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, 2020, with new information.
Coronavirus has us frozen in place for the most part and dreaming of when we can start booking travel again. In the meantime, we’ve been doing a lot of stories at The Points Guy about what those dream trips look like.
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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 remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. The U.S. has more cases than any country in the world.
All states are in various stages of their own reopening processes.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still strongly advises against any nonessential travel within the United States. The CDC website advises, “It is possible that some state and local governments may put in place travel restrictions, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures while you are traveling.”
Additionally, the U.S. has restrictions on visitors including a ban on tourists from Canada, Mexico, Europe and much of Asia.
The U.S. State Department lifted its “Level 4,” warning — the department’s highest warning — against any international travel, but it is still not recommended.
Canada eased some lockdown measures, but the border between the United States and Canada is closed through at least October 21.
Canada is allowing most province-to-province travel, but Americans are not welcome except for those who have dual citizenship or are Canadian residents.
U.S. Congress members have sent a letter to both countries to push them to open the border immediately. Canadian specialists have said the border should remain closed until next year as the U.S faces the continued spread of coronavirus.
Related: Canada keeping its border closed
Like many other nations, Canada requires all visitors to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. It’s unclear when that might be lifted.
Mexico began a slow regional opening on June 29, and many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
Mexico is one of the few countries that flung open its doors to Americans. At first, it was just beach destinations like Cancun, but now even Mexico City is reportedly ready to welcome back Americans.
Restaurants, gyms, barbershops, hotels and other facilities must operate at no more than 50% of capacity in the capital.
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.
The U.S and Mexico land border is closed to nonessential travel until at least Oct. 21. Reuters reports long long lines for the few lanes that are open at the border.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., is officially reopened to all international travelers. You will need to bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Upon arrival, travelers will be subject to health screenings, including possible additional COVID-19 testing. You could be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.
Public beaches and water activities are allowed with appropriate social distancing.
If you’re thinking of bypassing hotel restrictions by booking an Airbnb, keep in mind that many of the same rules will apply.
Restaurants are currently open with reduced capacity. As is now the norm in the age of COVID-19, buffets will not reopen and restaurant staff will serve meals wearing gloves and masks.
Shopping malls will be open, and casinos, beaches and gyms are reopening by October 2.
San Juan International Airport (SJU) is open.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix, was under a state of emergency until July 11, but it began welcoming back tourists as of June 1 with restrictions. Unfortunately due to a surge in cases, the island returned to a “stay at home” order as of August 13. Now the island has reopened to tourism as of September 19, but will require a negative coronavirus PCR test for all visitors taken within five days of arrival on the islands.
No quarantine is required for healthy visitors who have negative test results.
Anyone without a negative test result will be required to quarantine at their own expense and according to the government, “are responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care.”
Related: U.S. Virgin Islands reopening
Masks will be mandatory when going into businesses and attractions, beaches will also be open but social distancing is required. Large gatherings 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 and limo services.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on June 4. However, travelers will 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 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.
All snorkel and dive excursions and other activities must be booked via visitors’ resorts. Travelers cannot explore the islands freely.
American Airlines resumed service to the Caribbean with flights to Antigua.
You will not need to present a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, but having one can help you bypass some of the screening protocols on the ground.
Every incoming traveler will be tested for COVID-19. The test will take 15 minutes to complete, and results will be released within 48 hours, according to Antigua’s travel advisory website. Travelers will have to pay for the test, which costs $100 per person.
Aruba has reopened, with American visitors welcomed back on July 10. Visitors from Europe were allowed in Aruba as of July 1.
Related: Aruba reopening
Arrivals will face new screening measures including the possibility of COVID-19 tests along with temperature checks.
Americans from 23 states considered high-risk will need to upload proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of flying to Aruba or they won’t be allowed to board. Those from less risky states will also need to upload a test or have one taken at Oranjestad’s airport. Those who take a test on arrival will need to quarantine at their hotel for up to 24 hours while awaiting the results. The tests are paid for by the tourist. Testing requirements 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. For a week it will cost you about $100.
The country has also placed temporary capacity limits on some tourist spots, especially in popular destinations. Casinos are open with new safety measures in place.
Bahamas has hit several road bumps in its reopening. It first opened up, then shut down again, and now has again reopened its borders to international travelers. Unfortunately there are a few hurdles for visitors.
Americans are now allowed, but they must have a COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival, and quarantine for two weeks at their hotel, Airbnb, ship, or other lodging. They will also need a “Bahamas Health Visa” required prior to arrival and will need to upload negative test results into that online form.
Related: Bahamas reopening
All Bahamas hotels are being allowed to open by the middle of October, and they will also be able to allow visitors to use their beaches.
Barbados reopened to international travelers beginning on July 12. U.S. commercial flights resumed July 25 for JetBlue and August 5 for American Airlines.
Barbados has instituted mandatory protocols that all inbound travelers have to follow:
- COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to departure for travelers from high-risk countries (one week for low-risk countries)
- Online embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms
- Test upon arrival without a documented negative COVID-19 PCR test result and mandatory quarantine at traveler’s expense until results are returned
- Social distancing, temperature checks and wearing face masks
The local government clarifies that high-risk countries are defined as those that have seen more than 10,000 new cases in the prior seven days and community transmission, which would include the United States. In addition, anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus will be placed in isolation where they will “receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.”
More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the government website.
Bermuda reopened its borders including to Americans back on July 1.
The island resumed international commercial air service for visitors as part of its fourth phase of economic reopening after what it calls its “successful management of COVID-19 to date.”
Related: Bermuda opening to Americans
In a news conference announcing the reopening, Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism & Transport Zane DeSilva said, “As we work to finalize the protocols and requirements for travel to Bermuda, rest assured, we will always place the safety of our island and its people above all else.”
Here are the requirements posted by the government of Bermuda:
Pre-departure — A traveler must:
- Within 48 hours of departure, complete the Bermuda travel authorization process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveler is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. NOTE: Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30. Travel authorization FAQ
- Ideally within 72 hours, but no more than seven days before departure, visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are 9-years-old and younger are exempt and are subject to their adult travel companion’s quarantine. Children 10-17 must receive parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young 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.
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
Additionally, a traveler should:
- Acquire health insurance covering illness and injury outside of your home jurisdiction, including those related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis while in Bermuda. If this is not obtained, a visitor will be responsible for all health and accommodation costs should they require treatment and/or quarantine, including costs related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in Bermuda
- Pack a thermometer
Related: Visiting Bermuda with kids
More information on coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here.
More reading: New resort and hotel options in Bermuda
Cayman Islands is set for a soft-reopening on October 1.
Only Americans who own homes in Cayman Islands, dual citizens, or those hoping to move to Cayman Islands under long-term work arrangements will be allowed in, and only 800 approvals will be offered during the early stages of reopening. They will also need to register with the TravelTime service before their trip.
