Where Can Americans Travel Internationally Right Now?
Remember pre-COVID when an American passport meant you could pretty much go anywhere in the world? Feels like a lifetime ago now. With any luck, the travel climate will return to normal in the foreseeable future. But for the time being, here’s the current update on where Americans are allowed to travel with masks and travel-sized sanitizer in hand. (Editor’s note: as of Jan. 15, 2021.)
If a country is not listed below, it is currently closed to non-essential travel by Americans. Those with dual passports may be able to travel on their second passport, but should check the country tourism website for any restrictions or requirements. This list doesn’t take into account if there are State Department warnings about traveling to said countries, so be sure to look at that as well. Finally, keep in mind to re-check the policy before you travel, just in case it has changed from when you originally booked your trip.
Note: Effective Jan. 26, air passengers returning to the United States are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within three days on their flight departure. See the CDC website for more details.
Back in March 2020, restrictive measures were put in place to temporarily restrict non-essential travel to Canada and Mexico. Those restrictions are still in effect for land borders; however, traveling by plane to Mexico without a COVID-19 test is allowed.
The European Union (which includes France, Germany, Italy and Spain) has a blanket policy that closed its external borders on March 17, 2020, and has been gradually lifting restrictions for other countries. A few EU members have different policies, however.
You are allowed to visit Ireland, without presenting a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, but you must self-isolate for five days instead of the original 14 days. On the fifth day, you have to take a PCR test and if your results are negative, you can break free from isolation. If the results are positive, then you must remain in quarantine.
In order to enter Croatia, you must pay for your accommodation before entering the country and show proof of the reservation. You also must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours and undergo another test upon arrival.
As for non-EU member countries, the United Kingdom will let you in, but you have to self-isolate for 14 days. (If you don’t comply, you’ll face a fine of 1,000 GBP.) The UK has the same option as Ireland, where you can take a PCR test on day five of isolation and if you get negative results, you can end your quarantine.
Albania reopened its borders on July 1. Your temperature will be taken at the airport, but there’s no testing or quarantine periods.
Serbia is now open to Americans, and you do not have to show any health evidence or quarantine. In Bosnia and Herzegovina you must also upload a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days of departure before arriving. To visit Montenegro or North Macedonia, you need a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival.
Ukraine has opened its borders to all foreigners, but entry requirements are divided into Red and Green Zones, based on your origin country. Green Zone countries don’t have to quarantine, but, the US is considered a Red Zone country. So, this means you will need to quarantine for 14 days or bring a negative PCR test with you (no older than 48 hours before arrival, so factor in travel time). If you don’t want to do either of those, then upon arrival you can download an app with a Ukrainian SIM card/phone number and within the first 24 hours in Ukraine, take a PCR test at an authorized lab and then self-isolate for 24-48 hours. If you test positive, then you have to spend 14 days in isolation.
Cambodia is now open again to U.S. tourists with a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to travel. In addition, you have to pay a $3,000 (USD) deposit to cover COVID testing, isolation and healthcare, including $1,500 for funeral costs. You also need to have health insurance coverage of $50,000.
The Maldives fully opened on Aug. 1 (previously only hotels on uninhabited islands were open), but it’s mandatory to have a confirmed booking in a place registered with the Ministry of Tourism before traveling. You have to fill out a health declaration card and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.
Sri Lanka opened on Aug. 1, but you must have a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to departure and then take more tests upon arrival and on the fourth and tenth days of your trip.
South Korea has a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at your own expense. The prices are set by the Korean authorities and nightly costs range from $100-$500, so it could cost you a few grand before you even get a chance to sightsee.
Anguilla opened once again to international visitors, including Americans, on Aug. 21. Before traveling, you need to fill out an application form on the Visit Anguilla website and upload results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to travel as well as proof of a health insurance policy that covers any coronavirus-related medical expenses. Upon arrival on the island, you must quarantine at your resort for 10 days and take another Covid test at the end of the quarantine period.
Antigua and Barbuda reopened to Americans on June 4. Bring proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken less than 7 days before arrival, and be prepared to pay $100 per person to take a COVID test at the airport.
After opening first to Canadians and Europeans, Aruba is now open to Americans. That said, travelers need to either upload proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure as part of a required online Embarkation/Disembarkation form or take a PCR test at your own expensive upon arrival at the airport, depending on what state you’re coming from. All visitors must purchase “Aruba Visitors Insurance” as part of your trip, though some hotels are covering this cost in their rates.
The Bahamas are now welcoming U.S. citizens. All travelers must complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application online before the flight and upload negative COVID-19 PCR test results taken within 5 days of arrival. Americans must also purchase a health insurance plan, at the cost of $40-$60 depending on the length of the stay.
Barbados started welcoming Americans again in July, and travelers must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure. You’ll have to fill out an Embarkation/Disembarkation Card and answer some health questions about coronavirus symptoms. If you don’t take the test beforehand, you will have to take it upon arrival and then be quarantined at your own expense until you get the test results (about 48 hours later).
Bermuda opened its doors on July 1, requiring that visitors bring a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their arrival on the island and have appropriate health insurance. You will also have to fill out a traveler screening form and arrival card.
American visitors to Curacao can enter with a negative COVID-19 test result from the last 72 hours prior to arrival, and will fill out a passenger locator card once in the country for tracing purposes.
