now includex tourists. But cases have been surging since mid-March 2021 and regional curfews and restrictions were put in place as of April 5, 2021. Depending on reported ICU capacity data, curfews can start as early as 6 p.m. or as late as midnight and end at 5 a.m. Anti-government protests also broke out in Bogota in late April 2021.
Related: Colombia is open, but should you go?
Since Jan. 7, 2021, all travelers to Colombia had been required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure flight. But that requirement was recently lifted and a pre-travel test is no longer required—despite a continuing surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Current requirements only call for all visitors to complete the online pre-travel registration form “Check-Mig” within one to 24 hours of their flight departure time, wear a mask at all times in public and wash their hands on a consistent basis. Further details are available here.
Ecuador is again open for Americans. All arriving passengers age three and older are now required to present results of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid Antigen test taken within three days (72 hours) prior to arrival or a vaccination card showing completion of COVID-19 vaccination (or proof/medical certificate from their country of origin documenting recovery from COVID-19 at least 30 days prior to arrival), per the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador. Note: This is a change, as of March 22, 2021; the previous requirement for a negative test result had been 10 days.
There are special requirements for the Galapagos Islands, where a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel or proof of completed vaccination must be presented by all travelers upon arrival in Galapagos; this can be the same test if you are transiting directly to the Galapagos upon arrival in Ecuador and your test is within required the timeframe. According to the U.S. Embassy, travelers to the Galapagos also need a “salvoconducto” from their tour operator, and should contact the operator directly for that document.
Quito and Guayaquil airports are open and airlines are now required to verify that all travelers traveling to Ecuador have a negative test result (or proof of vaccination) before allowing them to board. Rapid Antigen testing may also be conducted upon arrival and if the test is positive the traveler will be required to isolate in a government shelter for 10 days. As long as the traveler has a negative test result and doesn’t display any symptoms upon arrival, quarantine is not required. Ecuador has instituted some regional curfews.
Related: Ecuador ditches quarantine
Americans can visit Guyana, according to the U.S. Embassy, but there has been an uptick in cases throughout May 2021. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to avoid a second test upon arrival and upload it electronically via an online Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours before arrival. Passengers must also provide a copy of the test result (in English) to their airline at check-in. Those with tests dated within 4-7 days of travel will need to test again in Guyana at a cost of $85, collected at check-in by the airline. Details can be found here.
There is a nationwide curfew from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Restaurants are open for outdoor dining, delivery, drive-thru, curbside pickup and take-out until 9:30 p.m.; indoor dining is allowed at 40% capacity with additional restrictions.
Paraguay had been under strict quarantine and was closed to tourism. But the government began easing its internal lockdown last fall and on Oct. 2, 2020, reopened Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. Some regular commercial flights then resumed in November 2020. However, COVID-19 cases in the country surged into early June 2021, reaching record highs, and restrictions on gatherings and dining capacity remained through the month of May 2021. An 8 p.m. curfew remains in effect.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay, the country ended its required quarantine for foreigners on Nov. 16, 2020, but everyone age 10 and older entering Paraguay must present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or NAAT test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 14-90 days may enter without a test. Paraguay requires a visa, which for Americans is available upon arrival.
After a prolonged state of emergency, Peru began Phase 4 of its economic reactivation on Oct. 1, 2020, including the resumption of a limited number of international flights. The U.S. Embassy in Peru reports that direct flights from the U.S. have resumed and Americans are welcome to enter Peru, although pre-travel testing is required for all visitors, regional restrictions are in effect, domestic flights are currently limited and the CDC maintains a Level 3: High Level of COVID-19 health advisory for the country while the State Department’s advisory is Level 3: Reconsider Travel. Peru has had a sustained high level of COVID-19 infections throughout April and May 2021, with a slight easing in June 2021.
All passengers age 12 and older must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result taken within 72 hours of departure for Peru (children under 12 can provide a “certificate of health issued by a medical doctor” in lieu of a test) and complete an online electronic Affidavit of Health and Geolocation Authorization administered by Migraciones.
With cases rising, Peru instituted regional risk metrics of High, Very High and Extreme, based on COVID-19 risk, subject to review every 21 days. Nightly curfews of 8 p.m. or 9.p.m. remain in effect in many regions, where restaurants are open at reduced capacity and bars and cinemas remain closed. Double face masks are now required to enter crowded indoor spaces such as shopping malls and supermarkets.
Machu Picchu, one of Peru’s top tourist destinations, is open at reduced capacity with strict social distancing measures in place.
The Peruvian government continues to ban any traveler who has been in Brazil, South Africa or India over the past two weeks.
Foreigners and non-residents are barred from visiting the country, according to the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, although an online application system introduced on Oct. 26, 2020, allows for limited entry of some non-citizen family members and essential workers. Limited commercial flights have resumed.
All arriving passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, carried out up to 72 hours before the start of the trip and conducted by a laboratory in the country of origin or another country in transit. Also required: an affidavit stating the absence of symptoms and contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in the 14 days prior to admission; proof of medical insurance with specific coverage for COVID-19; contact information (phone number) in Uruguay for traceability. Visitors are also required to self-isolate for seven days and take a second COVID-19 test or self-isolate for 14 days.
Cases and deaths in Uruguay hit record highs in April and May 2021 and remained elevated in June 2021. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Uruguay is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
This South American country has been one of the world’s most at-risk nations amid the coronavirus pandemic. PBS reports that the humanitarian crisis currently being exasperated by the coronavirus pandemic.
All international travel — suspension of commercial flights and closure of land and sea borders — had been shut down, but according to the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, limited flights resumed in early November 2020.
The U.S. State Department, which has been operating its embassy in Venezuela virtually because of unrest in the country, strongly advises against travel to Venezuela has has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory. Current entry requirements are that U.S. travelers must apply for an obtain a visa and all arriving passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival (but the embassy notes that this could be subject to change by the Maduro regime). There are health screenings upon arrival, but no quarantine is currently required.
Cambodia has opened back up to visitors, including Americans, but not for tourism purposes. Per the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, there are still severe restrictions. And throughout June and July 2021, the country has experienced its highest levels of cases and deaths to date.
All visitors allowed to enter the country need to provide a test result proving they are COVID-19 free taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to pay a deposit of $2,000 upon arrival for mandatory COVID-19 testing and potential treatment, purchase a local health insurance package for $90 (valid for 20 days) and quarantine in official facilities/hotels until getting a second test result on Day 13.
Also complicating travel to Cambodia: The country has suspended e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice and the U.S. Embassy reports that only applications for “diplomatic, official and sponsored business-like visas” are being issued.
Cambodia has once again imposed some regional business closures and restrictions on travel due to outbreaks in late February and March 2021. There are regional curfews and also travel restrictions in certain provinces that have been deemed “Red Zones.”
China was where COVID-19 emerged, and the country suspended entry for nearly all foreigners and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March 2020. Strict anti-travel measures remain in place. Flights began to resume last summer and in September 2020 the State Department eased its travel advisory for China, lowering it from Level 4: Do Not Travel to Level 3: Reconsider Travel, mainly due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws. The CDC’s advisory for China is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
The U.S. Embassy in China says that U.S. citizens with valid resident permits and visas can enter China “under certain conditions.” On Dec. 23, 2020, Chinese authorities increased the requirements for passengers seeking to enter China from the United States. Both COVID-19 PCR testing, as well as IGM antibody tests (with special requirements for individuals vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines), must be performed in the departure city, and a 14-day quarantine after arrival is required. Details can be found here.
Hong Kong Airport began allowing transit passengers back in June 2020, but there is no fixed timeline for tourism at this time. Transit passengers are international travelers who are only flying into Hong Kong in order to catch another flight. Transit passengers cannot leave the airport.
The most recent regulations state that all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane from anywhere other than Mainland China, Macau, Australia or New Zealand in the past 14 days will be denied entry.
