Is international travel allowed? See reopening details for Jamaica, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands, more
Americans with a bad case of wanderlust may have to wait to vacation abroad – and while some countries have reopened or announced target dates to reopen, the pickings may be slim for a while.
Parts of the Caribbean and Europe have reopened from coronavirus restrictions, but the European Union extended its travel ban on Americans.
The EU first started lifting international travel restrictions on July 1, welcoming visitors from 14 countries, including Canada, South Korea and Australia. The U.S. was left off that initial list, and Americans remain barred from visiting the bloc.
Though the U.S. State Department has lifted its advisory on avoiding international travel issued in March, the agency is returning to its system of country-specific advisories, noting that the customary level 1 through 4 advisories for specific countries on Travel.State.gov provide more detailed information about specific conditions in individual countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a travel notice system and recommends against "nonessential travel" to much of the world.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here's an update on some of the countries that are most popular with American travelers:
Border status report: Americans and Canadians won't be able to cross the border in either direction for nonessential travel until Aug. 21, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
What can travelers expect once they're allowed in? There's a major loophole in the border-closure policy: The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa said the order does not apply to "air, rail, or sea travel at this time, but does apply to commuter rail and ferry travel."
According to the Canadian Border Services Agency, anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of that country must prove they are traveling for an essential purpose, are only transiting or are an immediate family member of a citizen or permanent resident. They must also have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted.
'It was the right thing': Trudeau announces extension of US-Canada border closure
When will the border open? Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced that theland border with Mexico would remain closed until at least Aug. 20.
But like the U.S.-Canadian closure order, the Mexican version does not apply to air, rail or sea travel, except for commuter rail and ferry travel.
Border status report: While the Central American country reopened to visitors from Europe and Canada on Aug. 1, it hasn't said when it will welcome back Americans.
What can tourists expect? Passengers entering Costa Rica from an approved flight must present negative COVID-19 test results taken within the last 48 hours and purchase insurance covering accommodations for quarantine and hospitalization, should they get sick. Passengers must also complete digital epidemiological forms, available in multiple languages.
Border status: Although it previously appeared that the British overseas territory north of St. Maarten would not open to foreign tourists until at least Halloween, its tourism board announced via Twitter Aug. 17 that it will begin accepting entry applications via its website, IVisitAnguilla.com, on Aug. 21.
What can tourists expect?According to details provided to Travel Weekly, once a visitor's application has been approved, he or she will be required to submit a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken no earlier than five days before travel and proof of a health insurance policy that covers coronavirus treatment. If Anguilla grants an electronic certificate authorizing travel, the visitor must remain at their hotel until a second PCR test is administered on Day 10 of the visit. If that test comes back negative, the tourist may then move about the island freely.
Border status report: The Aruba Tourism Authority says the island is open to tourists but with restrictions.
What can tourists expect? All visitors must complete a disembarkation card with contact-tracing details such as their date of birth, passport information and the duration of their stay as well as completing a health assessment interview. While all visitors 15 and older must present a negative PCR test result, visitors from hot-spot states must complete their test 72 hours before departure or take one test before leaving and a second upon arrival at the airport. Others may opt to be tested upon arrival. The testing fee is $75.
Border status report: After barring Americans from entry earlier this month as COVID-19 cases resurged, the Bahamas issued an update on July 31 saying travelers from the United States are once again welcome, so long as they follow strict protocol, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
What can tourists expect? Travelers can quarantine in a private residence or rented accommodation, such as an Airbnb, where it's possible to isolate in a bedroom with a connected bathroom; in a hotel room with a connected bathroom; or on a private boat. If travelers don't have access to an approved quarantine location, then they will have to spend two weeks in a government-mandated quarantine facility, at their own expense.
Travelers will also have to download an app on their phones to assist with contact tracing. Refusing to download the app is a deportable offense. They must also apply for a Bahamas health visa and have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited lab that was taken within 10 days.
After the 14-day quarantine, travelers will need to test negative on another COVID-19 test in order to leave quarantine.