All arriving passengers will need a negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Upon arrival in the country, travelers will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in hotels. Travelers will also be asked to wear electronic tracking devices and may be subject to random checks. Following quarantine, travelers will be tested for COVID-19, and if negative, they will be released and tracking devices will be taken off.
Related: Cayman Islands reopening
Cuba again welcomed international visitors back in July. The U.S. State Department has a “Do not travel” advisory in place for Cuba.
Politics limits Americans travel to Cuba more than COVID-19. Longstanding travel restrictions were recently tightened by the U.S. government, 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.
Dominica is open to travelers as of Aug. 3. All eligible travelers arriving in the country must follow the procedures below:
- 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
As with many other countries accepting U.S. tourists, visitors must also adhere to stringent on-site policies around social distancing and safe hygiene, including:
- Wearing face masks at all times during the arrival process, up to and including departure from the airport
- Observing physical distancing guidelines
- Following all instructions from local health care staff and officials
- Undergoing a health assessment upon arrival, including a temperature check
- Providing confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results
- Undergoing rapid COVID-19 test screening with a negative test result (children under five are exempt).
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.
The Dominican Republic’s borders were closed by land, sea and air in March, but the island country announced in early June that it would reopen July 1, although only approximately 30% of the hotels opened at that time. Social distancing guidelines will still be enforced, but not much else by way of specifics have been announced.
Punta Cana International Airport restarted commercial operations on July 1.
There will be temperature checks on arrival, but as of October, it appears pre-testing will no longer be required, though there may be spot checks at local airports.
The United States Embassy in Santo Domingo issued a level 4 health warning not to travel to the Dominican Republic due to the impact of COVID-19. The office warned American citizens to reconsider coming to the country in consideration of the situation with the pandemic:
Related: Dominican Republic reopening July 1
Like its Caribbean neighbors, Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on August 1 — with many health conditions attached. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy for Americans to visit.
Travel can be difficult here for “high-risk” tourists from places like America where coronavirus is still rapidly spreading.
Only chartered flights are allowed from these countries.
Anyone traveling to Grenada from a high-risk country will find a 14-day mandatory quarantine period awaiting upon arrival. Additionally, tourists from “Red Zones” will have to undergo quarantining at an approved state facility for the same period — subject to the discretion of local officials.
Additionally, requirements of low and middle-risk countries still apply. A negative PCR test result, dated at most seven days prior to entry, is needed — and rapid testing upon arrival will still take place. Tourists may have to stay 2-4 days at a government-approved accommodation while awaiting PCR results and be able to resume quarantine elsewhere (as long as they are not from the “Red Zones”).
Haiti has reopened its borders to regular international passenger traffic. It has also opened its land borders with the Dominican Republic.
According to the local U.S. embassy, travelers coming to Haiti are required to go through a 14-day self-quarantine. On their flight, they will also 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.
Jamaica officially reopened for tourism beginning June 15, but anyone who is hoping to plan a vacation here will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travelers have to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travelers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All incoming travelers should expect thermal temperature checks upon arrival, and anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill upon arrival will be quarantined. Even after all those procedures, travelers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in public. Travelers are also expected to follow any policies made by tourist and hospitality establishments, which are most likely derived from the government’s 119-page guide for local hospitality procedures.
Related: Jamaica reopening with lots of rules
As of Aug. 18, a new requirement was added: All U.S. travelers must bring along negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test, dated within 10 days of the date of arrival.
Martinique is open for tourism, but from what we can tell only citizens of France are eligible. According to the U.S. consulate for the Eastern Caribbean, Americans are not welcome, but the policy will be reviewed every two weeks. According to the Caribbean Journal, Air France has resumed flights to Martinique.
All arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for the island, and are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
St. Barthelemy (St. Barths) opened to tourists beginning June 22, but there are lots of caveats.
If you want to visit the Caribbean vacation spot, you’ll need to prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours or less before you arrive. Those unable to provide such documentation will be tested on arrival, and will need to isolate at their lodging until results become available.
Visitors who test positive for the virus will be moved into quarantine on the island.
Bruno Magras, president of the island’s territorial council, told the Caribbean Journal:
“Whether you are visiting an island friend or local resident, returning to spend time in your vacation home or coming back to spend some vacation time on the island, St Barth is pleased to welcome you back. Island beaches are open without restriction, restaurants and boutiques are operating as usual, houses of worship are open and holding services and nautical services as well as the other services to which you are accustomed are being provided as usual.”
Related: St Barths reopening on June 22
For those staying longer than seven days, a second COVID-19 test will be required.
You’ll need to plan carefully. There are no direct flights from the U.S. so make sure the country you are arriving from is allowing American tourists.
Saint Lucia is welcoming Americans. Flights to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) have resumed.
Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours of boarding their flights to UVF. Once they arrive, guests will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines began reopening July 1. Visitors from all countries are welcome, but everyone has to fill out the “VINCY” coronavirus questionnaire form and Americans face special requirements.
All Americans will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test within five days of arrival. All travelers are also being tested on arrival. St. Vincent and the Grenadines are now also requiring proof of a fully-paid reservation in an approved hotel for five nights, and a quarantine of five days at that hotel or other lodging.
French St Martin remains closed to U.S. travelers, but Dutch St Maarten is open and welcoming U.S. and other travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport.
They are requiring several protocols to be followed for tourists, such as submitting the results of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test that is no older than 72 hours prior to the day of travel. There is also a health declaration form for all arriving passengers to submit in advance (confirmation must be shown at immigration).
U.S. tourists are not being allowed to cross the island border between Dutch Sint Maarten to French Saint Martin until further notice.
There are several protocols that travelers are expected to follow, and it won’t be a vacation away from the social distancing that you may have hoped for initially. This graphic illustrates some of what you can expect, including face coverings, health screenings, and increased cleaning.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March, and banned tourists. The country has gotten high marks for keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum.
The two islands began easing restrictions on May 12, but so far that doesn’t include welcoming tourists.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said in May that the borders will remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained.
The government also is giving hotels some $50 million to remodel and prepare for when tourists are welcomed back.
Caribbean Airlines has resumed some local flights, and released a video on their new cleaning procedures in the wake of the outbreak.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, reopened for international visitors beginning July 22. The Providenciales Airport reopened that day.
This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.
Travelers to Turks and Caicos will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test within five days of visiting the islands.
Related coverage: Why I love Turks and Caicos
Albania has resumed commercial flights, and the government lifted all restrictions on tourism on July 1.
There are no testing requirements for visitors, but temperature checks on arriving passengers at the airport are mandatory. If a passenger has COVID-19 symptoms and/or a fever they may be required to undergo a mandatory government quarantine.
Related: 5 reasons to visit Albania in 2020
Only Austrian citizens and EU citizens are allowed to come to Austria, and even visitors from some countries within the European Union are restricted including Spain and Portugal.
The Austrian government now requires a negative molecular-biological SARS-CoV2 test, which applies to third-party nationals who are allowed to enter Austria right now. The test must be written in German or English and dated within 72 hours of the travel departure date.