The U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau says that only U.S. citizens with Hong Kong residency, diplomats, and U.S. citizens that have not traveled outside of mainland China, Macau, Australia or New Zealand in the past 14 days are permitted to enter Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has banned passengers from Group A1 countries (South Africa, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and as of July 1, 2021, the United Kingdom) who have been there in the past 21 days or who transited through those countries for more than two hours, from even boarding flights to Hong Kong and has banned flights from those countries from landing in Hong Kong until further notice. Travelers from those countries who spent the past 21 days in a non-banned country must present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test taken within 72 hours of flight departure and reserve and pay for a 21-day stay at a designated quarantine hotel with four tests and a subsequent seven days of self-monitoring and compulsory testing on day 26.
Passengers from Group A2 (Ireland and Russia) are now allowed to board flights but must present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test taken within 72 hours of flight departure and show a reservation for 21 days at a designated quarantine hotel and quarantine for 21 days upon arrival with self monitoring for seven days after that and compulsory testing on day 26 after arrival.
Passengers from 28 Group B countries (including U.S. citizens who are Hong Kong residents but have stayed in the U.S. or another Group B country over the past 14 days) must present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test taken within 72 hours of flight departure along with a designated quarantine hotel reservation and quarantine there for 21 days upon arrival (or 14 days if fully vaccinated).
Complete details on entry requirements and quarantine for travelers by country (Groups A to D) are here.
India has been experiencing a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases since mid-March 2021 and has overtaken Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of infections (31 million as of June 30, 2021), after the United States. The death rate soared through mid-May 2021 and hospital beds and oxygen supplies are scarce. A number of countries have sent aid and supplies and case numbers, while still high, have begun to decline.
As of May 4, 2021, the U.S. has banned all foreign nationals from entering the U.S. if they have been in India over the previous 14 days. Because of the highly contagious Delta variant that originated there, a number of other countries have also banned travel from India.
India itself announced in March 2020 that it was not allowing foreigners into the country and there is no word yet on when foreign tourists might be welcome again. Some international flights are operating, but only for humanitarian or essential travel. Some business travelers are also being allowed in. Americans must have an emergency authorization or business visa to visit.
According to the U.S. Embassy in India, all international passengers must upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel to the Air Suvidha portal and submit a self-declaration form 72 hours prior to the start of travel. Passengers may be tested again upon arrival (at their own cost), depending on where they have traveled from or transited through (the U.S. Embassy website has details) and must self-monitor for 14 days. U.S. citizens who must travel to India are strongly urged to get fully vaccinated before travel and continue to take personal health safety measures to protect themselves.
Visit the New Delhi Airport website for the latest updates to COVID-19 protocols, which vary by Indian state.
Indonesia had been reopening gradually in 2020, but last August it canceled plans to reopen Bali until a yet-to-be-determined date. And in January 2021, as cases in the country topped one million (they have been surging in recent weeks and now number more than 2.7 million), Indonesia also restricted foreigners from traveling to or transiting through Indonesian territory until further notice, unless they have a valid residence permit.
The Indonesian government has allowed airlines to resume domestic flights with certain restrictions. International travel for tourism is still banned, but there are a limited number of exceptions for entry. According to the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, all foreign visitors must already have an existing valid visa or residence permit. Visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry for all foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, remains suspended. Visitors who meet the requirements must present proof of being fully vaccinated (children under age 12 are exempt), plus a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel and are required to undergo a health screening upon arrival (which will include another test) and mandatory quarantine in a government-designated hotel for eight days, including two additional tests. A negative result is required for release. Testing within 72 hours of travel is also required to board domestic flights.
Since April 23, 2021, Indonesia has banned entry by any foreign national who has been in India in the past 14 days.
On Dec. 28, 2020, Japan banned all foreign nationals who are not legal residents from entering the country until further notice, after several cases of the COVID-19 variant first reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa were detected. Currently, the ban applies to travelers who have spent the past 14 days in 159 countries, including the United States.
On Jan. 7, 2021, with cases spiking in Tokyo, which will host the delayed Olympic Games beginning on July 23, 2021, Japan declared a state of emergency in the city and three surrounding prefectures; an additional eight prefectures were added a week later. As cases continued to suge throughout April 2021, Japanese authorities declared a third state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. With cases still on the rise, the country on May 7, 2021 extended restrictions through the end of the month and added two additional prefectures, before seeing a decline in cases. The state of emergency was lifted for Tokyo and eight other provinces on June 20, 2021, but was experiencing more than 3,000 cases daily by mid-July.
Japan originally lifted its nationwide state of emergency in late May 2020, but it maintained its entry ban for nearly 111 countries and regions — including the United States. Some Americans with dual citizenship and/or who were cleared by the government in advance were able to visit until December 2020. Limited business travel had been allowed to resume, but no tourism had been allowed, according to the U.S. Embassy in Japan. Visa-free travel remains suspended.
The Japanese government is currently requiring all returning citizens or residents as well as foreign travelers with permission to enter to submit a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their international departure, be tested upon their arrival in Japan, submit a detailed itinerary that includes accommodations, and quarantine for 14 days. Visitors also need to pledge to refrain from using public transportation for 14 days. Those who violate these measures face deportation. Details are available here.
Japan was set to host the Olympic Summer Games in July 2020, but that date was pushed back to July 23, 2021. Olympic organizers have announced that no foreigners will be allowed into Japan to attend the Games as spectators and that most venues will not have spectators at all.
The land-locked central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is closed to most Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan. International flights from Azerbaijan, China, South Korea, Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates have resumed.
U.S. citizens are not allowed except in rare cases and require a pre-approval, a visa and a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (3 days) of arrival. Tourists are not welcome.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan says the entry ban for U.S. citizens was lifted in December 2020, but advises citizens to avoid travel to the country due to limited healthcare services. Those who do visit Kyrgyzstan via airports in Bishkek, Osh and Issyk Kul (land borders remain closed) will need to present a either their original vaccine card showing full vaccinaton against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. If a traveler’s PCR test expires en route due to flight delays or cancellations, they will be required to test again upon arrival at their own expense. Children under age five are exempt from testing requirements.
Kyrgyzstan reopened some of its businesses in May 2020 and allowed the national curfew to be lifted. Malls and markets were able to open their doors and public transportation and commercial flights resumed.
Most Americans cannot travel to Macau. According to the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau, only U.S. citizens with Macau residency (or those who have spent the preceding 21 days in mainland China) and have the appropriate visa are permitted to enter Macau.
According to the U.S. Consulate General, as of May 6, 2021 all travelers arriving from Hong Kong must present proof of a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test conducted within 24 hours. Travelers who have been in mainland China or Taiwan 14 days before entry must present proof of a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test conducted within the past 7 days. Travelers arriving from any other place must present proof of a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours.
The Consulate also notes that as of April 27, 2021, Macau residents who have been in low risk areas of mainland China for the past 14 days and have not been to any foreign country in the past 21 are exempt from quarantine. Macau residents who have visited Taiwan or Hong Kong, but have not traveled to any other country in the past 21 days, must complete 14 days of quarantine. Residents who have visited any other foreign country in the past 21 days will be subject to a 21-day compulsory quarantine at a designated location, followed by another 7 days of health self-management. See the U.S.Consulate General website for full details.
Malaysia is still not allowing tourists. In fact, travel restrictions on all foreign nationals—with very limited exceptions for certain long-term pass holders and pre-approved short-term business travelers—have been extended until further notice. Cases and deaths in the country reached record highs in May and early June 2021.
Those who are permitted to enter must use a portal called MyTravelPass to request permission and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for Malaysia and pay for a 14-day quarantine at an assigned location (this applies to travelers from most countries, including the United States, while those from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan must quarantine for 21 days). There will be a test on day 10 or 18 of quarantine depending on the traveler’s country of origin. Malaysia has also barred flights to and from India.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, the entire country remains under a “Full Movement Control Order” with restrictions that were supposed to last until June 28, 2021 now extended indefinitely.