Though the Bahamas remains open to international visitors, Prime Minster Hubert Minnis announced a national, two-week lock down starting Aug. 4 to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. During this time, all businesses throughout the country, including curbside and takeaway dining and retail, must suspend operations. Residents may leave their homes only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to retrieve essential items including groceries, water, medication and gas. On Aug. 6, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory urging Americans not to travel to the Bahamas due to COVID-19 health concerns and warning of increased crime.
Border status report: The island has reopened to U.S. tourists with with restrictions as of July 12.
Barbados' tourism site says that all visitors must complete an online customs entry form. And while an advance COVID-19 test is not required, one is recommended in order to have your application form fast-tracked; anyone who doesn't provide one will be tested upon arrival.
Border status report: According to an Aug. 7 press release, The Cayman Islands are postponing reopening by a month until at least Oct. 1, when it will reassess COVID-19 trends.
What can tourists expect? Prior to the postponement announcement, the British overseas territory had outlined the first phase of reopening. During this period, visitors and returning residents must register for permission to travel on a government-arranged repatriation flight or by private air. All passengers over the age of 10 must provide results of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of traveling.
The Cayman Islands are also collaborating with BioIntelliSense, a U.S.-based biotech company, on wearable tech for arriving travelers. They plan to use "BioButtons" to monitor their heart rates, respiratory rates and skin temperature for symptoms of COVID-19.
Eligible travelers can choose to wear a BioButton and self-isolate in their choice of residence for five days before taking a second PCR test. If negative, they must continue wearing a BioButton for nine more days, but they will not be required to self-isolate. Those who choose not to wear a BioButton must quarantine in a government-managed facility for 14 days.
Border status report: According to a press release issued July 21, Dominica will reopen its borders to international travelers Aug. 7 — so long as travelers comply with a lengthy list of health and safety protocols.
What can tourists expect? All passengers must submit a health questionnaire at least 24 hours prior to their arrival in Dominica and show notification of clearance to travel. They must also submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24 to 72 hours before their arrival. Upon arriving, passengers must wear face masks at all times up to and including departure from the airport, follow physical-distancing guidelines, practice good respiratory and personal sanitization, and obey the instructions of health care staff and officials.
As part of the disembarkation process, arriving passengers must also sanitize their hands, undergo a health assessment that includes a temperature check, provide confirmation of their health questionnaires and negative PCR test results, and undergo test screening with a negative result.
Border status report: Americans are allowed back in Grenada, but because the U.S. is considered a high-risk country, there are additional requirements.
What can tourists expect? According to the government's entry requirements document, visitors from high-risk countries must present a completed health form and a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. They will also have to take a second CPR test at their own expense within 48 hours of arrival and quarantine in a government-approved facility until the results come back. They must also download Grenada's contact-tracing app by the time they arrive and keep it on their phones for the duration of their quarantine period, which may last up to 14 days. They will also be required to wear a geofencing watch for that period.
Border status report: The Caribbean island began welcoming back international tourists on July 15.
What can tourists expect? While all tourists must complete an online travel authorization form and undergo a health screening, Jamaica's official tourism site says anyone over 12 from the U.S., Mexico, the Dominican Republic or Brazil traveling there after Aug. 20 must submit a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test from an accredited lab taken within 10 days of travel.
In a press release, Jamaica's Tourist Board also warned that travelers from areas deemed not to be high-risk may still be subject to testing. In addition, it said, "Those with negative results – as well as those who do not require testing – must adhere to the Stay in Zone order, which requires persons to remain at their hotel or resort within the Resilient Corridor for the duration of their stay. Those who are screened and assessed and show symptoms upon arrival will be subject to swab testing and must quarantine in their hotel room until test results are available."
Border status report: Tourists are already being welcomed back in this U.S. territory.
What can tourists expect? Starting July 15, all passengers have to wear a mask and must take a molecular test 72 hours prior to their arrival. The test results must be submitted to officials at the airport. Travelers who test positive for the virus or refuse to hand over results or do not yet have results available will be forced into a two-week quarantine. During that time, they have to undergo a molecular test and share the results if they want to be released from quarantine, said Puerto Rico Health Secretary Lorenzo González.
Border status report: According to its website, St. Barts is currently open to citizens of Schengen Treaty (European) countries. It has not said when it will welcome back Americans.
