Even as many countries remain off-limits to American visitors because of the high rate of coronavirus within the United States, about two dozen 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.
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.
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. As of late June, indoor bars, restaurants and nightclubs were closed, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
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 to be admitted as of July 10, under certain conditions.
Residents from more than 20 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 and in the airport, but not elsewhere.
The Bahamas reopened this month to those who can present proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within a week of arrival. Only those under age 2 are exempt unless the traveler is from a state that doesn’t test those under age 10.
Visitors must complete a Travel Health form and temperatures will be taken at the airport, where masks must also be worn. (They also must be worn in taxis.)
Parts of the Bahamas are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Dorian and tourism is an essential part of the economy. To try to reassure visitors, the government has introduced a “Clean & Pristine” certification program to verify that participating businesses are following health and safety guidelines for tourists.
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 8 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.
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.
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.
French Polynesia, including the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, plans to reopen to all international tourists beginning July 15. In order to board their flight, travelers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours. They 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 from July 10 on 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.
Kosovo is open to visitors with no restrictions for Covid-19, although it is recommended that travelers have a negative test within four days of arrival. Officials at Pristina International Airport are asking that those arriving or departing be accompanied by only one person in order to reduce congestion.
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.
The Maldives are planning for a two-part reopening, with resorts and liveaboard boats on uninhabited islands starting to take bookings as of July 15, and inhabited islands following from Aug. 1.
Passengers need to fill out a health declaration card, and anyone with symptoms will be required to pay for and take a coronavirus test. Additionally, local health authorities may conduct random testing at no cost to the visitor. Tourists arriving in the Maldives will be provided a free 30-day visa.
Land crossings between the United States and Mexico remain closed until at least July 21, 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.
Fifteen Mexican states are open only for essential services, but 17 others are allowing hotels and restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity. That means that some resorts in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, La Paz and Loreto are at least partially open for business.
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. Groups larger than two people are prohibited in public places, except for children under 14 with their parents.
Beginning July 9, 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 the 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.
Princess Juliana International Airport has reopened to Canada and Europe, with the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao saying flights from the United States won’t be allowed until at least July 15. All travelers over age 10 must complete an online health declaration and show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Passengers will be screened at the airport and anyone with symptoms will be given a test at their expense.
Movement is allowed between the French and Dutch sides of the island. Casinos are open on the Dutch side. Restaurants and bars are open, with masks required.
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 negative test for antibodies 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 week 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 all gathering places.
In addition, those under the age of 18 can go out only in the company of a parent, while those over 65 can go out only between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The Turks and Caicos have announced that international visitors may return to the country beginning on July 22. Details have not yet been announced.
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.
All airline passengers will be tested for the coronavirus upon arrival. Regardless of the test result, visitors must complete a 14-day quarantine at their own expense. While Dubai is open, some parts of the country, including Abu Dhabi, are closed to visitors. Those who break the rules could be fined in excess of $27,000.
The list of “travel corridor” 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.