The Maldives had announced one of the most liberal opening policies in the world in July 2020, but according to the U.S. Mission to the Maldives, the island nation has since placed restrictions on tourists. Cases rose in late April and May 2021 and certain islands with confirmed COVID-19 cases have been placed under lockdown. As of May 13, 2021, the Maldives also temporarily banned entry by visa holders from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with anyone who has transited those countries over the past 14 days.
International visitors, including Americans, must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure and complete a Traveler Health Declaration within 24 hours prior to travel. A free 30-day tourist visa will be issued upon arrival and travelers may be subject to random testing. Further details can be found here.
Related: Maldives reopening
Tourists also need proof of a reservation with an approved hotel or resort. And tourists are now allowed to transfer from one resort to another, but only if their is no community transmission happening on either island. The latest update on resort openings can be found here.
The U.S. Mission reports that islands with cases are placed under travel lockdown and that travelers who test positive are routinely separated from their travel companions and forced to isolate at their expense. Anyone who is exposed to someone with a positive test for COVID-19 is required to quarantine for 14 days at their expense.
There had been a 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and other restrictions through June 9, 2021 on residents of the capital, Male, where the case surge has been the greatest, but that has been lifted.
Emirates Airlines is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives starting in July 2020. Turkish Airlines also started flights in July 2020.
Nepal, which had remained mostly closed to tourism, has reopened to travelers arriving via air. Americans are allowed to visit. However, cases of COVID-19 surged throughout April and May 2021, topping 9,000 a day, and since April 29, 2021 Kathmandu and Kathmandu Valley have been under a lockdown that was extended through at least July 15, 2021, closing all but essential services and limiting movement. Both international and domestic fights were also suspended through May 31, 2021, before a very limited number of flights were allowed to resume; this restricted flight schedule will remain in place through at least June 30, 2021.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal, the government of Nepal has resumed issuing tourist visas. The embassy reports that all travelers should obtain a tourist entry visa from a Nepali diplomatic mission abroad or obtain a pre-approval/recommendation from the concerned ministry for ensuring their on-arrival visa. For more information, contact the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. Further information on obtaining a tourist visa is also available from Nepal’s Department of Immigration.
The U.S. Embassy website notes that U.S. travelers to Nepal need the following:
- Results of a negative COVID-19 PCR negative taken within 72 hours of boarding or a document showing complete vaccination against COVID-19 (children five and under age five are exempt from testing)
- A visa to Nepal or recommendation letter from the Department of Tourism or Nepal Tourism Board to participate in tourism activities within Nepal
- A hotel booking confirmation or guarantee of accommodation
- Proof of travel insurance that covers emergency search, rescue and treatment, among others, for the duration of their travel
- The barcode generated from the online application of the Online International Travel Arrival Form.
The U.S. Embassy also reports that all international travelers are required to quarantine for 10 days, no matter their vaccination status, and all travelers arriving into the Kathmandu Valley from other areas of Nepal must also quarantine for 10 days. Failure to wear a mask when outdoors may result in arrest and a fine.
Pakistan has reopened for Americans, however, the U.S. State Department’s Level 3 advisory says, “Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and sectarian violence. Exercise increased caution in Pakistan due to COVID-19.” The CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Embassy website, Americans wishing to travel to Pakistan will need a visa, and as visitors from a Category B country, upon arrival, they will need to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure from the U.S. They will also need to download and install a Pass Track app, face health screenings and testing on arrival and self-quarantine for 10 days. Guidelines can be found here.
There are few remaining COVID-19 restrictions and there is no curfew at this time.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, the Philippine government suspended the entry of all foreign nationals from March 22, 2021 through April 30, 2021. Americans who meet certain criteria have been allowed to enter since May 1, 2021—see the U.S. Embassy website for details. The Philippines also banned travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates or anyone who has visited those countries within the previous 14 days until further notice. The government also extended a partial lockdown in Manila and other regions through at least July 31, 2021.
Americans are only allowed into the Philippines if they meet certain requirements, such as being foreign spouses or children of Philippine citizens who are traveling with the Philippine citizen, and already have a Philippine visa. All travelers must undergo a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Manila and are required to have pre-booked a stay of at least 10 nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility, where they will undergo a 14-day quarantine.
COVID-19 cases have been declining since late April 2021, but remain elevated enough that within certain regions of the country there are regional curfews and/or quarantines as well as restrictions on intercity and interstate travel throughout the Philippines.
Singapore remains mostly closed for short-term visitors (including tourism). Americans are not allowed except for those who are dual citizens, residents of Singapore or are long-term pass holders who have received government permission. Singapore has developed reciprocal “Safe Travel Lanes” with several countries for official/business travel, but it tightened restrictions on May 14, 2021, which banned indoor dining and required working from home, for one month to get ahead of a small surge in local cases. Singapore entered Phase 3 of its reopening plan on June 14, 2021 and social distancing measures and mask requirements remain in place.
As of Jan. 24, 2021, all travelers must take a test upon arrival and all non-citizens or permanent residents arriving from most countries (including the U.S.) must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Travelers are also required to take another test upon arrival and quarantine for two weeks in what Singapore terms a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and have a minimum of $30,000 in travel insurance (as of Jan. 31, 2021). Full requirements can be found here and here.
The country has relaxed transit restrictions at Changi Airport. Unfortunately, transit restrictions vary by country of departure; check the Singapore Airlines website to see who can transit beautiful Singapore airport.
Americans can go to South Korea, but a mandatory two-week quarantine will make it undesirable for most travelers. And starting in September, all U.S. citizens visiting South Korea will be required to complete an Electronic Travel Authorization form to get approval before traveling, the country’s Ministry of Justice announced earlier this year.
While the country is technically open to foreigners on short-term visits, most (with limited exceptions) are subject to a mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense for 14 days. According to the U.S. Embassy in South Korea, beginning July 1, 2021, limited categories of vaccinated travelers may apply for a quarantine exemption certificate at an overseas Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.
The U.S. Embassy notes that until then and for those who are not granted exemption, quarantine will cost approximately $100-$150 USD per night, and passengers will be required to sign a release form agreeing to these conditions before departing. As of Jan. 8, 2021, all travelers (even those who are fully vaccinated) are also required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
South Korea has agreed with China and Singapore to allow some business travel between the countries. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Korea is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
Sri Lanka announced it would reopen to limited international flights on June 1, 2021 after a 10-day ban to control a surge of cases in the country. Sri Lanka had been closed to tourists since March 2020, but reopened its two international airports — Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) and Mattala International Airport (HRI) — in early 2021 and had begun to allow tourism to resume.
The reopening began in December 2020 with a pilot program with Ukraine, in which tourists are allowed to visit in a “travel bubble.” After a review, the country extended the reopening to other countries, beginning Jan. 21, 2021. However, flights to Sri Lanka remain extremely limited and a record rise in cases in late April and May 2021 has resulted in preventative measures, including curfews and some travel restrictions, to be enacted. Case numbers remain quite high.
Travelers who can visit—which, according to the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, currently does not include Americans for tourism purposes—must be tested (COVID-19 PCR test) in their own country within 72 hours of their flight and then undergo a 14-day quarantine. The Embassy notes that those who are allowed in require a valid visa (visa upon arrival remains suspended) and an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).
Taiwan banned international tourism as of March 19, 2020. That ban remains in place. And as of May 19, 2021, the country has banned the entry of all foreign nationals without a valid Alien Resident Certificate after reporting its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases (335) since the start of the pandemic.
Before the ban, and presumably again when it is lifted, Americans had been allowed to go to Taiwan under certain very strict circumstances. They must have permission from the Taiwan government beforehand. Currently only those with a valid Alien Resident Certificate are allowed entry. All arrivals must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and are subject to a 14-day home quarantine (with proof of a place of quarantine). Because of the Delta variant, as of June 25, 2021, Taiwan strengthened quarantine protocols for arrivals from “key high-risk” countries (including India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Peru, the United Kingdom and Israel) to require them to quarantine in group facilities, while arrivals from other countries need to stay in and far for a stay in a quarantine hotel.
