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 Sept. 28, 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. The delta variant is causing case surges in states where vaccination rates are low. Still, all U.S. states are mostly open with few restrictions.
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 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 January 2022. 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.
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 Oct. 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. The U.S. government recently announced that it will reopen to fully vaccinated European and British travelers in early November. 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.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country would begin welcoming fully vaccinated American tourists on Aug. 9 after a 17-month border closure. Canada subsequently reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from other countries on Sept. 7. These measures will remain in place through at least Nov. 21.
The Aug. 9 reopening didn’t apply to travel by cruise ship. On Feb. 5, 2020, Canada announced that it was banning 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 also an embarkation port for many summer cruises to Alaska).
As of Aug. 9, fully vaccinated Americans (14 days past their final dose) and as of Sept. 7, fully vaccinated residents of other countries who meet the vaccination requirements (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson) are 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 72 hours 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. As of July 5, Canadian citizens who are fully vaccinated had been able to return without having to quarantine in a hotel.
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 72 hours 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 eight testing after receiving a negative test during the three-day hotel quarantine. Details on the latest restrictions can be found here.
International flights had only been allowed to land at four Canadian airports: Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. However, as of Aug. 9, the airports in Halifax, Quebec City, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton have also reopened to international flights.
Canada has not banned province-to-province travel, although travel between some provinces is currently restricted as dictated by individual provinces; in addition, some provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, have begun requiring proof of vaccination for dining in restaurants, entering museums and other activities.
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 resulted in renewed restrictions and curfews in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia in early April; restrictions have gradually been eased as vaccination rates have increased.
Americans returning to the United States from Canada via land borders are not required to have a negative test result.
Mexico began a slow regional reopening on June 29, 2020, and most 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 three days 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 Sept.22.
The U.S.-Mexico land border is closed to nonessential travel until at least Oct. 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 visitors arriving from outside the mainland U.S. 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 Aug. 5, all lodging facilities in Puerto Rico are required to see visitors’ vaccination records or negative test results to check in.
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 is experiencing another surge in cases. The CDC’s advisory for the island is at Level 4: Very High Levels of COVID-19. Masks are required in all indoor 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.
Although bars and restaurants have reopened, proof of vaccination is required for all patrons and employees of restaurants, food courts, bars, chinchorros or any indoor location where food and beverages are prepared and served, per Discover Puerto Rico. A negative PCR or antigen test is required upon entry for unvaccinated people. Also, children under 11 years old are required to keep masks on at all times while in said establishments, except for when eating or drinking.
Puerto Rico’s curfew was recently lifted, but strict social distancing measures remain in place across the island and masks are required in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
As of Sept. 2, 2021, all private businesses that cater to the public will be closed from 12 a.m.-5 a.m. 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.
US 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. 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: US 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 4: Very 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 5 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 will change to four days as of Oct. 1, 2021, when all arriving passengers age 18 and older must also have received at least one dose of an approved two-dose vaccine or a one-dose vaccine; these include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Transiting passengers must present a negative test result. 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 COVID-19 Certified or Bio Safe Certified property while being able to enjoy certified activities. Currently, travelers who are two weeks past having completed vaccination can stay at Bio Safe Certified accommodations. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated 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 authorities (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. Beaches and excursions are open (with limitations on certain activities); restaurants are open for takeout or delivery only; non-hotel bars remain closed and there is an island-wide curfew from 8 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 three days 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 preapproved 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 and on day four (for which there will be a $200-per-person fee beginning on Oct. 1).
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 FAQ 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.
As of Jan. 26, everyone age 2 and older traveling to the U.S. from Anguilla will need to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within three days 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. For short stays, the day four test required by Anguilla can be used for departure back to the U.S.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Anguilla is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Levels 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 four hours prior to travel and those 12 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 8-24 hours). Testing requirements for U.S. residents can be found here.
Note: As of July 14, fully vaccinated U.S. travelers who are two weeks past their final dose and are in possession of a Smart Health Card had no longer been required to provide a negative pre-travel test result — uploading a scan of the CDC vaccination was not acceptable proof — but as cases quickly rose in the U.S., Aruba rescinded that on Aug. 1 and U.S. travelers must once again abide by testing requirements until further notice. 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 $15 for travelers age 15 and older and free 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 Sept. 2, curfew has been lifted but all businesses must close by 12 a.m. Some capacity and masking restrictions remain in effect, and 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 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very 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 pre-travel testing requirements are back for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status. As of Aug. 6, 2021, all visitors over the age of 2 must present proof of results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival. Vaccinated travelers can present results of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test, while a PCR test is required for unvaccinated travelers 12 and older. Unvaccinated children ages 2-11 can show results of either a negative PCR or rapid antigen test. Negative test results must be uploaded when applying for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa required for entry. While travelers under 17 years old do not need to complete an individual Travel Health Visa application, they should add a profile within the account of their accompanying parent or guardian.
Additional details on pre-travel testing and travel insurance 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). If staying more than four days, unvaccinated travelers age 12 and older must also take a day five rapid antigen test at an approved test center. To travel between islands, vaccinated travelers must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within five days of their travel date from New Providence (Nassau and Paradise Island), Grand Bahama, Bimini, Exuma, Abaco and North and South Eleuthera (including Harbour Island) and add it to their Travel Health Visa profile. Unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test within five days to travel from those islands and also add it to their profile.
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 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Abaco, Bimini and Cat Island as well as on Andros (North, Central and South) and Eleuthera (North and South and Harbour Island). 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-19 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 at approved accommodations for seven days.
Barbados’s mandatory protocols, which were updated as of Sept. 11, require all arriving visitors to provide the results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival, with testing and quarantine upon arrival. 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 and India) within the past 21 days have a much shorter quarantine requirement.
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 5 and older from countries of all risk levels.
- Within 24 hours before traveling to Barbados, complete an online immigration and 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 preapproved 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.
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 5 and older from countries of all risk levels.
- Within 24 hours before traveling to Barbados, complete an online immigration and 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 preapproved accommodation.
- Board approved transport to their government-approved accommodations to await their arrival test results (typically within 24 to 48 hours) before ending their on-property quarantine.
Complete details on protocols can be found here.
Social distancing and wearing face masks are mandatory in public spaces. There is an 9 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew Monday to Saturday and 6 p.m.-5 a.m. on Sunday. Violators of quarantine and curfew rules could face stiff fines or 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 nonessential 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.-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 3: Reconsider Travel. The CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: COVID-19 High. 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 prepaid) 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.
- 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 age 10 and up. Children who are 9 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 and 10 of their visit.
Government hotel quarantines, in effect since June 20, are ending. All unvaccinated travelers arriving Sept. 26 and onward are now required to follow the above pre-travel protocols and also quarantine on arrival for 14 days at an accommodation of their choosing provided they can:
- Quarantine alone without other household members in the same dwelling, or quarantine in a location where all those staying in the accommodation are willing to quarantine with them (all adults in the accommodation must sign a waiver agreeing to this).
- If unvaccinated travelers cannot quarantine alone or do not have a household accommodation where all household members are willing to quarantine with them, they will be expected to quarantine at a paid accommodation at their own expense.
- Take a mandatory second PCR test upon arrival at the airport.
- Quarantine until after receiving a negative result of a day 14 test.
There are also special requirements for adults traveling with a minor.
Related: Visiting Bermuda with kids
Cases have spiked recently in Bermuda and, according to the U.S. Consulate General in Bermuda, the U.S. State Department advisory for Bermuda is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High 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 ($47.50), 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 between 72 and 48 hours of their departure for Bonaire. For the latest details, check here.
