Even as many countries remain off-limits to American visitors because of the high rate of coronavirus within the United States, others have started to welcome, and in some cases woo, U.S. citizens to come spend their tourist dollars. Still, would-be vacationers generally face a host of conditions and a lot of traveler beware.
The U.S. State Department continues its Global Level 4 Health Advisory, which cautions against international travel because of the pandemic. However, it is also posting country-specific information as restrictions loosen.
[Have an update for this list? Email us at [email protected].]
Getting there is only part of the equation. Countries have their own Covid-19 mitigation measures that might include curfews or curtailed activities and services; most standard travel insurance policies won’t cover medical or travel expenses related to the coronavirus; and borders can close and flights be canceled with little warning, stranding people in foreign countries. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans to avoid contact with others for 14 days after they return from international travel.
Here is a list of countries, in alphabetical order, that as of early July were open to U.S. citizens, or are expected to open soon.
Albania reopened its borders in early June with enhanced screening and quarantine measures in place. However, because the number of coronavirus cases in the country has been increasing, the U.S. Embassy in Albania has suspended all but emergency services.
Travelers must provide a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test taken within seven days of arrival. Without proof, the government can require visitors to quarantine or to be tested and pick up the $100 expense. Temperatures will be checked at the airport and people are asked to register with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. Visitors must have a mask and wear it in public or face a possible fine of $5,000 or up to 6 months in jail. “Persons traveling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries where there are outbreaks of Covid-19,” may be required to quarantine, according to the Antigua Barbuda Tourism Authority.
Aruba first opened to Canada, Europe and most other Caribbean countries on July 1, with U.S. travelers admitted as of July 10, under certain conditions.
Residents from nearly half the states are considered to be at higher risk of Covid-19, and must upload proof of a negative test taken between 12 and 72 hours before flying or they won’t be allowed to board their flight. Residents of the other states have the option of uploading a test or having one taken at the airport in Oranjestad. The airport tests are done at the expense of travelers, who must quarantine at their lodging for up to 24 hours while awaiting results.
Island guests must purchase mandatory Aruba Visitors Insurance to cover up to $75,000 in expenses should they test positive for Covid-19 during their stay. According to an online calculator, the premium for most visitors over age 15 who are staying for a week would be just over $100, and about $10 for those under 15.
Masks are mandatory on the flight for anyone over age 15 and in the airport, but not elsewhere.
The Bahamas has been wrestling with how to contain the coronavirus after the nation’s reopening led to a spike in cases. As of late July, the country is again open to commercial flights from the United States, but travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and all inter-island travel is halted.
Despite the quarantine requirement, anyone over age 10 arriving in the country must still upload proof of a negative test for the virus taken within 10 day of their travel date. All visitors must also have an approved Health Visa, which should be filled out at least 72 hours before departure.
In addition, weekend lockdowns are in effect and a daily curfew will confine tourists to their hotel property between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. All public and private beaches and parks are closed, including those at hotels and resorts.
Commercial flights to Barbados resumed on July 12, and JetBlue is tentatively set to return on July 25 with four weekly flights out of New York’s Kennedy Airport, according to a spokeswoman with Barbados Tourism Marketing.
Travelers are expected to have the results of a negative Covid-19 test performed no more than 72 hours before arrival. If not, one will be taken upon landing or at a testing center at a designated hotel, and the person will need to quarantine while awaiting results.
Visitors also undergo a temperature check; need to complete an embarkation/disembarkation card that will ask personal health questions related to Covid-19; and must wear a mask at the airport.
Travelers from high risk settings may be monitored daily for possible symptoms with a follow-up coronavirus test on day seven. If the follow-up test is negative, the monitoring is discontinued. If a second test is not done, the monitoring will continue for 14 days. Travelers from moderate risk countries will be monitored for seven days.
Travelers arriving in Belarus from the United States do not have to self-quarantine. Temperature screening will be done at Minsk National Airport. Different travel requirements may be in place for countries that travelers transit en route from the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Belarus advises: “Due to border closures and flight cancellations, options for departing Belarus are increasingly limited. Those wishing to depart Belarus should immediately take advantage of remaining flights.”
Belize has scheduled an Aug. 15 reopening. Arriving guests who have proof of a negative Covid-19 test within the previous three days can use a “fast track” entry lane, while others will have to pay for and undergo testing at the airport. Anyone testing positive won’t be allowed to leave the country, but instead must isolate for at least 14 days at the passenger’s expense.
Visitors must stay at a “Tourism Gold Standard” hotel, which can offer full services, thereby lessening the interaction with locals. No rental cars will be available at first, and parks and tourist sites will only be accessible with an approved tour operator. Face masks are required in public.
Bermuda has an extensive screening process in place and requires a $75 fee to cover the cost of mandatory in-country Covid-19 tests given at the airport and again on day three, seven and 14 of a traveler’s stay. Visitors are also asked to bring a thermometer and a face mask.