Tajikistan never did have a full lockdown, and most businesses, hotels and restaurants reopened on June 15, 2020. The U.S. State Department has a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory in effect for Tajikistan related to both COVID-19 and the potential for terrorism and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level: Unknown (with advice to avoid travel there).
According to the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan, all Americans need a Tajik visa for entry and must show results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours of arrival when boarding flights to Dushanbe; they are also subject to PCR testing at the airport upon arrival. Travelers must provide contact information and will be allowed to leave the airport, but if the result is positive for COVID-19, travelers will be transferred to a government quarantine facility.
The U.S. Embassy also notes that access to medical care in the country may be limited and that “the Government of Tajikistan frequently adjusts its entry and exit requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and changes to policy are not immediately made available to the public.” A non-expired visa is also required to leave Tajikistan.
As of April 1, 2021, U.S. passport holders are no longer required to obtain a visa for a tourist visit of up to 45 days (valid through September 30, 2021) in Thailand. They still need to obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) and quarantine. Details are here. Thailand has begun a phased reopening for vaccinated tourists without the need to quarantine, starting with Phuket on July 1, 2021. However the country has been experiencing record-high cases and deaths through July 15, 2021.
Travelers to most regions still need to quarantine by booking a reservation at one of Thailand’s Alternative State Quarantine hotels. As of May 1, 2021, U.S. passport holders (and all international arrivals and regardless of vaccination status) must once again quarantine for 14 days. The most recent updates on travel to Thailand by Americans can be found here.
To enter Thailand, U.S. travelers need a Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate; a COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000; confirmation of Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel booking, and a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR laboratory result issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
During quarantine in Thailand, travelers must undergo a PCR tests. For a 14-day quarantine, three tests are required: on the day of arrival and on days 6-7 and days 12-13.
For further information on visiting Thailand, check the U.S. Embassy in Thailand’s website.
Thailand has announced that it plans to waive quarantine requirements for travelers who are fully vaccinated in phases, beginning with travel to Phuket as of July 1, 2021, where the tourism industry is looking to lure travelers with $1 per night hotel rates. Thailand has also promoted six resorts offering a “golf quarantine.” Details and updates can be found here.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, U.S. citizens are allowed to visit the country, but the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory and the CDC’s advisory id Level: Unknown (with advice not to travel there). In addition, the country’s suspension of all international flights has been extended until further notice.
Turkmenistan claims it doesn’t have any cases of COVID-19, but the embassy casts doubt on those claims. Any private U.S. citizen seeking to enter Turkmenistan will be required to present both a negative COVID-19 PCR test and a serology certificate confirming the presence of antibodies taken within 24 hours of departure from the U.S. or other point of origin. All travelers will also undergo a PCR test upon arrival ($44), followed by 21-day quarantine in a government facility. Another PCR test ($44) is required to exit quarantine.
The U.S. Embassy notes: “The government of Turkmenistan can and does change quarantine requirements and arrival procedures for private citizens with little advance notice.”
Uzbekistan is open to Americans. In fact, it promises to compensate tourists up to $3,000 if they catch COVID-19.
U.S. citizens need a visa for entry, and a negative COVID-19 PCR test is required within 72 hours of departure to Uzbekistan. Tourists face health screenings as well as a rapid Antigen test upon arrival if they did not have the required negative pre-travel test. Passengers must wait for results and if they test positive, they will be taken to a health facility for treatment and quarantine. After two weeks and a negative test, they will be released from quarantine.
Radio Free Europe reports Uzbekistan lifted its ban on international flights from Oct. 1, 2020.
Vietnam resumed international flights in September 2020 from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia and Laos for Vietnamese nationals, diplomats, experts, managers and skilled workers.
Foreign tourists were originally banned as of March 22, 2020, and it is uncertain when the Vietnamese government will lift this restriction. According to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, U.S. citizens are not permitted into Vietnam, with “limited exemptions for diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers, foreign investors, and high-tech workers and other businesses travelers.” Those who are allowed to enter are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three to seven days of arrival, undergo health screenings upon arrival and follow the country’s strict quarantine protocols, including quarantine for 14 days (a pilot program is currently testing a seven-day quarantine for fully vaccinated visitors to Quang Ninh province).
As cases continue to rise—Vietnam had over 22,000 active cases in isolation as of July 15, 2021—several regions of the country are currently subject to curfews, capacity restriction and business closures. The government has also said that individuals who refuse to wear face masks will be subject to severe penalties.
Australia remains closed to most foreign visitors. Additionally, since Jan. 8, 2021, the government has required all returning citizens, legal residents and permitted essential workers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding any international flight to the country.
In addition, with just 5 percent of its population vaccinated, Australia continues to rely on regional lockdowns when cases emerge. Sydney, which recently experienced a cluster of cases fueled by the Delta variant, is under lockdown until at least July 30, 2021.
Americans are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and all arriving citizens, permanent residents and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day stay in quarantine hotels. Check the U.S. Embassy in Australia website for details on restrictions and exemptions for entry. The site also has details on travel restrictions between Australia’s states, which have varying bans and requirements and a subject to last-minute lockdowns.
In October 2020, Australia and New Zealand created a “travel bubble” allowing anyone who has been in New Zealand for the past 14 days and is traveling on a quarantine-free flight to travel to Australia quarantine-free. The bubble was suspended on Feb. 14, 2021, for one week after New Zealand went into a lockdown after discovering cases of the U.K. variant in Auckland. The recent Sydney outbreak has caused a similar suspension.
A reciprocal plan for travelers from Australia to New Zealand began on April 19, 2021.
Australians are currently banned from all other international travel, with limited exceptions. In January 2021, Qantas announced it was accepting international flight bookings for travel beginning July 1, 2021, but on Feb. 24, 2021 pushed the start date to late October 2021. In mid-January 2021, Australian government officials had suggested that international travel for Australians might not be possible until 2022. On May 6, 2021, officials also indicated the country’s borders wouldn’t open until mid-to-late-2022.
The South Pacific island nation had originally officially reopened on July 15, 2020. On Feb. 3, 2021, however, French Polynesia banned entry by international tourists — but on April 15, 2021 announced a gradual return to tourism as of May 1, 2021, with an initial opening to countries with “limited epidemic risk.” Americans are among the travelers who can once again visit for tourism. Updates can be found here.
Related coverage: French Polynesia will reopen
Enhanced protocols are based on whether the traveler has completed vaccination or remains unvaccinated. Everyone six years of age and older is required to present a negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test taken 72 hours before departure or an Antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure. Travelers also must present the receipt of an online health registration from the Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) platform, which must be filled out with their itinerary between 30 and 6 days prior to travel and also uploaded with vaccination certificates before travel commences. Unvaccinated travelers must also register on ETIS since ETIS receipts, negative PCR test results and boarding authorization must be presented at boarding.
Upon arrival, all passengers must take an Antigen test. Fully vaccinated (in this case at least 14 days past the final dose of Pfizer or Moderna or 28 days past Johnson & Johnson) do not have to quarantine. Non-vaccinated travelers must quarantine for 10 days on the island of Tahiti with PCR tests taken on day 4 and day 8. Children under 18 who are not vaccinated can travel freely with their vaccinated parents, but must take two self-tests, on days 4 and 8. Details can be found here.
Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance or agree to assume responsibility for all costs while in Tahiti. Luckily, some credit card travel insurance satisfies this requirement. Travelers could use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for their airfare and hotel, then provide a copy of the card’s Guide to Benefits as proof of coverage.
All travelers are also advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. Travelers exhibiting symptoms during their stay were told to self-report and self-isolate in their room until further instruction from local emergency operators.
Related: An ill-fated trip to Tahiti
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 destination is home to some famous hotels, such as the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa.