As of Jan. 26, 2021, everyone age 2 and older traveling to the U.S. from Bonaire must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within three days 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.
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 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High 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. Beginning Oct. 1, fully vaccinated travelers who can provide valid proof of vaccination will no longer need to register on the BVI Gateway portal.
Requirements for entry now include:
- Providing a negative COVID-19 PCR result taken within 120 hours (five days) of departure for the BVI.
- Registering (if unvaccinated) on the BVI Gateway five days (and no later than 48 hours) before travel, and completing the application no later than 24 hours before travel (the cost is $175 for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated 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 seven or day four, 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 3: Reconsider Travel. 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.
Until Sept. 22, 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 were allowed in—and visitors must undergo a mandatory 14-night quarantine and test negative. However, The Cayman Islands is now allowing in a limited number of fully vaccinated travelers age 12 and older for tourism with testing and quarantine required. Tourists must be able to produce a securely verified vaccination record that is electronic with a QR code, such as Smart Health Cards or the New York State Excelsior Pass, for the shortest possible quarantine. Details are here.
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 seven days for fully vaccinated tourists (securely verified) or 10 days (for those with paper CDC vaccination records), and must also wear a tracking device. A negative test result and signoff by the Medical Officer of Health are required for the quarantine period to cease. Visitors are advised to allow 24-72 hours for the 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 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 6 years old and younger are exempt from testing and the passenger locator card. 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; the U.S. as of Aug. 29 is currently considered very high risk), 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. 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 islandwide and face masks are required when distancing is not possible.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Curacao was changed in early August to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High 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 quarantine no longer 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 Safe in Nature property.
- Undergo a health assessment upon arrival, including a temperature check and rapid antigen test ($37).
- Begin your vacation (if fully vaccinated) or spend seven days (if not vaccinated) in a Managed Experience at a Safe in Nature certified property, with a COVID-19 PCR test on day five 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 the 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 (PUJ) 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, random 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, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Kuwait, Monaco, St. 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 an 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. Curfews vary by region and disobeying them can result in fines or jail time.
For the latest updates on restrictions in the Dominican Republic, check here.
According to the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for the island is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. The CDC’s advisory is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
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 or high risk, depending on their country of origin. But as of July 31, 2021, only fully vaccinated travelers (with the exception of those age 13 and younger) are allowed to visit.
Every fully vaccinated 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 5 and under are exempt from testing), fill out online health forms in advance and have travel insurance valid in Grenada. All travelers must show a confirmed reservation for no fewer than seven nights at a Pure Safe Travel accommodation and fully vaccinated travelers must quarantine there for up to 48 hours until receiving the results of their arrival PCR test (cost: $150, payable when obtaining the Pure Safe Travel certificate), while those age 13 and under traveling with a fully vaccinated party will also benefit from the reduced quarantine period of up to 48 hours. Children over 14 years old who are unvaccinated will be required to quarantine for up to seven days with their travel party and test on day five. Travelers will not be allowed to leave quarantine until medical clearance is granted. Complete travel requirements can be found here.
For more information on requirements and restrictions, check the U.S. Embassy in the Eastern Caribbean’s COVID-19 page for Grenada. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Grenada is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
Haiti, which remains in political turmoil following the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moise, on July 7, 2021, and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake two weeks later, 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.
There is currently a curfew from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.
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 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High 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 vaccine 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. Barts, 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. Barts 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. Barts.
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. Barts via St. Martin will need to register in advance through the St. Martin Electronic Health Authorization System and upload negative PCR results as well as pay a fee.
For updates on travel to St. Barts, check with the U.S. Embassy in 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. Unvaccinated 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 were under a period of restricted movement (with a 6 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew on weekends and only essential businesses open) through 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 four 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 no later than 24 hours before arrival and submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival from an accredited laboratory as well as proof of vaccination (official vaccination certificate) and 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.
Unvaccinated 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 eight approved hotels for international visitors. The good news? They include the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, the Four Seasons Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriot Resort.
Travel restrictions for the U.K., 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 has expanded the on-island activities for fully vaccinated travelers.
Visitors age 5 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 age 18 and older, 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, unvaccinated visitors 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 islandwide curfew from 11 p.m.-4 a.m.
For further details, visit the international arrivals page on the St. Lucia Tourism website and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s website.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
An April 2021 eruption of the La Soufriere 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, but then made stricter again on Sept. 9. Details are here.
All travelers from high-risk countries, which include the U.S., will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of arrival and be tested again upon arrival and fully vaccinated travelers will undergo a mandatory 48-hour quarantine at a Tourism Authority-approved transition/quarantine hotel (at their own cost, prepaid). All high-risk travelers who are unvaccinated must test again upon arrival and 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.
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 seven 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 in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean for both COVID-19 and volcanic eruption updates.
Dutch St. Maarten is open and welcoming U.S. and other travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), although the U.S. government is urging against travel to the island due to a recent uptick in COVID-19 caused by the delta variant.
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 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 Visitors 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.
Related coverage: Plane-spotting time: St. Maarten is now open again
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 reopened on July 17, 2021, but Trinidad and Tobago issued a travel advisory to prohibit unvaccinated non-nationals, meaning only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to enter at this time.
All visitors are also required to apply for a TTravel Pass within 72 hours of arrival in the country, in addition to submitting a negative PCR test taken with the same time frame.
A curfew remains in place from 9 p.m.-5 a.m., per the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Trinidad and Tobago is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: 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 (PLS) on July 22, 2020. This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.
As of Sept. 1, Turks and Caicos will require all visitors 16 years of age or older to be fully vaccinated, meaning 14 days must have passed after receiving your second dose of a two-dose shot or single-dose vaccine. Vaccines currently approved are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
To show proof of vaccination, you’ll need to provide:
- Paper vaccination record, including CDC-issued card.
- A vaccination letter signed by a medical professional (physician or registered nurse with license number), or one printed from an electronic vaccination database.
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. 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 preauthorization via the TCI Assured Portal. Masks are required in public places, and there’s a 1 a.m.-5 a.m. curfew and restaurants and bars are open but are restricted to 70% capacity through at least Oct. 31, 2021.
The U.S. State Department advisory for Turks and Caicos is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the islands is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. The country recently reported that 65% of its adult population had received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Related coverage: Why I love Turks and Caicos
U.S.-based travelers may be able to convert their CDC-issued vaccination card into a digital certificate to comply with the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate by visiting local pharmacies. However, it is not available in every European country. It could serve as digital proof that one has been tested, vaccinated, or has recovered from COVID-19. It is only valid for travel within the EU.
On Aug. 30, 2021, the European Union recommended that member states reimplement travel restrictions for unvaccinated U.S. visitors, removing the U.S. from the EU’s “safe list” based on COVID-19 numbers in the country. Because the recommendation is not mandatory, individual countries are expected to issue their own guidance regarding travelers from the U.S. and have continued to allow vaccinated travelers.
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 4: Do Not Travel while the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
Effective September 6, 2021, all arriving passengers age six and older to Albania must meet one of the following three conditions, per the U.S. Embassy:
- Submit a vaccination passport where the date of full vaccination is no later than two weeks from the date of entry in Albania; or
- Show proof a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours; or
- Provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the six months preceding travel.
Citizens residing in Albania who return and does not have one of the above documents must self-isolate themselves for 10 days and inform the health authority to perform a test at the end of the isolation period.
There is enhanced health screening at all airports and mask-wearing in all indoor public spaces is mandatory for everyone age 11 and older. 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 over the age of six 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.
