Omicron update: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Jan 8, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post was last updated on Jan. 8 2022, with new information. 


The emergence of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has created upheaval on an international scale, with at least three countries (Israel, Morocco and Japan) temporarily banning entry by all foreign nationals and dozens of countries (including the United States and Canada) temporarily banning entry by foreign travelers who have been in certain Southern African countries. The U.S. ban, which ended at 12:01a.m. on Dec. 31, and the Canadian ban, which lifted on Dec. 18, did not include their respective citizens, or permanent residents.

Many countries also changed their entry requirements over the last weeks of 2021, with some decreasing the number of days allowed for pre-travel testing and others once again requiring fully vaccinated travelers to present pre-travel negative test results. And on Jan. 5, 2022, Hong Kong banned all flights from the United States and seven other countries.

Related: Biden administration to lift travel restrictions on 8 southern African countries

In addition, President Joe Biden announced that as of Dec. 6, all international airline passengers age 2 and older traveling to the U.S., even those who are fully vaccinated, need to present the result of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of boarding their flight. This is a change for fully vaccinated travelers who had been given a three-day window since the U.S. reopened to all international travelers on Nov. 8; unvaccinated U.S. citizens had already been required to test within one day of travel. Travelers who can present documented proof of having recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days are exempt from the required test. For details, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Related: The US does not anticipate further omicron travel restrictions

The United Kingdom also announced that all visitors, including those traveling from the U.S., must now take two tests: a pre-travel PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure and a PCR test within two days after they arrive. They must self-isolate until receiving the results of the day two test. And Australia said on Nov. 29 that it would delay its plan to open to international students, skilled migrants and travelers from Japan and South Korea by two weeks until Dec. 15.

Scientists in South Africa detected the new omicron variant and were transparent in announcing their findings. By Nov. 29, it was revealed that the omicron variant had quickly become the dominant coronavirus strain in South Africa (cases have since begun to drop). Omicron is now spreading rapidly through Europe, Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere. In the U.S., where the first cases were announced on Dec. 1 and 2,  the variant now accounts for most diagnosed cases.

Delta and United have said they plan to continue nonstop South Africa flight routes from Johannesburg to Atlanta and Newark for U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are allowed to return to the U.S.

As a result of omicron, New York City, which has experienced record-high cases during the last two weeks of December,  has reinstituted a COVID-19 mask advisory strongly recommending that all people wear masks while in indoor public spaces, even if fully vaccinated.

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In This Post

North America

United States

In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, President Biden announced on Dec. 2 that as of Dec. 6, all international arrivals by air to the United States, even American citizens who are fully vaccinated, need to present the result of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of boarding their flight. This is a change for fully vaccinated travelers, both U.S. citizens and international visitors, who had been given a three-day window since the U.S. reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8; unvaccinated U.S. citizens had already been required to test within one day of travel. Travelers who can present documented proof of having recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days are exempt from the required test.

The White House announcement can be found here and complete details are on the CDC’s website.

Related: US tightens pre-travel testing window

The first cases of the omicron variant were detected in the U.S. on Dec. 1 and 2 and the variant has swiftly become dominant in the U.S., spiking daily positive test results to more than 500,000 and accounting for more than 58% of cases. All U.S. states are open, but proof of vaccination is required for many indoor activities in New York City (where testing lines are long and cases are setting new daily records), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and other cities. Washington, D.C., Chicago and several other cities plan to enforce similar vaccine requirements for certain indoor spaces in early January.

As of Oct. 7, everyone age 12 and older also needs to show proof of vaccination to gain entrance to major theme parks located in Los Angeles County, including Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain, and as of Nov. 8, proof of vaccination is needed for anyone over age 12 to enter restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and many other indoor businesses in L.A. County.

Hawaii has additional restrictions, requiring either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of your flight to be uploaded to Safe Travels Hawaii to avoid a 10-day quarantine.

After prolonged closure to citizens of dozens of countries, the U.S. opened to fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8. However, in response to the emergence of the omicron variant, entry had been banned since Nov. 29 for non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have spent the past 14 days in any of these eight Southern African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Eswatini. This ban was lifted at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 31.

On Oct. 25, the government announced that beginning on Nov. 8, unvaccinated U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. must provide a negative viral COVID-19 test result from a sample taken no more than one day before boarding their flight. Unvaccinated travelers were also required to attest that they’ll take an additional COVID-19 test within three to five days of arrival. However, the new rules as of Dec. 6 mean that all travelers returning to the U.S. will need a test within a day of departure, vaccinated or not.

President 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 March 18, 2022.

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.

Related: US reopening guide: 11 things you need to know

Long-standing U.S. restrictions on visitors, including a ban on tourists driving into the country from Canada and Mexico, were lifted on Nov. 8, but only for fully vaccinated travelers (at least 14 days past their final dose), as was 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, South Africa and India. The vaccination requirement does not include children under age 18. As of Dec. 6, all travelers to the U.S. who are over the age of 2 will now be required to show results of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within one day of departure for the U.S.

Related: The US reopens to international travelers on Nov. 8 — what you need to know

Canada

Niagara Falls on the U.S./Canada border July 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Niagara Falls on the U.S.-Canada border. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans are again allowed to go to Canada but you need to be fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.

On Dec. 14, Canada issued a travel warning, recommending against any travel, although it didn’t come with any new bans.

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 for the foreseeable future.

However, in response to the emergence of the omicron variant, Canada announced that any non-Canadian citizen who has been in 10 countries in Southern Africa from Nov. 12 onward were barred from entering the country. The ban was lifted on Dec. 17, 2021.

In addition, as of Nov. 30, all passengers age 12 and older traveling domestically in Canada by air or by rail need to be fully vaccinated.

Related: My experience crossing the border as Canada reopened

The Aug. 9 reopening to international travelers 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).

Related: Canada entry restrictions will remain in place through Nov. 21

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 are allowed to enter Canada but must submit their information electronically through ArriveCan and meet all testing requirements.

According to the ArriveCan website, travelers coming from any country other than the U.S. in the past 14 days should be prepared to take an arrival test and quarantine at a suitable place (such as a home or hotel room) until receiving a negative arrival test result. Arrival testing could be on-site at the airport, offsite, or travelers may be given a self-swab test kit at the border to take home.

Related: Canada announces strict new entry requirements

Details on the latest restrictions can be found here.

Related: Why Canada remains closed to travelers even as other parts of the world reopen

Some provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, have begun requiring proof of vaccination for dining in restaurants, entering museums and other activities. Both provinces inches have also reinstituted curfews and other restrictions in response to fast-spreading omicron infections.

Fully vaccinated Canadians are again able to enter the U.S. via a land crossing at the border as of Nov. 8, and like Americans returning to the United States from Canada via land borders are not required to have a negative COVID-19 test result.

Note: U.S. entry testing requirements changed on Dec. 6 for U.S. citizens returning from Canada. In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, President Biden announced on Dec. 2 that all international arrivals to the U.S. by air, even American citizens who are fully vaccinated, will need to present the result of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of boarding their flight.

The U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory for Canada is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Mexico

Mexico City August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Mexico City in August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 health checks at all airports, but no testing requirements.

Note: U.S. entry testing requirements changed on Dec. 6 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents returning from Mexico. In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, President Biden announced on Dec. 2 that all international arrivals to the U.S., even American citizens who are fully vaccinated, will need to present the result of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of boarding their flight. This is a change for fully vaccinated travelers, both U.S. citizens and international visitors, who had been given a three-day window since testing was mandated on Jan 26 and the U.S. reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8; since the latter date, unvaccinated U.S. citizens had already been required to test within one day of travel.

Many Mexican 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 and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Related: Everything you need to know before visiting Mexico

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 Dec. 27.

The U.S.-Mexico land border reopened on Nov. 8, and fully vaccinated travelers are once again allowed to enter the U.S. from Mexico by land. Proof of vaccination is required, but a negative COVID-19 test is not required for a land-border crossing.

Related: What it’s like traveling to the Cancun area during a COVID-19 spike

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., has officially reopened to all international travelers, although cases have spiked there during the last weeks of December into early January. To enter Puerto Rico, all travelers must complete an online travel declaration available on the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal. As of Dec. 6, international visitors must be fully vaccinated and present a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within one day of arrival.

All domestic travelers (U.S. citizens and residents) as of Dec. 27, 2021, must now show a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of arrival, even if fully vaccinated (reduced from 72 hours for unvaccinated U.S. citizens and residents). This ends a policy that domestic travelers to Puerto Rico had been allowed to present their vaccination card as proof of having completed vaccination, exempting them from pre-travel testing.

Any passenger arriving without a test will have 48 hours to take one upon arrival or be subject to a fine.

Unvaccinated travelers must also now quarantine for seven days after arriving, regardless of whether they have a negative test result.

To receive an Airport Exit Confirmation QR code, all travelers must upload their negative test result and their vaccination card (if vaccinated) to the online portal. Upon arrival at San Juan International Airport (SJU), travelers will be subject to health screenings, including additional COVID-19 testing if symptomatic.

As of Aug. 5, all lodging facilities in Puerto Rico are required to see visitors’ vaccination records or negative test results at check-in. And as of Dec. 27, 2021, all establishments serving food or drinks must require proof of vaccination or a negative antigen or PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. All venues serving food or drinks are also now required to limit capacity to 50% for indoor spaces and 75% for outdoor spaces.

Puerto Rico had been experiencing another surge in cases. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces regardless of vaccination status (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 staffs serve meals wearing gloves and masks.

As of Dec. 22, 2021, anyone attending mass events (both indoors and outdoors taking place at theaters, amphitheaters, coliseums, stadiums and convention centers) will be required to present proof of vaccination with a Food and Drug Administration- or World Health Organization-approved vaccine and also a negative COVID-19 test taken in the 48 hours prior to the event. Children ages 2 to 11 are required to keep masks on at all times, except for when eating or drinking.

Until Jan. 31, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 will be allowed to attend large indoor events by providing negative COVID-19 test results taken no more than 48 hours prior to the event. Starting Feb. 1, 2022, this age range will be subject to the same guidelines as adults, requiring proof of vaccination and negative test results taken within 48 hours prior to the event upon entry. Children under 5 years of age will not be allowed to attend large-scale events, even with negative results, except when permitted by the Department of Health.

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 have not been required to have taken a test. Please check for updates going forward to see if this changes.

Related: Your points and miles guide to Puerto Rico

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, began welcoming back tourists on June 1, 2020, with restrictions. After a surge in cases, the islands returned to a “stay at home” order on Aug. 13, 2020, but again reopened to tourism on Sept. 19, 2020.

Every U.S. traveler 5 years of age or older, even those who are fully vaccinated, is now 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 three days of commencement of travel to the territory (reduced from five days as of Jan. 3, 2022). Visitors must produce the original test result as well as the travel certification from the portal upon arrival. As of Jan. 25, 2021, travelers age 5 and older may be denied boarding of flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands without travel certification from the portal.

International travelers (including travelers from the BVI) must also submit a negative antigen or NAAT COVID-19 test result, but test requirements depend on vaccination and citizenship status and mode of travel, as well as age.

  • Travel by air: All non-U.S. citizens/non-U.S. immigrants must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination. Travelers age 2-17 are exempt from the vaccine requirement. They must also present a negative COVID-19 antigen or NAAT test result taken within one day of travel.
  • Travel by ferry: Tests must be taken within three days of travel. Non-U.S. citizens/non-U.S. immigrants traveling for nonessential reasons (e.g., tourism) must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status. Travelers age 2-17 are exempt from the vaccine requirement.

Details can be found here.

No quarantine is required for healthy visitors who have negative test results.

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. COVID-19 guidelines are in place for retail businesses and attractions, taxi vans, safari vehicles and limo services.

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 have not been required to present a test. Please check for updates going forward to see if this changes.

Caribbean

(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tetra Images/Getty Images)

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on June 4, 2020.

The government’s latest travel advisory requires all arriving passengers age 18 and older to be fully vaccinated (as of Dec. 15, 2021) and everyone age 5 and older (even those who are transiting) to have a negative result of an approved COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test result taken within four days of their flight. Fully vaccinated passengers with valid rapid antigen test negative results may be required to submit to a PCR test upon arrival at their own expense ($50 for nationals and $100 for nonnationals, including U.S. citizens) and abide by instructions on permissible activities while awaiting results, which will be provided by Port Health officials.

Unvaccinated minors between the ages of 5 and 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test taken within four days of arrival. Unvaccinated minors who are not staying at a certified resort/accommodation are required to quarantine at home for a period of 14 days. Children below the age of 5 are not required to test.

Regarding vaccination requirements, all arriving passengers age 18 and older, including returning nationals and residents, are required to present verifiable documentation of full vaccination using World Health Organization- or Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment-approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a single-dose vaccine (completed 14 days or more before entry) to be permitted into Antigua and Barbuda. Check for updates here.

Antigua and Barbuda also announced that as of Nov. 26, people who have traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong within the last 14 days are restricted from entering the country.

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 and do not have to quarantine. 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 dine-in for travelers who have been vaccinated; non-hotel bars reopened as of Nov. 15 and there is an islandwide curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

American Airlines resumed service to the Caribbean with flights to Antigua.

Per the U.S. Embassy for the Eastern Caribbean, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Antigua is  Level 4: Do Not Travel. The CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Anguilla

Anguilla began welcoming preapproved travelers as of May 25, after a monthslong 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 (for which there is now a $50-per-person fee as part of the application process). Pregnant women and children under age 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement.

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 two to five days (48-120 hours) before arrival or a negative antigen test from an accredited lab taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival and then undergo a temperature check and take another test upon arrival. If staying eight days or more, travelers may need to test again on day four.

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 prearrange boat or air travel to Anguilla.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Anguilla is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. Visit the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which oversees Anguilla, for additional information.

Aruba December 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Aruba in December 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Aruba

Aruba reopened to tourists in the summer of 2020 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. The U.S. is currently a high-risk country and testing requirements for U.S. residents require a negative PCR or antigen test taken two days to four hours prior to arrival in Aruba. Travelers from low-risk countries must provide a negative test result taken with three days to four hours of arrival. Details 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 non-hotel businesses must close by midnight. (casinos at 1 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.

As of Dec. 1, Aruba has closed its borders to travelers from the following countries: South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

For the latest updates related to travel, check Visit Aruba’s entry requirements page.

Bahamas

Paradise Island in Nassau in the Bahamas. (Photo by Pola Damonte/Getty Images)

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 Dec. 27, 2021, all visitors over the age of 2, must present results of a negative COVID-19 test, either rapid antigen or PCR, taken within three days (72 hours) of arrival (changed from five days), while a PCR test taken within three days (72 hours) of arrival 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.

Note: As of Jan 7, 2022, all arrivals, even those who are fully vaccinated, must show a negative PCR test result. Antigen tests will no longer be accepted. This will also apply to unvaccinated children ages 2-11 as of Jan. 7.

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.

Read more: State Department and CDC advise against travel to the Bahamas

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. Additional details on pre-travel testing, travel insurance requirements and day-five testing 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).To travel between islands, vaccinated travelers must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test (if fully vaccinated) or PCR test (if unvaccinated) within three days (72 hours) 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.

Related: Bahamas making it easier to visit

All Bahamas hotels were allowed to open by mid-October 2020; they are also allowed to let visitors use their beaches. As of Nov. 13, nightly curfews have been lifted. Updates are available here.

As of Nov. 29. nonresidents of the Bahamas who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Zimbabwe are not allowed to enter the Bahamas.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Bahamas is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Barbados

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.

Barbados, which has seen intermittent spikes in COVID-19 cases, has 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.

Related: Barbados wants you to move there and work remotely

Barbados’ mandatory protocols, which were updated as of Oct. 24,  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 for some. As of Oct. 24, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to quarantine and are not subject to mandatory testing at the airport upon arrival, although they may be selected for a random rapid antigen test.

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 (and download the BIMSafe app) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms and upload their negative COVID-19 test results.
  • Board transport to their pre-approved and pre-booked accommodations (a minimum of seven nights is required) 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 (and download 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.
  • Possibly be asked to take a random COVID-19 rapid PCR test upon arrival in Barbados.
  • Once their vaccination certificate and pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test are approved upon arrival, they are free to explore Barbados.

Children under age 18 traveling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians will be able to adhere to the same guidelines as their parents or guardians. Complete details on protocols can be found here.

Social distancing and wearing face masks are mandatory in public spaces. There is a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. Violators of quarantine and curfew rules could face stiff fines or jail time.

Beach hours are now 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 4: Do Not Travel. The CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19. More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the Barbados government website.

Bermuda

Colorful homes and hotels on this hillside in Hamilton, Bermuda. (Photo by andykazie / Getty Images)
Colorful homes and hotels on a hillside in Hamilton, Bermuda. (Photo by andykazie/Getty Images)

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 ($75) and testing and quarantine, but the rules changed as of June 20, 2021, including an easing of requirements for fully vaccinated visitors with proof of vaccination and a 14-day quarantine for travelers who are unvaccinated.