Dominica reopened on Aug. 7 and you must bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours of arriving on the island. You will also need to fill out a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival. All travelers will undergo an additional test at the airport.
The Dominican Republic is open to Americans without a COVID-19 test, and is offering free COVID-19 health insurance to tourists staying in hotels on the island.
Grenada requires a negative test within 10 days of arrival. After getting to the island, visitors must take another test and spend the first 14 days in quarantine at a location of their choosing (unless positive, in which case, you'll quarantine at a state facility.)
Turks and Caicos became ready for your arrival back on July 22, but you must obtain pre-authorization via an online form before traveling, including a negative test result taken within 5 days of arrival. The form asks health questions and asks you to provide consent to a number of declarations. You cannot board the flight without this travel authorization.
Jamaica reopened on June 15, but travelers need to apply in advance for a Jamaican COVID travel authorization. Visitors need to upload a negative test within 10 days of travel to get the authorization. You’ll be tested on arrival and quarantined if necessary.
St. Barts reopened on June 22 and Americans (aged 11 and older) staying for one week are required to show a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of your arrival. If you are staying longer than a week, then on the 8th day, you will be required to take another test in St. Barts at your own expense. If you test positive, you have to self-quarantine for 14 days or until you re-test negative.
St. Kitts & Nevis welcomed Americans starting on Oct. 31, but travelers need to complete an entry form on the national website and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72 hours of travel from an accredited laboratory. At the airport, you'll undergo a health screening that includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire, and will need to download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app. If you're there for a week, you are freee to move about your approved hotel, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities. Longer stays will require another PCR test (at your expense, every 7 days) in order to book any select excursions or integrate into St. Kitts & Nevis.
Saint Lucia requires all visitors to show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 7 days before arriving on the island. Everyone will be screened and have their temperature taken. If you’re symptomatic, you’ll be immediately isolated and tested; if positive, you’ll be transferred to a respiratory hospital for treatment and care at your own cost. If negative, you will still need to remain on your hotel property except when participating in water-based excursions arranged by your hotel.
St. Maarten officially opened its borders to Americans on Aug. 1. Please note that this is the Dutch side only; the French side, St. Martin, is still closed. You must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 120 hours of your arrival to the island. You also need to fill out an entry form that must be uploaded no later than 12 hours prior to departure.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines reopened in the summer and had already been requiring a negative COVID-19 result within seven days of arrival, but now the country requires proof of a fully paid reservation in an approved hotel for five nights as well as an initial quarantine in said hotel for five days. All travelers will be tested immediately upon arrival, but US travelers will be tested again before their release from quarantine.
Central & South America
After delaying its August reopening, Belize reopened on Oct. 1. You have to download the Belize Health App to complete required information and be given a unique ID to travel within the Tourism Safe Corridor. Book your stay at an approved Gold Standard Hotel. Within 72 hours of boarding your flight, take a PCR test to help fast-track your arrival process. Upon arrival, travel to the hotel via sanitized, approved transportation. At the hotel, you'll receive a temperature check, and here you can book Gold Standard tour operators for activities. Prepare for daily health monitoring via the Belize Health App.
As of Nov. 1, Costa Rica is now open to all Americans with a negative test within 72 hours of arrival. Previously, it was only open to Americans from certain states and those showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Travelers to Costa Rica will be tested again upon arrival in country, and will need to fill out a health form and provide proof of health insurance.
Panama's international borders reopened on Oct. 12. Travelers need a negative test taken with 48 hours of arrival, although if you have an older test, you can take a rapid test upon arrival to clear quarantine.
Ecuador opened its borders to Americans on June 1, but you must provide proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken no more than 10 days before entering the country. If you don’t provide proof, you have to take a PCR test at your own expense and then be quarantined. If you have no symptoms at the airport, you do not need to perform mandatory quarantine and you can move freely within the continental territory. (The Galapagos Islands are still closed to visitors.)
Brazil is open to Americans without a COVID-19 test. Chile requires a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to arrival, as well as proof of health insurance to cover potential costs. Peru has the same window (72 hours) and requires you sign a health affidavit.
In Colombia, a negative test is required within 96 hours of arrival. To visit Guatemala or Honduras, the window is 72 hours.
Africa & the Middle East
Turkey does not require a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine upon arrival.
Egypt is open with a negative COVID test within the previous 72 hours. All passengers are required to have their temperature taken, full out a Public Health card and show proof of a valid health insurance policy.
The United Arab Emirates is still mainly closed to US citizens, but Dubai opened back on July 7. You need to take a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of your flight and show your airline a negative result. Emirates is currently offering COVID travel insurance for free to passengers that book and travel by Jan. 31, 2021.
South Africa allows entry if you have a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Ethiopia has the same 3-day requirement.
Kenya will let you in with a negative test that's no older than 96 hours, plus passing a health and temperature screen upon arrival.
To visit Morocco, you will need two things: a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of arrival and a reservation with a hotel or travel agency.
Australia & Pacific
French Polynesia reopened its borders on July 15, but before you can board a plane, you need to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test carried out within three days prior to departure and submit the receipt via an electronic form. You also have to take another COVID test four days after arriving in the Tahitian islands.