Where Can Americans Travel Right Now? A Country-by-Country Guide
From lounging on Caribbean beaches to sightseeing in Serbia, Americans now have options when it comes to international travel.
As the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic put international travel on hold earlier this year, Americans looking to add another stamp to their passport postponed their global itineraries and embraced backyard staycations and road trips instead.
Months later, COVID-19 is far from over in the United States but countries around the world are starting to welcome tourists back. Unfortunately, due to an uptick in coronavirus cases and varying levels of restrictions throughout the nation, many countries have blocked Americans from visiting. Most recently, the European Union announced it will reopen its borders to more than a dozen non-EU countries on July 1, but not to the U.S.
Additionally, the State Department imposed a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory that has been in place since March, instructions "to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19."
Since the countries listed below are currently accepting American visitors, those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 before departure — and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda opened its borders on June 1 in a phased plan that included reopening the international airport, according to the government. Visitors are required to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arrival and be able to present documentation of negative results. Visitors are also required to wear a mask in all public places.
Aruba started welcoming U.S. visitors to its turquoise waters on July 10, but travelers coming from certain states are required to upload a negative COVID-19 test online taken within 72 hours before their flight. The test has to be uploaded at least 12 hours before departing, according to the Aruba Tourism Authority.
The affected states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota. Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
This follows the opening of its borders to travelers from the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe, and Canada, which started July 1.
While all U.S. will have to complete a self-health declaration form and show a negative COVID-19 test, travelers from states not listed above can also choose to pre-pay for a test to be completed upon arrival.
The island, which started reopening outdoor restaurants on May 25, has a cleaning and hygiene certification program for tourism-related businesses focusing on things like plexiglass barriers at desks.
Barbados reopened to tourists on July 12. Visitors are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure and be able to present negative results at the airport. Travelers can also choose to undergo a test at the airport and quarantine until the results are ready.
Barbados is encouraging visitors to move there for a year for the ultimate work from home experience. The program is expected to start Aug. 1.
On June 1, the island reopened retailers, parks, and dining in restaurants, according to the Barbados Government Information Service. On June 15, all businesses were allowed to open and timing restrictions on beaches were eliminated.
Belize will look to welcome tourists back to its lush landscapes on Aug. 15, requiring visitors to either come with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure (and use the “fast lane” at the airport) or undergo testing on arrival, according to the tourist board.
Visitors have to download the Belize Health App before boarding a fight as well as undergo a temperature check at the airport and wear a mask while traveling.
To reassure travelers, Belize introduced a “Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition” for hotels, which includes online check-in and check-out. Additionally, travelers will find health measures in place at the airport, including sneeze guards, and luggage will be sanitized before being transferred into the terminal.
Bermuda, a British territory, reopened for all international travel on July 1 and requires entering visitors to show a negative COVID-19 test from no more than seven days before departure, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Additionally, visitors have to fill out a travel authorization process online and pay a $75 fee. Travelers will also be tested at the airport and have to quarantine at their accommodation until the results are ready, which typically takes six to eight hours.
Visitors will then be tested every few days while on the island and be required to take their temperature twice each day and report it online.
Restaurants on the island have been allowed to reopen and Bermuda's popular beaches are open with physical distancing measures in place. On July 1, the island entered Phase 4, increasing gatherings to 50 people and reopening bars, according to the government.
U.S. and other foreign travelers can take advantage of the amazing temples in Cambodia (hello Angkor Wat), but it will cost them. The country will require visitors to pay a hefty $3,000 travel deposit before entering to cover any potential coronavirus-related costs.
Travelers who test negative while there will only be on the hook for about $165 for the mandatory test, according to the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia.
Those who do go to Cambodia will also be required to show a negative COVID-19 test from no more than 72 hours before traveling, proof of medical insurance coverage for at least $50,000, as well as undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival and wait in an official facility until the results are ready.
If someone on their arriving flight does test positive for the virus, all passengers have to quarantine for 14 days at a location chosen by Cambodian authorities. If all travelers test negative, they have to self-isolate for two weeks at their lodging.
Croatia has reopened its borders to non-EU citizens for tourism, including U.S. citizens, as long as visitors show proof of a reservation for a hotel or other accommodation, according to the Croatian Ministry of Interior. Tourists in Croatia will not have to quarantine if they provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours.
Travelers are asked to fill out an entry form online, according to the Croatian National Tourist Board.
While the European Union has recommended the U.S. not be included in the countries allowed to resume non-essential travel, individual countries are able to make their own decisions.
The Dominican Republic lifted border restrictions on July 1, requiring temperature checks upon arrival at the airport. Anyone who has a temperature above 100.6 °F will undergo a rapid COVID-19 test and may be isolated, according to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. Visitors also have to fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit, certifying they have not had any COVID-10-related symptoms for 72 hours as well as provide their contact information.
Upon arrival in the country, visitors will find protocols in place for hotels, including temperature checks and disinfecting of baggage, as well as social distancing at restaurants on the island and capacity restrictions for tours. Masks are required to enter bars.
Egypt allowed international tourists and flights to come into its seaside resorts on July 1, according to Reuters, including southern Sinai and the Red Sea province. This follows the suspension of international flights in March.