European Union citizens and residents are subject to a mandatory quarantine.
Third-country nationals (that means our U.S. travelers) will not be allowed by air from outside the Schengen area.
However, if you are a foreign national (U.S. traveler) and go to Austria for “essential” travel, you’ll need a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old. In addition, you’ll also need to self-quarantine for ten days too, in addition to the negative PCR test.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan,U.S. citizens with legal residence status in Azerbaijan are allowed to enter. It doesn’t appear any other Americans are currently welcome. All arrivals must have a negative COVID-19 test and all arrivals are subject to a two-week self-quarantine.
Belarus is in the middle of a popular uprising against the man called the “last dictator in Europe,” so it may not be the best time to visit, but the country bordering Russia may be open to tourism. According to published reports, Americans are on a list of 70 countries that were allowed to enter as of August 15.
If you can find a flight, you’ll need to get a visa. A COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours is “recommended,” but not required. You’ll also need to fill out a health questionnaire and submit to temperature/health checks on arrival.
Belgium is not allowing Americans according to the United States Embassy. Any travelers who are permitted entry (there are strict restrictions) must self-quarantine for 14 days. Right now, only fellow Europeans and citizens of the U.K. are allowed to visit.
The Bulgarian government ordered a new ban on all persons, regardless of their citizenship, through all border crossings, by air (including commercial and private aircraft), sea, rail and road transport, which was in effect July 1, to September 30, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria.
Those exempt from the ban are “nationals, permanent residents and their family members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Agreement States including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.” Locals are allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days.
Croatia has reopened for tourists from all countries.
Croatia amended its COVID-19 policies due to a slight spike in cases. Incoming travelers must now produce a negative COVID PCR test taken less than 48 hours before departure, or else observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival.
Fair warning: The European Union has decided not to allow U.S. travelers into the E.U., but individual nations have decided to ignore that decision, and Croatia has done in regards to Americans. The Daily Beast reports, “… upon checking with the Croatian government directly, we can confirm that Americans can travel to Croatia for tourism… without quarantine.”
Cyprus is a small island nation off the coast of Turkey, and it is not yet open to Americans, but it is open to British citizens.
They will allow in Americans who’ve already quarantined in a third country that is allowing Americans like Turkey or Croatia first.
“U.S. citizen tourists will not be able to travel to the Republic of Cyprus if they have been in the United States, or any other country not classed as a Category A or B country, in the two weeks before travel to Cyprus,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus. The list of countries is evaluated weekly and countries can be added and removed based on the latest data available.
The Czech Republic allows international visitors to enter based on a color-coded system that classifies countries by their coronavirus risks.
According to Czech Tourism, “You can come to the Czech Republic as a tourist if you are from the green-labeled EU or Schengen-zone countries. You no longer need to show a negative Covid-19 test on the borders and quarantine won’t be required. If you are from an orange or red labeled country on the map, a test is still required on the borders. The countries are divided according to risk in relation to the Covid-19 virus by the Czech Ministry of Health.” Travelers from Belgium and Great Britain are deemed a medium risk, meaning they must provide a recent Covid-19 test.
Americans are not welcome.
Denmark is not open to Americans.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Denmark, the Danish border closure – imposed on March 14 – remains in place for tourism-related travel from the United States.
The ban does not apply to most travelers who reside in the EU, Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom. The Danish government recommends a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Denmark, except those coming from Germany, Iceland and Norway.
Estonia is closed to Americans, but it has reopened borders to passengers arriving from other countries of the European Union, the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom. “Travelers must be symptom-free and must have been present in one of the approved countries for the previous 14 days,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Estonia.
Like other European nations, Estonia is asking visitors who have signs of the disease to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. You may be required to quarantine based on which country you depart from and the ratio of positive cases per 100,000 people.
Finland is closed to Americans. The country began allowing some tourism on Sept. 19, but mostly from fellow-European Union nations. Citizens of countries considered low-risk will not need to quarantine upon arrival if they have a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival.
France has been hit hard by the coronavirus, but it has continued to reopen. The country opened cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as schools and public transportation. Even the Louvre is now open. France still requires face masks and social distancing of one meter.
France reopened its borders to travel from other European nations back in June. Those who enter the country must quarantine for 14 days. Travel from the United States is still restricted, according to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Arriving passengers need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Residents of France are able to vacation freely within the country.
Americans are not welcome in the country of Georgia with the exception of those willing to stay for six months and work from home in the country.
Related: Work from home in these countries
While Georgia has not fully developed its plans, it is planning to offer its own residency programs for foreigners hoping to conduct remote work there. The project, according to the government’s news site, is specifically targeting freelancers and self-employed foreigners.
While the application has not been released, foreigners hoping to apply can expect to provide personal information, a certificate of employment, proof of travel insurance (valid for six months) and acknowledgment of a 14-day quarantine at their own expense.
Travelers must submit the application and obtain relevant confirmation documents prior to arriving in Georgia. It is expected to show on the Ministry of Economy website once the application goes live.
Germany is still not open to Americans.
Germany has limited entry to just E.U. citizens and residents, similar to the actions taken by other E.U. nations. Travel from the U.S. is still prohibited.
Greece is a rare bright spot for foreign tourists, but not yet for Americans. As of now, Americans were not permitted to enter Greece through at least September 30.
EU passport holders are allowed entry, including permanent residents of Schengen countries, plus Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates.
Hungary banned foreigners entirely early on in the pandemic but began lifting lockdown restrictions on its own citizens in May.
American tourists are not allowed at this time.
The country has now revised its entry requirements. Currently, it classifies countries as “green,” “yellow” or “red” based on the state of the pandemic in that nation, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary.
Only Hungary is considered a “green” country.
Hungarians entering from “yellow” or “red” countries are subject to a 14-day quarantine after receiving a health screening at the border.
According to the Embassy, “Foreign citizens arriving from abroad … can enter Hungary if they undergo a medical check upon entry and such a check does not reveal the suspicion of infection.”
Iceland had discussed welcoming back American tourists, but then changed its mind and a ban on American tourists is still in effect until further notice. Our own Zach Honig learned that the hard way when his flights were canceled.
Only European citizens of the Schengen zone are being allowed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Iceland, “All travelers entering Iceland, including Icelandic citizens and residents, must self-quarantine for 14 days or submit to a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport.”
As of Aug. 19, Iceland will be imposing stricter entry restrictions for those eligible to travel there. This even applies to residents of Iceland, except for children born after 2005. Anyone entering will have to get a coronavirus PCR test at the airport upon arrival. Then, four to five days after this initial test, you’ll have to get a second COVID-19 test. During that time frame between tests, you must self-quarantine until the results of both tests come back negative. To even be eligible for this test, you must be a resident of the aforementioned countries (U.S. residents are not included at this time). As an alternative to the testing requirements, travelers can opt to self-quarantine for a full 14-day period.