What can tourists expect: Visitors ages 11 and up must present a negative COVID-19 test taken with 72 hours of travel and give a sworn statement that they have not had exhibited symptoms or been in contact with someone who tested positive within the last 14 days. A second test within the seven days after arrival is also encouraged.
St. Kitts & Nevis
Border status report: The tourism website for the islands, quoted Prime Minister Timothy Harris as saying they will reopen in October but did not specify a date.
What tourists can expect: The tourism site also says that all inbound travelers are required to email a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Law. They must quarantine for 14 days after arrival and then undergo a second test. Visitors will be released at that point if they test negative.
Border status report: The island's tourism board says it is open.
What can tourists expect? All arriving passengers must have a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than seven days before arriving in St. Lucia, the island's tourism site advises. Once there, they must wear face masks and practice social distancing.
Border status report: St. Maarten reopened to U.S. tourists on Aug. 1, according to its tourism board.
What can tourists expect? All passengers must take a COVID-19 test with proof of a negative result no more than 72 hours before arrival. Children who are 10 or younger do not need to take a COVID-19 test. Travelers also must fill out a health declaration form (and should bring a printout with them).
Additionally, all travelers will be subject to a mandatory temperature check on arrival. Passengers showing symptoms will have to take a COVID-19 test, at additional cost to the traveler.
Turks & Caicos
Border status report: According to its official tourism site, the British territory is open to U.S. tourists.
What can tourists expect? Travelers need a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within five days of travel (the travel day does not count towards that period). The test result is a requirement to obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorization to enter the country.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Border status report: The islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John are open to tourists but with restrictions.
What can tourists expect? According to the USVI tourism bureau, any visitor aged 15 or up must must complete a pre-screening form. Furthermore, anyone who resides in Puerto Rico or a state where the COVID-19 positivity rate is higher than 10% must provide a negative COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test result received within five days prior to travel or a positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months of travel. Travelers who have spent more than seven days in a hot spot must also submit a test. (Note that the five-day window is related to receiving test results, not taking the test itself.)
Although European Union countries reopened to some international travelers on July 1, the bloc has barred Americans from entering for the time being due to the United States' high COVID-19 infection rate. .
EU officials determined which countries' visitors will be allowed by looking at the trend in new infections, testing capacity, contact tracing and other steps countries have taken to contain the virus outbreak inside their borders, Kasper Zeuthen, a senior media adviser for the EU’s delegation to the U.S., told USA TODAY.
Adalbert Jahnz, a spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels, the EU's executive branch, told USA TODAY that lists would likely be reviewed every two weeks as new information about coronavirus trends in different countries becomes apparent.
Here are more details about specific countries' plans:
Border status report: Austria began accepting visitors from some European countries June 16.
According to the country's official tourism site, visitors entering Austria from other Schengen treaty countries must submit a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test that was issued in the last four days. Tourists from outside the EU still may not fly into Austria for the time being.
Border status report: Greece started its tourism season on June 15 and expanded international flights to its regional airports on July 1.
Greek authorities say incoming travelers arriving at the country’s land border with Bulgaria will have to carry a negative COVID-19 test results issued within the previous 72 hours.
Border status report: Tourism minister Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir announced earlier this month that Iceland, which is part of the European Economic Area but not an EU member country, will begin easing restrictions on foreign tourists no later than June 15.
One condition of admission is that visitors must either be tested for coronavirus or spend two weeks in quarantine. However, citizens of countries that provide government records documenting a clean bill of health can opt to submit those instead, Reuters reported.
Regardless of which option visitors choose, they will be asked to download a contact-tracing app.
“Iceland’s strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far,” Gylfadottir told Reuters, explaining the country's relatively low rate of infection and death as well as its quick rebound.
Border status report: Although it is open to residents of other European countries, Canada and some in Asia and Africa, "U.S citizens cannot enter Spain unless they meet very specific requirements or have already obtained special permission from the Government of Spain," according to the website for the American embassy in Madrid.
What can tourists expect? "All travelers arriving in Spain by air or sea will go through a health check," the country's official tourism site says. "This check may include having their temperature taken, checking their documents, and a visual examination of the passenger’s state of health. In all cases, you must show your health control form."