Austria reopened its tourism/hospitality sector on May 19, 2021—although pre-travel clearance is required for the non-vaccinated. 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 had been on the list of low-incidence countries, which can be found here, but has since been dropped from the list, meaning non-vaccinated Americans need to obtain pre-travel clearance, present a pre-travel negative test and then quarantine.
As of June 24, 2021, fully vaccinated 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 a negative 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 a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (valid for 270 days) and for 360 days after receiving a two-dose vaccine or recovering from an infection and receiving a single dose of vaccine.
Children up to the age of 17 are able to enter Austria with no need to quarantine if accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered adults, but from the ages of 12 to 17 they also have to show proof of a negative test/past infection/vaccination. Children under 12 do not need to show a test result.
Non-vaccinated Americans can visit Austria, but because the U.S. is not on the green list they need to obtain pre-travel clearance by filling out a digital form, present a negative test taken prior to travel (72 hours for a PCR or 48 hours for an antigen) and then self-isolate for 10 days (with a test on day 5 ending isolation).
Entry tests—proof of vaccination, recovery, or a recent COVID-19 test—are required to enter certain businesses, including restaurants, bars, hotels, museums, cinemas, theaters and other cultural facilities. For those vaccinated in the U.S., most businesses will accept a photo of your CDC vaccination card or WHO yellow vaccination card on your phone. Nightclubs and after-hours bars require patrons to present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours (48 hours in Vienna) or a rapid test (taken within 24 hours). The country does still require that face masks be worn on public transportation and in all shops, museums and businesses. For details on current restrictions, check here.
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.
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 Nov. 1, 2021, to require proof of vaccination for those 18 and older to enter indoor venues, including restaurants, cafes and malls. 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.
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 have booked a flight, you’ll need to get a visa. A COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours is required and non-vaccinated travelers from a “red-zone” country (which includes the U.S.) must self-quarantine for seven 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.
Note: On June 29, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) prohibited the sale of direct passenger air transportation, including for tickets booked through one airline that contain flights operated by multiple airlines, between the U.S. and Belarus. Once this order becomes final, only direct air transportation deemed to be in the national interest of the United States, including on humanitarian or national security grounds will be allowed, per the U.S. Embassy.
As of Sept. 2, 2021, Belgium is currently only allowing vaccinated Americans into the country for non-essential travel, 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 or pre-travel testing.
The U.S. is designated a red country, meaning exempted unvaccinated travelers must show results from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure as well as self-quarantine for up to 10 days, with additional tests on days one and seven. Vaccinated persons also must test upon arrival and submit to self-quarantine until receipt of negative test results on day seven.
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.
Belgium has also instituted social distancing restrictions that remain in place. Face masks are required on public transit. 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 10 days prior to arrival, or a doctor’s certificate of COVID-19 recovery in the period 10 to 180 days prior to arrival.
As of Sept.1, 2021, U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering Bulgaria due to United States being designated as a red zone country, per the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. As a result, persons arriving from the U.S., regardless of their citizenship, are prohibited from entering Bulgaria unless they meet certain exceptions.
U.S. citizens starting their travel from Green or Orange Zones may enter Bulgaria under certain conditions listed in the new health order of the Bulgarian Ministry of Health effective through Nov. 30, 2021.
All travelers entering the territory of Bulgaria from a green or orange zone country (which the U.S. is not,) 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.
Otherwise, third-country nationals who are not family members of citizens of Schengen Member States or long-term residents will only be allowed in the country for travel deemed necessary by the Croatian government.
- 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.
Croatia requires that masks be worn in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing can not be maintained.
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, 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.
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. As of Aug. 20, 2021, the Czech Republic has restricted tourism to vaccinated Americans, per the Czech Ministry of the Interior.
The new guidance does not affect vaccinated travelers from the U.S., who can continue to visit the Czech Republic as tourists by presenting proof of vaccination to show at least 14 days have elapsed since their final dose. Vaccines currently accepted are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. A negative COVID-19 test is no longer required for entry.
Unvaccinated children between the ages of 6 and 12 may also travel with vaccinated parents but must undergo a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine until receipt of negative test results. As of July 31, pre-testing requirements do not apply to this age group.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. notes that direct flights between the two countries do not currently exist.
All arriving travelers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. As of August 2021, the U.S. has been deemed a “very high-risk country,” meaning unvaccinated travelers are barred from visiting the Czech Republic for nonessential reasons, including tourism. If allowed to enter, unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR test before arrival and take a second PCR test upon arrival, followed by a quarantine until receipt of negative test results.
The U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic 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, before reversing course on Sept. 3, 2021, to follow the EU recommendation to restrict unvaccinated travelers from America once again.
Denmark labels all countries by color —Green, Yellow, Orange or Red—with specific entry requirements for each and the U.S. is an Orange country as of September 2021. Updated 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.” Fully vaccinated American travelers may currently travel to Denmark for any reason, including for tourism.
Testing is not required for fully vaccinated Americans, but Americans who are not yet fully vaccinated must be approved to enter the country by the Danish government via a “worthy purpose,” such as a job, school or being an au pair. They also must submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport. Alternatively, you can present results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a negative rapid Atigent test that is no more taken within 48 hours of arrival to Denmark. Additional testing and quarantine are required for unvaccinated visitors. 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. But as of September, only U.S. travelers who have proof of being fully vaccinated can enter and must fill out an online Declaration of Health form within 72 hours of arrival in Estonia. Only unvaccinated U.S. travelers deemed to be visiting for a worthy purpose (work, study, or family reasons, but not tourism) can enter and are required to complete the Declaration of Health form, present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel and complete a 10-day quarantine (which can be shortened with a test on day 6). See more information here.
The list of countries by color status can be found here.
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.
As of Aug. 26, 2021, a COVID-19 certificate showing proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or evidence of having recovered from the coronavirus is required for most indoor spaces. Masks are still required.
Americans are once again allowed to visit Finland, as the country has reopened its borders to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers on July 26, per the Visit Finland tourism board. However, the country recently began prohibiting unvaccinated U.S. visitors once again.
Vaccinated travelers from all countries, including the U.S., are now permitted to enter Finland, as long as they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to travel to Finland. The Finnish government will accept vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency and/or World Health Organization. Acceptable vaccination certificates include the EU Digital COVID Certificate as well as those written in English, Finnish or Swedish.
Updated guidance from the Finnish Border Guard prohibits unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. unless they have an essential reason for travel approved by the Finnish government, through at least Oct. 10, 2021.
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. However, as of Sept.10, unvaccinated U.S. travelers are no longer allowed to enter France as the U.S. has been re-designated as an “orange” country due to rising COVID-19 cases. Those approved for “essential” travel due to pressing reasons must provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 and 48 hours of boarding your flight, respectively and test again upon arrival. Additionally, self-isolation for seven days is mandatory, followed by a PCR test.
Unvaccinated travelers from “green” countries—including Canada, the Schengen Area and others— are still allowed to enter France, but are subject to the same testing requirements.
Only AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines are accepted for vaccinated individuals.
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). Unvaccinated minors age 17 and younger, when accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian, are able to enter France.
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.
As of Aug. 1, 2021, a digital health pass is required for visitors to do almost anything, including airplane, train and long-distance car trips as well as visiting cafes, restaurants, medical facilities and shopping centers, in response to new mandates implemented by President Macron.
The French government released a new procedure for visitors vaccinated outside of the EU to obtain the French health pass on Aug. 9, 2021. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who are awaiting a French health pass can obtain a temporary, 72-hour pass by taking a negative antigen or PCR test on the ground in France.
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 with no additional testing required.
Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and other countries must:
- Arrive by air, directly from a listed country.
- Present a negative PCR test result conducted 72 hours or less before arrival in Georgia.