Ireland is open to Americans, but you must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
All arrivals from outside Ireland including citizens and residents are required to isolate themselves for two full weeks. You’ll also need to fill out a “Passenger Locator Form” saying where you will be quarantining. There is a fine of up to $2,860 or six months in jail for refusing to fill out the form or falsifying records.
Related: Yes you can go to Ireland, but..
Meantime, Ireland is dealing with visitors who are violating the country’s 14-day self-quarantine rule. The New York Times wrote a whole article on this problem. Some TPG readers have also reported that Americans are going to Ireland, skipping quarantine and visiting other parts of Europe. Not only is that illegal, but it’s also unethical and endangers other humans. Don’t do that.
Italy has been among the hardest-hit countries. According to the U.S. Embassy in Italy, Americans are not allowed.
Related: Dreaming of Italy
Italy is open to some Europeans and there are no internal travel bans.
Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) and the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR) in Florence and other Italian airports have all reopened.
Kosovo has reopened its borders to Americans.
No testing or quarantine is required for travelers arriving in Kosovo. It’s one of the countries that is wide open to Americans. Pristina International Airport is open to all travelers according the embassy.
Still here’s the advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo:
“We urge you to postpone or cancel travel to Kosovo this summer. Kosovo remains under a Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19. The health situation is deteriorating, and public institutions are struggling to keep up with demand. It is possible that border restrictions could be re-imposed with little notice, and the frequent changes are causing confusion at airports and borders.”
Latvia is not open to American tourists. It has reopened to EU countries (including the U.K.), as well as to non-EU passport holders that hold EU permanent residence permits. Residents of several other countries outside are allowed to enter. That list can be found here.
According to the local U.S. embassy, U.S. residents residing in the United States will be banned from entering Latvia for non-essential travel (which includes tourism), nor will they be allowed to enter by arriving from a country on that list. Several exceptions exist, one of which is to enter with an EU passport if you have one.
The local government is also requiring that passengers from countries with more than 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The list of these countries can be found here.
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. There is an open border between the two countries.
At this time, entry to Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) is permitted for U.K. and EU nationals. If you hold those passports but are traveling from the United States or any other country in this list, you will be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
U.S. passport holders will be subject to the current entry restrictions.
Like other EU countries, Lithuania has reopened its borders to other EU members (including the U.K.). In addition, residents of several other countries that have less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants are allowed to enter. You can find the list of those countries here.
U.S. passport holders and residents are not allowed to enter at the moment. Several exceptions exist, one of which is to enter with an EU passport if you have one.
If you are able to arrive at Lithuania from either the U.S. or any one of the countries in this list, you are subject to a 14-day isolation upon arrival.
Luxembourg has begun to allow cross-border trips with some of its neighbors, including Germany. More information about restrictions can be found here. All normal business is now open and schools are as well.
Travel for EU citizens is open, but American travelers are still prohibited from entering the country.
Malta is small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean, and it began reopening on May 1. 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.”
The first group of what Malta calls “safe corridor” destinations that are being reopened for travel include: Germany, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. This means U.S. citizens are banned from entering Malta for non-essential travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Malta.
Moldova declared a public healthcare emergency May 15, and it has been extended until September 30. It is, however, open to tourism from some countries. That doesn’t include Americans.
Monaco’s reigning monarch Prince Albert tested positive for COVID-19 and went into self-quarantine. He has since recovered.
The tiny principality is beginning to reopen to tourists, but that doesn’t include Americans.
Following France’s lead, Monaco will allow entrance to citizens of the EU, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. This list will be revised every two weeks.
Montenegro is allowing Americans with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival. No quarantine is required.
The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro posted the following notice on its website:
“Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? YES, with a negative PCR test for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) not older than 72 hours or a positive coronavirus antibody test result (SARS-CoV-2) of the IgG class obtained by ELISA serologic test not older than 72 hours. This does not apply to children up to the age of 5. Travelers must not have stopped, nor transited through, countries that are not permitted to enter Montenegro within the previous 15 days.”
The Netherlands is in the process of a slow reopening, but that still doesn’t include most tourists. Businesses are reopening and on June 15 some tourism was allowed, but that didn’t include most of the world including Americans.
“The Dutch government is strictly enforcing the EU travel restrictions banning all non-essential travel from outside the EU,” the U.S. Embassy’s website in the Netherlands states. “On July 1, the EU non-essential travel ban was lifted for 14 countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay. The list of countries whose travelers will be allowed to enter the EU will be reviewed every two weeks.”
North Macedonia is now open to all tourists. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) opened on July 1. All passengers will face temperature screening, but there are no quarantine or testing requirements.
Norway is closed to most tourism including Americans, and according to the U.S. embassy, that ban is now extended until November 1.
The only countries that “meet the Norwegian Government’s criteria for removal of travel restrictions are the following: Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, and Denmark.”
Poland is open for tourism from countries of the European Union and a few other countries, but that doesn’t include Americans for the most part. U.S. citizens who have dual citizenship or fall in certain other categories are being allowed, but you should check with the U.S. embassy to confirm.
American tourists are not allowed. Many arrivals have to self-isolate for 14 days. Check this list for some exemptions.
Hotels are reopening, and most shops, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries are also open. Face masks mandatory in public.
Portugal is still not open to Americans for tourism. Some international travel is being allowed, but Portugal has had to scale back allowing tourists from many spots.
Some TPG readers have suggested Americans can again travel to Portugal, but according to the U.S. embassy website a ban on U.S. tourists remains in effect. “The Government of Portugal currently prohibits non-essential (tourist) travel to Portugal by U.S. citizens. All travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours.”
Related: What are travel bubbles?
Romania remains closed to Americans.
“The Government has eased commercial flight and travel restrictions to 22 countries with documented COVID-19 case reduction, as determined by the National Institute of Public Health,” as stated by the U.S. Embassy in Romania. “Travelers arriving from EEA countries with per capita case growth equal to or less than Romania’s will be exempt from 14 days of isolation.” These countries include: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Americans are not allowed in Russia at the moment even as the country has mostly reopened businesses and transportation.
Many restrictions were eased in June, with most businesses allowed to open. Effective March 18, the Government of the Russian Federation banned the entry of all foreign nationals. There has been no change since that ban went into effect.
There are no border restrictions in Serbia. The U.S. embassy in Serbia writes, “There are currently no restrictions on entry to Serbia for U.S. citizens. However, travelers should be prepared for restrictions to change with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the Government of Serbia for additional information.”
Serbia has among the most liberal entry requirements with no testing or quarantine required. There was unrest in Serbia in July as protests against coronavirus restrictions turned violent, but it seems to have quieted.
Slovakia has opened its borders to a few countries in Europe but remains shut out to everyone else. That includes Americans.
All arriving passengers must fill out an electronic monitoring form.
Slovenia has reportedly reopened its borders to tourism, but it has a traffic light system of entry requirements. Countries on the red list face a mandatory two-week quarantine on arrival. You guessed it. The U.S. is on the “red light” list.