In addition to being tested at the airport, anyone 10 and older is asked to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within three days of their flight to Bermuda (although tests taken within five days will be accepted). Those with proof of a negative test still must quarantine at their hotel for about eight hours pending the results of their airport test. Those arriving without proof of a negative test are confined to their accommodation for three days.
All travelers must complete an online travel authorization form within 48 hours of their flight, then take and record their temperature twice a day for the first 14 days of their visit. Face masks are also required.
Members of European Union countries can enter Croatia for any reason, but American tourists may visit only with proof of paid accommodation.
Travelers must present a negative result for a Covid-19 test taken within the previous 48 hours. If they have an older test result, the person can enter, but must self-quarantine until they can show another negative test, which would be taken at their own expense. Those without negative results must self-quarantine for 14 days.
The Dominican Republic reopened to tourists on July 1. Visitors must complete a Health Affidavit that attests that they haven’t experienced any Covid-19 symptoms in the past 72 hours. A temperature check will be taken at the airport. Anyone with a fever or other coronavirus symptoms will be tested. Hotels are also required to check a guest’s temperature when they arrive, as are operators of water excursions. Curfews are in effect in many places.
The United States is continuing to help repatriate Americans who stayed in Ecuador when the pandemic closed down travel. Those wanting to visit the country need to quarantine for 14 days in government-designated temporary housing or hotels. In addition, all arriving passengers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test within the previous seven days, or agree to undergo a test in the country. The government has restricted movement throughout the country and there are curfews imposed.
Egypt has restarted international flights. It is unclear what restrictions, if any, have been put in place. The State Department website says that Egypt has a 14-day quarantine period, but media reports have contradicted that.
Travelers to French Polynesia, including the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours in order to board their flights. Those arriving at the airport will be given a test kit for the virus that contains an oral and nasal swab, and on the fourth day in the islands, the visitor must complete the self-test. Tourists must also complete an electronic entry form attesting that they have travel insurance that would cover coronavirus expenses, or agreeing to personally assume all costs.
Authorities are asking nonessential travelers not to visit the Republic of Ireland, but those who do are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Tourists age 12 and older arriving from New York, Florida, Arizona and Texas must upload a negative Covid-19 test that was taken within 10 days of their arrival date. All passengers must complete a Travel Authorization screening form within 72 hours of their trip and present it at the airport or they will not be allowed to board their flight.
Arriving passengers will have their temperatures taken and be asked screening questions. If they are considered at high risk, they may be required to take a Covid-19 test. Anyone tested must quarantine at their accommodation until the results are available, generally within 48 hours. Those who test positive must isolate at their hotel or at a government facility.
All tourists staying at hotels, villas or guesthouses must remain within a designated tourist corridor, where operators have been trained in Covid-19 protocols. Masks must be worn in all common areas.
Visitors staying at a private residence are required to quarantine there for 14 days, leaving only once per day to get necessities.
The rules are in effect until July 31, though they may be extended.
Kosovo is reportedly open to visitors with no restrictions for Covid-19. However, the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo says that some U.S. citizens are being denied boarding in the United States because they cannot prove they are residents or citizens of Kosovo. For the latest information, the embassy recommends checking with it or with the airline before a flight.
Visitors must show negative results for a coronavirus test taken in the previous four days, and, if they are staying for more than a week, submit to another test given at the airport at the airline’s expense. If they arrive without a test result, they will be tested at the airport and retested 72 hours later. The passenger must self-quarantine while awaiting the results of the second test, which is at the traveler’s expense. Foreigners must also have proof of insurance that would cover any costs associated with the coronavirus.
Those who have symptoms will be tested for Covid-19, and health authorities will also check some people at random, at government expense. Those without symptoms or positive tests are not required to quarantine. A health declaration form must be filled out 24 hours before the flight and again before departure.
Visitors must have a confirmed booking at a tourist facility and the entire vacation needs to be at the same hotel, except when transiting.
Land crossings between the United States and Mexico remain closed until at least late August, but U.S. visitors can arrive by plane. Tourists may be subject to temperature checks and other health screenings, and those showing symptoms may be asked to quarantine voluntarily.
Many Mexican states are open only for essential services, while others are allowed to operate at reduced capacity. However, some local authorities have also imposed their own restrictions, so would-be travelers should check with local sources for the latest updates. The mayor of Tulum, for instance, has reportedly threatened to arrest or fine people for not wearing face masks.
There are no requirements for a Covid-19 test or self-isolation for North Macedonia, which has been going by that name only since last year (it was previously just Macedonia). Masks are required in closed public spaces.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 27, 2020
Should I refinance my mortgage?
- It could be a good idea, because mortgage rates have never been lower. Refinancing requests have pushed mortgage applications to some of the highest levels since 2008, so be prepared to get in line. But defaults are also up, so if you’re thinking about buying a home, be aware that some lenders have tightened their standards.
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
Is the coronavirus airborne?