However, as of Dec. 14, 2021, unvaccinated travelers age 18 and older are not allowed to enter Bermuda. Unvaccinated minor children may enter.

Related: Bermuda reopened to international travelers

Bermuda’s tourism officials have provided the following guidelines and requirements for tourists.

Predeparture:

  • Apply for a Bermuda Travel Authorization.
  • Obtain a certified negative PCR COVID-19 test within four days of departure and proof of vaccination. As of Dec. 3, fully vaccinated travelers can opt to provide a negative rapid antigen test taken within three days of arrival.
  • Provide proof of health insurance.
  • Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport.
  • Complete a traveler screening form and arrival card.

On the plane:

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Practice social distancing to the extent possible.

Upon arrival:

  • Take a PCR test.
  • As of Aug. 23, all vaccinated travelers will be given a red wristband upon arrival.
  • Vaccinated travelers with a pretest must wear it until receiving a negative result from the arrival PCR test.
  • Vaccinated travelers without a pretest must wear it until receiving the negative fourth-day test.
  • Children under the age of 2 do not need to have a COVID-19 PCR test or a Travel Authorization to travel to Bermuda.
  • Vaccinated travelers only need to quarantine until receiving their arrival test results, but must still test on days four and 10.

The Bermuda Government launched the WeHealth Bermuda app which provides anonymous COVID-19 exposure notifications and is encouraged for all visitors to download.

There are also special requirements for adults traveling with a minor.

Related: Visiting Bermuda with kids

According to the U.S. Consulate General in Bermuda, the U.S. State Department advisory for Bermuda is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

More information on coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here.

More reading: New resort and hotel options in Bermuda

Bonaire

Americans are welcome to visit Bonaire. The U.S. is considered a high-risk country, so all U.S. travelers age 13 and older, whether they are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated, have two testing options: They must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 24 hours prior to departure or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival and then take an antigen test upon arrival in Bonaire ($47.50).

Additionally, travelers must complete a health declaration form for the Public Health Department before their departure for Bonaire. For the latest details, check here.

Bonaire is also now requiring travelers from high-risk countries to take a PCR test on day five after arrival. The U.S. is currently considered high-risk and the testing appointment can be arranged when filling out the health declaration form. Anyone who is unvaccinated must also self-quarantine for five days until receiving results of their day five test.

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 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very 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 and must receive authorization to visit, must follow strict protocols. As of Oct. 1, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers who can provide valid proof of vaccination no longer need to register for authorization on the BVI Gateway portal.

Requirements for entry now include:

  • Providing a negative COVID-19 PCR result taken within five days of departure for the BVI and proof of vaccination if fully or partially vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers can present an approved negative rapid antigen test or a PCR test.
  • Registering (if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated) 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 required to take a second test upon arrival in the BVI (and to preregister at a charge of $50 for a rapid antigen test for those who are fully vaccinated). Travelers who are not vaccinated must take a PCR test upon arrival as part of their application process/fee).
  • 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 1: Exercise Normal Precautions. Check the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which oversees the BVI, for additional information.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands began a soft reopening on Oct. 1, 2020, and only recently began welcoming fully vaccinated tourists.

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 all visitors had to undergo a mandatory 14-night quarantine and test negative.

However, the Cayman Islands entered Phase 4 of its reopening as of Nov. 20 and is now open to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers (adults and children), although no cruise travelers or unvaccinated tourists, including unvaccinated children, are allowed at this time. Those with a securely verified vaccination record that is electronic with a QR code, such as a Smart Health Card or the New York State Excelsior Pass, and those with a nondigital record (such as a CDC card) are now no longer required to quarantine as long as they have spent the past 14 days in a country with vaccination rates that are 60% or higher for the first dose of the vaccine (the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom all qualify). Anyone traveling from a country with a vaccination rate lower than 60% for the first dose of the vaccine is required to quarantine for 10 days while wearing a tracking device with a day 11 PCR test required for exit. Details are here.

All travelers must be approved for entry and those who are approved need to register with the TravelTime service before their trip. And as of Jan. 14, 2021, all travelers age 5 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.

All arriving passengers no longer undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival in the Cayman Islands, but must take a lateral flow test (also known as a rapid antigen test) on days two, five and 10 of their stay.

The Cayman Islands takes its mandatory quarantine very seriously and violators have been 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Cayman Islands is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: Cayman Islands reopening

Cuba

Cuba has begun welcoming international tourists back as of Nov. 15, with entry requirements of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and proof of full vaccination. Tourists will not be required to quarantine.

The U.S. State Department has a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution 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. For information on exemptions that allow Americans to travel to Cuba, visit the U.S. Embassy in Cuba’s COVID-19 page and traveling to Cuba page.

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

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 48 hours for Curacao must be uploaded to the portal and passengers are also required to carry a copy of the results and have travel/health insurance to cover care or quarantine costs. 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. is currently considered high risk, so on day three after arrival U.S. travelers 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.

Retail shops are open; 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.

Curacao imposed a travel ban on Nov. 28 for any nonresident who is traveling from or has spent time over the past 14 days in Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Curacao is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. Visit the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao’s website for additional information.

Dominica

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.
  • Upload vaccination certificate (if fully vaccinated).
  • Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival.
  • Pay for antigen test to be conducted upon arrival (100 East Caribbean dollars/$37)
  • Provide confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results to the airline upon boarding.
  • Unvaccinated travelers must also provide confirmation of a booking at a government-certified Safe in Nature property..
  • 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, a 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Dominica is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

For more information, see the U.S. Embassy for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s website and Dominica’s travel advisory.

Dominican Republic

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. U.S. travelers are welcome and there are no longer any pre-travel COVID-19 testing requirements for visitors.

Related: How to book a trip to the Dominican Republic using points and miles

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.

The Dominican Republic does have additional measures in place for travelers from certain countries. Check for updates here.

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 Dominican Republic) 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. To enter restaurants, bars, stores, shopping centers and other entertainment venues outside of hotels, travelers will need to show their vaccination card or a negative PCR test taken within seven days.

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 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Grenada

Saint George-Harbour, Grenada. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)
St. George’s Harbour, Grenada. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on Aug. 1, 2020 — with many health conditions attached. Strict protocols, including quarantine, had been in place for all visitors, as the island no longer divides travelers into low, medium or high risk, depending on their country of origin. But as of mid-November 2021, Grenada removed the 48-hour quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travelers, who are now the only visitors allowed to enter the country.

Every fully vaccinated visitor is required to fill out a health declaration form, present a physical copy of their vaccine certificate along with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days (72 hours) of arrival (children age 5 and under are exempt from testing) and have travel insurance valid in Grenada.

Children under 12 are considered fully vaccinated when traveling with fully vaccinated parents/guardians. Children 12 and over must show their own proof of vaccination to be considered fully vaccinated.

Complete travel requirements can be found here.

There is currently a curfew from midnight to 4 a.m. and inside dining in restaurants is only allowed for fully vaccinated travelers.

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 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Haiti

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 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Haiti is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Read more: State Department and CDC issue 6 new COVID-19 travel warnings including for St. Maarten

Jamaica

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.

As of Nov. 18, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers staying outside the resilient corridors who have a negative PCR test taken within three days of departure to Jamaica will not be required to quarantine on arrival.

For the latest updates on requirements for travel to Jamaica, check here.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica’s website for additional information. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Jamaica is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Martinique

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 from green and orange countries (the U.S. is currently green) 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 for a justified reason must quarantine for seven days until taking another test.

There is currently a curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Martinique is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

St. Barts

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for St. Barts is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

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 12 accompanied by fully vaccinated (two weeks or more past their final vaccination) parents will be allowed.

Fully vaccinated travelers age 12 and older are required to complete the entry form and upload negative PCR test results. As of Dec. 11, vaccinated travelers are no longer required to test upon arrival and “vacation in place” at their approved resort for 24 hours until getting a result, according to the St. Kitts and Nevis tourism board. Here are current protocols

  • 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.

Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 will be able to follow the same protocols as their fully vaccinated parents. Details can be found here.

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 Marriott Resort.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for St. Kitts and Nevis is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the islands is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

For complete details on travel requirements, visit the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism website.

St. Lucia

(Photo by Pawel Toczynski/Getty Images)

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 unvaccinated 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) can 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.

If you are traveling with unvaccinated children aged 5-17 years and you would like them to also be exempt from quarantine they will need to be retested on arrival at your cost, and they must remain in quarantine until the results of the test are known. Once the test is negative they will not be required to quarantine.

Masks and social distancing are required for the duration of the stay. Restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only. There is also an islandwide curfew from 7 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for St. Lucia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the island is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

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 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 modified for fully vaccinated travelers as of April 27, 2021, but then made stricter again on Sept. 9 and changed again on Nov. 10. Details are here.

All fully vaccinated 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 but will no longer be tested again upon arrival or required to 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 10 nights and show proof of a fully paid reservation for those 10 nights. Then, retesting is required between day seven and day 10, along with ongoing monitoring by a Port Health officer.

Related: Cruise lines send ships to help evacuate St. Vincent as volcano threatens the island

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.

St. Maarten

Sint Maarten January 2017. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
St. Maarten in January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Dutch St. Maarten is open and welcoming U.S. and other travelers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). As of Jan 1, 2022, all countries are considered very high risk and protocols are based on vaccination and booster status.

  • Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers (with an accepted vaccine) no longer need to pretest to enter St. Maarten as long as they have proof of full vaccination and a booster dose taken least two weeks prior to arrival (and within nine months of arrival).
  • Fully vaccinated U.S. travelers age 18 and older who have not received a booster dose need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of travel or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours. Travelers ages 6-17 who are fully vaccinated do not need to submit a test.
  • Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of travel. 

More details are available on 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 will be subject to health checks upon arrival. 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

U.S. tourists are currently allowed to cross the border from Dutch St. Maarten to French Saint-Martin.

As of Nov. 29, all travelers who have visited one of the following African countries within 14 days prior to traveling to St. Maarten will be denied entry: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique.

The U.S. State Department advisory is Level 3: Reconsider Travel for both Dutch St. Maarten and French Saint-Martin. The CDC’s advisory for Dutch St. Maarten is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Trinidad in January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 nonnationals, 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.

As of Nov. 26, Trinidad and Tobago is banning noncitizens from entering from the following countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Trinidad and Tobago is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19. Check the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago website for updates.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine required: A country-by-country guide to where you can only go while vaccinated

Turks and Caicos

Grace Bay Beach Turks and Caicos
Grace Bay Beach. (Photo by minimum/Getty Images)

Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, began welcoming international visitors to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) on July 22, 2020. This British overseas territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.

As of Sept. 1, 2021, Turks and Caicos is requiring 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:

  • A paper vaccination record, including the 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.

Related: Turks and Caicos to require vaccination 

Travelers to Turks and Caicos age 10 and older (changing to 2 and older on Jan. 14, 2022) are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken 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, but the islands’ curfew was lifted Dec. 1 and restaurants and bars are open but are restricted to 80% capacity.

For the latest information on restrictions, visit the Turks and Caicos tourism website and check the website of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas, which oversees Turks and Caicos.

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

Europe

Most of Europe is currently experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant; several countries, including Austria, Slovakia, the Netherlands and Germany, have recently implemented partial lockdowns to combat rising cases through the holiday season and into early 2022, while France, England and Spain are reporting record numbers of COVID-19 cases. The CDC and U.S. State Department have classified most countries in Europe as Level 4: Do Not Travel and Level: 4 Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: Which European countries have COVID restrictions in place this Christmas?

Many European countries also now require digital proof of vaccination to access indoor spaces such as restaurants, hotels and museums. U.S.-based travelers may be able to convert their CDC-issued vaccination card into a digital certificate to comply with the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate Regulation 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 have issued their own guidance regarding unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. and have continued to allow vaccinated travelers.

Related: What to do if you’ve booked a Europe trip and entry rules change so you can no longer get in

Albania

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 3: Reconsider Travel while the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Effective Sept. 6, 2021, all arriving passengers age 6 and older 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.
  • Show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours.
  • 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 do 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 a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice and all bars, restaurants and fast-food outlets can offer only delivery during those hours. Masks are required in all indoor public spaces.

Related: EU agrees to lift restrictions for American travelers

Armenia

Armenia has reopened its borders to Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. All visitors over the age of 6 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 (EVN) and self-isolate until receiving the result, usually within 24 hours. Masks are mandated in public spaces and on public transportation.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Armenia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Austria

Vienna, Austria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Vienna in September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

After experiencing its highest number of cases of the entire pandemic, Austria reentered lockdown and enacted a nationwide stay-at-home order on Nov. 22, 2021, effectively shutting down tourism through Dec. 20, 2021, when tourism and hospitality venues reopened to vaccinated individuals only, according to the U.S. Embassy in Austria. The embassy notes, however, that Austria’s COVID-19 restrictions and entry requirements change frequently, sometimes with little advance notice.

Effective Dec. 20, 2021, all travelers entering Austria from the United States need to follow specific protocols, depending on their vaccination status. Here, according to the U.S Embassy, are the details:

  • Fully vaccinated with a booster: People traveling from the United States to Austria must be fully vaccinated and boostered to avoid testing or quarantine requirements. No pre-travel registration is required.
  • Fully vaccinated (no booster): People arriving from the United States who are fully vaccinated but have not yet received a booster shot must present proof of full vaccination, and a negative COVID-19 test (PCR/NAAT test only, no rapid antigen test) as well as complete a pre-travel registration.
  • Unvaccinated travelers from the United States to Austria must complete a pre-travel registration, present a negative COVID-19 test (PCR/NAAT test only, no rapid antigen test), and enter mandatory quarantine for 10 days at their own expense. Even then, unvaccinated persons are prohibited from entering most tourism, hospitality and cultural venues.
  • Children up to age 17 may enter Austria without quarantining if accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered adults, but adolescents ages 12 to 17 must show proof of either vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19.

Austria reopened its tourism/hospitality sector on May 19, 2021. 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 unvaccinated Americans need to obtain pre-travel clearance, present a pre-travel negative test and then quarantine.

The U.S. Embassy has this warning on its website: “If you decide to travel to Austria, ensure you have adequate health and travel insurance including air evacuation (medevac) coverage; most U.S. health care policies and Medicare/Medicaid do NOT provide coverage abroad. U.S. Embassies do not provide medical care or financial assistance for medical or quarantine costs.”

As of Nov. 27, Austria has an entry ban on flights and travelers from the following countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Entry tests — proof of vaccination (with two-dose vaccine and last dose administered within 270 days or a booster is required), 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. The country does still require that FFP2 or KN95 face masks be worn on public transportation and in all shops, museums and businesses.

There is also a 10 p.m. curfew as of Dec. 27, 2022, and unvaccinated individuals are only allowed to leave their residences for essential reasons. For details on current restrictions, check here.

Check the  U.S Embassy in Austria for additional information. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Austria is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Azerbaijan

According to the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, as of June 21, 2021, U.S. citizens can fly to Azerbaijan. 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 1). The 14-day quarantine for travelers was lifted on June 2, 2021.

The country is under special restrictions through at least Jan. 1, 2022, 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 daily service. Masks are required in all indoor spaces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Azerbaijan is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Belarus

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 4: Very 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 (MSQ). 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 unvaccinated travelers from a “red zone” country (including 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 prohibited the sale of direct passenger air transportation, including 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.

 Belgium

Brussels, Belgium March 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Brussels in March 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

As of Sept. 2, 2021, Belgium is currently only allowing vaccinated Americans into the country for nonessential travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Belgium, but they must test upon arrival and self-quarantine. Belgium, which has been hit hard by COVID-19, had been under a severe lockdown and some restrictions remain.

According to the Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States, vaccinated Americans can currently visit Belgium for tourism without acquiring an Essential Travel Certificate. However, even fully vaccinated U.S. travelers must fill out a passenger locator form within 48 hours of travel to Belgium to receive a QR code, provide a negative PCR or antigen test (taken within 72 hours or 24 hours, respectively, of arrival) or test on day one after arrival and self-quarantine until getting a negative result.

Since August, the U.S. has been designated a red country, meaning exempted unvaccinated travelers must fill out the PLF form, show negative results from pre-travel test as noted above, test upon arrival and self-quarantine for up to 10 days, with additional tests on days one and seven (and a negative test on day seven ending quarantine).

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 and here.

Belgium has also instituted social distancing restrictions that remain in place. Face masks are required on public transit. A COVID-Safe Ticket (proof of vaccination or a recent negative test) is also required for many public venues. For more information, check the country’s Current Measures updates.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Belgium is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Americans can travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and, according to the U.S. Embassy, all visitors over the age of 7 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Bosnia and Herzegovina is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Sofia, Bulgaria, in September 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

As of Sept.1, 2021, Americans had been prohibited from entering Bulgaria due to the U.S. being designated as a red-zone country, but per the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, the U.S. is now classified as an orange-zone country and travel is once again possible for Americans if they are not traveling to Bulgaria after having been in a red-zone country.