And the U.S. embassy website suggests Americans still aren’t being welcomed because of the EU ban on Americans, but there may be exceptions to that rule. Call the U.S. embassy before planning a trip.
The CDC calls the risk of catching COVID-19 in Slovenia “high,” and says, “The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Slovenia. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Slovenia.”
Spain is among the hardest-hit countries in the world. Americans are not welcome.
Spain extended a recent ban on fellow-Europeans until at least Sept. 30. Residents of 11 non-European nations are being allowed to visit as tourists including citizens of Canada, New Zealand and Rwanda.
Sweden has become well-known during the coronavirus crisis for not shutting down, instead hoping the population would develop “herd immunity” without hurting the economy or killing too many people. Unfortunately, Sweden has the highest number of deaths and cases in Scandinavia, though those numbers are lower than other countries in Europe.
All nonessential travel to Sweden from non-European visitors was banned indefinitely. There is no timeline on when Americans can go.
Switzerland is now open to some European travelers, but there are quarantine requirements depending on the region travelers are coming from.
Americans are not welcomed as of now.
Turkey is welcoming Americans again.
Turkey’s international borders are open for travelers from a number of countries, including the U.S.
Related: Turkey is open to Americans
Travelers who show signs of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board flights or enter the country. Upon arrival, travelers will be asked to fill out a passenger information form and undergo medical screenings for infection, and anyone showing symptoms upon arrival will be tested for coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will be referred to a Turkish hospital for quarantine and treatment.
However, the Turkish embassy’s website states that tourist travelers do not need to provide specific health documentation to enter or exit Turkey unless they are arriving for medical treatment.
However, travelers should note a couple of precautions unrelated to COVID-19:
- The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory guide lists Turkey at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, due to concerns over terrorism and arbitrary detention. Travelers are strongly advised to avoid the areas bordering Iraq and Syria due to terrorist activity.
- U.S. travelers will still need to apply for a visa before entering Turkey. You can do so via e-visa application, which takes about three minutes.
Per the US Embassy’s website on Ukraine, U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter the country, as the Ministry of Health “considers the United States a country with a high incidence of COVID-19.”
In fact, Ukraine recently implemented a ban on most foreign travelers.
The United Kingdom has been especially hard-hit by coronavirus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously got and survived COVID-19.
The British government has now opened up its borders to 75 countries and its overseas territories. Americans are allowed to visit the United Kingdom, but there is a giant caveat. Americans must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The penalty for breaking this quarantine is steep, running to more than $1,200 dollars a night in fines for violations.
Also noteworthy is that the following a spike in coronavirus case in Spain, the U.K. has added Spain (including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands) to the list of countries requiring a 14-day quarantine on arrival to the U.K. The U.K. government says it is calling or texting one in five passengers to ensure they are self-isolating. Those who fail to comply could face a fine of up to £1,000.
Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) is set to test new screening methods soon including ultraviolet sanitation, facial recognition thermal screenings and contactless security.
The quarantine rules do not apply to international passengers transiting the airports.
We have seen some reports of Americans trying to get to the European Union from the U.K., but it’s not allowed and you are likely to be turned back (and you would potentially be breaking the law).
Scotland is not exactly rolling out the welcome mat to Americans.
Still like the U.K. as a whole, outright bans on entry have not been put into place. Instead Americans must quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
Scotland is part of the U.K., and is mostly following the lead of London.
Philip Goldson International Airport (BEZ) reopened on August 15, but the return of tourism has been delayed until October 1.
Visitors and returning citizens will be required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight or will be tested on arrival. If a passenger is showing symptoms they may be placed in quarantine.
In a statement, the tourism board said, “As the country reopens for travel, Belize wants to assure travelers and residents that hotels and restaurants will be cleaner and safer than ever before.”
Note that all visitors will have to stay at one of the country’s full-service hotels or resorts that have received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition. Among the requirements for this designation? The hotels must have private transportation to and from the airport, a restaurant on-property, and strict cleanliness protocols.
As of mid-September, Costa Rica is allowing some U.S. travelers into the country, depending on the state they live in or came from. Residents of New York, New Jersey, Washington DC and select other states and regions can visit Costa Rica. Right now that includes 22 states and towns, and California residents will be added on Oct. 1. Those travelers must have a state issued ID or Driver’s License showing they are residents of one of the approved states or regions.
You can find the full list here.
All arrivals must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure from the United States and have travel insurance that includes health coverage.
Related: Costa Rica reopening
The country of El Salvador reopened for commercial flights on Sept. 19, to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador, for the first time since mid-March.
There is no official word on when tourists will be welcomed back, but the speculation is that it will be sometime in September along with other Central American nations. The country has said arriving passengers will face temperature checks.
El Salvador’s president postponed the second phase of its reopening twice because of a recent increase in cases. That set off a constitutional crisis with the country’s Supreme Court ruling the plan was unconstitutional. That means businesses are all open with no restrictions.
Guatemala has reopened its borders to some neighbors like Belize and Honduras, but it remains off-limits for Americans.
Guatemala began slowly reopening to tourism on September 18. Aurora International Airport is again accepting international arrivals.
All incoming visitors will need a negative PCR test or will face a mandatory two-week quarantine.
A national quarantine remains in effect, and there are pretty substantial restrictions on hotels and other lodging. Not all hotels are open. Many restaurants also remain closed.
Honduras has reopened its international airports for tourists. In fact, Spirit Airlines has resumed service from Fort Lauderdale and Houston, and American Airlines is flying from Miami.
All tourists have to fill out a form from the government and have proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight to Honduras.
Nicaragua never really shut down. There are still soccer matches, food festivals and beauty pageants taking place. There were never any stay-at-home or social-distancing orders here — moves that have drawn criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch. Local sources have reported that the government is discouraging Nicaraguans — including health workers, airport staff, and policemen — from wearing masks. Because of these relaxed rules, there have been questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has.
The lack of rules does not mean travel is not impacted. The Nicaraguan government never officially implemented any travel restrictions, but its borders and airports effectively closed. That is changing.
Beginning in October, flights resume to Nicaragua including from AeroMexico, American, Avianca, Copa and United.
Panama began reopening its airport back in late August, and is now in a phased reopening across the country.
Domestic tourism will resume on September 28 and international tourism will again be allowed on October 12.
The rules have not been issued for tourists yet, but Panama currently requires essential travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Anyone without negative coronavirus test results must quarantine for two weeks.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international visitors indefinitely. Some international flights have resumed, but they are few and far between and only Argentine citizens are allowed at this time. No tourists are allowed.
Some essential workers or government workers are excepted, but all incoming arrivals face two weeks of quarantine and other health measures.
Bolivia is currently off-limits to tourists.
The government announced a total quarantine of the country through September 30. The local US embassy reports some domestic land and air travel within Bolivia is permitted – international travel is not (with certain exceptions).
Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) airline has flights between La Paz and the United States, but you must have dual citizenship or special permission to enter Bolivia.
The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.
The U.S. announced a ban on travel by foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days. This adds to bans already in place for the United Kingdom, Europe, Ireland, Iran, and China.
Americans are not allowed to visit Chile, and there is no timeline for a return of tourism.
The Chilean government closed its borders to foreigners on March 18 and anyone permitted to return is subject to a two-week quarantine upon their arrival. The country is also closed to cruise ships. Much of the nation is under mandatory quarantine rules, with a strict curfew between 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
LATAM has resumed flights between Santiago and the U.S., but mostly for humanitarian and repatriation flights.
President Ivan Duque closed Colombian borders to foreign travelers in mid-March, but international flights resumed on September 21 including flights to the United States. The U.S. embassy now says Americans are allowed to come, and that appears to now include tourists.
Colombia now says you’ll need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival. Anyone arriving before October 1 will have to quarantine for 14 days. After October 1, it appears the quarantine requirement goes away.
Arriving passengers will face health screenings at their point of arrival. Passengers will also need to fill out the government’s “Migracion Colombia Check-Mig” immigration form.
Ecuador is again open for Americans.
All arriving passengers are required to have the results of a PCR COVID test within the last ten days prior to arrival.
Those without negative COVID-19 test results will need to get a test upon arrival at their own expense and quarantine until their test results come back negative or for two weeks.
Related: Ecuador ditches quarantine
Quito and Guayaquil airports are open and have resumed normal operations.
There are special requirements for the Galapagos Islands. A negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours is a requirement upon arrival in Galapagos.
Paraguay has been under strict quarantine, and is closed to tourism.
The country is easing its internal lockdown, but travel bans are still in place – with most commercial flights suspended (with exceptions to cargo and repatriation flights).
Peru is closed to Americans. Peru’s state of emergency was just extended until the end of September.
Domestic air travel has resumed.
Foreigners are barred from visiting Uruguay until further notice, and the country’s borders with Brazil and Argentina are also closed. There are no regularly scheduled commercial passenger flights, but some flights to Brazil are being allowed to fly foreigners out of Uruguay.
Tourism will not be allowed until at least October 31, and more delays are likely. Arriving passengers face health screenings and must present proof of negative COVID-19 test results.
This South American country has been one of the world’s most at-risk nations amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has fewer than 200 intensive care beds available, according to President Duque in neighboring Colombia. PBS reports on the humanitarian crisis currently being exasperated by the coronavirus pandemic.
All international travel – suspension of commercial flights and closure of land and sea borders – has been shut down.
The U.S. State Department strongly advises against travel to Venezuela.
Cambodia is beginning to open back up to visitors. On May 20, it was reported Cambodia would reopen its borders to tourists from six countries including the United States. People from America, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain are allowed to enter Cambodia. There are still severe restrictions. All visitors will need a test proving they are COVID-19 free within three days of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Tourists will also need to prove they have $50,000 worth of health insurance coverage.
It will still be difficult for visitors to try to enter. Cambodia has suspended e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice – and has also suspended tourist-related services as of June 10.
The Health Ministry said arriving tourists would be taken to a government center for quarantine and testing, but details remain sketchy. In a statement, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said, “All passengers, both Cambodian and foreign, who are traveling to Cambodia, are admitted to waiting centers for the COVID-19 tests and that they are waiting for results from the Pasteur laboratory.”
China was where COVID-19 emerged, and it suspended entry for nearly all foreigners and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March and strict anti-travel measures remain in place.
In fact, while China is now encouraging domestic tourism, it is not allowing foreign tourism. China is also asking its own citizens not to travel internationally.
People who are proven healthy can generally move around within their own cities now, but they are being closely tracked via their cellphones and temperature checks in public are common.
Hong Kong Airport began allowing transit passengers back in June, 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.
Current regulations state that all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane will be denied entry, “until further notice.”
All non-Hong Kong residents coming from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong, but entry will be denied if the non-Hong Kong resident has traveled to any overseas countries or regions in the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
There had been talks underway to allow some travel without quarantine between Hong Kong, Macau and parts of China, but so-called “travel bubbles,” have not yet been possible.
India announced back in March that it was no longer allowing foreigners into the country. A suspension of international flights has been lifted, but only for humanitarian or essential travel. Some business travelers are being allowed in again. Americans must have an emergency authorization or business visa to visit. No tourists allowed.
According to the local U.S. embassy, commercial air travel is picking up slowly within the country. International commercial passenger flights are resuming, and several airlines have been offering flights to European cities that have connecting flights to the U.S.
India is far advanced in its reopening plans. Businesses are open and the country will restart its metro systems in September. There’s no word yet on when foreign tourists might be welcome again.
Indonesia is in the middle of reopening, but it cancelled plans to reopen Bali to tourists until at least 2021.
The Indonesian government has allowed airlines to resume domestic flights with certain restrictions. International travel is still banned with few exceptions, but the government is trying to fully reopen the economy at some point in 2020.
A state of emergency for all of Japan is now lifted, and the country is undergoing a reopening of its economy, but is still holding onto its entry ban for nearly 111 countries and regions – including the United States. Some Americans with dual citizenship and/or who are cleared by the government in advance can go, but no tourism is allowed.
The government has also announced that foreign travelers are required to submit a PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure and will face testing upon their arrival in Japan and will also need to submit a detailed itinerary that includes accommodations and places they intend to visit. Visitors are asked to refrain from using public transportation as well.
Japan was supposed to host the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in July, but that date has now been pushed back to summer of 2021, and may even be further delayed.
The land-locked central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is closed to Americans. 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 and a visa. Tourism is not welcome. The U.S. State Department has a “Do Not Travel” advisory in place for the country.
Kyrgyzstan reopened some of its businesses in early May and allowed the national curfew to be lifted. Malls and markets were able to open their doors May 25, along with public transportation. Domestic travel is still barred. No international flights are allowed in or out of Kyrgyzstan.
Coronavirus is under control in Macau, but travel is still limited due to active cases in its neighboring regions. The government is in active discussions to ease travel restrictions, however, with some travel between China and Macau resuming, most of China will be welcome soon.
Americans cannot travel to Macau.
Malaysia is still advising tourists to avoid coming. In fact, current travel restrictions on all foreign nationals – with very limited exceptions – were extended to until the end of the year. Americans are explicitly forbidden. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has eased some restrictions on internal travel.
The Maldives had announced one of the most liberal opening policies in the world, but it has since placed restrictions on tourists.
International visitors must now have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure and complete an online health survey.
Related: Maldives reopening
Tourists also need proof of reservation with an approved hotel or resort.
Emirates Airlines is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhbai to the Maldives starting in July. Turkish Airlines also started flights in July.
Nepal remains closed to tourism. International flights have resumed but only for Nepalese citizens. The Kathmandu Post suggests tourism will not resume until 2021 at the earliest.