Fiji has had a strict lockdown in place since March 2020—but has seen cases rise exponentially in the past two months, reporting 12,032 COVID-19 cases as of July 14, 2021, 9,725 of them active. The U.S. Embassy in Fiji reports that some people can enter the country from the U.S. by seeking advance permission from the government for repatriation purposes.
The country has been closed to tourism and reopening plans have yet to be announced. Fiji Airways grounded 95% of its flights; the only flights had been repatriation flights for Australian and New Zealand citizens seeking to return home. The country also canceled all international and doestic flights between April 22 and at least May 6, 2021 to combat a recent rise in cases. Check for updates here.
The U.S. Embassy notes that Americans seeking entry to Fiji should contact Fiji Immigration with specific inquiries.
Any visitor to Fiji who is approved needs to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test and then quarantine for 14 days in a Nadi-area hotel and pay the full cost of quarantine and testing.
Fiji had been in talks with Australia and New Zealand about entering into a so-called “travel bubble” that would allow citizens of the three countries to travel freely, but nothing has been finalized. Obviously, Americans would not be included in that agreement.
New Zealand has been praised for its early and tough restrictions that kept cases of coronavirus low in the country. It restricted travel from Wuhan, China, on February 3, 2020. In fact, New Zealand is being hailed as one of the shining stars of dealing with COVID-19. Americans are not allowed to travel there.
A complete ban on foreigners remains in effect and the border is effectively closed to foreign tourists. From the government website: “Entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.” And on Jan. 26, 2021, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country’s borders “will be impacted for much of this year.”
New Zealand reacted quickly on Feb. 14, 2021, when it ordered a temporary lockdown in Auckland after three cases of the U.K. variant were detected. The lockdown was lifted on Feb. 17, 2021.
The government had previously announced that starting Jan. 15, 2021 anyone who is granted permission to travel to New Zealand and will be arriving in the country from the United States or United Kingdom must provide a negative COVID-19 test (PCR, LAMP or Antigen) taken 72 hours prior to departure. All travelers from any destination must also complete a 14-day stay in managed isolation or quarantine.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern okayed a travel bubble with Australia, and the initial roll-out began in October 2020 with a one-way program to select Australian destinations with travelers able to forgo Australia’s 14-day quarantine. It was temporarily suspended by Australia for one week due to an Auckland lockdown in February 2021 but has since resumed. A reciprocal plan for travelers from Australia to New Zealand began on April 19, 2021.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, U.S. travelers have been permitted to receive a visa upon arrival and enter Bahrain since Sept. 4, 2020. Fully vaccinated visitors (two weeks past their final dose) traveling from the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan or Singapore with approved vaccination certificates need to present a a QR code generated by the BeAware Bahrain app for a negative PCR test administered within 48 hours of their departure from a Red List country or 72 hours from all other countries; they will be tested at the airport upon arrival and again on day 10 (both at their own expense). They are not required to quarantine. Vaccinated Bahrain citizens are no longer required to test.
Non-vaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours (if traveling from a Red List country) or 72 hours of their departure for Bahrain, along with a QR code generated by the BeAware Bahrain app, and are required to quarantine for 10 days in their own residence or a government-designated hotel. All travelers must download the BeAware Bahrain app in advance of travel and must submit to and pay for an arrival test and a second test on day 10 (with steep fines and possible jail time for non-compliance). Any positive test results will result in quarantine at a government facility until a clean bill of health is received.
The U.S. Embassy in Bahrain reports that flight schedules are reduced and remain subject to cancellation and that visitors should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into place with little or no advance notice. Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces with a 20 Bahraini dinar ($53) fine for non-compliance. People who break public health rules face either a minimum of three months in jail, a fine ranging from 1,000 Bahraini Dinars ($2,645) to 10,000 dinars ($26,500), or a combination of both. Indoor dining was temporarily suspended in Bahrain, but now has been allowed to resume for fully vaccinated people only; outdoor dining is open to those who are unvaccinated. Many other indoor recreation activities are also limited to the fully vaccinated.
In March 2020, the government of Israel announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, would not be allowed to enter the country. On April 6, 2021, Israel announced it would begin allowing non-citizens who are fully vaccinated into the country, however, those permitted in will be limited to those who can prove they have an Israeli family member or fall into very specific categories.
More recently, Israel is allowing certain foreign nationals into the country. According to the U.S. Embassy in Israel, foreign nationals who are not Israeli citizens/residents must apply in advance to the Israeli government for a permit to enter Israel. Details can be found here.
Israel hopes to begin allowing others to visit in the coming months as vaccinations continue to roll out.
Israel went into a third lockdown in early January 2021 as the country tried to control a COVID-19 surge while rolling out a massive vaccination program. The lockdown was lifted on Feb. 6, 2021. The Israeli government also halted all international travel and temporarily closed Tel Aviv Ben Gurion through Feb. 7, 2021. Limited flights are now allowed.
All arriving passengers must fill out an inbound passenger statement, present an entry clearance from the government and have medical insurance valid in Israel. As of Jan. 23, 2021, everyone over the age of two traveling to Israel must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight’s departure or confirmation of a completed vaccination.
Arriving travelers must also quarantine for 10 days (with two tests) or 14 days in a government quarantine center or approved hotel or private residence. Those who have valid proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 can test out of quarantine with a positive antibody test. Details are available here.
Israel’s Ministry of Health updated its COVID-19 restrictions, which include the requirement to wear a protective mask over the nose and mouth in public.
Luxury hotel company Dan hotels have reopened all of its hotels, including the King David Jerusalem.
Jordan is open to Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. All arriving passengers must register online, fill out an arrivals form before the flight, provide results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Jordan, have health insurance and take and pay for another coronavirus test on arrival ($39; children under age five are exempt). Vaccinated U.S. travelers who present a negative pre-travel test do not have to take and pay for a test upon arrival, provided they also present their vaccination certificate, have valid health insurance, complete their online Gateway2Jordan registration to receive a QR code (required of all visitors) and complete the required health form while checking in for their flight.
Once in Jordan, U.S. travelers who test negative upon arrival no longer need to undergo mandatory home quarantine; those who test positive upon arrival will be subject to at least 10 days of home isolation. Masks are mandatory in business establishments, public transportation and government facilities. There is a midnight curfew (11 p.m. for businesses) nationwide.
Kuwait is not welcoming foreign tourists, and since Feb. 7, 2021, has banned all non-Kuwaiti citizens (with very limited exceptions, namely first-degree relatives of Kuwaiti citizens and domestic employees traveling with them) from entering the country until at least August 1, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
Travelers who are able to enter Kuwait will only be permitted in with either a valid visa or a residency permit. Visitor visas are not being issued upon arrival at the airport, nor are visas available electronically in advance; they can only be requested from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.
Arriving passengers over the age of six must produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result administered by a health clinic within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Kuwait. Results must be in English and do not need to be translated. As of Jan. 3, 2021, all passengers will also be given another PCR test upon arrival in Kuwait.
Travelers arriving must register with the Kuwait Mosafer platform and the Shlonik app prior to boarding the aircraft, and as of Feb. 21, 2021, all arriving passengers who are unvaccinated must undergo seven days of institutional quarantine at a hotel in Kuwait at their own expense (booked via the Mosafer platform), with a negative test (on day six) allowing for seven additional days of home quarantine. Fully vaccinated travelers are no longer subject to a 7-day home quarantine.
The use of face masks is mandatory in all public areas, and the Ministry of Health is randomly testing residents and citizens daily. Capacity restrictions and early closures of business remain in effect. Restaurants are not allowed to offer dine-in service until further notice. Kuwait has reduced all flights to 30% of their normal capacity.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, Americans can travel to the country. With exceptions for those who are 15 days past their completed COVID-19 vaccination or 15 days past recovery from infection, all travelers over the age of 12 must produce a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival in order to enter the country, take a second PCR test at their own expense (about $50), self-quarantine for three days at their hotel and take a third PCR test after that.