- The coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale, mounting scientific evidence suggests. This risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and may help explain super-spreading events reported in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. It’s unclear how often the virus is spread via these tiny droplets, or aerosols, compared with larger droplets that are expelled when a sick person coughs or sneezes, or transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. Aerosols are released even when a person without symptoms exhales, talks or sings, according to Dr. Marr and more than 200 other experts, who have outlined the evidence in an open letter to the World Health Organization.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?
- So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.
When departing, travelers must arrive at the airport at least three hours before flight time. Those with symptoms of Covid-19, such as a fever of 99.1 or higher and coughing, may not be permitted to enter the airport and board their flights.
Puerto Rico has postponed its reopening to tourists from outside the territory.
When planning a future trip, travelers must have evidence of a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival and complete an online travel declaration form. If the test result is pending, they must quarantine until it is available. If the result comes back positive, or if it doesn’t arrive, the person must quarantine for 14 days. Those arriving without a test must have one done on the island at their own expense, and must quarantine while awaiting the result. Anyone not taking a test must quarantine for 14 days.
Visitors must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past seven days, unless they are coming from a country within a Caribbean “bubble.” Arriving passengers must have completed a travel registration and they will be screened and their temperatures taken. Anyone showing symptoms of the coronavirus will be tested, and if the results are positive, the person will be transferred to a hospital for treatment at their expense.
Visitors must have confirmed reservations at a Covid-19 certified accommodation provider for the duration of their stay. For at least the month of July, it will be more difficult to explore the island as there are no rental cars and only a small number of tours will be available to book through the hotels. Masks are required in public.
St. Maarten plans to start welcoming tourists from the United States on Aug. 1, having already opened up to those from Canada and Europe.
Before arrival, visitors must complete an online health declaration and receive a reply giving them permission to visit. Those over age 10 from a country identified as high or moderate risk for transmission of the coronavirus must show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flights. Only those from low-risk countries are exempt, unless they visited a higher-risk country in the two weeks before their trip to St. Maarten. In that case, they, too, must show proof of a negative test.
Travelers from moderate and high-risk countries need to bring a thermometer, and they must upload daily information about their body temperature and any flu-like symptoms. Those from moderate-risk countries must comply for eight days, while those from high-risk countries must comply for 14 day.
Travel insurance that will cover any coronavirus-related expenses is also mandatory.
Under protocols in place for the month of July, visitors will be given a Covid-19 test and must quarantine at their hotel for 24 hours while awaiting the results, unless they have proof of a negative test for the virus taken within the previous 48 hours, or a positive antibody test taken within the previous five days. Anyone who tests positive must isolate in an approved facility for 14 days at their own expense.
Those exempt from the airport test must monitor their temperature for two weeks and report any changes to health authorities.
After Aug. 1, plans call for testing to be done based on the traveler’s country of origin.
All coronavirus-related entry restrictions have been lifted for Serbia. However, some hospitals have been overwhelmed with coronavirus patients in recent days and troops this month set up an emergency 500-bed field hospital near Belgrade.
A state of emergency was declared in the capital last month as the number of new cases spiked.
Passengers arriving on an international flight to Tanzania must complete a Health Surveillance Form and undergo screening, including a possible Covid-19 test.
Visitors to Turkey will be screened using thermal cameras, and travelers with elevated temperatures may be subject to testing. Foreign passengers who test positive for Covid-19 will be referred to a private hospital. Face masks are required in many areas. Violators may be fined about $130.
The Turks and Caicos Islands reopened its borders on July 22. The country is requiring a negative test result taken within five days of travel. Visitors also must have insurance that covers any Covid-19 related medical costs, as well as an air ambulance or medevac. A Travel Authorization Form must be completed by all passengers before boarding a plane to the islands, and a health screening questionnaire also needs to be filled out.
U.S. citizens can enter Ukraine if they can show they have medical insurance covering all expenses related to possible Covid-19 treatment. Ukraine currently classifies the United States as a country with a high incidence of coronavirus, which means that U.S. travelers should be prepared to self-quarantine for two weeks at their own expense or take a test upon arrival. Test results are emailed within 24 hours, and passengers should follow the self-quarantine protocol until the results are sent to health authorities.
The government is using a four-color scale (green, yellow, orange and red) to identify the virus risk in each region, and quarantine orders may differ by color.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Travelers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 96 hours of their flight in order to board a commercial aircraft to the country. Many passengers are also tested upon arrival, and some may need to self quarantine or may be sent to a quarantine facility. The U.S. embassy says all people arriving in the U.A.E. are urged to self quarantine for 14 days. International health insurance is also required.
While Dubai is open, those wanting to enter Abu Dhabi must show proof of a test conducted in the previous 48 hours, or schedule an appointment for a blood test.
Fines for violators can range from $250 to more than $27,000.
The list of “travel corridor” countries — countries whose residents are allowed into England with few restrictions — is growing, but the United States is still not on it. As a result, anyone arriving from the United States must be prepared to isolate for 14 days, or face a penalty of up to $1,250. Passengers transiting in an airport are exempt, as are those going directly from one port to another; for instance, from Heathrow to Eurostar.