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 March 2022.

All travelers entering the territory of Bulgaria from a green or orange zone country, regardless of their citizenship, are allowed entry without quarantine if they present an EU Digital COVID Certificate showing that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or can present a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation proving recovery from COVID-19 (children under age 12 are exempt). EU authorities are in charge of issuing the Digital COVID 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, such as the white CDC vaccination record card, are also accepted.

In addition, at least 5% of all arrivals from orange-zone countries will be randomly tested with a rapid antigen test upon arrival to Bulgaria.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Oct. 21, all visitors over the age of 18 to indoor public spaces, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas, gyms, shopping malls, hotels, concert halls, museums, gyms and swimming pools, must present a valid digital or paper COVID-19 certificate showing they have been fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from COVID-19 or have had a negative result of a PCR (no older than 72 hours) or antigen (no older than 48 hours) test.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Bulgaria is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Croatia

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.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Croatia, U.S. tourists must fill out the Enter Croatia form and present one of the following:

  • 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 but not earlier than 365 days before entry.
  • A certificate of vaccination for persons who recovered from COVID-19 and have received one dose of the vaccine within eight months of contracting the virus provided the vaccine was administered within the last 365 days.

Unvaccinated travelers in some cases may 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.

Related: Croatia now allowing travelers to skip testing, isolation if they’re vaccinated

Croatia requires that masks be worn in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing can not be maintained.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Croatia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Cyprus

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 provided they have an approved “Cyprus Flight Pass” and have uploaded proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours (changed from 72 hours as of Jan. 4, 2022) of boarding a flight to Cyprus. As of Dec. 6, 2021, all arriving U.S. travelers age 12 and older, regardless of vaccination status, must also complete a rapid antigen test upon arrival at their own expense and self-isolate at home or at a hotel until receiving a negative result. Children 12 and younger 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 to those with a valid Safepass or Flight Pass.

The CDC has issued a Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 advisory for Cyprus, while the U.S. State Department’s advisory is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic was under an emergency lockdown through April 12, 2021. Cases declined over the summer, but have risen again recently. The Czech Republic continues to evolve its guidance, per the Czech Ministry of the Interior.

According to the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, only fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. are currently allowed to enter for tourism. As of Dec. 27, 2021, vaccinated travelers need a passenger locator form, proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Travelers who are boosted and children under 12, as well as children age 12-18 who have both shots but are not boosted, are exempt from the test requirement.

Vaccines currently accepted by the Czech Republic are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Unvaccinated children age 12 and under are now exempt from testing requirements. Effective Feb. 1, 2022, the Czech government will consider the validity of COVID-19 vaccinations to be nine months from the date of the second dose. A booster shot will extend the validity indefinitely. The rule will apply to everyone, including visitors to the Czech Republic.

Check for updates here and here.

The Czech government announced a 30-day state of emergency, effective Nov. 26, and imposed new public health measures, including the closure of Christmas markets, reduced hours for restaurants and bars and capacity limits on public events. Details can be found here.

On Nov. 26 the country also began prohibiting the entry of all third-country nationals who have stayed for more than 12 hours over the last 14 days in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia or Mozambique.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic both note that direct flights between the U.S. and the Czech Republic do not currently exist and advise travelers from the U.S. to be cognizant of transit travel measures and testing requirements by checking transit measures for the counties they will transit prior to travel.

The U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic also notes that as of Nov. 22, 2021, travelers need to show one of the following to be able to enter a museum, attend a public event or check in to a hotel: 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. Negative tests are no longer accepted as proof of low risk, so unvaccinated travelers can enter the country but not enter hotels, restaurants or other venues.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Czech Republic is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Denmark

Copenhagen October 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans who are fully vaccinated (14 days past their final dose of Pfizer or Moderna or their single dose of Johnson & Johnson ) can currently travel to Denmark without a mandatory quarantine, but as of Dec. 27, 2021, all travelers age 15 and older who are not residents of Denmark must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours before entry. Residents of Denmark can present a negative pre-travel test or take one within 24 hours after entry.

Denmark labels all countries by level of risk, with specific entry requirements for each, and the U.S. is currently a very high-risk country. Unvaccinated U.S. travelers are allowed to enter, but testing upon arrival and quarantine are mandated.

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.”

Unvaccinated and previously uninfected people entering Denmark from countries Denmark considers very high risk (including the U.S.) must be tested upon arrival in Denmark at Kastrup International Airport (children under age 16 traveling with a fully vaccinated parent are exempt) and self-isolate for 10 days (with a negative PCR test taken at least six days after arrival ending isolation).

Updated travel restrictions for Denmark can be found here.

Related: Denmark has reopened to fully vaccinated US and UK travelers

Entry rules and FAQs for entry into Denmark can be found here.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Denmark is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Tallinn, Estonia, in May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 for tourism and must fill out an online declaration of health form within 72 hours before arrival in Estonia.

Only unvaccinated U.S. travelers deemed to be visiting for a worthy purpose (work, study or family reasons) 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 six). See more information here.

The list of countries by color status can be found here.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Estonia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Finland

Helsinki, Finland August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Helsinki in August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 traveling for tourism 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 seven days prior to travel to Finland and, as of Dec. 28, 2021, also present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test result taken within 48 hours of arrival (anyone born in 2006 or later is exempt). Travelers can also present a certificate showing they have recovered from COVID-19 and have also received one COVID-19 vaccine shot at least seven days prior to arrival. 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.

However, as of Nov. 28, entry to Finland is prohibited for travelers from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Details on entry requirements can be found here.

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. According to the U.S. Embassy in Finland, unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. who are permitted to enter for work or other essential reasons must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours before arrival. More information can be found here.

The U.S. Embassy also notes that as of Dec. 21, 2021, U.S. citizens can use their CDC vaccination cards to access restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and/or recreational facilities; previously, U.S. citizens have reported being refused entry into private and public establishments in Finland without an EU Digital COVID Certificate.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Finland in Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Read more: Finland is open for visitors, no vaccination required

France

Paris June 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Paris in June 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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, 2021, unvaccinated U.S. travelers are no longer allowed to enter France for tourism and the U.S. has been recently re-designated as a “red” country due to elevated COVID-19 cases.

Fully vaccinated travelers (who are seven days past the second injection of the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine or 28 days past the single-injection Johnson & Johnson vaccine) now need to once again provide a negative test (PCR or antigen) taken within 48 hours of departure for France. As of Dec. 15, 2021, people 65 and older or who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must provide proof of booster vaccination for their COVID-19 certificate to be extended. And as of Jan 15, 2022,  the booster requirement (taken within five to seven months after their final dose) will apply to all travelers age 18 and older.

Related: France has new rules. Here’s what you need to know

Unvaccinated people approved for “essential” travel due to pressing reasons must provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight, and are required to test again upon arrival. Additionally, quarantine for 10 days is mandatory, followed by a PCR test.

Updates to entry restrictions can be found here.

In response to the omicron variant, France temporarily suspended all flights from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.

Related: France bans unvaccinated U.S. tourists

France also announced specific, heightened restrictions on travel between the United Kingdom and France as of Dec. 18, 2021. The U.S. Embassy cautions Americans to carefully consult the Embassy of France in the UK website before planning any travel between France and the U.K. Airline transit through the U.K. on a France-bound flight from the U.S. will still be permitted.

Check the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in France for additional updates and details on current restrictions 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 Emmanuel Macron. French authorities have been accepting the CDC card as acceptable evidence of vaccination for entry into France, but it is not accepted as a French health pass required for domestic travel within France or to enter cultural sites, museums, theatres, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cafes, etc.

Read more: Protests erupt as France introduces new vaccination requirements

The French government last summer released a new procedure for visitors vaccinated outside of the EU to obtain the French health pass, but as of Oct. 31, according to the U.S. Embassy, the French government has changed the method for obtaining a French Health Pass. Under the new system, the health pass can be obtained from designated pharmacies for a fee of up to 36 Euros. The map of designated pharmacies is available here.

As of Jan. 15, 2022, proof of a booster shot taken five to seven months after the final dose of COVID-19 vaccine is required for Health Passes to remain valid.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated can obtain a temporary, 24-hour pass by taking a negative antigen or PCR test on the ground in France.

Related: Americans can now officially apply for France’s digital health pass

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for France is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Georgia

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 certain 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.
  • Complete an application form prior to arrival with contact details and travel history.

Travelers under 10 years old are exempt from testing obligations.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Dec. 1,  Georgia has instituted a COVID-19 “green pass” system (more information is here) requiring all individuals age 18 and older to have “green status” to enter hotels, indoor or outdoor restaurants, cafes and bars, cinemas, theaters, operas, museums, concert halls, entertainment centers, casinos and gambling centers, spas, fitness centers and the cable lifts at ski resorts. Green status is granted to individuals who are fully vaccinated, who have a negative PCR test in the prior 72 hours, who have a negative rapid antigen test in the prior 24 hours (note: only PCR tests and not rapid antigen tests are available to foreigners in Georgia) or who have proof of recent recovery from COVID-19. Information on obtaining a green pass is here and here.

The U.S. State Department’s current advisory for Georgia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Germany

Berlin August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Berlin in August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The German government confirmed that Americans are welcome as of June 20, 2021. However, cases in the country have risen substantially through December 2021 and the U.S. Embassy in Germany notes that many restrictions are being enacted across the country, including a lockdown for anyone who is unvaccinated.

In addition, as of Dec. 23, 2021, the U.S. is again classified as a high-risk area for COVID-19, and travelers who have spent time in the U.S. within 10 days prior to entering Germany need 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 older than age 12 entering Germany 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). According to the U.S. Embassy, people entering Germany who have spent time in a Robert Koch Institute-designated high-risk (the U.S. is once again high risk) or virus-variant area in the 10 days prior to entry are also required to submit a digital registration for entry and unvaccinated U.S. travelers must quarantine for 10 days, per the U.S. Embassy, with a negative test after day five ending quarantine. Children under the age of 12 can end quarantine automatically after the same time, without a test. Vaccinated travelers and those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months are exempt from quarantine.

Travelers who have been in a virus-variant area in the last 10 days must present a negative test to enter Germany, regardless of vaccination or recovery status. Germany recently banned all flights from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe in response to the omicron variant.

Read more: Germany now requiring vaccination for American visitors

Details on testing and quarantine can be found here. The latest updates for travel can be found here. Updates on risk areas are provided by the Robert Koch Institute.

Currently, Germany requires that all people wear FFP1 or FFP2 medical-grade face masks when on public transport.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Germany is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Greece

Athens May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Athens in May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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.

But the spread of the delta and now the omicron variant has the country imposing renewed COVID-19 restrictions.

As of Dec. 19, 2021, all arriving passengers age 5 and older need to present a negative COVID-19 test result, either a PCR test taken within 72 hours before their arrival or a laboratory rapid antigen test less than 24 hours old.

By testing, U.S. travelers can still enter Greece without vaccination, but the new rules make it difficult to do much of anything since the government is also restricting access for unvaccinated individuals for many categories of businesses and public services, according to the U.S. Embassy. Customers seeking access to enclosed eating areas, entertainment facilities, museums and other venues are required to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or documentation of recovery from COVID-19. Under the new rules, unvaccinated individuals age 12 and above can no longer access these facilities.

Unvaccinated individuals seeking access to churches, schools, public and private sector places of work, retail shops, hair salons and outdoor eating areas will be required to present proof of a negative rapid antigen test (taken within 48 hours) or PCR test (taken within 72 hours). Children ages 4-17 will need to have evidence of a negative self-test via the Self-Test Declaration form.

Unvaccinated individuals can, however, enter supermarkets, pharmacies and urban public transportation.

The CDC card issued to those vaccinated in the U.S. is acceptable as proof of vaccination.

In response to the omicron variant, Greece also announced it will allow only essential travel from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi. Travelers from those countries will need a special permit from the local Greek embassies and diplomatic missions to enter and upon arrival, they will be tested and must stay in quarantine hotels for 10 days before being tested again.

All travelers eligible to enter Greece without self-isolation — those residing in EU and Schengen area countries, the United States, United Kingdom and certain other countries — must adhere to the following:

  • All visitors, even those who are fully vaccinated (14 days or more past completion), must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours or a laboratory antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival (children age 5 and under are exempt from testing).
  • Undergo 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.
  • Strict adherence to safety protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing.

All travelers must also complete an online passenger locator form at least 48 hours before their travel date. Complete details on entry requirements can be found here.

Related: On the ground: What it’s like visiting Greece right now

Non-EU 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?

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Greece is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Hungary

Budapest, Hungary, October 2014. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Budapest, Hungary, in October 2014. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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, 2021, 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.

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.

However, as of Nov. 20, 2021, masks are again required in most indoor spaces, including retail establishments, hotels, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, government buildings, medical facilities and on public transport, according to the U.S. Embassy. Immunity certificates continue to be required for large gatherings, such as sporting events and music festivals.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Hungary is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland. (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

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 need to test upon arrival, but as of July 27, 2021, they do need to pre-test before travel. All travelers to Iceland (except those with ties to the country or those simply transiting without leaving the airport) are required to present a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), taken within 72 hours of departure, before boarding an aircraft to Iceland.

Related: Travel to Iceland during the coronavirus pandemic — the complete guide

To avoid the required quarantine, all travelers to Iceland must present proof of either:

  • A completed AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna or Pfizer 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 preregister before travel and 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.

Since Nov. 27, new rules apply to passengers entering who have stayed in a defined high-risk zone for more than 24 hours in the past 14 days, irrespective of vaccination status or prior COVID-19 infection. Defined high-risk zones are: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Read about the new rules on the Icelandic government site.

As of Oct. 1, travelers arriving in Iceland who have ties to the country will no longer have to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate when entering the country. Travelers stopping over in Iceland who are not leaving the airport or other border points will also be exempt from this requirement. Those with ties to Iceland will still be required to undergo COVID-19 testing with 48 hours of arrival to the country, with the exception of children born in 2005 or later.

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 preregistration 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 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.

Related: 9 reasons you should visit Iceland this summer

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Iceland is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Check the U.S. Embassy in Iceland website for additional information.

Ireland

Dublin, Ireland November 2015. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
Dublin in November 2015. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

As of Dec. 5, 2021, all travelers to Ireland, regardless of vaccination status, must present a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. Fully vaccinated travelers, as well as those who can show proof of recovery from COVID-19, can enter with a negative laboratory antigen test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, while unvaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and self-quarantine for five days after taking an arrival PCR test and then test again no sooner than day five to end quarantine.

Ireland had been technically open to Americans for much of the pandemic, but the Irish government advised against visiting and a monthslong lockdown along with quarantine restrictions made travel there complicated. 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.

All travelers must fill out a passenger locator form. Requirements for traveling to Ireland are here. Details on the latest restrictions can be found here and here.

Related: Americans will be welcomed back to Ireland without quarantine on July 19, 2021

A person arriving in Ireland without a negative PCR test or valid proof of vaccination or recovery faces a fine of 2,500 euros or six months in jail. Aer Lingus also offers helpful information on travel requirements as of July 19, 2021.

In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, foreign citizens from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are not allowed to enter Ireland, while Irish residents arriving from these countries must isolate at home for 14 days with tests on days two and eight.

For additional information, visit the U.S. Embassy in Ireland’s website.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ireland is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of  COVID-19.

Italy

Milan March 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Milan in March 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans are allowed to visit Italy for tourism — but they once again need to be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from a COVID-19 infection within the past six months, as well as provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival to avoid a five-day self-isolation and additional testing.

All unvaccinated travelers unable to prove recovery from COVID-19 in the past six months must present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours, self-isolate for five days and undergo a PCR or antigen test at the end of isolation.

Children age 6 and older accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent/caregiver must take the predeparture COVID-19 test; children under age 6 are exempt.

All passengers traveling to Italy also need to fill out the EU Digital Passenger Locator Form.

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. And, according to the U.S. Embassy in Italy, the Italian government has added more restrictive rules, which will be in effect from Dec. 6, 2021, to at least March 31, 2022. The decree defines a “Super Green Pass” which will be granted only to people who are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19. Individuals will be able to continue receiving a “Basic Green Pass” by testing negative for coronavirus.

The Super Green Pass is now required to stay in hotels and B&Bs, to use all public transportation (including local buses, metros and trains and to board airplanes and high-speed trains), as well as some social activities such as museums, indoor dining, theaters and sporting/entertainment events. The new decree also decreases the validity of the Green Pass from 12 months to 9 months.

The CDC vaccination card and 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.

Read more: What it’s like to visit Italy on day 1 of the vaccine pass mandate

Check the  U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy for additional information. Details for U.S. travelers can be found here. The latest updates by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found here.