All travelers to Lebanon who do not meet any of the above exceptions must also complete a medical form issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health before boarding their flight.
Masks are required at all times outdoors and in public spaces, and all violators will be fined $33 per violation.
Lebanon imposed a 24-hour countrywide lockdown, which closed all but essential businesses, through Feb. 8, 2021, when some restrictions were eased—but the 24-hour curfew was extended through March 8, 2021 with allowances only for essential activities. Cases plateaued and then decreased following a month-long lockdown during Ramadan.
International flights to Oman have resumed and Americans who currently hold valid Omani visas can visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Oman. However, Oman has banned entry by travelers from 14 countries (Sudan, Lebanon, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), or anyone who has passed through them in the past 14 days, until further notice.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering the Sultanate through Muscat International Airport (MCT), Salalah Airport (SLL), Sohar Airport (OHS), and Duqm Airport (DQM) is required. Travelers must also be tested upon arrival (cost: OMR25 or $65), quarantine in a pre-arranged hotel at their own expense for seven days and take another PCR test (cost: OMR25 or $65) on day 8 before quarantine can end.
PCR tests and hotel quarantine accommodations must be pre-booked separately. Mandatory PCR tests will have to be pre-booked on the Tarassud+ mobile app prior to arrival in Oman. The app serves to gather all relevant passenger details and gives the users secure and easy access to pay for their PCR tests online. Quarantine hotel accommodations must be booked on the Sahala platform before arrival in Oman; airlines are required to check that travelers hold a confirmed hotel booking. All travelers are also required to have travel health insurance that is valid in Oman.
There is an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and ban on most commercial activities.
As of July 12, 2021, Qatar is once again welcoming foreign tourists, but they need to have proof of being fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. According to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, entry requirements, including quarantine, are based on the MOPH green, yellow, and red list of countries. The U.S. currently on the yellow list. Details can be found here.
U.S. travelers has been allowed to enter Qatar under specific circumstances, but not for tourism. All travelers must register prior to travel, download an app and produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Those who are fully vaccinated (14 days past final dose) with an approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or Astra-Zeneca) or recovered (which is required for business or tourism visits) and who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 will be exempt from quarantine.
Returning citizens and residents who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must quarantine in a hotel booked via the Discover Qatar website for seven days upon arrival and take another test; if negative the traveler will be released from quarantine. Details can be found here.
Americans can once again travel to Saudi Arabia as of May 30, 2021, although the U.S. State Department’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
On Feb. 3, 2021, Saudi Arabia suspended entry for all travelers from 20 counties—the United States, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India and Japan—with the exception of Saudi citizens, diplomats and medical practitioners and their families. The ban also applied to any traveler who has been in any of the 20 countries in the 14 days prior to travel to Saudi Arabia.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that travel directly from 11 previously restricted countries, including the United States, could resume as of May 30, 2021, but non-Saudi citizens must be fully vaccinated and upload their certificate to the Muqeem registration system to be able to board flights, have health insurance valid for COVID-19 treatment in Saudi Arabia and follow existing entry requirements. These countries are the United States, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
All travelers must also obtain a visa. Any traveler eight years of age and older who is permitted to enter must produce a negative COVID-19 test, with results obtained within 72 hours of arrival time. Travelers must download the Tawakkalna app and undergo institutional quarantine for at least seven days, depending on their country of origin. U.S travelers who are at least 14 days past completing their vaccination are exempt from quarantine with proof of their vaccination certificate.
Face masks are mandatory in all public venues, and violations are subject to a fine of $2,666.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is open to tourism and Americans are welcome.
Dubai reopened to tourists on July 7, 2020, and tourist visas (required for U.S. travelers) are being issued in all emirates, including Abu Dhabi, which began welcoming back international travelers on Dec. 24, 2020, with testing and quarantine protocols in place.
To enter Abu Dhabi, tourists over the age of 12 will be required to present a COVID-19 PCR test negative certificate done within 96 hours of departure and undergo a second test upon arrival, with results delivered in 90 minutes. If the traveler is from from “green list” country (good news: the U.S. was recently added to the list) and receives two negative tests, they are not required to quarantine. All other travelers, even if they test negative, are required to self-isolate for 10 days. And all travelers will be required to take a third COVID-19 PCR test on day 6 if staying six days or more and day 12 if staying 12 days or more. Details are available here.
Tourists over the age of 12 traveling to Dubai are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure (changed from 96 hours) and some travelers, depending on their country of origin, will be tested again upon arrival. All travelers must also download the COVID-19 DXB app and register their details. However, unless they are traveling from or have transited through certain countries(currently India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) in the past 14 days, visitors entering Dubai are not required to quarantine. For additional information on traveling to Dubai, check the Emirates airline website.
According to the U.S. Embassy, anyone traveling from Dubai (or any other emirate) to Abu Dhabi must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours. If staying for more than four consecutive days, individuals must take an additional PCR test on the fourth day. Those staying in Abu Dhabi for more than eight consecutive days must take an additional COVID-19 PCR test on the eighth day.
All test results for both emirates must be presented either in English or Arabic in original, physical form. Digital copies will not be accepted. Travelers with severe and moderate disabilities may be exempted from the test requirement.
Tourists must comply with preventive measures and safety procedures and must self-isolate for 14 days if they test positive. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority of the UAE (NCEMA), as well as the official website of the UAE, has stated that anyone entering the UAE from another country who receives a positive test result upon arrival must undergo a self-quarantine of 14 days. Violating home quarantine is punishable with fines of AED 50,000 ($13,600).
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All arrivals will also be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveler is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus.
Related: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are open
The U.S. State Department has maintained a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory on Yemen for some time, even before COVID-19 became a threat, due to issues with terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict, and landmines. The embassy in Sana’a suspended operations in early 2015, and U.S. citizens in Yemen will not be able to rely on emergency services from the U.S. government.
All travelers entering on U.S. documents are required to have a visa from the Yemeni government before entering the country, and passports must have an additional six months’ validity from the date of departure.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August 2020. It is perhaps best known for Virunga National Park, which reopened on April 1, 2021, and for being home to the mountain gorilla. Important to know: Conflict is ongoing in the DRC and six park rangers were ambushed and killed by militia inside the park in January 2021. In February 2021, the Italian ambassador to the DRC was killed along with two others in an ambush.
According to the U.S. Embassy, all arriving international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days (72 hours) of their departure to DRC. Upon arrival, travelers age 11 and older must take a second COVID-19 test at the airport. Travelers should register their information and pay for the test at INRBCOVID.com before they begin their travel. The cost of the required test is US$45. After testing at the airport, arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.
Americans also need a visa to visit as well as a World Health Organization (WHO) card with proof of yellow fever vaccination and proof of health and medical evacuation insurance valid in the DRC. Travelers may also need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days for travel between certain provinces.
To exit the DRC, all travelers age 11 and older must pay for and present a negative COVID-19 test from an approved lab taken within 72 hours of travel. This parallels a Jan. 26, 2021 requirement by the U.S. government that everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.
Masks are required in public spaces and the DRC has a number of regional curfews in place from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Testing is also required for travel between some provinces.
International tourism resumed in Egypt in July 2020, although tourism at sites such as Luxor has reportedly been quite slow. The Great Pyramids of Giza, for example, reopened on July 1, 2020, after being closed since March 2020 and undergoing a deep cleaning, reported Reuters.
Egypt is now open for Americans, but the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. There are also some important things to know before you go.
Related: Egypt reopening
Americans will need a tourist visa available on arrival or before arrival via online enrollment. There are no quarantine requirements although you will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test. According to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, while most travelers over the age of six, including Egyptians, will require results of tests taken within 72 hours prior to departure for Egypt, passengers traveling from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt will be allowed to provide the test certificate performed at a maximum of 96 hours prior to flight departure, due to the long travel and transit period from these airports. You also have to have the physical (printed) test results. No digital documents are being accepted. Proof of health insurance valid in Egypt is also required.