- Get a follow-up PCR test at your own expense on the third day after arrival in Georgia, excluding those travelers from India who complete a 14-day quarantine.
- Complete an application form prior to arrival with contact details and travel history
Travelers under 10-years-old are exempt from testing obligations.
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.
However, as of Aug. 1, 2021, the U.S. has been re-classified as a high-risk area for COVID-19, meaning travelers who have spent time in the U.S. within 10 days prior to entering Germany will have to be fully vaccinated or need to “demonstrate an important reason for entering Germany” and be approved by the government. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their last vaccine dose as well as those who can prove recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months.
All travelers must complete a digital registration before entry, to be confirmed upon entering the country. Travelers older than age 12 must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR test taken within 72 hours of entry or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours).
Unvaccinated travelers coming from high-risk areas (which now includes the U.S.) who have received approval from the German government, must also quarantine for 10 days, per the U.S. Embassy. Vaccinated travelers and those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months are exempt. The quarantine can be ended by taking a negative COVID-19 test after being in Germany for five days, and children under the age of 12 can end quarantine automatically after the same time, without a test.
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, also spent the summer sailing the Greek islands from Athens.
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. Masks are still required indoors and public indoor spaces, including restaurants and cafes, are only accessible to those who can show proof of vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 as of Sept. 2, 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—until Aug. 8 when U.S. citizens were again permitted to visit.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, Americans traveling to Hungary by air must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours, while testing is not required for those arriving by road, railway or waterway. Arriving travelers can also expect to undergo health checks upon arrival.
Previously, only Hungarian citizens and their relatives can enter Hungary, with a few exceptions, and all who were able to enter were subject to a 10-day quarantine after receiving a health screening at the border.
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 as of July 27, 2021, they do need to pre-test before travel. All vaccinated travelers to Iceland are 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. As of July 26, all travelers are required to present a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen for those fully vaccinated and PCR for those who are unvaccinated) before boarding an aircraft to Iceland, taken within 72 hours of departure. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt from all border measures.
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, provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for Iceland 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 changed as the 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine for Americans was lifted in June 2021 and testing and quarantine restrictions were lifted for fully vaccinated U.S. travelers on July 19, 2021, as well as for those who can prove recovery from a COVID-19 infection in the past 180 days. 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 five 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. Updates on rules and restrictions within Ireland can be found here.
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—but as of Aug. 31, 2021 (through at least Oct.25, 2021) they once again need to be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from a COVID-19 infection within the past six moths, as well as provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of departure for Italy, to avoid quarantine.
In addition, as of Aug. 6, 2021, Italy requires proof of vaccination to visit museums, dine in restaurants, use public transportation and access most other indoor venues, specifically:
- Restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors and pastry shops for consumption at tables indoors
- Performances open to the public, sporting events, both outdoors and indoors
- Museums and places of culture and/or shows
- Swimming pools and gyms
- Private parties, such as wedding receptions
- Festivals and trade fairs
- Conventions and congresses
- Spas and fitness centers
- Gaming halls and betting shops, bingo halls and casinos
The CDC card, along with a government-issued photo ID are accepted for Americans to access indoor venues. Unvaccinated travelers may be able to gain access by showing results of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours.
The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Italy says travelers from the U.S. can enter and bypass otherwise mandatory five-day self-isolation and testing requirements by fulfilling one of the following requirements:
- Providing a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing proof of an EMA-authorized vaccine, specifically Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca. The date of the final vaccine dose must be at least 14 days prior to travel. Travelers vaccinated in the U.S. can prove this via the CDC’s “white card” given at vaccination.
- Providing a medical certificate confirming recovery from COVID-19 dated within six months before departure.
Children age 6 and older accompanied by a parent/caregiver with the EU Digital COVID Certificate must still take the pre-departure COVID-19 test; children under age 6 are exempt.
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 allowed quarantine-free travel. Passengers on these flights, regardless of vaccination status, had to 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 did 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. The last option (testing) changed on Aug. 31.
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 further 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 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
All arrivals in Kosovo must provide one of the following: proof of vaccination, results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival and a rapid Antigen taken within 48 hours, or proof of recovery from COVID-19, per the U.S. Embassy. Those transiting Kosovo (who remain in the country for three hours or less) and those under the age of 18 are exempt from the testing requirements.
“Airlines, transit points, and destination countries impose a patchwork of different testing requirements and airlines may refuse boarding for some passengers (including U.S. citizens and Kosovo residents,)” the U.S. Embassy says. “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 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in place and to dine inside restaurants you must show evidence of vaccination, a negative PRC or rapid negative antigen test.
Since July 26, 2021, Kosovo has also been experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections due to the delta variant, hitting record highs in late August, although cases have since declined.
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, before the U.S. was redesignated as a high-risk country.
U.S. citizens arriving from the U.S. or other countries deemed by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia (SPKC) as countries with high levels of COVID-19 are currently prohibited from entering Latvia unless they have official proof of being fully vaccinated, per the U.S. Embassy in Latvia.
As of Sept. 2, 2021, only vaccinated travelers with U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) paper vaccination certificate, a digital EU COVID-19 certificate or a vaccination certificate issued in the EU, the EEA countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom can travel to Latvia for nonessential travel without testing or quarantine requirements.
Unvaccinated U.S. citizens arriving from other low-risk countries may enter Latvia for non-essential travel, including tourism. Unvaccinated travelers who live in or have visited the U.S. or other medium or high-risk country in the preceding 14 days will not be allowed to enter Latvia unless they have an essential reason to visit, they present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or antigen test taken within 48 hours before arrival in Latvia, and they undergo a second COVID-19 test within 24 hours after arrival and then isolate for a period of 10 days.
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. All Americans had been allowed in for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy, but now only fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are permitted. Those 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.
Unvaccinated Americans can no longer visit for non-essential purposes, but those residing in non-high-risk countries can enter by providing a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight and a second test must be taken within seven days of arrival (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 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. A COVID-19 certificate is required for specific indoor activities, including clubs and large-scale events. Masks are still required indoors in restaurants, shops and on public transit. Additional 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 seven-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, although a state of emergency remains.
As of Sept. 13, 2021, certain activities will be restricted to those who hold a national COVID-19 certificate, including professional beauty services, cultural events and visiting non-essential businesses. Travelers to Lithuania can use printed vaccination documents in lieu of a certificate and can also take a COVID-19 test once in Lithuania to access more services. Additional details on the COVID-19 certificate can be found here.
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 the 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.
For more than a year, Luxembourg had allowed only E.U. citizens, E.U. residents and residents of certain other specific countries to enter. As of Aug 3, 2021, the U.S. was added to that list—but then U.S. travelers were once again denied entry as of Sept. 22 if traveling directly from the U.S., according to the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg.
Previously, Americans who are not fully vaccinated needed 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 vaccination with Moderna, Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines exempted visitors from testing. Travelers age five and under are also exempt.
On Oct. 29, 2020, the country adopted new COVID-19 safety measures that limited gatherings, set restrictions for shops and closed restaurants. As of September 2021, a curfew is no longer in place, restaurants and cafés are open for indoor dining, which allows up to four people at one table indoors and 10 outdoors without the need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. More information about restrictions can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg’s website here.
As of July 19, 2021, vaccinated Americans from 38 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico (now all 50 states) can travel to Malta with proof of their CDC vaccination record. Unvaccinated U.S. travelers are no longer allowed to enter as the U.S. is a red list country, per the Maltese government.
American travelers must verify their CDC card through the VeriFLY app by uploading vaccine information and other required travel documentation to activate their “Trip to Malta” pass, per the U.S. Embassy in Malta.