In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, Italy has banned any traveler who has been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia or Eswatini over the past 14 days.

Related: Italy is reopening: 11 things I learned as a tourist

Travelers from certain countries are restricted from visiting and others (divided into A, B, C, D and E lists). The U.S. is currently a D List country and updates on restrictions can be found here.

Regions in Italy are divided into 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 intensive care unit beds and other parameters. Different restrictive measures apply to each zone.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Italy is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Kosovo

Kosovo has reopened its borders to Americans and Pristina International Airport (PRN) is open, but all travelers must now be fully vaccinated to visit.

According to the U.S Embassy in Kosovo, as of Jan. 3, 2022, entry to Kosovo will be possible only with a complete vaccination certificate indicating two vaccine doses. But the embassy also notes: “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). Airlines have the sole authority to decide who they allow to board their aircraft. Generally, pre-travel testing is recommended, but it is not a sufficient proof to allow entry to Kosovo.”

There is a curfew in place from midnight to 5 a.m. and to dine inside restaurants you must show evidence of vaccination and a negative PRC or rapid negative antigen test.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Latvia

Riga, Latvia August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Riga, Latvia, in August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Latvia, which began a gradual lifting of its state of emergency on April 7, 2021, has undergone a recent COVID-19 surge and has reimposed restrictions, declaring a state of emergency until at least Jan. 11,  2022. During this period businesses may operate from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. and serve clients who can provide a certificate showing vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, however grocery stores, pharmacies, bookstores, flower shops, optics stores, gas stations and other essential businesses may serve all clients regardless their vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 status.

Latvia 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 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 a CDC paper vaccination certificate, a digital EU COVID-19 certificate or a vaccination certificate issued in the EU, the European Economic Area countries, Switzerland or the United Kingdom can travel to Latvia for nonessential travel without testing or quarantine requirements.

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens arriving from low-risk countries may enter Latvia for nonessential travel, including tourism. Unvaccinated travelers who live in or have visited the U.S. or another 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Latvia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Liechtenstein

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. As of Dec. 6, 2021, all arriving travelers over the age of 16, even if fully vaccinated, must also present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding their flight.

Unvaccinated Americans can no longer visit for nonessential purposes, but those residing in non-high-risk countries can enter Switzerland by following the testing protocols above.

Related: Switzerland could start welcoming vaccinated visitors on June 28

Travelers can check their eligibility to enter Switzerland and Liechtenstein at the countries’ online TravelCheck. They can also check with the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Liechtenstein is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Read more: CDC issues 7 new travel warnings, including Switzerland

Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Vilnius, Lithuania, in May 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Lithuania has reopened its borders to other EU members and, as of June 1, 2021, to fully vaccinated Americans without the requirement to quarantine. It also has different entry requirements for countries depending on their COVID-19 cases (the list is here).

Fully vaccinated travelers from a red or gray country (which is how the U.S. is classified) do not have to test or quarantine. See details here. All travelers, however, must complete a registration form to receive a QR code to present before boarding. and those from red or gray countries (including the U.S.) who have not been vaccinated and are allowed to enter 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).

As of Sept. 13, 2021, certain activities are restricted to those who hold a national COVID-19 certificate, including professional beauty services, cultural events and visiting nonessential 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.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, as of Nov. 15, 2021, individuals need to wear medical masks or respirators — not cloth masks — in public places where masks are required, regardless of vaccination status. Approved medical masks include the European standard found in most major grocery stores and pharmacies. Information about the current restrictions can be found on the Ministry of Health’s web page.

U.S. passport holders and residents are allowed to enter Lithuania 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], COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, or Vaxzevria [AstraZeneca]) 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 and exit requirements of the countries the traveler intends to transit on the way to and from Lithuania.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Lithuania is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg in November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

According to the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg, as of Nov. 7, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. are again allowed to enter Luxembourg and the CDC card is accepted as proof of vaccination.

As of September 2021, a curfew is no longer in place and restaurants and cafes are open — but as of Nov. 1, people must show proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from COVID-19 to dine inside or attend events.

The embassy notes that although the U.S. CDC card is accepted as proof of vaccination to enter Luxembourg, it does not have a QR code and is therefore not accepted in place of a CovidCheck certificate/QR code for entrance to restaurants, bars, or events. Travelers with a U.S. CDC card may request a CovidCheck certificate from the Luxembourg government to allow access to these venues. Read more about Luxembourg’s restrictions here.

More information can also be found on the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg’s website here.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Luxembourg is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Malta

Vaccinated Americans from all 50 states can travel to Malta with CDC-issued COVID-19 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. The regularly updated list can be found here.

Read more: Malta reverses course and reopens to Americans

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. 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.

Note: As of Jan. 17, 2022, vaccination certificates will expire on fixed dates based on the date of your last vaccine dose, according to the U.S. Embassy. Individuals without a booster shot may no longer be recognized as fully vaccinated by the government of Malta. The Ministry of Health website has more information.

Related: Travelers from 38 US states are allowed to visit Malta starting June 17

Masks are required in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.

As a result of the emergence of the omicron variant, Malta has temporarily banned travel to and from South Africa, Nambia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Malta is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Moldova

As of Aug. 16, 2021, Americans are permitted to enter Moldova.

Per the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, as of Dec. 27, 2021, all travelers age 12 and older who have been in a “Red List” country (the U.S. is currently on the Red List) must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight, even if they are fully vaccinated.

Travelers who have not been in a Red List country in the previous 14 days may present one of the following:

  • A negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or a negative 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.

Consult the Moldovan Border Police for more information.

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 six months, or a COVID-19 antibodies certificate valid for 90 days from the exam date. This decision does not apply to restaurants or cafes.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Moldova is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Monaco

The Embassy of Monaco in Washington, D.C., 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) for tourism with proof of full vaccination and a pre-travel negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 or 48 hours of boarding, respectively, while unvaccinated U.S. travelers age 11 and up must have an essential reason to visit and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding. Unvaccinated travelers are also required to submit to random antigen testing upon arrival and seven days of self-isolation.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for France/Monaco is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Read more: The process for obtaining France’s digital health pass keeps changing

Montenegro

Montenegro is open to Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Montenegro notes that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens who are at least 14 days (but less than six months as of Dec. 1, 2021) 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 recovery with a positive PCR test that was taken within 10 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 people, those who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or those with a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Montenegro is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherland (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)
Amsterdam. (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

As the Netherlands entered a national lockdown through at least Jan. 14, 2022, rules for entry have changed to include both testing and quarantine, even for fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S.

According to the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands, as of Dec. 22, 2021, all passengers age 12 and older arriving from outside of the EU/Schengen area must provide a negative COVID-19 test (a PCR test taken within 48 hours of their flight or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure) in addition to proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. And as of Dec. 30, 2021, all passengers arriving from the United States also have to self-quarantine for 10 days (with a negative test result on day five releasing them from quarantine).

As a result, all travelers from the U.S. must present a completed quarantine declaration upon arrival and then self-quarantine. As of Dec. 30, 2021, the Netherlands considers the United States to be a “very high-risk” country, so only fully vaccinated U.S. travelers are allowed to visit.

Additionally, all travelers age 13 and up must complete an online health declaration form before traveling to the Netherlands.

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.

Following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases from the new omicron variant, the Netherlands entered a strict new national lockdown that will last at least until Jan. 19, 2022. All nonessential stores, as well as nightclubs, bars and other venues, were shut down as of Dec. 19. Group sizes are also severely limited.

After cases of the omicron variant were detected in recent arrivals from South Africa in late November, the Netherlands has banned flights from high-risk countries with a variant of concern: Botswana, Eswatini,  Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Netherlands is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: The Netherlands to welcome back Americans, with little restriction

North Macedonia

(Screenshot courtesy TAV Airports)
(Screenshot courtesy of TAV Airports)

North Macedonia is now open to all tourists, including Americans, with vaccine and testing requirements as of Sept.1, 2021. All travelers over 18 entering and exiting the country must provide one of the following: proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel or 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.

The same vaccination, testing or proof of recovery requirements are in effect to exit North Macedonia, according to the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for North Macedonia Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Norway

Norway
Reine, Norway. (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

Norway reopened to U.S. travelers as of Nov. 26, 2021, after being closed to most Americans as of Sept. 12, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy.

U.S. travelers are again allowed to enter Norway after testing and 72-hour quarantine. Specifically, all travelers, vaccinated or not, need to complete a registration form (if age 16 or older), present a negative test taken within 24 hours before arrival, test again on arrival in Norway and travel directly to an apartment or designated quarantine hotel for a minimum of 72 hours. If the test taken after 72 hours is negative, travelers can continue their stay in Norway as normal.

All travelers without a verifiable digital certificate of vaccination linked to the EU’s platform (the CDC card is not valid in this case) are required to pretest, test upon arrival, quarantine and test again after 72 hours.

More information is available from the Norwegian government, including a list of countries by color designation.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Norway is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Poland

Krakow, Poland
Krakow, Poland. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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.

However, U.S. citizens are now permitted to visit if they arrive on an international flight. They are only allowed to travel to Poland by land or sea if they meet one of the below entry restrictions, per the U.S. Embassy:

  • Foreigners who are spouses/children of Polish citizens or remain under the 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.

Reader 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 area must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken at least 48 hours prior.

As of Dec. 15, all travelers age 5 years and older arriving from outside the Schengen Area, whether they are vaccinated or not, must present a negative PCR or antigen test result take within 24 hours of arrival. Those who are unvaccinated must quarantine for 14 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 EU-approved vaccine are exempt from quarantine.

Check with the U.S. Embassy for specifics. Additional information is also available here.

Face masks are mandatory in indoor public and public transportation.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Poland is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Portugal

Portugal September 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Portugal in September 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

On Sept. 1, 2021, Portugal announced it would remain open to American tourists, despite the EU removing the U.S. from its “green” list of countries due to the delta variant’s U.S. surge.

As of Sept. 17, all travelers 12 and older arriving from the United States must be authorized (the U.S. is an accepted country), fill out a passenger locator card and present a negative COVID-19 test result.

As of Dec. 1, 2021, there is now a mandatory negative test requirement (PCR taken within 72 hours of boarding or laboratory antigen taken within 48 hours of boarding) for passengers on all flights arriving in Portugal, even for those who have a valid vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country of reciprocity (Portugal currently only accepts certificates from countries that accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate), regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the passenger’s nationality.

As of Dec. 1, Portugal has also suspended flights to and from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

For entry into the Azores — Ponta Delgada (PDL) and Terceira (TER) airports — you must show results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before boarding (or antigen test approved by EU and taken within 48 hours of boarding) or proof of a valid EU Digital COVID certificate. Alternatively, travelers can present a Declaration of Immunity for those who already had COVID-19, or they may test upon arrival and self-isolate for 12-24 hours as they await results.

For entry to Madeira, travelers must present one of the following: a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or a vaccination certificate or EU Digital COVID certificate. Travelers can also perform a free test upon arrival or perform voluntary isolation for 10 days in a hotel.

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 the 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 people over the age of 12 to enter certain establishments in Portugal, including restaurants, tourist accommodations, spas and weddings, among others.

More information is available at Visit Portugal and through the U.S. Embassy in Portugal.

Related: Portugal is now open to American tourists with a negative COVID-19 test

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Portugal is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: What is Portugal like now: 10 frequently asked questions about my visit

Romania

Romania has reopened to Americans, but the U.S. has been on the “red list” since Aug. 15. According to the U.S. Embassy in Romania, as of Dec.10, 2021, foreign citizens entering Romania must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours of their flight. Travelers who are fully vaccinated (the CDC card will be accepted) and present the required test do not have to quarantine.

Travelers who are unvaccinated or have not recently recovered and present a negative PCR test must quarantine for 10 days at home, a chosen location or a state quarantine facility. Children under 12 are excepted from quarantine requirements. Children 12-16 do not need to quarantine if they present a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours prior to boarding.

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.

Travelers will also be asked to undergo a health screening upon arrival at Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) and to complete an online questionnaire.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Oct. 22, 2021, an EU Digital COVID Certificate or Romanian-issued “Digital Green Certificate/Green Pass” is necessary to access many public locations and to participate in certain activities such as indoor or outdoor seated dining at restaurants, access to shopping malls, museums, exhibitions, cultural sites, nonessential stores, swimming pools, gyms and other venues. The Green Pass is not required for locations that provide essential services, such as food stores, pharmacies with direct access, or religious services.

While the Romanian authorities will accept a CDC vaccination card as proof of vaccination upon entry into Romania to avoid quarantine, it may not be accepted by all the venues within the country. The  Romanian government has not issued an explicit policy for acceptance of vaccine documentation issued outside of the European Union, so the decision has been left to individual venues to verify the vaccination status to avoid a fine. The U.S. Embassy notes that if you are told that you cannot enter the venue, consider asking if there is another staff member who might recognize and accept your vaccination card.

According to the U.S. Embassy, Romania on Nov. 30 banned the entry of non-EU citizens traveling from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe due to concerns about the omicron variant. This measure will be in effect until Feb. 6, 2022, and may be extended.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Romania is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Russia

Americans had not been allowed to travel to Russia, even as the country 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 USA.

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. Cases and deaths have surged in recent weeks, hitting record highs from mid-October and into early November.

The 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.

As of Nov. 28, it has been reported that Russia has banned entry by non-Russians who have traveled in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Russian nationals who have been to one of those countries — as well as to Hong Kong, mainland China, Israel or the United Kingdom — are allowed to enter, but are required to take a PCR test upon arrival and self-isolate until receiving a negative result.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Russia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Serbia

All U.S. travelers older than 12 entering Serbia need to provide a negative COVID-19 test, according to the U.S. Embassy 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.

Most pandemic-related restrictions have gradually been lifted, although social distancing remains in public places and face masks are required on public transit.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Serbia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Slovakia

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 area, including as a tourist through the airport in Vienna.

However, with cases rising, on Nov. 25, 2021, Slovakia entered a national lockdown for unvaccinated people, with access limited mostly to essential businesses only, according to the U.S. Embassy. People are permitted to move only to and from their place of employment and for essential reasons such as grocery shopping, buying fuel and going to the pharmacy and to medical facilities.

Per the U.S. Embassy, travelers entering Slovakia are divided into two groups: fully vaccinated and unvaccinated. Under the new requirements, all eligible travelers age 12 and older must register online in advance at korona.gov.sk/ehranica.

Fully vaccinated travelers age 12 and older do not need COVID-19 test results to enter Slovakia and do not need to self-quarantine if they are arriving on direct flights from certain countries. 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.

Vaccinated travelers age 12 years and older who arrive in 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.

Fully vaccinated travelers must carry proof of vaccination. Vaccination cards from all countries are accepted as long as they are in Slovak, English or Czech. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must self-quarantine for 10 days as of Oct. 15 or apply for a COVID-19 test on the fifth day of quarantine, and if the test result is negative the self-quarantine can end.

Face masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces. Slovakia has also 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.

The U.S. Embassy notes that flights to the Schengen area through Vienna, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, Germany, permit transit as long as the traveler has documentation to prove that the final destination in the EU will allow their entry. All travelers who arrive in Slovakia by airplane are required to fill out the passenger locator form and to obey all epidemiological measures as ordered by the Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic.

For details on transiting from neighboring countries by means other than air, also check the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia website.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Slovakia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Slovenia

Slovenia has reopened its borders to some EU travelers as well as Americans, but it has a traffic light system of entry requirements. Travelers from countries on the red list, which includes the U.S., must be immunized or fully recovered from COVID-19 to enter for tourism.

The U.S. Embassy in Slovenia confirms Americans are now welcome for tourism, but they must be fully vaccinated (at least seven days past their second dose of Pfizer or 14 days for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) or present proof of recovery from a COVID-19 infection (a certificate of a positive result of a PCR test, older than 10 days but not older than six months). Children under age 15 accompanying their parents can enter Slovenia without quarantine and do not require proof of a negative test.

Americans visiting Slovenia for essential travel (not tourism) are permitted to do so with proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel. Otherwise, travelers are subject to a 10-day quarantine. Additional details are available via the U.S. Embassy.

Hotels in Slovenia remain open with reduced capacity. Museums and shops are open with social distancing restrictions. Restaurants are open and indoor dining is allowed with restrictions. FP2 (N95) face masks or surgical masks are required in indoor public spaces. Proof of vaccination, a negative test (PCR or antigen taken within 48 hours if antigen and 72 hours if PCR) or proof of recovery from COVID-19 between 10 days and six months is required to enter all indoor institutions and facilities in Slovenia.

The State Department’s advisory for Slovenia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Spain

Madrid June 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Madrid in June 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 unvaccinated 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 American tourists on June 7, 2021, per the Spanish Embassy in the U.S. New requirements as of Sept. 6, 2021, mandate that visitors arriving for tourism must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival (with the last shot no more than 270 days prior to arrival, as of Feb. 1, 2022) or show recent proof of COVID-19 recovery (up to 180 days from infection).