As of Jan. 3, 2021, anyone not following mask requirements may be subject to fines or prosecution and restaurants have been ordered to operate at 50% capacity.
Related: Dreaming of visiting Egypt
Ghana’s Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international service on Sept. 1, 2020, although the country’s land and sea borders remain closed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, Americans are allowed to enter the country and all passengers arriving by air must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin not more than 72 hours prior to departure.
In addition, upon arrival, each traveler age five and older must undergo a COVID-19 test conducted at the airport. There is a $150 fee per person with results usually available in 30 minutes. Travelers can pay the fee online before departure or pay upon arrival at the airport in Accra. Travelers who test negative do not need to quarantine; those who test positive will be required to undergo a 7-day quarantine at a government heath facility or isolation center and have a repeat test 24 hours later.
Ghana’s Ministry of Public Health has mandated the use of face masks in public.
Kenya reopened to tourism on August 1, 2020, and Americans are welcome to visit. The U.S. State Department recently changed its advisory to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said at the time of reopening that the country had reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions but precautions should still be taken, reported Reuters. But cases surged in the country in March 2021 and nightly curfew starting at 10 p.m. remains in effect.
Travel in and out of Nairobi is allowed and all visitors need to obtain an e-visa, fill out an online health form (to obtain a QR code for scanning upon arrival) and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival. Americans are currently exempt from quarantine requirements. Entry requirements can be found here.
The Embassy also reports that incoming Travelers are required to have a QR code for a completed Travelers Health Surveillance Form. The Kenya Ministry of Health launched the Trusted Travel (TT) Initiative: At this time, the QR code is for arriving passengers and the TT code is for those departing. Travelers can get the TT code with their test results from an accredited lab at any major hospital.
The departure test requirement parallels a new U.S. government requirement that as of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Kenya must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
A mandatory face mask requirement while in public remains in effect. There is currently a curfew in 13 “hotzone” counties (Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kericho, Bomet, Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori) from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. Other counties have a curfew of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has suspended all incoming flights to the country through at least July 15, 2021. On March 10, 2021, Mauritius also went into an island-wide lockdown that closed beaches, shops and restaurants through April 30, 2021. Some restrictions have been eased, but restaurants are now open for delivery and takeout only.
Mauritius originally began lifting restrictions on June 15, 2020, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius, as of Oct. 1, 2020 Americans had been allowed to visit—but only long-stay arrivals who purchased a travel package had been approved.
Beginning July 15, 2021 and until Sept. 30, 2021, all non-Mauritian national travelers to the island, including Americans, are required to present a negative result of COVID-19 PCR test taken between 5 and 7 days of boarding their final flight to Mauritius. Then the experience differs for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
Vaccinated guests will:
- Enjoy a holiday at one of our certified COVID-19 safe resorts
- Relax on the beach and enjoy access to all hotel facilities
- Undergo a PCR test on arrival day and on days 7 and 14 of your stay
- After a negative PCR test on day 14, be free to go and explore the island.
Unvaccinated travelers must:
- Book a 14-day quarantine including meals and transfers in an officially designated hotel.
- Be required to stay in their hotel room for 14 days and meals will be delivered to their room
- Undergo a PCR test on arrival day and on days 7 and 14
- After a negative PCR test on day 14, they can freely explore the island and move to a different accommodation or go home
Details of travel requirements and travel alerts for Mauritius can be found here.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco recently extended its strict state of emergency until July 10, 2021, and early this year suspended flights from several dozen countries, making tourism here challenging until just recently. However, many international flights were allowed to resume as of June 15, 2021.
The the U.S. Embassy in Morocco reports that the Moroccan government is now classifying countries into “List A” (which includes the United States, most European countries, and all countries not on List B) and “List B.” Passengers arriving from List A countries will be permitted to enter Morocco with a negative result of a PCR test administered within 48 hours of the date of entry or proof of COVID-19 vaccination. However, at this time it is unclear what will be considered as acceptable proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Embassy says it is encouraging all travelers to continue to get a PCR test that is no more than 48 hours old before arrival in Morocco.
Travelers from List B countries must undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine in addition to the COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the date of entry, as required of all passengers.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will update the countries on List A and List B regularly and at least twice a month.
Royal Air Maroc flights between New York’s JFK Airport and Washington, DC’s Dulles International and Casablanca are operating. Masks are mandatory in flight and in all public spaces.
The U.S. Embassy also reports that there is a nationwide curfew between 11 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. and there are some restriction on travel between cities and regions.
Related: Guide to Morocco reopening
Namibia has been open for tourism since Sept. 1, 2020, although most of its land borders are currently closed for tourism purposes. Most businesses (hotels, safari lodges and camps, restaurants, shops) are open and public transportation is running. However, the country is in the middle of a third wave of COVID-19 infections with cases rising all around the country.
Tourists, including Americans, are allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), but according to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia, they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 7 days of arrival and fill out a health questionnaire. Even travelers who have proof of vaccination must provide a negative test result. Those whose test result is more than 7 days old will need to undergo a day-of-arrival quarantine until getting a negative result on an arrival test before being allowed to move freely in the country.
There is a nationwide curfew in Namibia from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
When the country re-opened in late August 2020, 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.”
Nigeria reopened its airports on July 8, 2020, after months of closure. Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports all reopened for domestic flights in July 2020, and international flights resumed in August 2020.
All tourists are again welcome, including Americans, however, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory even though the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, arriving international passengers over the age of 10 must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of departure. A Quarantine Protocol issued in September requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal, upload test results prior to travel, self-isolate and pay for another test seven days after arrival in Nigeria, and continue self-isolating until receiving a negative result (typically in 24-48 hours).
Nigeria saw a surge in COVID-19 cases in December 2020 and January 2021, when restrictions were increased. There is currently a curfew in place from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. Mask wearing is inconsistent and the government’s national identification registration policy created crowds and chaos earlier this year, according to reporting by CNN. And in early March 2021, a new COVID-19 variant was detected in the country.
According to the U.S. Embassy, all passengers departing Abuja International airport are currently being asked to provide negative COVID tests taken within 3 days (72 hours) prior to boarding. This aligns with the CDC’s rule that as of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Nigeria must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo, located in Central Africa between Gabon the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is allowing U.S. travelers to visit. According to the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of the Congo, all arriving passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test (no time frame is given, so check with your airline), undergo a health screening upon arrival and self-quarantine for two weeks at their residence or hotel. The country has been experiencing record high cases since June 2021 and there is an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew Monday through Friday (8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) in Brazzaville and Pointe Noir.
As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from the Republic of the Congo must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Rwanda is open to American tourists. The country had been doing a relatively good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak since reopening to commercial flights on Aug. 1, 2020, but cases have hit record highs throughout June and July 2021 (see details on the Johns Hopkins University website). The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Rwanda is now Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
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Related: Visiting Rwanda during COVID-19
According to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, all arriving passengers are required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form and upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours (three days) of departure for Rwanda. All travelers are also subject to testing upon arrival (at a cost of $60) and must spend 24 hours in a designated transit hotel; some travelers (but not business travelers or tourists headed to national parks) may need to undergo a seven-night quarantine.
VisitRwanda’s reopening guidance 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.” Some travelers then need to continue quarantining at the designated hotel or at home for seven days until receiving a text message to appear for a final test. But business travelers who plan to be in Rwanda for a short stay (less than seven days) and international tourists scheduled to visit national parks will not be required to undergo the seven-day quarantine.
For information on testing in Rwanda, check this FAQ section on VisitRwanda.com.
Travelers departing Rwanda must also test negative within 72 hours (three days) of departure for home. They are encouraged to book and pay for their tests at least two days prior to their return flight. As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Rwanda must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Rwanda is offering visas on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com. All three major national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of visiting. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.