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 with 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. Updates and details can be found here and 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.”
As of Aug. 16, 2021, Americans are permitted to enter Moldova.
Per the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, all travelers age 12 and older must present one of the following:
- A negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or an antigen test taken within 48 hours
- A COVID-19 vaccine certificate, valid 14 days after the second dose
- A medical certificate attesting recovery from COVID-19 in the previous six months
- A COVID-19 antibodies certificate valid for 90 days from the exam date
Otherwise, travelers will be subject to a 14-day quarantine, to be shorted to seven days upon testing negative. Consult the Moldovan Border Police for more info.
Face masks are required in all indoor public spaces. And effective Sept. 12, anyone over the age of 18 attending any show, concert, festival, theater, cinema, concert hall, nightclub, dance floor, etc., must present one of the following documents: a negative PCR COVID-19 test (taken in the last 72 hours) or an antigen test (taken in the last 48 hours); a COVID-19 vaccine certificate (valid 14 days after the second dose); a medical certificate attesting the person had COVID-19 in the previous 6 months; a COVID-19 antibodies certificate valid for 90 days from the exam date. This decision does not apply to restaurants or cafes.
The Embassy of Monaco in Washington, DC. reports that as of June 9, 2021, and until further notice, fully vaccinated travelers over the age of 11 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 age 11 and up 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. As is the case for France, a digital health pass is required to access public venues, including restaurants, bars and museums. Americans can apply for this pass online, but it is not guaranteed that you will receive a pass in time for your travels. Alternatively, you can take a COVID-19 test in Monaco and submit the results of that for a temporary, 72-hour health pass.
Montenegro is open to Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro notes that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens who are at least 14 days past their final dose can enter Montenegro without presenting a pre-travel COVID-19 test, while those who are unvaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test (taken within 72 hours) or antigen test (taken within 48 hours) or proof of positive PCR test that was taken within 14 to 180 days.
As of Sept. 3, 2021, face masks must be worn indoors and in all public transportation, airports, stations and taxis. Entry to museums and other cultural institutions is restricted to those that are fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours; a negative Antigen test taken within 48 hours; or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 14-180 days. Similarly, restaurants are restricted to fully vaccinated persons, those who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or those with a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.
As of Sept. 4, 2021, the Netherlands considers the United States to be a very high-risk area, so U.S.-based travelers over the age of 12 must self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival to the Netherlands, in addition to providing results of a negative PCR or an antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to departure, per the Dutch government. This applies to fully vaccinated travelers as well.
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. Additional information is also available via the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands.
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 with vaccine and testing requirements as of Sept.1, 2021, requiring all travelers over 18 entering and exiting the country to provide proof of vaccination; a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel; a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to travel, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 45 days.
Otherwise, you will be subject to a seven-day quarantine, to be shortened by taking a PCR test after day five.
Check the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia website for updates.
Norway remains closed to most Americans as of Sept. 7, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy. The country’s travel ban, enacted on Jan. 29, 2021, allows only those Americans who have family members in Norway and or are in established relationships with a resident of Norway. Currently, people residing in certain countries are the only travelers permitted to Norway, including in the EU/EEA/Schengen and United Kingdom, although quarantine and testing requirements may apply.
Travelers from green countries can enter freely upon showing proof of full vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 in the previous six months. Unvaccinated travelers from green countries or those from other places who have been approved for exempted entry will be expected to show results of a negative test taken within 24 hours prior to entry, a mandatory 10-day quarantine at a quarantine hotel and further testing requirements. More information is available from the Norwegian government, including a list of countries by color designation.
All travelers to Norway over the age of 12 who are allowed to enter must now complete a registration form prior to traveling.
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 and meet one of the below entry restrictions, per the U.S. Embassy:
- Foreigners who are spouses/children of Polish citizens or remain under constant care of Polish citizens
- Foreigners holding an ID card for those with a claim to Polish heritage through ancestry
- Foreigners who have permanent or temporary residence in Poland
- Foreigners who are authorized to employment under the same rules as Polish citizens, who perform work in Poland, or will take up employment immediately after entering Poland
- Students enrolled in Polish educational institutions
- Scientists conducting research or developmental work in Poland
- Foreigners participating in international sports competitions, including media
- Foreigners who transport goods
- Persons with Polish diplomatic status
- Other cases approved by the Chief of the Border Guard
Additionally, we are told by several readers that Americans who are vaccinated can also visit Poland even if they don’t meet one of the criteria listed above.
Jackson Wilhelm told TPG that he was able to visit Poland easily as a vaccinated American. You will need to be able to show proof of vaccination and fill out a passenger locater form.
To avoid a mandatory 10-day quarantine, any traveler entering Poland from within the Schengen Zone must also 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.
On Sept.1, 2021, Portugal announced it would remain open to American tourists, despite the EU removing the U.S. from is “green” list of countries due to the delta variant’s impact on the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The country welcomed back American tourists on June 15, 2021, but the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon is currently advising against non-essential travel to Portugal as requirements change rapidly.
Entry requirements vary by destination. For mainland Portugal, including Porto, Libson and Faro airports, travelers over the age of 12 must present one of the following upon boarding:
- Results of a Nucleic Acid Amplification tests (RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, SDA, etc), performed 72 hours before boarding
- Results of an antigen test (TRAg) performed 48 hours before boarding. Test must be approved by the European Commission’s Directorate-General For Health And Food Safety
Alternatively, travelers can present a Declaration of Immunity for those who already had COVID-19 or may test upon arrival and self-isolate for 12-24 hours before receiving results. A second test must be taken for those staying in Portugal for more than six days.
For entry into The Azores (Ponta Delgada and Terceira airports), you must show results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before boarding or proof of your CDC Vaccination certificate. Alternatively, travelers can present a Declaration of Immunity for those who already had COVID-19, may test upon arrival self-isolate for 14 days.
All travelers regardless of entry point must complete a Passenger Locator Card online up to 48 hours before traveling, in addition to health questionnaires specific to location. A COVID-19 test (PCR taken within 72 hours, antigen taken within 48 hours or rapid self-test administered on the spot) is mandatory for persons over the age of 12 to enter certain establishments in Portugal, including restaurants, tourist accommodations, spas and weddings, among others.
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 to consult their airline as well as the Embassy of Romania in Washington, D.C. for entry requirements.
You may be asked to undergo a health screening upon arrival at Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), along with an online questionnaire.
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.
Due to the recent decrease in COVID-19 cases, the Romanian government announced new relaxation measures, including increased capacity for public and private events, restaurants, resorts and other entertainment activities, which allows for full capacity if fully vaccinated.
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 Russian government requires that all foreign travelers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result upon arrival, dated within three days prior to arrival in Russia, along with completion of a digital form that must be printed out and presented to customs in Russia.
The U.S. Embassy Moscow advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Russia as it is one of the countries “most affected” by COVID-19.
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.
As of April 5, fully vaccinated travelers entering Serbia do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test nor quarantine, according to the U.S. Embassy in Serbia.
Unvaccinated travelers will need to provide a negative PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours, excluding foreign citizens with temporary or permanent residence in Serbia. If a U.S. citizen’s travel originates in the U.S., they can provide either a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours. As of July 24, 2021, U.S. citizens may enter Serbia without a negative test if they possess proof of recovery from COVID-19 between 14 days and six months prior to entry.
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. Most pandemic-related restrictions have gradually been lifted, although social distancing remains in public places and facemasks are required on public transit.
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-19 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 a person has also recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days.
As of August 16, 2021, Slovakia has implemented a new traffic light system that automatically updates restrictions based on local disease indicators. Face masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces.