Pakistan has reopened for Americans, however the U.S. state department says, “Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to COVID-19 and terrorism.”
Americans wishing to travel to Pakistan will need a visa, and they will need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival. It is unclear what type of test will be offered. They will also face health screenings on arrival.
A ban on international travelers went into effect on March 22, and it’s unclear when this restriction will be lifted.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Americans are not allowed. There are also quarantines in place in some cities as well as curfews.
The Bureau of Immigration says no foreigners are allowed into the country. Spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said, “Only Filipinos, their foreign spouse and children, accredited foreign government and international organization officials, and foreign airline crew shall remain eligible to enter the Philippines.”
Singapore remains closed for short-term visitors (including tourism). Americans are not allowed except for those who are dual citizens or residents of Singapore. All arrivals must quarantine for two weeks.
The country is beginning to relax transit restrictions at Changi Airport. Unfortunately, Americans are still not allowed to transit at the beautiful Singapore airport.
Singapore is also testing a “fast lane” for business travelers from certain Asian countries (like China and South Korea), removing the need for a mandatory 14-day quarantine for them. It is hoping to create travel bubbles with a few other countries.
Americans can go to South Korea, but a mandatory two-week quarantine will make it undesirable for most folks.
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. The local U.S. embassy notes that this will cost approximately $100 USD per night, and passengers will be required to sign a release form agreeing to these conditions before departing.
South Korea has agreed with China and Singapore to allow some business travel between the countries.
Limited tourism was supposed to begin again on August 1, but that has been delayed indefinitely.
When foreign tourism does resume, groups of travelers from selected countries will have to have a valid COVID-19 test done in one of Sri Lanka’s two international airports – Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) or Mattala International Airport (HRI), and will stay in approved hotels that have met the safety and sanitation requirements. Popular tourist locations will be open with regular temperature checks. Individual travelers will still not be welcomed.
Taiwan banned international tourism as of March 19.That ban remains in place.
Americans are allowed to go to Taiwan under certain very strict circumstances. They must have permission from the Taiwan government beforehand. All arrivals must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine.
Transit passengers passing through the nation en route to other destinations are now allowed, but there are lots of rules including restricting transit time to under eight hours.
Tajikistan never did have a full lockdown, and most businesses, hotels and restaurants reopened on June 15. The U.S. State Department has a “Do not travel” advisory in effect for Tajikistan related to both COVID-19 and the potential for terrorism.
All Americans need a Tajik visa for entry.
Thailand remains closed to most foreign tourists, and anyone entering the country will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
There is some progress to report. In mid-September the government announced it would soon begin offering 90-day visas to some tourists willing to stay for three months. Applicants will have to stay at a hotel or private accommodation for the entire time. After a two-week quarantine they will be able to freely move around the country.
Americans are unlikely to be on the list of approved countries which could include citizens of China and a few European nations to start.
According the U.S. embassy in Turkmenistan, U.S. citizens are allowed to go to the country, but all flights in and out are canceled until at least October 1. In addition land borders are closed. Turkmenistan claims it doesn’t have any cases of COVID-19, but the embassy casts doubt on those claims.
Uzbekistan is open to Americans. In fact, it promises to compensate tourists $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 on arrival.
Radio Free Europe reports Uzbekistan will lift a ban on international flights from October 1.
Vietnam has again delayed a slow reopening that had been scheduled for business travelers from six Asian countries.
Foreign tourists were originally banned as of March 22, and it is uncertain when the Vietnamese government will revisit this travel advisory.
Some tourist attractions have reopened, and there is some good news to report. Domestic tourism within Vietnam is now open again, and Vietnam is in talks with several other countries to created so-called “travel bubbles” allowing citizens of trusted neighbors to visit.
Australia remains closed to foreign visitors.
Americans are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and arriving citizens and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Australian leaders have suggested foreign travel for Australians might not even be possible until 2021.
In fact, the governments of Australia and New Zealand are discussing a so-called “travel bubble” that may allow tourism only between the two nations (and possibly Fiji), but nothing firm has been decided just yet.
Meanwhile, Australian leaders have said October is probably the earliest they would again allow international travel.
Related coverage: French Polynesia reopening
French Polynesia officially reopened on July 15. The island nation implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travelers back in March, but it was dropped under pressure from the tourism industry (among others), and the nation has since seen a surge in cases.
If you plan on traveling to French Polynesia, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to departure but have an immunity certificate from a doctor, you can bypass testing.
Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance. Luckily, credit card travel insurance satisfies this requirement. Use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for your airfare and hotel, then provide a copy of the card’s Guide to Benefits as proof of coverage.
Travelers are also required to have a medical certificate, with the specifics to be communicated by the tourism board.
Four days after arrival, you may be subject to another COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health and Prevention will be conducting these tests on a random basis, so keep that in mind. In addition to that, guests may also get visits from medical staff, authorized by the Department of Health to supervise.
All travelers are advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. If you do exhibit symptoms during your stay, you must self-report and self-isolate in your room until further instruction from local emergency operators.
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.
Fiji has a strict lockdown still in place. The country is essentially closed to tourism with no signs of easing the lockdown anytime soon. Fiji Airways has canceled all flights through the end of September.
Here’s how the U.S. embassy in Fiji puts it: “Entry to Fiji is currently very restricted. Travel by non-Fiji citizens for tourism or visits is generally not permitted, with exceptions possible for arrivals by sea. Travelers should contact Fiji Immigration with specific inquiries.”
Interestingly, Fiji does allow visitors by private yacht. Arriving tourists must quarantine for two weeks at sea before being allowed ashore.
Fiji Airways grounded 95% of its flights and at least 279 hotels have closed.
Fiji is 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, by February 3. In fact, New Zealand is being hailed as one of the shining stars of dealing with COVID-19. Americans are not allowed.
A complete ban on foreigners is now in effect and the border is effectively closed to foreign tourists. From the government website: “The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travelers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has discussed a travel bubble with Australia, but it remains on hold for now.
Israel has been forced to go into a second lockdown on September 13 because of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, but the international airport remains open.
Israel’s Ministry of Health updated their Covid-19 restrictions.
On March 18, the government announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, would not be allowed to enter Israel. There are no current plans to ease that restriction. Some Israeli citizens returning from overseas are being allowed to return and self-quarantine.
Luxury hotel company Dan hotels announced it was reopening all of its hotels including the King David Jerusalem.
Jordan is open to Americans according to the U.S. embassy, but they must complete an electronic application on www.visitjordan.gov.jo prior to travel and receive an acceptance QR code minimum 24 hours before the flight. They’ll also need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for Jordan, have health insurance and take another coronavirus test on arrival. They will also need to install Aman.jo app on their mobile phones and agree to health tracking.
Kuwait is not welcoming foreign tourists. According to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, Americans are allowed in, but only if approved in advance with a visa and a valid business reason or family reason.
The use of face masks is mandatory in all public areas, and the Ministry of Health is randomly testing residents and citizens daily.