Unvaccinated travelers who meet exceptional situations 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.

Read more: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test now required to enter Spain

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 requires all passengers coming to Spain from outside the country to complete the Health Control Form portion via the Spain Health Portal 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.

Further details on entry requirements can be found here and on the U.S. Embassy in Spain website.

Related: Update: No test or vaccine proof required, Spain has fully reopened to Americans

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Spain is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson)
Stockholm in August 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Sweden has temporarily banned all foreign travelers from outside the European Union/European Economic Area from entering the country for nonessential travel through Jan. 31, 2022, according to the Swedish Border Police. However, non-EU/EEA residents can enter Sweden if they transit through another EU/EEA country.

As of Dec. 28, 2021, all foreign travelers entering Sweden need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of entry, even if they are fully vaccinated. Per the U.S. Embassy in Sweden, Americans can once again visit Sweden as of Nov. 5.

Unvaccinated travelers entering Sweden from a non-EEA country must be covered by at least one exemption to the general entry ban and present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry in Sweden. For full details, visit the Swedish Border Police website for more details.

U.S. citizens age 18 or older entering Sweden via another EEA country must present proof of vaccination issued in the U.S., or a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry in Sweden. This applies as long as the traveler has been processed for immigration in the EEA transit country.

The following information must appear on the test 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.

See the Swedish Border Police’s website for more details on current entry requirements.

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. Testing has been required to enter Sweden since Feb. 6, 2021.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Sweden is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Switzerland

Lucerne, Switzerland April 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Lucerne, Switzerland, in April 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Americans were allowed into Switzerland for tourism as of June 28, 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, 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.

As of Dec. 6, 2021, all arriving travelers over the age of 16, even if fully vaccinated, must also present a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Unvaccinated Americans can no longer visit for nonessential purposes, but those residing in non-high-risk countries can enter Switzerland by following the testing protocols above (children age 16 and under are exempt from testing).

Related: Switzerland could start welcoming vaccinated visitors on June 28

Travelers can check their eligibility to enter Switzerland at the country’s online TravelCheck. They can also check with the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Switzerland is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Levels of COVID-19.

Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Istanbul in May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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. Most restrictions were lifted as of July 1, 2021, although cases remain at a sustained level.

Related: Turkey is open to Americans

According to the U.S Embassy, arriving passengers age 12 or older must have one of the following:

  • A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival or a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken at most 48 hours before arrival.
  • A COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival.
  • A COVID-19 recovery certificate issued at most six months before arrival.

Unvaccinated travelers without the required test results will not be allowed to board flights or enter the country.

All travelers 6 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 (including a random PCR test) 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.

Although the U.S. Embassy notes that these restrictions do not apply to foreign tourists, as of Sept. 3, 2021, 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.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Turkey is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Ukraine

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 or rapid antigen test result taken within 72 hours of arrival or a document confirming the receipt of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines on the 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.

Cases have been surging this fall and Ukraine is under adaptive quarantine until March 31, 2022, and mask-wearing is mandatory on public transportation and in indoor public spaces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ukraine is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

United Kingdom

London November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
London in November 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The United Kingdom, which has recorded record levels of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks due to the omicron variant, is once again requiring all international travelers arriving by air to test before travel, regardless of vaccination status — but this requirement was being reviewed by the government on Jan. 5, 2022, and may be dropped.

As of  Dec. 7, 2021, anyone flying to the U.K. has been required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen (also known as lateral flow in the U.K.) test taken within two days of departure. This requirement is on top of the requirement to prebook and take a PCR test two days after arrival, and self-isolate until receiving a negative result.

More: Travelers to the UK must take COVID test before departure

Since Aug. 2, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers from both the U.S. and EU have been allowed to enter the U.K. without undergoing a previously mandated 10-day quarantine. As of late November, all arriving travelers have been required to self-quarantine until receiving their day two test results. Anyone who tests positive is required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

All travelers must still complete an online passenger locator form within 48 hours of boarding their flight. See here for all testing requirements.

Related: CDC and US State Department advise against travel to the UK

Following the emergence of the omicron variant, the U.K. also added six countries to its “red” list: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia. U.K. and Northern Ireland citizens or permanent residents returning from a red-listed country must quarantine in a hotel or at home for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Citizens of other countries who have visited a red-list destination are not allowed to enter the U.K.

Updates on entry requirements can be found here.

Unvaccinated travelers must present results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within two days of departure, either a PCR or antigen test, and are still subject to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival to the U.K., with PCR tests on day two and day eight (booked and paid before arrival).

Read more: Scotland reopening to vaccinated Americans Aug. 2, no quarantine required

All four nations that comprise the U.K. have separate testing and quarantine requirements: England’s are here, Scotland’s are here, Northern Ireland’s are here and Wales’ are here. In England only, quarantine for the unvaccinated can be reduced after a day two negative test and another negative COVID-19 PCR test taken on day five 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 in shops and 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.

The CDC has issued a Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 advisory for the U.K. The U.S. State Department’s advisory is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

If transiting through the U.K., check the rules here.

Related: Can I layover in LHR? What you need to know transiting from the US or UK to Europe

Visit the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom for regular updates.

Central America

Belize

(Photo by Lomingen / Getty Images)
(Photo by Lomingen/Getty Images)

Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) 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 Aug. 9, all travelers, including those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, must present a negative pre-travel COVID-19 test or take one on arrival.

All visitors to Belize must complete a customs and immigration form given to them on their flight and those age 5 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/Panbio) taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight or they will be tested on arrival for $50 (only cash is 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.

Related: An absolute breeze: What it’s like traveling to Belize during COVID-19

All visitors will have to stay at one of the country’s full-service hotels or resorts that have received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition. Among the requirements for this designation: The hotels must have private transportation to and from the airport, a restaurant on property and strict cleanliness protocols.

Belize currently has a nationwide daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m., with the exception of tourist areas San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Hopkins, where the curfew is from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tourists are 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Belize is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Costa Rica

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 unvaccinated travelers (excluding those under age 18) have travel insurance that will cover accommodations (a minimum of $2,000) in case of quarantine and medical expenses (a minimum of $50,000) due to COVID-19 illness. Travelers are considered fully vaccinated if they have received full doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Beginning Feb. 8, 2022, all commercial establishments in Costa Rica (including hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos and museums) will require anyone older than 18 entering them to be fully vaccinated and present a verifiable QR code indicating they are fully vaccinated — meaning unvaccinated travelers will only be able to stay with family, friends or in their own homes. Minors between 12 and 17 years old will not need to present vaccine verification for entry to businesses until Jan. 31, 2022.

Some commercial establishments have chosen to enact this requirement for adults age 18 and older as of Dec. 1, 2021, in order to operate at 100% capacity. Fully vaccinated tourists will now receive a QR code upon completion of their Health Pass that they can use as proof of vaccination for entry into these establishments.

Complete entry and vaccination requirement details 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 100% capacity.

Related: Costa Rica is open to US travelers and you don’t need a COVID test to get in

Travelers can also check the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica website for information.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Costa Rica is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

El Salvador

The country of El Salvador reopened for commercial flights on Sept. 19, 2020, to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador.

Local businesses are open with no restrictions. According to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, as of Nov. 17, 2021, the government of El Salvador removed the COVID-19 test and/or vaccination requirements for entry. Travelers are advised to confirm with their airlines that the airline understands and has implemented this change to avoid complications at their departure 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.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for El Salvador is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Guatemala

Guatemala began slowly reopening to tourism on Sept. 18, 2020, and Aurora International Airport (GUA) 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 certain South African countries 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 or proof of vaccination completion no less than two weeks before arrival. They must also complete a health pass. Any nonresident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.

As of Jan. 10, 2022, all noncitizen and nonresident visitors to Guatemala who are age 12 and older will need to present both proof of full vaccination no less than two weeks before arrival and a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days of check-in for their flight. Guatemalan citizens and residents will be able to present either proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Upon arrival, travelers must pass through health checkpoints and soldiers are enforcing the mandatory use of masks.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Guatemala is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Honduras

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 print it as well as 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.

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.

Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., people are requested not to circulate and individuals remaining out after 10 p.m. are required to carry their COVID-19 vaccination card documenting proof of vaccination. Bars and nightclubs remain closed and most businesses are required to operate with limited hours and reduced capacity.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Honduras is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua
Jinotega, Nicaragua. (Photo by Liz Hund/The Points Guy)

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 U.S. carrier American has set tentative dates for resumption of flights beginning in March 2022.

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.

The CDC’s health advisory for Nicaragua is Level Unknown and U.S. State Department’s advisory for Nicaragua is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

Panama

Panama February 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Panama in February 2016. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 3: High Level of COVID-19 and the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider 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 (the cost is $50), but if the result is positive they must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel. Details are available here.

All unvaccinated travelers arriving in Panama must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the last 72 hours and those who have been in or who transited through a high-risk country (which doesn’t currently include the U.S.) in the past 15 days must 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.

Face masks are required in public spaces.

South America

Argentina

(Photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images)

Argentina has had one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international visitors — but that changed as of Nov. 1, 2021, and fully vaccinated foreigners (including Americans) are now able to enter the country. See details here.

Cases of COVID-19 began to surge in Argentina over the last week of December 2021.

All permitted arrivals must present proof of completed vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel (or a medical discharge certificate indicating recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days), sign a sworn electronic statement within 48 hours of their arrival and have proof of health insurance valid for COVID-19 treatment in Argentina. According to the U.S. Embassy in Argentina, minors (under age 18) who are not fully vaccinated are allowed to enter the country and will not have to quarantine. However, the Argentine government recommends that minors do not attend social activities or mass events for a period of seven days starting from the day of arrival.

From Dec. 1, all travelers who have been in the African continent in the 14 days prior to arrival in Argentina will have to meet the entry requirements as well as mention in the electronic sworn statement that they have been in Africa, undergo an antigen test at the airport upon arrival, quarantine for 14 days and undergo a COVID-19 PCR test on day 10 after the initial negative PCR test taken in the country of origin. If negative, they can then end their quarantine.

Some unvaccinated U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Argentina, according to the U.S. Embassy, but only if they are a direct relative of an Argentine citizen or resident (children, parent, spouse or civil union partner) and the purpose of the trip is to visit such family member. Any unvaccinated traveler wishing to visit a family member must obtain prior authorization from the Argentine Consulate in the United States. Unvaccinated U.S. citizens traveling for business must also seek authorization.

Masks are mandatory countrywide in indoor public spaces and transportation.

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Bolivia

Bolivia had been off-limits to tourists, but the country is now open to visitors, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia, with a notation that travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions affecting international travel to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Bolivia is now 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 5 years old and younger are exempt).
  • Submit a sworn statement of the location of stay within Bolivia.
  • Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine after entering Bolivia (diplomats are exempt) and take another PCR test 72 hours after arrival (the cost of quarantine and testing 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 has flights between La Paz and Miami — but travelers should expect that additional restrictions affecting international travel could be put in place with little advance notice.

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Rio de Janeiro, May 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Brazil has had the most coronavirus cases in South America as well as a COVID-19 variant that caused many countries to ban entry of travelers from Brazil. Cases peaked from March to June 2021, but weekly cases still top 57,000. The country recently surpassed 619,000 deaths.

A travel ban on foreigners entering Brazil was lifted at the end of July 2020, although the country recently closed its air borders with South Africa, Eswatini, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe in response to the emergence of the omicron variant.

Fully vaccinated 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 or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding and complete a health declaration form.

Brazil is now also requiring that anyone age 12 and older traveling to the country present proof of full vaccination (but vaccine proof solely in a QR code format will not be accepted).

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 had not been allowed to travel to the U.S., which had also banned entry by any foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the past 14 days. However, that changed as of Nov. 8, and fully vaccinated Brazilians are able to travel to the U.S.

Chile

A trip to Chile hadn’t been possible for several months, but as of Oct. 1, 2021, the country (which initially opened to Americans on Nov. 23, 2020) lifted its temporary suspension of entry by all nonresident foreigners and again allows fully vaccinated travelers to visit — although all travelers are required to test again upon arrival and quarantine until receiving a negative result.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Chile, the country recently banned the entry of non-Chilean citizens who have spent the past 14 days in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe and Chilean residents who return from any of them must quarantine for seven days.

According to the Chile Tourism website, any noncitizen or nonresident planning to enter Chile after Nov. 1, 2021, 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 (this process might take up to four weeks).
  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result 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.
  • Have medical insurance with coverage of at least $30,000 for COVID-19 related care.
  • Take a test upon arrival and remain in quarantine until getting a negative result.
  • Complete a daily tracking form sent via email for the first 10 days in the country.

LATAM resumed flights between Santiago and the U.S., but before November 2020 they had been used mostly for humanitarian and repatriation flights.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Chile is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Colombia

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 the country remains under a national health emergency and as of Dec. 14, 2021, all visitors age 18 and older need to provide proof of full vaccination to enter. According to the U.S. Embassy, visitors age 18 and older who have had their first vaccine but are not fully vaccinated (or who were fully vaccinated less than 14 days before arriving in Colombia) are required to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their initial departure to Colombia.

Related: Why Colombia is one of the easiest places to travel right now

Current requirements 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Colombia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Ecuador

Quito, Ecuador October 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Quito, Ecuador, in October 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Ecuador is again open for Americans, but its entry rules recently changed. Since Dec. 1, all arriving passengers over 16 years of age are now required to present a vaccination card showing completion of COVID-19 vaccination (at least 14 days prior to travel) and results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight, per the Ecuador Tourism website. Children between the ages of 2 and 15 are not required to be vaccinated but must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure for Ecuador. All visitors must also fill out an online health declaration form.

There had been special requirements for the Galapagos Islands, but as of Dec. 1, they are the same as entry into Ecuador; travelers can use the same PCR test result if they are transiting directly to the Galapagos upon arrival in Ecuador and their test is still within the required 72-hour time frame at the time of boarding their flight to the Galapagos. If not, travelers need to test again in Ecuador. According to the U.S. Embassy, travelers to the Galapagos also need a “salvoconducto” (transit control card) 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 entering 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.

Guyana

According to the U.S. Embassy, Americans can visit Guyana, where an uptick in cases since May 2021 peaked in September. As of Oct. 31, all travelers over the age of 12 must present proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks past their final shot) and provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel. Passengers must also provide a copy of the test result (in English) and their proof of vaccination to their airline at check-in and to Port Health officials upon arrival.

There is a nationwide curfew from midnight to 4 a.m. Restaurants are open for outdoor dining, delivery, drive-thru, curbside pickup and takeout until 11 p.m.; indoor dining is allowed at 60% capacity with additional restrictions.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Guyana is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Paraguay

Paraguay had been under strict quarantine and was closed to tourism. But the government began easing its internal lockdown and on Oct. 2, 2020, reopened Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU). 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 Aug. 21, 2021, all individuals age 12 and older, regardless of vaccine status, must take an RT-PCR/LAMP/NAAT test 72 hours before boarding their flight or an antigen test 24 hours before boarding. 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. Within 24 hours of entering the country, travelers must also complete a Ministry of Health form and foreigners not residing in Paraguay or another Mercosur country must have travel/health insurance valid in Paraguay for coverage of COVID-19.

The U.S. Embassy says that U.S. citizens do not need a visa for visits up to 90 days for tourism or business.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Paraguay is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Peru

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 unvaccinated visitors, regional restrictions are in effect and the country’s health emergency has been extended through March 1, 2022. The CDC’s advisory is currently Level 3: High Level of COVID-19 and 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 but at a sustained level.

All passengers age 12 and older must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure for Peru (children under 12 must only be asymptomatic to board) 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. KN95 or double face masks are now required to enter indoor spaces. Machu Picchu, one of Peru’s top tourist destinations, is open at reduced capacity with strict social distancing measures in place.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Nov. 15, 2021, all passengers older than 18 years of age using commercial transportation to travel between provinces in Peru by land must present proof of vaccination to travel.

Also, as of Dec. 15, 2021, in all provinces of Peru, adults over the age of 18 must show proof of vaccination to enter closed spaces (either their physical or virtual vaccination card demonstrating they have completed their COVID-19 vaccination). In the case of restaurants, masks can only be removed when eating or drinking.

Check the Peru Tourism website for additional updates.

Uruguay

Foreigners and nonresidents had been barred from visiting the country, but according to the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, Uruguay has reopened to fully vaccinated international travelers as of Nov. 1, 2021. Commercial flights have resumed.

According to the U.S. Embassy, here’s what’s required to enter Uruguay:

  • Vaccinated travelers require proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test within 72 hours before initiating travel. (Minors under age 6 are exempt.)
  • Unvaccinated travelers may only enter Uruguay if they have been granted specific permission because they fall into special exception groups and require a negative PCR test within 72 hours before initiating travel, and an additional PCR test seven days after arrival ($100 cost to the traveler) or they need complete self-quarantine for 14 days. (Minors under age 6 are exempt.)
  • All travelers will be screened for body temperature at the port of entry.
  • Proof of health insurance effective in Uruguay for the duration of your stay is required for all foreign travelers entering Uruguay.
  • A signed declaration of health completed within 48 hours before initiating travel is required. This online form can be found here.