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 over the age of 15 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.
Americans visiting for essential travel are permitted to do so with proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or results of a negative test. Otherwise, travelers are subjected to a 10-day quarantine. Additional details are available via the U.S. Embassy.
Hotels in Slovakia remain open with reduced capacity. Museums and shops are open with social distancing restrictions. Restaurants with outdoor terraces are open and indoor dining is allowed with restrictions. Face masks are required in indoor public spaces.
As of Sept.6, 2021, Spain is requiring proof of vaccination for U.S. tourists or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival for non-vaccinated travelers who meet exceptional situations to enter the country following the EU’s new recommendation to reimplement travel restrictions on Americans.
Spain began welcoming back fully vaccinated American tourists on June 7, 2021, and neither proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 is required for Americans to enter Spain, per the Spanish Embassy in the U.S.
This new process will mandate that travelers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival or show recent proof of COVID-19 recovery (up to 180 days from infection). Unvaccinated travelers must present results of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test taken 72 hours of arrival or antigen test taken 48 hours of arrival).
Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 may accompany fully vaccinated adults.
As of June 24, 2021, all U.S. travelers must present a QR code upon arrival in Spain, generated through the Spain Travel Health portal.
The Spanish government also requires all passengers coming to Spain from outside the country to complete a Health Control Form at least 48 hours prior to departure to the country, including international transits. You may begin to fill out the form at any time prior to your trip, excluding sections that are limited to two days prior to your arrival. Both the form and associated QR code are necessary for entry.
Travelers will also undergo temperature checks upon arrival. The Spanish Ministry of Health maintains a list of countries by risk designation.
As of Sept. 6, 2021, Sweden has removed the United States from its list of countries whose residents are exempted from its entry ban, per the U.S. Embassy in Sweden.
Americans had been exempt from the country’s entry ban as of July 1, 2021, but was added back to the list following the EU’s removal of the U.S. from its list of “green” countries. The ban remains in place for all travelers, including U.S. passport holders, who reside in non-exempted countries. U.S. citizens may still enter Sweden by transiting through a Nordic or European country. 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-19 test is required for non-resident travelers age 18 and older, originating outside the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland), 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 became well-known during the coronavirus crisis for not shutting down and instead hoped 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 was slowing but still ongoing as of September 2021.
On Dec. 14, 2020, the country enacted stricter regulations pertaining to public gatherings and restaurant capacity, including that face masks be worn on public transportation. Face masks had not been 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. All Americans had been allowed in for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy, but now only fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are permitted. Those 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.
Unvaccinated Americans can no longer visit for non-essential purposes, but those residing in non-high-risk countries can enter by providing a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight and a second test must be taken within seven days of arrival (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 (the U.S. is a high-rise country). U.S. Travelers from non-high-risk countries 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, and indoor seating reopened on May 31, 2021.
As of September 2021, Switzerland is currently experiencing a rise in new COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated Swiss persons since June due to the delta variant. Certain indoor establishments are restricted by access to those with a valid COVID-19 certificate proving vaccination or recent recovery, including restaurants.
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.
As of Sept. 3, 2021, tourists are exempt from COVID-19 restrictions, however Turkish residents and citizens over the age of 18 must adhere to certain restrictions, including proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours for intercity travel by plane, bus, train or other public transportation as well as entry into specific establishments, including concerts, theaters and crowded events.
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. Check the U.S. Embassy website for updated details.
Related: Turkey is open to Americans
According to the U.S Embassy, passengers arriving from a country other than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, must:
- Have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival; or
have a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken at most 48 hours before arrival.
This does not apply to:
- Passengers younger than 12 years
- Passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival
- Passengers with a COVID-19 recovery certificate issued at most 6 months before arrival;
Since Dec. 30, 2020, all international travelers six years of age and older are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCT test result submit it at airline check-in. Unvaccinated 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.
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.
As of Aug. 5, 2021, all foreign tourists over 18-years-old who have not been vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days and monitor such via the Vdoma mobile app, to be shortened by testing negative within three days. Quarantine is not required if you are in the country for less than 72 hours.
Ukraine is under adaptive quarantine until Oct. 1, 2021, and mask-wearing is mandatory on public transportation and in indoor public spaces.
As of Aug. 2, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from both the U.S. and EU are allowed to enter the United Kingdom without the previously mandated 10-day quarantine. All incoming travelers to the U.K. must present results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure, either a PCR or antigen test, as well as complete an online passenger locator form within 48 hours of travel. Additional tests are required on days two and eight. See here for all testing requirements.
Unvaccinated travelers and those coming from designated red or amber list countries are still subject to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival to the U.K. in addition to the days two/eight tests. Lists of red, amber (the U.S. remains an Amber List country as of Sept. 27, 2021) and green countries, which dictates requirements, can be found here.
In England, quarantine for the unvaccinated can be reduced after one negative COVID-19 PCR test taken on day 5 under its Test to Release scheme.
Lockdown measures have been fully lifted in England, where pretty much everything has reopened to full capacity, indoors and out. Masks are required on public transit. In Scotland, masks are required inside public places and on public transit as of Aug. 9, 2021, as is the case in Wales, where hotels are exempt from the indoor mask requirements, as of Aug. 7, 2021. Most businesses are open as normal in both Scotland and Wales, including shops, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs.
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 as of August 9, all travelers, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, must present a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test.
All visitors to Belize must complete a Customs & Immigration form given to them on their flight and those age five and older 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 , which has seen rising COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, currently has a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., 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 non-vaccinated travelers (excluding those under age 18) 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. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated if they have received full doses of the with the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Complete entry requirements are available 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. 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 requires travelers to register via an online health affidavit and unvaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival and those from high-risk countries must quarantine. Travelers who are at least two weeks past being fully vaccinated can show their vaccination certificate to avoid testing and quarantine. Any unvaccinated traveler that’s not from a high-risk country who was 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.
All non-vaccinated travelers arriving in Panama who have been in or who transited through a high-risk country (the U.S. is now considered high-risk) in the past 15 days must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the last 48 hours and also undergo a 72-hour hotel quarantine at their own expense. Passengers who test positive after the 72-hour quarantine will be transferred directly to a hotel hospital for a 14-day quarantine; those who test negative will be released from quarantine.
Panama has also instituted a 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. nationwide curfew along with stricter curfews paired with movement restrictions that vary by region, depending on 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 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: 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 the 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 had 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. Cases peaked from March to June 2021, but weekly cases still top 240,000. The country recently surpassed 593,000 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 3: Reconsider 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 3: 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 hadn’t been possible for several months, but as of Oct. 1 the country will lift its temporary suspension of entry by all non-resident foreigners and allow fully vaccinated travelers to visit. Americans had earlier 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.
According to the Chile Tourism website, any non-citizen or non-resident planning to enter Chile after Oct. 1 is required to do the following:
- Be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine and register at mevacuno.gob.cl to obtain a 30-day mobility pass, which becomes active after a required quarantine.
- Obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the boarding time for your flight (for the last leg of your journey if booking a connecting flight).
- Fill out the “Affidavit for Travelers” form online, up to 48 hours before departure, in which you will provide your contact and health information and your travel details. The form will issue a QR code as a means of verification.
- Enter quarantine for 5 days in a previously declared home, hotel or residence.
- Have medical insurance with coverage of at least $30,000 for COVID-19 related care.
- Complete a mandatory email sent to you 14 days after entry into Chile.