U.S. tourists must secure a visa to visit Egypt, according to the State Department.
Visitors who do go to Egypt will notice health and safety protocols at hotels, including electronic check-in, temperature checks, and sanitization of luggage, according to the country’s tourism site.
In the meantime, explorers can check out this virtual tour of the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses VI from home, allowing people to exercise their inner adventurer without leaving the couch.
French Polynesia, known for the crystal clear waters of Tahiti and Bora Bora, reopened its borders for international tourism on July 15, including from the U.S.
Tourists coming to the islands — there’s 118 of them — will have to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure and show those negative results before boarding a flight. Travelers will also be required to have a travel insurance policy. On the fourth day after arrival, travelers will have to perform a self-sampling surveillance test, according to a press release from the French Polynesian government.
Jamaica reopened to international travel on June 15, requiring arriving passengers to undergo a temperature check and having some undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.
The island also introduced protocols for tourism industries, including requiring each hotel to designate at least one employee at a time as a “Covid-19 Safety Point Person” to conduct spot checks.
Americans looking to take advantage of the luxury of overwater bungalows need look no further than the Maldives, which will reopen to international tourism starting July 15. The island nation will first reopen its uninhabited islands, followed by inhabited islands on Aug. 1.
Visitors won’t have to pay any additional fees or show negative tested results and those who don’t have any symptoms also won’t have to quarantine themselves.
The land border between the U.S. and Mexico will remain closed until at least Aug 21.
While several states in Mexico reopened for tourism, including Quintana Roo (where popular spots like Cancun are located) as well as Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta is), further restrictions have since been implemented. Mexico has created a color-coded system for each state, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico, and has placed both Quintana Roo and Jalisco in the “red” category, allowing only essential activities. Under that designation, hotels are limited to 25 percent occupancy for guests working on critical activities.
Mexico City is considered “orange,” allowing hotels and restaurants to open with 50 percent capacity.
The country’s Skopje International Airport reopened to international flights on July 1, requiring passengers to disinfect their hands and wear a mask inside the terminal. Screenings with a thermal camera will also be taken.
In North Macedonia, indoor bars and restaurants and gyms were allowed to reopen on June 26, according to the U.S. Embassy in North Macedonia.
Saint Lucia reopened to international tourists on June 4. On July 9, the nation started requiring travelers to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within seven days before their arrival. Travelers also have to complete a pre-arrival registration form and undergo a temperature check upon arrival.
Saint Lucia has implemented a COVID-19 certificate for hotels, requiring them to meet more than a dozen criteria for sanitization protocols, social distancing, and more.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Visitors to St. Vincent and the Grenadines have to complete a pre-arrival form, which can be accessed online, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados. Travelers also need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival or undergo a test upon arrival. Those who choose to take the test upon arrival will be quarantined for at least 24 hours while waiting for the results.
Travelers who arrive by air will also have to quarantine for at least 24 hours to await test results of all passengers from the same flight.
Serbia lifted all COVID-19-related restrictions for both Serbian and foreign citizens, according to the U.S. Embassy in Serbia, allowing people to enter the country.
In Serbia, masks are required in all indoor locations as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible, and there is a ban on public gatherings for more than 10 people.
Serbia also happens to have one of the best under-the-radar wine regions in Europe, perfect for some off-the-beaten path exploring.
Rwanda plans to welcome international visitors once again on Aug. 1.
As part of that effort, passengers will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in the country, according to the Rwanda Development Board. Passengers will then be required to undergo a second test at the airport and quarantine at a hotel until the results are ready.
Tourists who can’t be tested at home country can be tested twice in Rwanda: once at the airport upon arrival and the second 48 hours later. Visitors can’t visit any tourist sites until after the two negative results are available.
The suspension on international flights to Tanzania has been lifted, according to the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, and travelers are expected to fill out a Health Surveillance Form on the plane.
On June 26, the Tanzania Tourist Board promoted travel to the country with a Facebook video showing health measures like hand washing and temperature checks, and touting Tanzania as a safe and “unforgettable” destination.
Turkey started opening some international air, land, and sea borders on June 11, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey. Upon arrival in Istanbul, passengers at the airport undergo a temperature check with a thermal camera, according to the airport. Visitors are not required to show any health documentation to enter or leave the country.
Masks are required to be worn in public areas throughout Turkey, including Istanbul.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, a British territory, reopened to international travel on July 22, welcoming tourists to its more than 40 small islands and pristine beaches. In order to visit the island, visitors need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of travel, have insurance that covers medevac, and complete a health screening questionnaire, according to the Minister of Tourism.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center will remain closed until August 31.
On June 5, the islands allowed retail businesses to reopen, and restaurants in most of the territory opened on July 6.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, allowed foreign tourists to return to the bustling city starting July 7, requiring visitors to download the city’s COVID-19 DXB app and register. Tourists will have to either arrive with a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than four days before departure or get tested at the airport upon arrival, according to the government.
Visitors are also required to have medical travel insurance that covers COVID-19, according to the Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing. The airport will also implement thermal temperature screenings.
Dubai has allowed services like restaurants to reopen with restrictions.