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.

Venezuela

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 had been shut down, but according to the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, limited flights resumed in early November 2020. According to the Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority, commercial flights are limited to Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, Russia and Bolivia.

The U.S. State Department, which has been operating its embassy in Venezuela virtually because of unrest in the country and 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.

Asia

Cambodia

Cambodia has been open to visitors, including Americans, but not for tourism purposes. Per the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, tourism is once again allowed, but there are still severe restrictions, including that travelers must already have a visa as the issuing of visas upon arrival has been suspended.

As of Nov. 15, 2021, Cambodia reopened its tourism sector ahead of plan after initially reporting that as of Nov. 30 it would begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enter quarantine-free by first spending five days in specific regions: Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. The new rules allow travelers to visit any place in the country as long as they follow entry protocols.

Flights are now available to Phnom Penh, and very limited flights to tourist hot spot Siem Reap. The U.S. Embassy continues to caution against travel to Cambodia and says that travel through specific areas, known as “Red Zones,” remains prohibited.

Also, as of Dec. 2, anyone who has visited the following countries over the past 21 days will be denied entry into Cambodia: Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and Zambia.

Currently, all visitors allowed to enter the country need to be fully vaccinated and provide a test result proving they are COVID-19 free taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to undergo a rapid test upon arrival and await the results. The U.S. Embassy says that any unvaccinated traveler who arrives will be required to undergo a PCR COVID-19 test and quarantine for a period of 14 days, according to the Cambodia Ministry of Health regulation.

A visa is also required: The country has suspended e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice and the U.S. Embassy reports that all visitors must present a valid visa issued by a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate.

Cambodia has imposed some regional business closures and restrictions on travel due to continued outbreaks. There are regional curfews and also travel restrictions in Red Zone provinces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Cambodia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level Unknown.

China

China was where COVID-19 emerged, and the country suspended entry for nearly all foreigners — including all foreign spectators for the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled to begin on Feb. 4 — and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March 2020. A recent outbreak in Xian resulted in a lockdown of the city’s 13 million residents.

Strict antitravel measures remain in place. Flights have resumed 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 and 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. The U.S. Embassy notes that testing upon arrival and for release from quarantine may include blood tests, as well as oral, nasal and anal swab tests.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong October 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Hong Kong, October 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The government in Hong Kong said on Jan 5, 2022, that it was banning all flights from eight countries, including the United States, from Jan. 8-20 due to the spread of the omicron variant. The other countries are Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

Hong Kong Airport (HKG) 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 had already banned passengers from “Group A” countries (which as of Dec. 22 includes 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 and they must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their flight departure. As of Dec. 21, 2021, Hong Kong residents traveling from specified Group A countries (including the U.S.) must spend the first four days of the mandatory 21-day quarantine in the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre and undergo daily testing before being transferred to their reserved quarantine hotel for the remaining 17 days.

Travelers from banned countries who have spent the past 21 days in a non-banned (Group B), as well as travelers from Group B countries, must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours (as of Dec. 24, 2021) and reserve and pay for a 14-day stay at a designated quarantine hotel (21 days for those who are unvaccinated), with subsequent self-monitoring and compulsory testing.

Complete details on entry requirements and quarantine for travelers by country (groups A and B) are here.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Hong Kong is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

India

India experienced a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases from mid-March 2021 until early summer and overtook Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of infections (34.8 million as of Jan. 2, 2022), after the United States. The death rate soared through mid-May 2021, but case numbers have since declined to a fraction of what they were this past spring.

Travelers visiting for tourism purposes had been banned from entry, but as of October, India has begun issuing fresh tourist visas and welcoming select tourists on chartered flights, followed by other travelers on non-chartered flights on Nov. 15, 2021.

The U.S. Embassy in India notes that travel to India for tourism and other short-term purposes resumed fully on Nov. 15, 2021, for individuals holding tourist or e-tourist visas issued on or after Oct. 6, 2021. Tourist visas issued before October 2021 will not be honored and travelers attempting to enter India using one of these visas are likely to be detained and returned to their point of origin.

According to the U.S. Embassy, 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 detailing their past 14 days of travel 72 hours prior to the start of travel to India. Vaccinated passengers must also upload a copy of their vaccination certificate. 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.

Travelers coming from or transiting through countries deemed “countries at-risk” — as of Nov. 30, all countries in Europe (including the United Kingdom), South Africa, Brazil, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel — also have to be retested upon arrival their own cost and await the results; if negative they must self-quarantine for seven days and test again on day eight, and if positive, they will be held in strict isolation.

Visit the New Delhi Airport website for the latest updates to COVID-19 protocols, which vary by Indian state.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for India is currently Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Indonesia

Indonesia had been reopening gradually in 2020, but in August 2020 it canceled plans to reopen Bali until a yet-to-be-determined date. That date turned out to be Oct. 14, 2021, for select foreign travelers from 19 countries — but not the United States, whose citizens can only enter if they hold a valid residence permit or certain types of visas. Travelers from Bahrain, China, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates are allowed to visit Bali for tourism.

But without international flights, the process has been slow to roll out. International flights to Bali had been expected to resume by late October, but that hasn’t happened as of yet. Tourists planning to visit when flights are once again available must be fully vaccinated and show proof via the PeduliLindungi digital app (children under age 12 are exempt), have insurance that covers coronavirus treatment (up to $100,000) and a hotel reservation for the entirety of their stay, provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel, take a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine for 10 days, according to the U.S. Embassy. Proof of full vaccination is also required to board domestic flights.

Indonesia announced it has banned the entry of any foreign traveler who has spent time over the past 14 days in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini or Nigeria and any Indonesian nationals who have traveled to any of these countries must quarantine for 14 days upon return.

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. The embassy says that travel to Indonesia is highly discouraged at this time.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Indonesia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Japan

Tokyo April 2017.
Tokyo, April 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Japan, which had recently begun allowing limited business travel and entry for some students as it eased into a gradual reopening, has once again banned entry by all foreign nationals as of Nov. 29, 2021, in response to the omicron variant. Japanese citizens who return from certain regions will also have to quarantine in designated facilities.

Some history: On Dec. 28, 2020, Japan banned all foreign nationals who are not legal residents from entering the country until further notice. Until Nov. 29, 2021, the ban had applied to most travelers who have spent the past 14 days in 159 countries, including the United States. No tourism had been allowed, according to the U.S. Embassy in Japan, and visa-free travel remained suspended.

The Japanese government has required 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Japan is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Kazakhstan

The landlocked 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 preapproval, a visa and a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of arrival. Tourists are not welcome.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Kazakhstan is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is COVID-19 Level Unknown.

Kyrgyzstan

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 health care 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 5 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Kyrgyzstan is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Macau

Macau October 2019. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
Macau, October 2019. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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 seven days, 48 hours or 24 hours, depending on their point of origin; quarantine also depends on the traveler’s point of origin. Details can be found here. Nonresident 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.

As of Sept. 25, 2021, all outbound travelers from Macau must test negative within 48 hours of departure.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Macau is Level 4: Do Not Travel but the CDC’s advisory is Level Unknown and it recommends avoiding travel there.

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Malaysia is still not allowing most tourists. In fact, travel restrictions on all foreign nationals — with very limited exceptions for certain long-term pass holders and preapproved short-term business travelers — have been extended until further notice.

However, according to the U.S. Embassy, international tourists traveling to Langkawi Island may now participate in the International Tourism Pilot Project, which exempts vaccinated, preapproved travelers booking travel through licensed tour operators from quarantine restrictions.

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 two days of departure for Malaysia. And those not covered under the Tourism Pilot Project or other exemption plans must pay for a seven-day quarantine (fully vaccinated travelers) or 10-day quarantine (unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers) at an assigned location with testing on day five or eight of quarantine, respectively.

As of Dec. 27, 2021, all travelers arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) must also pay for a mandatory arrival COVID-19 test in advance through a website designated by the Malaysian government to receive a QR code. Travelers are also required to download the MySejahtera app and wear a wristband.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, the country has maintained movement restrictions for unvaccinated people and has entered Phase 1 of a four-phase National Recovery Plan. The embassy also notes that as of Nov. 27, Malaysia has prohibited entry for almost all foreigners who have visited South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe in the previous 14 days. Malaysian citizens and permanent residents who have been to these countries may reenter Malaysia, but must quarantine for two weeks in a designated quarantine center.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Malaysia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

The Maldives

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 were placed under lockdown.

International visitors, including Americans, must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure and complete a 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. In addition, all tourists should hold a negative PCR test result from a test taken within 72 hours of checking out of a guesthouse from any inhabited island.

The latest update on resort openings can be found here.

As of Nov. 28, travelers who have visited or transited through the following countries for more than 12 hours within the past 14 days will be denied entry to the Maldives: South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Maldives citizens returning after having been in or transited through these countries can enter but must undergo a 14-day quarantine and testing.

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.

Emirates Airlines is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to the Maldives starting in July 2020. Turkish Airlines also started flights in July 2020.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Maldives is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Mongolia

Mongolia, which experienced record-high cases of COVID-19 from August to early October 2021, lifted its restrictions on outbound and inbound travel in June 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia, but remains under a state of “heightened emergency preparedness” through at least Dec. 31.

U.S. citizens are allowed to visit, according to the U.S. Embassy, and do not need a visa for a stay of under 90 days (but for stays of more than 30 days, travelers are required to register and failure to do so will incur a fine of $100-$300).

COVID-19 requirements for travelers include both a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of scheduled arrival in Mongolia and PCR testing upon arrival at Ulaanbaatar’s international airport and, as of Dec. 25, 2021, a mandatory three-day quarantine at a designated hotel facility.

Proof of being at least 14 days past full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours is required for travel out of and back into Ulaanbaatar from surrounding provinces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Mongolia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Nepal

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 monthslong 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 Aug. 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 flights 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 (KTM). For more information, check the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C., or 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 (not required for minors age 5-18, but they will be subject to the same health protocols as unvaccinated adults).
  • Results of a negative COVID-19 PCR negative taken within 72 hours of boarding  (children 5 and under 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.

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 unvaccinated arrivals must undergo 10 days hotel quarantine at their own cost, with a PCR test on day 11 before traveling within the country.

As of Dec. 3, Nepal has stopped issuing tourist visas to travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi and Hong Kong. Those with a history of having visited or transited through these countries in the past 21 days will also be denied entry.

Failure to wear a mask when outdoors may result in arrest and a fine.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Nepal is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Pakistan

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. Some areas have increased risk.” The CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Oct. 1, 2021, all travelers age 18 and older need to be fully vaccinated to enter Pakistan. Americans wishing to travel to Pakistan will also 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 48 hours of departure from the U.S. and take another rapid antigen test. They will also need to download and install the Pass Track app. Guidelines can be found here.

In addition, all passengers age 6 and older must now take a mandatory rapid antigen test upon arrival; if arriving from a category A or B country and they test negative, no quarantine is required. Those arriving from a Category C country must test, undergo three days of quarantine and test again.

Pakistan announced that as of Nov. 27, it has closed its borders to arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Hong Kong. Citizens of Pakistan can return with proof of negative pre-travel testing and post-arrival testing.

There are few remaining COVID-19 restrictions and there is no curfew at this time.

The Philippines

Cebu, Philippines. (Photo by KrisCav/Getty Images)

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 subject to controls and restrictions (the U.S. is on the Yellow list). Details can be found here; also check the Philippines Airlines website.

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. See the U.S. Embassy website for complete details.

Requirements change frequently and the latest (as of Jan. 2) for travelers from the U.S. (a Yellow List country) can be found here. Fully vaccinated U.S. passengers can enter with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure from their country of origin, but they must undergo a facility-based quarantine until the results of another test taken on day five after arrival and then home quarantine through day 14. For anyone who is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, the facility quarantine is until a day seven test with home quarantine until day 14.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Philippines is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Singapore

Sinapore September 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Point Guy)
Singapore, September 2019. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Point Guy)

Singapore has remained mostly closed for short-term visitors (including tourism) until Oct. 19, 2021, when fully vaccinated travelers from eight countries (including the United States) were once again allowed to enter via the Vaccinated Travel Lane program. A total of 24 countries are allowed entry — Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Thailand and Turkey.

However, as of Dec. 22, 2021, new VTL flight ticket sales have been suspended through at least Jan. 20, 2022, in response to the omicron variant; anyone with an existing ticket for a VTL flight can enter Singapore on their originally planned date.

Fully vaccinated visitors are still required to present a negative result from a PCR or antigen test taken within two days of departure to Singapore and a second PCR test will be conducted upon arriving at Changi Airport (SIN) at a cost of 125 Singapore dollars. Travelers must also have a minimum of SG$30,000 in travel insurance (as of Jan. 31, 2021). Details are here. All tourists must also use the TraceTogether app for contact tracing.

The omicron variant has also caused Singapore to increase testing requirements for travelers who are allowed to enter. Anyone arriving in Singapore is now required to undergo supervised COVID-19 antigen rapid tests at a Quick Test Centre or Combined Test Centre on days three and seven after their arrival in Singapore (at a cost of SG$15 each). And as of Dec. 6, travelers are also required to undergo self-administered COVID-19 ARTs using self-procured ART kits on days two, four, five and six of their arrival in Singapore. This is in addition to the supervised ARTs on days three and seven.

Related: Singapore will reopen to fully vaccinated US travelers on Oct. 19

Anyone traveling from these SafeTravel Lane countries first needs to apply online for a vaccinated travel pass (as accepted proof of vaccination) and they must have remained within the countries under the vaccinated travel lanes for 14 consecutive days prior to departure.

Details on Singapore’s SafeTravel Lane requirements can be found here. And the process for U.S. tourists, including the accepted Smart Health Cards to validate vaccination, can be found here.

Designated VTL flights include services on Singapore Airlines between Singapore and the following cities: Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Copenhagen (CPH), London (LHR), Los Angeles (LAX), Milan (MXP), New York (JFK), Paris (CDG), Seoul (ICN) and Rome (FCO). Additionally, travelers will now be allowed to transit through Singapore as long as COVID-19 requirements are met and they are on a designated VTL flight.

As of Nov. 28 anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore and who has visited South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe will not be able to enter Singapore or transit through its airport. Citizens and permanent residents can enter, but will undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Singapore website for additional information.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Singapore is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level Unknown.

South Korea

Americans can go to South Korea, but a mandatory 10-day 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.

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 10 days (recently reduced from 14 days) and must download a self-diagnosis mobile app and answer daily questions. 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.

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. Those entering South Korea from abroad will not be permitted to board domestic connecting flights (i.e., to Jeju or Busan) until completing government-mandated quarantine.

But according to the U.S. Embassy, passengers originating from the U.S. who transit through Korean airports (who do not pass through immigration) do not require a negative PCR COVID-19 test and have no quarantine requirement for stays less than 24 hours. Passengers originating from other countries should consult the ROK Embassy in the country of their departure to find out whether a negative PCR COVID-19 test is required to transit through Korean airports.

Related: I quarantined and tested abroad in South Korea — here’s what it was like

South Korea has agreed with China and Singapore to allow some business travel between the countries.

Cases rose in August and September and the U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Korea is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka reopened 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 has begun to allow tourism to resume.

Sri Lanka, however, recently banned the arrival of any foreigner who has been in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Eswatini in the past 14 days. Sri Lankan citizens arriving from these countries must quarantine for 14 days at home.

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 if fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine; unvaccinated travelers must remain in a Tourism Bio Bubble for seven nights/eight days and undergo testing ($40 per test). The U.S. Embassy notes that those who are allowed in require a valid visa and an Electronic Travel Authorization. As of Sept. 15, 2021,  proof of vaccination is required to enter public spaces, including hotels.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, all visitors to Sri Lanka (whether vaccinated or unvaccinated) must purchase COVID-19 insurance, currently set at $12 per month.

Visit the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the United States COVID-19 page for updates.

Related: CDC warning on Jamaica, Brunei and Sri Lanka

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Sri Lanka is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Taiwan

The overlook in Jiufen, Taiwan. (Photo by Munzir Rosdi/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Taiwan banned international tourism as of March 19, 2020. That ban remains in place. And as of May 19, 2021, the country banned the entry of all foreign nationals without a valid Alien Resident Certificate after reporting its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases 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 or a special entry permit are allowed entry. All arrivals must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and are subject to a 14-day quarantine (hotel, home or a combination — see details here).

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Taiwan is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Tajikistan

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 (as well as government permission in advance if seeking to enter via a land border) and must show results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test issued within 72 hours of arrival when boarding flights to Dushanbe (DYU); they also may be 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.” An unexpired visa is also required to leave Tajikistan.