Chile is under a State of Emergency through the end of September and much of the country is under mandatory quarantine restrictions, which vary by region and neighborhood; some movement between regions if restricted, curfews (10 p.m. or 12 a.m. to 5 a.m., depending on the locale) 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 includes tourists. But cases surged between March and July and the country remains under a national health emergency through at least Nov. 3. 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 has been lifted and a pre-travel test is no longer required (except for travelers arriving from India). 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, per the Ecuador Tourism website. A Yellow Fever vaccination is also required. All visitors must also fill out an online Traveler’s Health Declaration Form.
There are special requirements for the Galapagos Islands, where a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel is required for all travelers, whether or not they have completed vaccination; 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. 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
The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Ecuador is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador website for additional information.
Americans can visit Guyana, according to the U.S. Embassy, but there has been an uptick in cases since May 2021. Travelers over the age of 12 must have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and all travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to avoid a second test upon arrival. Passengers must also provide a copy of the test result (in English) to their airline at check-in and to Port Health officials upon arrival. Those with older tests dated within 4-7 days of arrival 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.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay, the country ended its required quarantine for foreigners on Nov. 16, 2020, but as of August 21, 2021, all individuals over the age of 12, regardless of vaccine status must take an RT-PCR/LAMP/NAAT test 72 hours before embarkation or an antigen test 24 hours before embarkation. Those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 14-90 days may enter without a test if they provide documentation from their health care provider and laboratory results showing positive antigens. 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, the country’s health emergency has been extended through Oct. 30 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 had a sustained high level of COVID-19 infections throughout April and May 2021, with cases easing since June 2021.
All passengers age 12 and older must present proof of 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. 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.
Check the Peru Tourism website for additional updates.
The Peruvian government continues to ban any non-Peruvian traveler who has been in South Africa over the past two weeks through at least Oct. 3.
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.
There is reporting that Uruguay will reopen to tourism on Nov. 1, 2021, but details remain few and far between, but some hotels are taking reservations already.
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. Those who are fully vaccinated do not need to self-quarantine, but do need to take another PCR test on day 7 after arrival.
Cases and deaths in Uruguay hit record highs in April and May 2021 and have declined since late June 2021. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Uruguay is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: 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 is 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 issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory. Current entry requirements are that U.S. travelers must apply for and 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 experienced its highest levels of cases and deaths to date, with sustained spread through August and September.
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 again imposed some regional business closures and restrictions on travel due to continued outbreaks. 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 followed by more testing 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 (Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and, as of Aug. 20, the United States) 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 unless they are fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents. 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 (48 hours is strongly recommended by the U.S. Consulate) 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..
Complete details on entry requirements and quarantine for travelers by country (Groups A to D) are here.
India has experienced 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 (33 million as of Sept. 26, 2021), after the United States. The death rate soared through mid-May 2021 and hospital beds and oxygen supplies were scarce. A number of countries sent aid and supplies and case numbers have since declined to a fraction of what they were this past spring.
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 months and now number more than 4.2 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 may include another test) and mandatory quarantine in a government-designated hotel for eight days (at their own expense), 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 surge 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.
Tokyo was set to host the Olympic Summer Games in July 2020, but that date was pushed back to July 23, 2021. Olympic organizers announced that no foreigners will be allowed into Japan to attend the Games as spectators and that most venues would not have spectators at all. The games took from July 23 to August 8 and Japan record high cases in the following weeks. Case numbers have since declined.
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 either their original vaccine card showing full vaccination 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, mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan 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, travelers who have been in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan 21 days before entry must present proof of a negative nucleic acid COVID-19 test conducted within the past 7 days, 48 hours or 24 hours, depending on their point or origin. Details can be found here. Non-resident Americans who have been outside mainland China or Macau in the past 21 days must prove their entrance into Macau would be in Macau’s public interest.
See links on 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 August and September 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.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, the country has maintained movement restrictions and has entered Phase 1 of a four-phase National Recovery Plan.
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 there 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 until early 2021, has reopened to travelers arriving via air. Americans are allowed to visit (and those who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine) as the government announced an end to a months-long lockdown.
Cases of COVID-19 surged throughout April and May 2021, topping 9,000 a day before beginning to level off, and from April 29 to August 4, Kathmandu and Kathmandu Valley were under a lockdown that closed all but essential services and limited movement. Restrictions have since been eased. Both international and domestic fights were also suspended through May 31, 2021, before a very limited number of flights were allowed to resume.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal, the government of Nepal has resumed issuing tourist visas and as of Sept. 24, all fully vaccinated travelers can receive an on-arrival visa at Kathmandu Airport. The embassy had previously reported 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 fully vaccinated U.S. travelers to Nepal need the following:
- Proof of being 14 days past completing vaccination for COVD-19
- 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)
- Printed copy of International Traveler Online Arrival Form obtained after registration at ccmc.gov.np
- 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
Foreigners without complete vaccine against COVID-19 arriving by air must do the above steps but must obtain their visa from a Nepali diplomatic mission abroad or get an on-arrival visa with pre-recommendation from a travel agency in Nepal (land border entry is not permitted). In addition, all non-vaccinated arrivals must undergo 10 days hotel quarantine at their own cost, with a PCR test on day 11 before traveling within the country.
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. 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 has categorized countries into Red, Yellow and Green lists, with travelers from Red countries banned and those from the Yellow list are subject to controls and restrictions (the U.S. is on the Yellow list).
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. The country is currently experiencing a record uptick in cases throughout September.
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 as of September, all U.S. citizens visiting South Korea are 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, as of 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 an 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. Cases have risen in August and September and the U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Korea is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory is Level 2:Moderate 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, again includes 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 one- or two-night quarantine (penning arrival PCR test results) if fully vaccinated or a 14-day quarantine in unvaccinated. The Embassy notes that those who are allowed in require a valid visa (visa upon arrival remains suspended) and an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). There is a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and as of Sept. 15, proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces, including hotels.
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 Sandbox on July 1, 2021, and continuing with the Samui Plus program. However, the country has been experiencing record-high cases and deaths through late August with a slight decline in September and the U.S. government advises against travel to Thailand.
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 (in areas outside of Phuket or Koh Samui), travelers must undergo multiple 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 begun 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 was luring 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 72 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 (reduced to a seven-day quarantine for fully vaccinated visitors).
As cases continue to rise—Vietnam recorded record highs in August and September and more than 700,000 active cases as of Sept. 24—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 and quarantine for 14 days in a hotel.
Australia continues to rely on regional lockdowns when cases emerge. Lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, which recently experienced a cluster of cases fueled by the Delta variant, continued through September. Sydney is expected to begin easing its lockdown on Oct. 11 and Melbourne on Oct. 26.
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. But then on Sept. 22, the country’s tourism minister said the country may be ready to open its borders by this Christmas.
Since easing border restrictions on June 9, 2021, the Islands of Tahiti restricted quarantine-free tourism on Aug. 13 to fully vaccinated visitors only. Tahiti had been under a two-week lockdown until Sept. 6, 2021, to “fight against the spread of COVID-19 in French Polynesia,” per Tahiti Tourism. During this period, travel was restricted to compelling reasons related to work, family, health or purchasing essential goods. Tourists already on the ground in Tahiti were allowed to travel within their tourist accommodations, as well as to and from the airport.
The borders of Tahiti remained open during the lockdown and tourism has since resumed for U.S. citizens. Children under 18 can enter freely when accompanied by a vaccinated parent or legal guardian; however, they are subjected to additional COVID-19 tests on days four and eight, if applicable.
Vaccinated travelers must complete an online health registration within 6-30 days of departing for the islands and submit a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 72 or 48 hours prior to departure, respectively. Travelers must also complete and print an online Sworn Statement and bring vaccination proof to the islands.