The U.S. Embassy also advises that masks are required for everyone ages six and up in public areas at all times.
""There are few exceptions to this rule such as medical waivers, eating or drinking, or while practicing sports," it notes. "Large gatherings of people in public spaces are also limited in many regions."
Border status report: While travel from America is not prohibited, anyone who has been the U.S. in the past 14 days is required to self-quarantine once in Italy, according to the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
What can tourists expect? "All persons traveling to Italy from any foreign location are required to provide their airline or Italian law enforcement officials with a self-declaration form prior to travel," according to the U.S. Embassy in Milan.
Border status report: "Travel to France from outside the European zone remains restricted," the website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautions. And as of Aug. 5, travelers coming from the U.S. must present “results of a negative virology COVID-19 test (a PCR test for example), carried out less than 72 hours before the flight" in order to board. Travelers may also be required to quarantine for 14 days.
What can tourists expect? "Cloth face coverings are mandatory in indoor settings and on public transportation," the U.S. Embassy in Paris warns. Some cities have made face coverings mandatory in some outdoor areas, as well, and failure to comply could result in a fine.
Border status report: "Germany will only allow EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain specific countries to enter. The United States is not one of those countries," the website for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin says.
According to the German Foreign Office, foreign nationals from unapproved countries are not permitted to enter Germany unless they meet certain criteria, such as as transiting, reuniting with their German partner or family or they are a healthcare provider or other essential worker. However, it says, "The question of whether travel to Germany is permitted depends on where the person travelling has previously been staying, not on their nationality."
What can tourists expect? "Regardless of the criteria stated above, the decision on whether to permit entry is at the discretion of the Federal Police at the border," the Foreign Office warns, adding that travelers must obey the quarantine rule of the individual German states they plan to enter. The U.S. Embassy added that some states allow travelers from unapproved countries to bypass quarantine if they can provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited lab conducted in the 48 hours prior to their entry and keep the results with them for 14 days.
Border status report: Much of Europe may not be welcoming Americans, but Croatia began allowing American tourists back in as of July 1.
"All EU/EEA nationals and individuals holding permanent residence in the EU/EEA countries can enter Croatia freely, without restrictions," according to the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. "All other foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, may enter Croatia for business, tourism, or other pressing personal reasons, if they provide relevant proof."
Border status report: Until Sept. 8, the Scandinavian country has reopened only to residents of nations that have fewer than eight new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, according to Finland's tourism site. The U.S. is not currently on the list of approved countries, though the list will be reviewed after two weeks.
What can tourists expect? "Finnish airports are now open for passenger traffic and strongly recommend using face masks," the site says, though it notes they are not required. Ports with border crossings are also open.
Border status report: Foreign nationals are allowed to visit but those from countries other than those on the U.K.'s pre-approved list (which does not include the U.S.) must provide their travel and contact information no earlier than 48 hours before travel.
What can tourists expect? Foreign nationals from outside the list of approved countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. They must bring a a printed copy of the document attached to the confirmation email or provide an electronic copy on their smartphone. The government will use the contact information from the form to confirm they are obeying the quarantine rule. Visitors who refuse to provide their contact information or who violate their quarantine more than once face a fine equivalent to $130.
Asia and the South Pacific
Border status report: Australia's ban on foreign nationals is expected to continue for the rest of 2020, based on comments by the country's treasurer in late July. His agency's economic modeling is based on the assumption that travel will resume in January, though he said no decision has been made.
“In terms of the borders, the assumptions are that it very gradually starts to come back that the quarantine is applied, that you start bringing in some international students – that is work that we have been undertaking," he said.
Border status report: "The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19," according to the country's immigration service. The only exceptions are for essential and humanitarian workers, permanent residents, visa holders and the partner or dependents of citizens or visa holders.
Don't expect New Zealand to open to visitors from outside the South Pacific until at least next year, based on comments from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who told The New Zealand Herald earlier this week that she doesn't expect to formalize the country's first "travel bubble" with the Cook Islands until the end of 2020.
Border status report: Bali started putting together its reopening plan for tourism, including allowing foreign tourists beginning Sept. 11.
Foreign travelers arriving in Cambodia need to pay a $3,000 deposit after getting to the airport to cover COVID-19 testing in addition to potential treatment (with more specifics on the financial details here).