Thailand

Bangkok December 2018.
Bangkok, December 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Thailand had announced new rules for entry by tourists from 46 countries, including the United States, but entry without quarantine has been temporarily suspended as of Dec. 22, 2021, due to the omicron variant. Fully vaccinated travelers who have already applied and been approved won’t be affected by the new suspension, but anyone arriving after Dec. 22 needs to take two PCR tests after arrival, one of which will be conducted in a government facility.

Now with the suspension, all travelers who have not yet received Thai Pass approval—except for those participating in the “Phuket Sandbox” program — must present proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight to Thailand and quarantine at an approved “Alternative Quarantine” hotel for seven to 10 days. Details and updates can be found here.

Related: Thailand brings back mandatory quarantine for all travelers

As of Nov. 1, 2021, travelers to Thailand had been able to register for a Thai Pass to receive a QR code and be fully vaccinated (with proof of vaccination certificate) to be exempt from quarantine. They also needed to present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Thailand, undergo a PCR test upon arrival and await the result in an approved and prepaid hotel for at least one night. Medical coverage for the treatment of COVID-19 in Thailand up to $50,000 is also required.

Since April 1, 2021, U.S. passport holders have not been required to obtain a visa for a tourist visit of up to 45 days in Thailand. Thailand began a phased reopening for vaccinated tourists without the need to quarantine, starting with Phuket Sandbox on July 1, 2021, then with the Samui Plus program.

The most recent updates on travel to Thailand by Americans can be found here.

Related: Phuket welcomes back tourists while other parts of Thailand face new restrictions

Thailand recently banned travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Related: Thailand will fully reopen to vaccinated travelers in a phased approach

For further information on visiting Thailand, check the U.S. Embassy in Thailand’s website and the Royal Thai Embassy.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Thailand is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Turkmenistan

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 is 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 a negative COVID-19 PCR test and a serology certificate confirming the presence of antibodies, both 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 a 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

Uzbekistan is open to Americans. In fact, it has promised 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.

Uzbekistan lifted its ban on international flights as of Oct. 1, 2020. But, according to the U.S. Embassy, as of Dec. 3 foreign nationals who have been to the following countries in the last 14 days will not be granted entry to Uzbekistan: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Lesotho, Eswatini, Tanzania and Hong Kong.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Uzbekistan is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level Unknown (with advice not to travel there).

Vietnam

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 had been uncertain when the Vietnamese government would lift this restriction. However, Vietnam has said that it will soon begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from designated low-risk counties to enter and stay in certain tourist destinations, with regular international flights resuming in January 2022 and a full resumption of tourism set for June 2022.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, the Vietnamese government on Dec. 10 announced plans to resume regular international flights starting sometime in January 2022 on a pilot basis to and from several territories, including Beijing/Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul, Taiwan, Bangkok, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The U.S. Embassy notes that U.S. citizens are currently 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 seven days for fully vaccinated visitors, who then self-monitor for seven days.

Vietnam has also suspended international arrivals and is no longer issuing visas for travelers from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique.

The government has also said that individuals who refuse to wear face masks will be subject to severe penalties.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Vietnam is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Oceania

Australia

Sydney March 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Sydney, March 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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. But the quarantine requirement was lifted as of Nov. 1 for returning citizens and residents to the states of New South Wales (home to Sydney) and Victoria (home to Melbourne). All other approved visitors must still quarantine.

The country experienced record-high cases over the final weeks of 2021.

Related: Australia eases travel ban for first time since 2020, but tourists shouldn’t get excited

Americans are banned except for a few emergency exemptions that must be cleared in advance, and all arriving citizens, permanent residents and noncitizens 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.

Australians had been banned from traveling internationally, with limited exceptions. But then the government allowed Australians to resume limited international travel (for those who meet strict exemptions) as of Nov. 1, 2021, with fully vaccinated citizens and residents not required to quarantine upon return.

Qantas has resumed international flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and London.

On May 6, 2021, officials indicated the country’s borders wouldn’t open to foreign nationals 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. That didn’t happen because of omicron and other factors, and there hasn’t been a recent update on when tourism might restart.

Related: Australia won’t reopen to international travel until 2022

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Australia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

French Polynesia

After easing border restrictions on June 9, 2021, the Islands of Tahiti on Aug. 13 restricted quarantine-free tourism to fully vaccinated visitors only. Tahiti was then under a two-week lockdown until Sept. 6, 2021, to “fight against the spread of COVID-19 in French Polynesia,” per Tahiti Tourism. The borders of Tahiti remained open during the lockdown and tourism has since resumed for U.S. citizens.

To travel to French Polynesia, vaccinated travelers must complete an online health registration within six to 30 days of departing for the islands and as of Dec. 30, 2021, submit a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 24 hours (changed from 48 hours) prior to departure. A PCR test is preferred, but if that is not possible an antigen test taken within 24 hours plus a PCR test taken within two days of departure is acceptable. A third option is an antigen test within 24 hours plus a PCR test taken upon arrival (with a “dissuasive price” at the traveler’s expense, effective Jan. 10, 2022) and the requirement to mask and avoid unnecessary contact until receiving a negative result.

Currently, all travelers will also undergo compulsory testing upon arrival and receive their results via email, to be used as proof of a negative test throughout the islands.

Travelers must also complete and print an online sworn statement and bring proof of vaccination to the islands. Children under 18 can enter when accompanied by a vaccinated parent or legal guardian, but they are subjected to additional COVID-19 tests on days four and eight, if applicable.

As of Oct. 1, 2021, unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. can enter French Polynesia, but they must present a compelling reason to travel that is approved by the Tahitian government, specifically related to health, business or family. They must follow all the same procedures as vaccinated travelers, but also must quarantine for 10 days with a negative PCR test taken upon arrival and negative self-tests on days four and eight before being allowed to circulate on day 11.

Current 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for French Polynesia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Unknown Level of COVID-19.

Fiji

Fiji just began allowing fully vaccinated travelers from select countries, including the United States, for tourism as of Dec. 1, 2021. The island nation had a strict lockdown in place since March 2020, but saw cases rise exponentially over the summer, reporting record highs in July before seeing a decline.

As it reopened, Fiji also simultaneously tightened its border regulations in response to the omicron variant. Southern African countries were already on its “red list,” but now only Fijian citizens can enter Fiji from a red-list country and they must undergo a 14-day quarantine, with PCR tests on days five and 12.

According to Fiji Tourism, the country has begun offering quarantine-free travel to fully vaccinated travelers from Travel Partner countries. Currently, these are: American Samoa, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Greece, Guam, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.

To enter Fiji, fully vaccinated travelers age 18 and older (who have received both doses of Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson) from the above countries need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken two calendar days (recently reduced from three) before boarding their flight (those age 17 and younger when accompanied by a vaccinated adult do not need to be vaccinated and children 11 and younger are exempt from testing). But as of Dec. 27, 2021, vaccinated travelers from both the U.S. and the U.K. must present a negative PCR test taken within one calendar day of their flight’s departure for Fiji.

All travelers must also have booked a three-night stay at a Care Fiji Committed accommodation and download the careFiji app to be able to enter/access businesses once in Fiji. Travelers must also have travel/health insurance valid for COVID-19 care in Fiji and take a rapid antigen test at their resort 48 hours after arrival. Check for updates here.

The country had been closed to tourism since the beginning of the pandemic and initially Fiji Airways grounded 95% of its flights.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Fiji website for additional information. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Fiji is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand March 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Auckland, New Zealand, March 2018. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

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 Feb. 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 — at least until April 30, 2022.

A complete ban on foreigners remained in effect until just recently and the border remains effectively closed to most foreign tourists. New Zealand did announce that it would open to quarantine-free travel by visitors from Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and other South Pacific island nations and that as of Nov. 1, 2021, all foreign travelers age 17 and older need to be fully vaccinated.

In response to the omicron variant, only New Zealand citizens are currently allowed to enter the country from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique and they are required to stay in managed quarantine for 14 days and undergo testing.

Related: New Zealand set to finally open its borders

Before omicron, the government on Nov. 24, 2021, announced that it would reopen its borders in stages, beginning with fully vaccinated New Zealanders currently in Australia on Jan. 13, 2022, and fully vaccinated New Zealanders currently in other countries on Feb. 13, 2022, without the need for hotel quarantine. But those dates have now been delayed by at least a month. All incoming travelers will still be required to isolate themselves for seven days, at least for the time being.

From the government website: “Entry into New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

As of 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. Those requirements remain in effect.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for New Zealand is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Middle East

Bahrain

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) age 6 and older traveling from the United States and other non-“Red List” countries whose vaccination certificates are recognized once again need to undergo pre-travel testing and present an approved PCR certificate with a QR code before boarding the plane, for a test administered within 48 hours of departure. They still must download the BeAware Bahrain app and they will be tested at the airport upon arrival and again on days five and 10 (all at their own expense). They are not required to quarantine.

Unvaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test with a QR code taken within 48 hours of departure, along with a QR code generated by the BeAware Bahrain app, and are required to test again upon arrival and quarantine for 10 days in their own residence or a government-designated hotel with testing on days five and 10. Any positive test results will result in quarantine at a government facility until a clean bill of health is received.

Details and updates can be found here.

Bahrain’s Red List countries, from which entry is prohibited for all but Bahrain citizens and certain visa holders, currently include South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Angola and Zambia.

Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces with a 20 Bahraini dinar ($53) fine for noncompliance. People who break public health rules face either a minimum of three months in jail, a fine ranging from 1,000 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.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Bahrain is Level 2: Exercise Increased Precautions and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Israel

Just four weeks after opening to all international visitors, Israel announced a temporary entry ban for all foreign nationals as of Nov. 28, in response to the emergence of the omicron variant.

In addition to the closure of Ben Gurion Airport to foreigners, Israelis who arrive from abroad will have to go through mandatory quarantine for three days, according to the Times of Israel. Those coming from countries in the “red” category (which includes most of Africa) must quarantine in designated hotels pending a negative virus test.

Related: Israel will close to visitors for two weeks in response to omicron

Before the current ban, Israel had begun reopening by allowing certain foreign nationals into the country. According to the U.S. Embassy in Israel, all foreign nationals who are not Israeli citizens/residents and meet vaccination and testing criteria had been able to visit.

Israel had initially announced it would again allow small groups of tourists beginning on Sept. 19, 2021. That included citizens of the U.S. (currently classified as “orange”) and on Nov. 1 the country opened to fully vaccinated international tourists traveling independently. Before the current ban, travelers needed to be within six months of being fully vaccinated, or have received a booster dose, or have proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months.

All arriving passengers must fill out an inbound passenger statement, present an entry clearance from the government and have medical insurance valid in Israel. 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 a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of their flight. All arriving travelers will also be tested upon arrival and must undergo isolation for three or 14 days, depending on their country of origin and vaccination status. Details are here.

Details on all entry requirements for Israel 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Israel is Level 3: Reconsider Travel  (due to COVID-19) the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Jordan

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Jordan is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Kuwait

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) from entering the country until August 1, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.

Travelers who are now able to enter Kuwait will only be permitted in with either a valid visa or a residency permit. Visitor visas are once again being issued upon arrival at the airport, as of Oct. 24.

According to the U.S. Embassy, current guidance from the Kuwaiti government indicates that individuals traveling to Kuwait who received a COVID-19 vaccination from a non-Kuwaiti government authority must register their vaccine record on the Ministry of Health website for record validation. Vaccinated individuals with records approved by the Kuwaiti Public Health Department may then download the Kuwait Mobile ID or Immune App to access their vaccination details. Proof of vaccination status can only be established via the Immune or Mobile ID apps. The Embassy is not aware of additional guidance on acceptable alternatives for proof of vaccination status.

Travelers must also register with the Shlonik app prior to boarding the aircraft. 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.

Vaccinated travelers must undergo a seven-day home quarantine, which can be ended after receiving a negative result from the arrival PCR test. Unvaccinated individuals and those who are vaccinated yet reflecting a red status on their Immune app will still need to quarantine for 14 days.

In response to the omicron variant, Kuwait has halted direct commercial flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zambia and Malawi, and has advised its citizens against all travel, particularly to Southern Africa. Kuwaiti nationals returning from the above countries must undergo a seven-night quarantine and non-Kuwaiti citizens aren’t allowed to enter if they have been in any of the affected countries over the past 14 days.

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. As of June 27, 2021 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Kuwait is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Lebanon

All unvaccinated travelers to Lebanon over the age of 12 must produce a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of travel and featuring a QR code in order to enter the country, per the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Fully vaccinated travelers who have proof of having received their last dose at least 14 days prior to entering the country are exempt from pre-travel testing requirements, but they must test upon arrival along with unvaccinated travelers.

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.

As of Dec. 15, 2021, new COVID entry requirements for Lebanon are in effect. All arrivals must register on the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) PASS platform and show their enrollment before being permitted to board a flight bound for Lebanon. And
effective Jan. 10, 2022, a $30 payment by credit card is required via the MoPH PASS platform for administrative costs and the on-arrival PCR.

Masks are no longer mandated by the government, but individual businesses and establishments may have their own requirements.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Lebanon is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Oman

International flights to Oman have resumed and Americans who have received a two-dose vaccine (those age 17 and younger are exempt) 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 had not been allowing tourists, however, the Royal Oman Police resumed all visa operations and services on Sept. 1, 2021.

In response to the omicron variant, Oman has reportedly suspended incoming flights from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique, and travelers who have visited any of these countries within the past 14 days are banned from entry.

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.

Proof of both vaccination and a negative PCR test need to be uploaded to the Tarassud+ mobile app prior to arrival in Oman. If the traveler prefers to undergo a PCR test upon arrival (and quarantine until receiving the result), they will have to be pre-booked on the app, which 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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Oman is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Qatar

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 to avoid a seven-day quarantine. According to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, entry requirements, including quarantine, are based on the MOPH green and red list of countries. The U.S. is currently on the red list (as of Jan 1, 2022). Details can be found here.

U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Qatar. All travelers must register prior to travel, upload their vaccination certificate if vaccinated as well as produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel and then test again within 36 hours after arrival. Those who are fully vaccinated (14 days past final dose) with an approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or Astra-Zeneca) are exempt from quarantine. The U.S. Embassy notes that travelers entering Qatar under certain visa categories may be subject to quarantine or may not be allowed entry unless vaccinated. This may include children under the age of twelve.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated U.S. travelers must do all of the above (register and undergo a pre-travel PCR test within 72 hours of travel), and undergo home quarantine or quarantine in a hotel booked via the Discover Qatar website for seven days and take another PCR test on day 6; if negative the traveler will be released from quarantine.

Details on entry requirements are available on Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health website.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Qatar is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Saudi Arabia

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.

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.

The U.S. Embassy now reports that the Saudi government announced that it has suspended flights from 14 countries—South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, Angola, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comoros Islands—due to the omicron variant. Travelers from these countries who have spent 14 days or more in another country immediately prior to arrival in Saudi Arabia are exempt. However, exempted travelers from these countries (including citizens of the Kingdom) will be required to undergo a five-day institutional quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status.

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. According to the U.S. Embassy, the Saudi Ministry of Interior announced that beginning Oct. 10, 2021 all persons in Saudi Arabia will have to show proof of vaccination via the Tawakkalna app by a Ministry of Health-approved vaccine to enter all government and private establishments, as well as to use public transportation and air travel.

Syria

U.S. travelers are not able to enter Syria at this time. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Syria is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. May 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in May 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The United Arab Emirates is open to tourism and Americans are welcome — without the need to quarantine.

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.

Following the emergence of the omicron variant, Dubai’s national carrier Emirates reports that the emirate is restricting any traveler originating from or transiting through South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from entering Dubai. However, outbound flights from Dubai to these countries are allowed.

To enter Abu Dhabi, tourists over the age of 12 are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 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 once again a green list country), they need to test again on day six. Vaccinated travelers from non-green-list countries must test on days four and eight. Unvaccinated travelers from green list countries (which includes Americans), even if they test negative upon arrival, are required to test on days six and nine, but no longer need to quarantine. 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, cafes, 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 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 download the Al Hosn app, which is the Green Pass gateway to all of Abu Dhabi’s attractions. Unvaccinated travelers from non-green-list countries arriving in Abu Dhabi from another emirate still need to quarantine and test. Details are available 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, 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 50,000 Emirati dirhams ($13,600).

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the UAE is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Related: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are open

Yemen

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 Sanaa 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.

Africa

Botswana

Botswana was among the eight countries in Southern Africa from which the United States has banned travel into the U.S. by foreign nationals (but not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021, in response to the emergence of the omicron variant in the region. It was first detected by scientists in South Africa in late November and it has resulted in a disruption of international travel, with dozens of countries banning travel from a number of South African countries.

As result, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Botswana was changed to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, Americans are permitted to enter and a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival is required, but there is no further testing upon arrival or quarantine.