Currently, unvaccinated travelers are barred from entering French Polynesia, unless they can present a compelling reason to travel that is approved by the Tahiti government, specifically related to health, business or family, per the Tahiti Tourism board.
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.” Updates can be found here.
Related coverage: French Polynesia will reopen
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 record highs in July. 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 domestic 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.” More recently, Ardern projected that New Zealand plans to reopen to tourists in early 2022.
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 the 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 and other non-Red List countries whose vaccination certificates are recognized no longer need to undergo pre-travel testing, as of Aug. 31. They still must download the BeAware app and they will be tested at the airport upon arrival and again on days 5 and 10 (all at their own expense). They are not required to quarantine.
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. Any positive test results will result in quarantine at a government facility until a clean bill of health is received.
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 recently announced it would again allow small groups of tourists beginning on September 19.
That includes citizens of the U.S. (currently classified as orange).
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 who do not qualify for an exemption 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.
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.
Fully vaccinated Americans can once again travel to Kuwait. The country had not been welcoming foreign tourists, and since Feb. 7, 2021, had 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 August 1, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
Travelers who are now once again 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 fully vaccinated travelers must undergo a seven-day home quarantine, which can be ended early with a negative test.
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 remain in effect, but restaurants have reopened for in-person dining. Effective June 27, only individuals who have received at least one dose of a vaccine approved by the Government of Kuwait or those exempt from the vaccine may enter certain public spaces including restaurants, cafes, gyms, salons, and malls. Individuals seeking entry into these spaces may present the Kuwait Mobile ID or Immune applications as proof of vaccination or COVID-19 recovery.
All unvaccinated travelers to Lebanon over the age of 12 must produce a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel in order to enter the country, per the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Fully vaccinated travelers who have received their last dose at least 14 days prior to entering the country are exempt from pre-travel testing requirements.
The Embassy also notes that PCR test results issued in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, or in the European Union will be accepted without a QR code.
All passengers arriving in Lebanon from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Turkey, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, India, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, Liberia, Kenya, Gambia, and Sierra Leone are required to quarantine at an approved hotel.
Masks are required at all times outdoors and in public spaces, and all violators will be fined $33 per each violation.
International flights to Oman have resumed and Americans who have received a two-dose vaccine and currently hold valid Omani visas can visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Oman. The Sultanate is currently accepting eight approved vaccines which include: Oxford-AstraZeneca, AstraZeneca-Covshield, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V.
Oman is not allowing tourists though at this time. Oman is also not accepting any applications for new visas.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (or 96 hours for flights longer than 8 hours) of entering the Sultanate through Muscat International Airport (MCT), Salalah Airport (SLL), Sohar Airport (OHS), and Duqm Airport (DQM) is required. Travelers can also opt to be tested upon arrival (cost: OMR25 or $65) and wear a bracelet until being alerted that their test is negative (if positive they will be required to quarantine at their own expense for 10 days and take another PCR test (cost: OMR25 or $65) before the quarantine can end.
PCR tests upon arrival 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. All travelers are also required to have travel health insurance that is valid in Oman.
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. is currently on the red list with increased restrictions. Details can be found here.
U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Qatar under specific circumstances. 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 had been exempt from quarantine, but given the U.S.’s listing as a Red List country, may now be subject to quarantine or denied entry unless fully vaccinated.
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 are required to present a COVID-19 PCR test negative certificate done within 48 hours of departure and undergo a second test upon arrival, with results delivered in 90 minutes. If the traveler is fully vaccinated, they no longer have to quarantine as of Sept. 5, but they will need to register and validate their vaccination certificate 48 hours before their travel date. If they are from a “green list” country (the U.S. is no longer on the list), they need to test again on day 6. Vaccinated Americans and others coming from non-green-list countries must test on days 4 and 8. Non-vaccinated travelers from green list countries (which includes Americans), even if they test negative upon arrival, are required to quarantine for 10 days, with a test on day 9. Details are available here.
According to the U.S. Embassy, Abu Dhabi introduced a COVID-19 green pass system, the Al Hosn app, on June 15, 2021. It requires people to show their testing and vaccination status to enter public venues, including parks, beaches, malls, hotels, gyms, cafés, restaurants, and large supermarkets. The Al Hosn app also facilitates contact tracing to reduce the spread of the virus.
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 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. For complete information on traveling to Dubai, check the Emirates airline website.
Until Sept. 19, anyone traveling from Dubai (or any other emirate) to Abu Dhabi had to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours and take an additional PCR test on the fourth day. But now, fully vaccinated travelers entering Abu Dhabi from Dubai or another Emirate just need to download the ICA app; complete the registration, and then downloading the Al Hosn app, which is the Green Pass gateway to all of Abu Dhabi’s attractions. Non-vaccinated travelers from non-green-list countries arriving in Abu Dhabi from another Emirate still need to quarantine and test. Details are available here and here.
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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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 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
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 2: Moderate 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 health 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’s travel advisory is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High 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 had suspended all incoming flights to the country through 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.
From Sept. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021, all non-Mauritian national travelers to the island, including Americans, were 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, with vaccinated guests required to book a certified COVID-19 safe resort and quarantine there until undergoing another test on day 7 and unvaccinated travelers are required to do the same, but for 14 days with tests on days 7 and 14.
Starting October 1, 2021, fully vaccinated international travelers will be allowed to enter the island without restrictions. Visitors who present a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours before their departure will be able to explore the island freely from the moment they arrive. Unvaccinated guests must also provide a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours before travel, but they must still book a certified COVID-19 safe resort and quarantine there for 14 days with tests on days 7 and 14.
Details of travel requirements and travel alerts for Mauritius can be found here.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco is under a health state of emergency until Oct. 31, 2021, that the U.S. Embassy in Morocco says is likely to be extended. In early 2021, the country 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 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.
Unless vaccinated, travelers from List B countries must obtain authorization to enter Morocco and 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. Unvaccinated or those not fully vaccinated must show proof of hotel reservation and quarantine while vaccinated passengers must show proof of vaccine but are not required to quarantine, per the Embassy.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs will update the countries on List A and List B regularly and at least twice a month.
As of August 2021, there are no commercial flights to/from Morocco and the U.S. 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 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and there are some restrictions 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 finally seeing cases drop after experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections with cases peaking in July 2021.
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 11 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 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, arriving international passengers age 10 and older 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 experienced record high cases in June and July 2021 and there is still 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 hit record highs throughout June and July 2021 (see details on the Johns Hopkins University website) before dropping over the past several weeks. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Rwanda is now Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: 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 in the Districts of Gicumbi, Karongi, Kirehe, Ngoma and Nyagatare, all movements are prohibited between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. and all businesses must close by 7 p.m. Other regions of the country have a 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew with businesses closing at 8 p.m.
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.
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 and the latest travel advisory is here.
However, even though Seychelles has vaccinated more than 60% of its population, cases rose in spring and summer and new restrictions were imposed. Visitors who have been in 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. Cases have now surpassed 2.8 million and although the country entered Adjusted Alert Level 4 on June 28, 2021, it returned to Level 2 as of Sept. 13. 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 96 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) postpone any non-essential travel to Uganda, where cases have been surging in Kampala through late August and new lockdown measures were put in place on 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 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. 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 recommended 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.” A Yellow Fever vaccination is also required.
U.S. citizens can travel to Zimbabwe, according to the U.S. Embassy, and as of Aug. 5 are required to use an authorized Trusted Travel lab partner in their country of departure or if there is no partner in their country upload negative test results into the Trusted Travel Initiative Platform. Travelers departing Zimbabwe are required to use a Trusted Travel lab for pre-departure testing.
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, Caroline Tanner and Mimi Wright.
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