Qatar is not welcoming foreign tourists. According to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, non-Qatari citizens cannot enter Qatar.
Those who are citizens and enter Qatar are subject to a two-week quarantine. Americans are now allowed to transit Doha’s international airport, but their onward flight must be within 24 hours.
Americans are not welcome in Saudi Arabia at this time.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, “limited domestic air travel and regional travel by bus, train, and other means of transportation has resumed, but international air travel remains suspended until further notice.”
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is beginning to ease some strict lockdown measures, and Dubai reopened to tourists beginning July 7.
Tourists visiting the country will be required to present a recent COVID-19 PCR test negative certificate done within 96 hours of departure or undergo testing at Dubai airports. Tourists must also download the COVID-19 DXB app and register their details.
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All arrivals will also be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveler is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus.
Tourists must comply with preventive measures and safety procedures and must self-isolate for 14 days if they test positive.
Related: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are open
Interestingly, tourists (including Americans) are allowed now to travel to Abu Dhabi from Dubai, but must follow special rules.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August. It is perhaps best known for the Virunga National Park and for being home to the mountain gorilla. Most businesses and schools are now open. Unfortunately, Virunga National Park is not set to open until 2021. Visitors must undergo a health screening on arrival. Americans need a visa to visit.
International tourism resumed in Egypt July 1. The Great Pyramids of Giza also reopened on July 1 after being closed since March, reported Reuters. The pyramids underwent a deep cleaning of all paths and touchpoints earlier this summer.
Egypt is now open for Americans, but there are 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 though you will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. (Some reporting suggests it’s actually within 48 hours, so be aware you may need an overnight test). You also have to have the physical test results. No digital documents are being accepted.
There is testing available at Hurghada (HRG), Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), Marsa Alam (RMF) and Taba (TCP) airports. Those tests are $30, but that’s cheaper than in much of the U.S.
Related: Guide to world landmarks reopening
Related: Dreaming of visiting Egypt
All of Ghana’s borders are closed with no announced date of reopening. Citizens are being allowed back into the country but will have to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive.
Kenya is now open for tourism again as of August 1. President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country has reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions but precautions should still be taken, reports Reuters.
Under the reopening plan travel in and out of Nairobi was allowed and general domestic travel began July 15. International travel began August 1. Mosques can open for an hour with 100 visitors.
All visitors need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival.
The State Department has a “level-3” warning to “reconsider travel,” because of coronavirus.
The island nation was under lockdown from March 20 to June 15 when the restrictions were fully lifted.
Foreign tourism is still not being allowed. According to the U.S. embassy, Americans are not allowed at all.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco ended its strict state of emergency on September 10. Americans are among citizens of several dozen countries are allowed to enter the country without a visa, but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure. They are accepting serological tests outside that two-day window. Face masks are mandatory in flight.
Related: Guide to Morocco reopening
Be aware that there are still curfews in some cities, and domestic travel within Morocco requires a travel authorization letter from local officials. Apparently, a hotel reservation can be all the documentation you may need.
To help fight coronavirus, Morocco has rapidly expanded its fleet of drones for surveillance, public service announcements and sanitization.
Namibia is open with a COVID-19 test required.
Arriving visitors also have to stay at their first lodging for a period of one week. It has to be a government-approved hotel or camp, and arrivals must be registered with the government.
International flights and tourists are now allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, fill out a health questionnaire and stay in their hotel or other lodging for seven days before being allowed to move freely in the country.
Related: A safari in Namibia
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 after months of closure. Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports all reopened for domestic flights in July, and international flights resumed in August.
All tourists are again welcome including Americans.
Arriving international passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival. Visitors will have to pay for another test seven days after arrival in Nigeria. All visitors will also need to fill in an online health questionnaire.
Rwanda is one of the few countries in the world open to American visitors. Now might be the perfect time to plan that safari adventure you’ve always wanted to take if you are able to swing it. Rwanda has done a good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak with only 4,020 cases and 16 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.
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Rwanda is home to three major national parks. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.
Related: Visiting Rwanda during COVID-19
The land-locked country reopened to all nationalities back on June 17, and the international airport reopened to commercial flights Aug. 1. All arriving passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test taken within 72 hours before arriving in Rwanda.
VisitRwanda says, “For passengers entering Rwanda, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours, during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.”
Rwanda is offering visa on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com.
All national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for coronavirus 19-48 hours before visiting.
Seychelles is now open to visitors from 29 countries, but the United States is not on the approved list.
Commercial flights started back up in July.
Tourists are required to be tested for COVID-19 (polymerase chain reaction test) within 72 hours before they arrive, though there are some exceptions for citizens from low-risk countries.
Visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures, and the tourism department is planning to introduce an app that will track tourists’ movements to facilitate contact tracing.
The Seychelles said at one point that it was banning cruise ships until 2022.
South Africa is set to begin reopening to tourism on October 1.
We do not yet know which countries’ citizens will be officially allowed in at that time, but the United States is not likely to be among the first countries invited to come. There will be a list of nations that is based on how well they are controlling the spread of COVID-19. On September 18, Reuters reported that citizens of all fellow African countries would be the first welcomed back.
Citizens of countries approved to come will need to provide a negative coronavirus PCR test taken with three days of departure. They will also face a health screening on arrival.
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 is now accepting tourists with no quarantine conditions attached.
Tanzania was among the first African nations to reopen to tourism. At first, tourists only had to undergo a health screening, but now all incoming travelers need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Many tourists are required to have a visa with details here.
Related: Dreaming of Tanzania
The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and all arriving travelers are “subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary COVID-19 rapid testing. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit. Readers have confirmed that they have had no issues flying into the country.
According to the U.S. embassy: “International airport and borders remain, with some exceptions, closed to regular travel.” The government has also issued a Level 3 “Reconsider travel” warning due to COVID-19 and the risk of kidnapping.
Uganda has eased some of its lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen
Previously, the government imposed strict restrictions that included the closure of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public vehicles. Transportation resumed in 33 districts, others who have large refugee populations and are large hubs of transit on the border remained restricted.
Zambia is open to international travelers. The country is known as one of the top safari destinations and includes Victoria Falls.
Zambia now requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within two weeks of arrival. Tourists also need a visa. There are also no quarantine requirements right now, but there are reports of some limited health screenings. You can apply for an e-visa online here.
President Edgar Lungu said on September 11, 2020, that bars and schools would begin reopening with limited hours.
Keep in mind the U.S. State Department has a “level-3” advisory saying Americans should “reconsider travel,” but no outright ban.
Reuters reports Zimbabwe will reopen its borders to international flights on October 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.”
The country had been asking all arriving passengers to self-quarantine for 21 days though that request is expected to be lifted once the international border reopens.
The Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told media outlets the country was also now allowing all attractions and businesses to reopen including the spectacular Victoria Falls.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Jane Frye, Liz Hund, Brian Kim, Stella Shon and Mimi Wright.
Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images.
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