Face masks are required nationwide in public spaces and there is currently a lockdown in the city of Kigali and Districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rutsiro and Rwamagana through at least July 26, 2021. Other regions of the country have a 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew.
International flights have resumed to Senegal, but land and sea borders remain closed. Americans can enter the country, according to the U.S. Embassy, and must follow entry protocols. The Embassy notes, however, that it has received reports from some Americans who report difficulty booking travel to Senegal because of current restrictions.
Senegal requires the original certificate of a negative COVID-19 test taken with five days (120 hours) of arrival and only from the country where you started your trip. The West African country also requires all arrivals to submit a ‘Public Health Passenger Locator’ form. Arriving passengers face health screenings.
Hotels are open, as are restaurants and casinos, with social distancing in place. A mandatory mask order remains in effect countrywide. Cases have been rising significantly in recent weeks.
The Seychelles, which has gone to extremes to protect itself from coronavirus (in May 2020, TPG cruise reporter Gene Sloan wrote about the small island nation off the coast of Africa banning cruise ships until 2022), began by welcoming vaccinated Americans, and as of March 25, 2021, even non-vaccinated U.S. travelers can visit. Details can be found here.
However, even though the Seychelles has vaccinated more than 60% of its population, cases rose in recent months and new restrictions have been imposed. Visitors who have been in South Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Brazil within the past 14 days will be denied entry. There is also now a curfew from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. until further notice and retail shops, bars, casinos and other businesses have limited hours of operation.
In February 2021, the country announced that fully vaccinated U.S. travelers can visit and enjoy free movement throughout the island nation but must have a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight and show a valid certificate of vaccination, with the vaccination completed at least two weeks prior to travel, and upload the test results to obtain a Travel Health Authorization. The latest requirements can be found here.
Travel opened to all U.S. travelers on March 25, 2021, and both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors must obtain a Travel Health Authorization via the online portal. All travelers must also present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight and have valid travel and health insurance that covers, at a minimum, COVID-19 related isolation, quarantine and clinical care. Note: Visitors may only stay at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority.
South Africa reopened to tourism on Oct. 1, 2020, and, according to the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, as of Nov. 11, 2020, U.S. citizens can enter the country for tourism purposes, but they need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours from the time of departure, or they must test upon arrival and remain in mandatory quarantine for 10 days at their own cost. Details can be found here.
In December 2020, both South Africa and the United Kingdom began reporting troubling new COVID-19 variants, which resulted in the widespread suspension of flights and travel to and from both the U.K. and South Africa. The U.S. government on Jan. 26, 2021 then banned travel from South Africa, with the exceptions of U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents.
South Africa suffered a dangerous second wave in December 2020 and January 2021, surpassing 1.5 million total cases and forcing a return to a Level 3 lockdown alert with restrictions that were eased to an adjusted Level 2 as of May 31, 2021. But cases have now surpassed 2.1 million and the country entered Adjusted Alert Level 4 as of June 28, 2021 (through at least July 25, 2021). Many questions remain about the COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa, including its potential resistance to current vaccines.
All arriving travelers will face a health screening. If a passenger has a negative test result, they will not have to quarantine. Those who don’t bring tests will need to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense. Travelers must also download the South Africa coronavirus mobile tracing app, and fill in all the information on that app.
Tanzania, which had been accepting tourists with no testing or quarantine conditions attached, as of May 3, 2021 requires all travelers to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival and to complete an online Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival to receive a unique health code (UHC). Travelers will undergo screening upon arrival and arriving passengers will also be required to take a rapid test ($25) upon arrival in Tanzania. Travelers arriving from certain high-risk countries (not the U.S.) are also required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at their own cost.
The new requirements were put into effect by the country’s new president Samia Saluhu Hassan to try to curb the spread of new variants.
Tanzania’s late president John Magufuli had until shortly before his death denied widespread COVID-19 transmission (the government had not been reporting cases). Magufuli, 61, died on March 18, 2021, after not being seen in public for more than two weeks.
The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania is reporting that it has seen an increase in the number of cases reported to it since January 2021 and that the use of masks, social distancing and other prevention strategies are largely absent throughout the country. The chance of contracting COVID-19 through community spread remains elevated and the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Tanzania is Level 4: Do Not Travel.
U.S. tourists also need a visa to visit Tanzania. See details here.
Related: Dreaming of Tanzania.
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. President Magufuli had said that releasing the data was “causing panic” and at the start of the pandemic declined to close churches, saying that the virus “cannot survive in the body of Christ — it will burn.” He also claimed Tanzania was free of coronavirus as of June 2020 due to prayer and the work of front-line workers. He even celebrated citizens who weren’t wearing masks as a sign that people were no longer afraid and the virus was gone.
Americans can currently travel to Uganda, known as one of the top destinations for gorilla trekking. The country’s national parks reopened to tourists in October 2020. However, the U.S. Embassy reports that as of May 1, 2021 the government of Uganda recommends that all travelers from the United States (and all Category 2 countries, which also includes the United Kingdom, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania) who are not vaccinated postpone any non-essential travel to Uganda, where cases have been surging in Kampala and new lockdown measures were put in place in June 18, 2021.
According to the U.S. Embassy, arriving passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin taken not more than 72 hours before boarding their flight for Uganda. As of June 11, 2021, any traveler from the Category 2 countries, including the United States, and regardless of their vaccination status, will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test, at the traveler’s expense, at all points of entry into Uganda, including Entebbe International Airport. The Ministry of Health has stated that these tests should not cost more than $65. These travelers will be transported to a holding area 5-10 km from the airport to be tested and wait there for their test results. Travelers have an option to wait at that location or to check into a designated hotel at their own cost until they receive their test results. Any traveler who tests positive for COVID-19 will be evacuated by the Ministry of Health to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility, at the traveler’s expense.
The U.S. Embassy also notes that the Government of Uganda also requires that all departing passengers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken not more than 72 hours before departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it. But the U.S. does. As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Uganda must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.
Uganda remains under some lockdown restrictions, with businesses under restricted hours and with capacity limits. All public and private transit has been suspended through July 30, 2021, with some exceptions (including tourism vehicles). There is a nightly 7 p.m. curfew and masks are required in public.
Zambia, home to Victoria Falls and known as a top safari destination, is open to international travelers, including Americans. However, according to the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, non-essential travel to Zambia is not reccommended at the moment as the country’s second wave of cases is ongoing and travel alerts for the country were recently downgraded from Level 1 to Level 4.
Zambia now requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Tourists also need a visa (apply online for an e-visa here). There are no quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers right now, but there are reports of some health screenings and symptomatic individuals may be required to submit to testing and/or quarantine.
Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on Oct. 1, 2020. In a statement, the government said, “All travelers will be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.”
U.S. citizens can travel to Zimbabwe, according to the U.S. Embassy, but travelers arriving to Zimbabwe from countries with the Alpha (previously known as the UK variant) and Delta (previously known as the Indian variant) variants of COVID-19, or those who transited such countries en route to Zimbabwe, will be quarantined at government appointed facilities at the traveler’s expense. These travelers will be tested for COVID-19 on the first, third, fifth, and tenth days at the traveler’s expense. To date, the Government of Zimbabwe has not specified which countries will fall into this category.
Cases surged in January 2021 and a nationwide lockdown with a curfew (now 6:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) was put into place and extended with slightly relaxed restrictions on March 1, 2021. Cases declined but on June 14, 2021 stricter measures were put into place that limit business opening times to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and restaurants are open for take-out or delivery only.
Amid the January surge four officials in the Zimbabwe government died of COVID-19.
Travelers departing Zimbabwe must present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure. As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age two and older traveling to the U.S. from Zimbabwe must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights, so having the 48-hour result required by Tanzania will also meet U.S. requirements.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Jane Frye, Jacob Harrison, Donna Heiderstadt, Liz Hund, Brian Kim, Stella Shon and Mimi Wright.
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