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 international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days 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 $45. After testing at the airport, arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.

Americans need a visa to visit as well as a 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.

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.

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 three days of travel, but to reenter the U.S., the test now needs to be taken within one day of travel.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Democratic Republic of Congo is Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Egypt

Luxor, Egypt. (Photo via Getty Images)
Luxor, Egypt. (Photo by Getty Images)

International tourism resumed in Egypt in July 2020 and the country is now open for Americans, but the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19. There are also some important things to know before you go.

Related: Egypt reopening

Americans will need a tourist visa available on arrival or before arrival via online enrollment. There are no quarantine requirements, although you will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test with a QR code. According to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, while most travelers over the age of 6, 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 a 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/paper) test results. No digital documents are being accepted. Proof of health insurance valid in Egypt is also required.

The U.S. Embassy website also notes that It is reported that the government of Egypt will also allow travelers to enter with proof of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccination instead of a negative test. However, the vaccination certificate must comply with the rules of the issuing country and contain a QR code. Note: Most U.S. vaccination cards, including those issued by the CDC, do not include the QR code required by the government of Egypt, and, as a result, most U.S. vaccination cards are not accepted by Egyptian authorities.

In response to the emergence of the omicron variant, Egypt has said it has banned direct flights from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.

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 70% capacity.

Related: Dreaming of visiting Egypt

Ghana

Ghana’s Accra Kotoka International Airport (ACC) 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 be fully vaccinated (if age 18 or older) and 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 5 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 seven-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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ghana is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Kenya

Kenya reopened to tourism on Aug. 1, 2020, and Americans are currently welcome to visit. The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory is now Level 3: Reconsider Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 3: High Level of COVID-19.

Travel in and out of Nairobi is allowed and all visitors need to obtain an e-visa, fill out a mandatory online health form (to obtain a QR code for scanning upon arrival) and present a valid vaccination certificate (if age 18 or older) and a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival (recently changed from 96 hours), according to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival and may be subject to random testing.

Americans are currently exempt from quarantine requirements. Entry requirements can be found here.

The Kenya Ministry of Health launched the Trusted Travel 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. Everyone departing Kenya needs to present a negative result of a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure (but the time frame to enter the U.S. is now a test taken within one day).

A mandatory face mask requirement while in public remains in effect and proof of vaccination is required for admission to public spaces. There is no longer a  nationwide curfew.

Malawi

Malawi was among the eight countries in Southern Africa from which the United States banned travel into the U.S. by foreign nationals (but not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021, in response to the emergence of the new omicron variant in the region. It was first detected by scientists in South Africa in late November and its discovery has resulted in a disruption of international travel, with dozens of countries banning travel from a number of South African countries after cases were detected in travelers who had recently flown in from Africa.

As result, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Malawi has been changed to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, Americans are allowed to enter and as of Dec. 6, 2021, the government of Malawi requires a negative PCR COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours on the day of arrival or departure to enter or exit the country.

As of Dec. 10, 2021, the government also requires a valid electronic COVID-19 full vaccination certificate to enter Malawi. The U.S. Embassy says that arriving travelers unable to show an electronic vaccination certificate at the point of entry shall be expected to access COVID-19 vaccines for free at the point of entry before being allowed to enter or reenter Malawi. Travelers unable to produce a valid immunization certificate and who refuse to access the vaccines offered at the point of entry will be required to undergo institutional quarantine for 10 days at their cost. At this time, the embassy says it does not have further information on the cost or location of the institutional quarantine. Travelers will not have a choice in where they are placed.

Mauritius

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius originally began lifting restrictions on June 15, 2020 (although there was an islandwide lockdown period in April 2021), and according to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius, as of Oct. 1, 2021, fully vaccinated international travelers are allowed to enter the island without restrictions. Visitors who present a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours before their departure and have mandatory health insurance that covers COVID-19 will be able to explore the island freely but must take a test upon arrival and on day five.

Unvaccinated guests must also provide a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours before travel and have health insurance, but they must also book a certified COVID-19 safe resort and quarantine in their room there for 14 days with tests on arrival day and days seven and 14.

Details of travel requirements and travel alerts for Mauritius can be found here.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Mauritius is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Related: Why Mauritius should be at the top of your travel to-do list

Morocco

Morocco’s Foreign Ministry announced that it is banning all air travel to the country for two weeks beginning Nov. 29; the ban has since been extended through at least Jan. 31, 2022. The action is in response to the spread of the new omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Related: Morocco bans all incoming flights for 2 weeks due to omicron

Before the ban, Americans could travel to Morocco, but the country remains under a health state of emergency and as of Oct. 21, the Moroccan government requires proof of vaccination to enter most private and public establishments, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, gyms, hammams, grocery stores and public modes of transportation. According to the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, “If vaccinated in Morocco, U.S. citizens should carry the vaccine pass (“pass vaccinal”) issued by the Moroccan government and available at the Ministry of Health vaccination website. If vaccinated in the United States, we recommend U.S. citizens carry their white CDC card as proof of vaccination.”

In early 2021, Morocco suspended flights from several dozen countries, making tourism here challenging through the first half of the year until international flights were allowed to resume as of June 15, 2021. The current flight ban is scheduled to remain in effect through at least Jan. 31, 2022, subject to regular government evaluation.

The Moroccan government currently classifies countries into “List A” (which includes the United States), “List B” and “List C” (not allowed to enter Morocco). Prior to the flight ban, passengers arriving from List A countries had been 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.

If not fully 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. Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens transiting a List B country must have a negative PCR test administered within 48 hours of the date entering Morocco. 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 updates the countries on List A and List B regularly and at least twice a month.

Before the current ban, there were direct commercial flights to and from Morocco on Royal Air Maroc, between New York’s JFK Airport and Washington Dulles International (IAD) and Casablanca (CMN). Masks are mandatory in flight and in all public spaces.

The U.S. Embassy also reports that there is a nationwide curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and there are some restrictions on travel between cities and regions.

Related: Guide to Morocco reopening

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Morocco is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Mozambique

Mozambique was among the eight countries in Southern Africa from which the United States banned travel into the U.S. by foreign nationals (but not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021, in response to the emergence of the new omicron variant in the region. It was first detected by scientists in South Africa in late November and its discovery has resulted in a disruption of international travel, with dozens of countries banning travel from a number of South African countries after cases were detected in travelers who had recently flown in from Africa.

As result, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Mozambique has been changed to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique, the following applies to U.S. citizens who want to enter Mozambique:

  • Non-Mozambican citizens, including U.S. citizens, who have a valid DIRE (residence permit) and/or required visa(s) are able to enter Mozambique, subject to the COVID-19 testing requirement below, without seeking specific authorization from the Ministry of Interior.
  • Travelers arriving for tourism purposes only can get visas upon arrival with proof of a return ticket and hotel booking. Please be aware that U.S. citizens have been denied entry for not having obtained the proper type of visa in advance. Obtaining your visa in advance from the Mozambican Embassy in Washington, D.C., is strongly encouraged.
  • Business travelers who are non-Mozambican citizens and who do not have a valid DIRE and/or visa(s) and are traveling for work or business purposes are required to seek authorization to enter Mozambique from the Ministry of Interior.

Travelers who are able to enter Mozambique are required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test results administered in their country of origin within one day of departure. Children up to age 5 are exempt from this requirement. Travelers should expect health screenings upon arrival and there are many regulations and restrictions in effect for commercial business and gatherings.

Namibia

Namibia has been open for tourism since Sept. 1, 2020, although most of its land borders are currently closed for tourism purposes. Most hotels, safari lodges and camps, restaurants and shops are open and public transportation is running. However, the country is once again seeing cases rise following a drop after a third wave of COVID-19 infections peaked in July 2021.

The recent detection of the new omicron variant by scientists in South Africa resulted in the subsequent banning of foreign nationals who have spent the past 14 days in eight Southern African countries, including Namibia, from entering the United States from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021. U.S. citizens and permanent residents were able to return to the U.S., but many flights connecting through European airports were canceled. Both Delta and United have indicated they plan to continue their nonstop South Africa routes between Johannesburg and Atlanta and Newark.

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 72 hours (recently changed from seven 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 72 hours 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.

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Dec. 1, 2021, only COVID-19 certificates obtained from providers participating in the Trusted Travel platform or verified on the Global Haven system will be valid for entry into and exit from Namibia. To supplement your certificate(s), the U.S. Embassy strongly recommends travelers also bring paper copies of all COVID-19 test results to the airport or port of departure.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Namibia is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

Nigeria

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. 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.

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 48 hours of departure on the first leg of their journey. A quarantine protocol issued in September requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal and upload test results prior to travel. As of Oct. 25, the Nigerian government no longer requires self-isolation for fully vaccinated persons arriving in Nigeria. However, in addition to the negative COVID-19 PCR test result not more than 48 hours prior to boarding, they are required to take an additional COVID-19 PCR test on day two after arrival (and they must register and pay for it beforehand to obtain a QR code).

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated inbound passengers are still required to observe a mandatory seven-day self-isolation in addition to a COVID-19 PCR test on days two and seven after arrival.

Passengers over the age of 10 departing from Nigeria must show a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of departure, according to the U.S. Embassy.

Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo, located in Central Africa between Gabon and 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 and test upon arrival.

The U.S. Embassy notes that a mandatory rapid test (RT-PCR) is also now being implemented at the international airports for all incoming passengers as of Oct. 18, 2021. The cost is 4,000 Central African francs ($7) and is at the visitors’ expense. Visitors must then quarantine until they receive their results by email. In the case of a positive test result, they will be assisted by the Ministry of Health. To preregister for the test and process the payment ahead of time, travelers need to visit voyage-congo.com.

In addition, according to the U.S. Embassy, people must present a certificate of vaccination for internal travel between large cities and to access public administrative offices, banks, government offices, etc., as of Nov. 1, 2021.

There is a daily curfew from  11 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noir. Proof of vaccination is also now required for all movements between large cities.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Republic of the Congo is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Rwanda

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 this summer (see details on the Johns Hopkins University website).

As the new omicron variant has spread, Rwanda has imposed measures.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Rwanda is now Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

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 (children under 5 are exempt from testing). All travelers are also subject to testing upon arrival (at a cost of $60) and, unless they are heading directly to national parks, must spend three days in a designated quarantine hotel.

As of Dec. 16, 2021, all international travelers arriving in Rwanda need to quarantine for three days at designated hotels at their own cost, regardless of vaccination status. Passengers will pay for the PCR test upon arrival per the instructions on Rwanda Biomedical Centre’s website, and additional tests will be taken on day three and day seven after arrival (with passengers responsible for the cost).

In addition, all travel between Rwanda and Southern African countries has been banned. The countries subject to this ban are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

VisitRwanda’s reopening guidance also details arrival protocols and for additional information check this FAQ section on VisitRwanda.com. Rwanda is offering visas on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com.

All major national parks in the country are open, but according to the U.S. Embassy, on Dec. 19, Rwanda also announced specific measures for tourists visiting them: Tourists may apply for exemption from the three-day quarantine requirement, but will be required, in addition to the PCR test taken upon arrival at the airport, to take mandatory PCR tests on days three and seven as well as daily rapid antigen tests. All tests are at the cost of the traveler. Tour operators and hotels must send a facilitation request to visitrwanda@rdb.rw 72 hours prior to guest arrival.

Tourists, including children over 5 years old, visiting a national park will be required to present a negative test result taken within 24 hours. A PCR test is required for all visitors wishing to see primates at Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura national parks. Rapid antigen tests are acceptable for all other activities (other than visiting primates) in the above national parks, and all other national parks (including Akagera).

Travelers departing Rwanda must also test negative with a PCR test within 72 hours of departure for home (but the U.S. now requires a negative test result within one day of travel, so U.S travelers might need to get both a PCR test to depart and a rapid antigen test to satisfy U.S. requirements).

Face masks are required nationwide in public spaces and there is a curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., with businesses closing at 9 p.m.

Senegal

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.

Senegal requires travelers over the age of 2 to present either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine at least 14 days before departure or the original certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken with five days (120 hours) of arrival and issued in English or French. The West African country also requires all arrivals to submit a 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 U.S. State Department’s advisory for Senegal is Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Seychelles

The Seychelles, which had 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 in February 2021. As of March 25, 2021, unvaccinated U.S. travelers can visit.

Details can be found here and the latest travel advisory is here.

To enter, travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight and upload the test results to the online portal to obtain a Travel Health Authorization. All travelers must also present 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. The latest requirements can be found here.

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.

Related: Seychelles reopening: Fire up the private jet

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Seychelles is Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19. Check the U.S. Embassy website for updates.

South Africa

Scientists in South Africa in late November detected the new COVID-19 omicron variant, which swiftly became the most dominant variant in the country and has resulted in a disruption of international travel, with dozens of countries banning travel from a number of South African countries after cases were detected in travelers who had recently flown in from Africa. Since then, omicron has spread to more than 160 countries worldwide. Cases seem to have peaked and are beginning to decline in South Africa.

In response, the U.S. announced that from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021, it had banned foreign nationals who have spent the past 14 days in eight Southern African countries, including South Africa, from entering the United States. U.S. citizens and permanent residents were able to return to the U.S., but many flights connecting through European airports were canceled. Both Delta and United have indicated they plan to continue their nonstop South Africa routes between Johannesburg and Atlanta and Newark.

The U.S. Embassy in South Africa notes that in response to omicron, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Africa has been changed to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

South Africa reopened to tourism on Oct. 1, 2020, and 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 if they test positive to remain in mandatory quarantine for 10 days at their own cost. All arriving travelers must also install the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. Details can be found here.

Related: South Africa reopening, but not to Americans so far

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.

Cases in South Africa have now surpassed 3.4 million and although the country entered adjusted alert Level 4 on June 28, 2021, it returned to Level 2 as of Sept. 13. and then went to Level 1 on Oct. 1. After peaking the week of Dec. 12-16, omicron cases have declined.

Tanzania

Tanzania, which had been accepting tourists with no testing or quarantine conditions attached, as of May 3, 2021, now requires all travelers to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 96 hours of their flight to Tanzania and to complete an online Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival to receive a unique health code. Travelers will undergo screening upon arrival and arriving passengers from countries with high levels of COVID-19 will also be required to take a rapid test ($10; $25 in Zanzibar) 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 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

Uganda

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 reconsider any nonessential travel to Uganda because of COVID-19. Crime and kidnappings also remain a concern.

According to the U.S. Embassy, arriving passengers must have a visa applied for online and approved by the Ugandan government as well as 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 Oct. 27, all arriving passengers at Entebbe International Airport (EBB) will be subjected to COVID-19 testing, regardless of country of origin or vaccination status. The test costs $30. 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 within 72 hours of 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, although it is now mandated to have been taken within one day of travel.

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.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Uganda is Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19 and the risk of kidnapping but the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19.

Zambia

Zambia, home to Victoria Falls and known as a top safari destination, is open to international travelers, including Americans.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, the country 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.

Quarantine is not required for Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy, unless passengers are arriving from a designated “high risk” country (a country with more than 200 cases per 1,000,000 people). All travelers from “high risk” countries will be required to undergo mandatory testing upon entry and quarantine for 14 days at home or until the entry test returns negative.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Zambia is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is among the eight countries in Southern Africa from which the United States has banned travel into the U.S. by foreign nationals (but not U.S. citizens or permanent residents) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 31, 2021, in response to the emergence of the new omicron variant in the region. It was first detected by scientists in South Africa and its discovery has resulted in a disruption of international travel, with dozens of countries banning travel from a number of South African countries after cases were detected in travelers who had recently flown in from Africa.

As result, the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Zimbabwe has been changed to Level 4: Do Not Travel and the CDC’s advisory for the country is Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, U.S. citizens wishing to depart Zimbabwe currently have limited options via commercial air and land border crossings. Transportation schedules can change without notice. The embassy recommends checking with airlines/carriers regarding flight cancellations and/or restrictions and urges U.S. citizens to have a departure plan that does not include government assistance.

This advice comes as many flights connecting through European airports have been canceled. Both Delta and United have indicated they plan to continue their nonstop South Africa routes between Johannesburg and Atlanta and Newark.

Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on Oct. 1, 2020. All travelers are required to have a PCR COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure and take a PCR test upon arrival. Travelers who test negative must quarantine at their own expense for 10 days, while those who test positive must go into isolation.

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 platform. Travelers departing Zimbabwe are required to use a Trusted Travel lab for predeparture testing.

Cases surged in Zimbabwe in early 2021 but declined by late spring. On June 14, 2021, stricter measures were put into place and now currently limit business opening times to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and restaurants are open for takeout or delivery only. There is a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Amid the January 2021 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, but the U.S. now requires a test taken within one day of departure to reenter the U.S.

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Jane Frye, Jacob Harrison, Donna Heiderstadt, Liz Hund, Brian Kim, Stella Shon, Caroline Tanner and Mimi Wright. 

Featured photo by Getty Images.

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