Border status report: China's current ban on international tourists remains in effect, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing says it "cannot forecast when these policies will be lifted or amended."
Border status report: Americans and anyone who has been to the U.S. in the past 14 days are still banned from traveling to Japan except in cases of emergency, according to the country's official tourism site.
What can tourists expect? Visitors are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, though they can apply for exemption by submitting a negative RT-PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel to the online portal. However, all travelers are required to complete a self-declaration form within 72 hours of travel or upon arrival in India as well as a form attesting that the information on their application is true. If Indian authorities discover any part is falsified, that traveler could face prosecution.
Border status report: The island, located off the southern tip of India, reopened on July 15. However, inter-island travel is prohibited and visitors must stay at the same resort for the duration of their visit.
What can tourists expect? According to the Maldives' official tourism site, visitors need:
- A confirmed booking at a registered lodging establishment
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Confirmed return ticket
- Completed Health Declaration Form to be filled out twice: 24 hours before your flight to the Maldives and once more before you depart from the Maldives.
- On-arrival visas (free for 30 days)
The website also notes that all tourists will undergo a temperature check upon arrival and may be chosen for a random, voluntary and free COVID-19 PCR test. And while quarantine is not required for anyone who does not display COVID-19 symptoms, masks are mandatory at the airport, during domestic travel and in all enclosed public spaces.
Border status report: Short-term visitors are not allowed entry into Singapore, the island's tourism website said in mid-July. The only exceptions are those from neighboring countries with "fast lane" agreements (such as China) or who have special prior approval. Approved visitors must be tested for COVID-19.
Border status report: "Most foreign nationals remain barred from entering Thailand," according to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. "The Royal Thai Government has also extended its ban on inbound international passenger flights until further notice."
Border status report: International travelers were welcomed back in the east African country as of Aug. 1, according to the website for the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.
What can tourists expect? Visitors' temperatures must not exceed 99.5°F and they must not exhibit flu-like symptoms. Travelers (except those from California, Florida and Texas) will be exempted from quarantine if they present a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours before travel. And while the country does not require a negative COVID-19 test result for entry, travelers should check to see whether their airline requires it as a condition for boarding. try as of Aug. 1, according to the website for the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.
Also be aware that Kenya has extended its nightly, 9 p.m.-to-4 a.m. curfew through August. After that time, you must present evidence of travel reservations for that night.
Border status report:According to the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco has extended its state of emergency through Sept. 10. All regularly scheduled commercial flights to/from Morocco remain suspended, as do ferries to/from Spain.
Border status report: Aviation minister Sen. Hadi Sirika announced Monday during a televised presidential COVID-19 task force briefing that the country will resume international flights at Lagos and Abuja beginning Aug. 29, CNN and Al Jazeera reported. He said details such as entry requirements will be announced at a later date.
Border status report: Commercial flights to Rwanda resumed on Aug. 1.
As of June 17, Rwanda has been open for tourism and international travel can resume for charter flights. However, passengers entering Rwanda must present two negative COVID-19 RT-PCR tests. According to the Rwanda Development Board, one test must be taken within 72 hours of departure, and they must take a second COVID-19 test before visiting tourist attractions. Those who can't test in their origin countries can get tested twice in Rwanda.
"Rwanda’s tourism industry is adapting to create a safe environment for travelers and operators, in order to thrive in these unprecedented times," Belise Kariza, the Chief Tourism Officer at Rwanda Development Board said in a statement. "We encourage all travel enthusiasts and nature explorers to take advantage of this unique opportunity to venture out and experience the beauty and adventure that our country has to offer."
Border status report: The west African nation reopened to international travel on July 15. However, the country's land and sea borders will remain closed until future notice.
What can tourists expect? "Despite the end of the State of Emergency in Senegal, some leisure facilities will remain closed indefinitely due to social distancing measures, and markets will remain closed once per week for cleaning," the embassy website advised. "Use of facial coverings remains mandatory in public and private offices, public places and markets, and on public transportation."
Border status report: The eastern African nation reopened to international travel in June.
What can tourists expect? According to the U.S. State Department website, all visitors entering Tanzania must present a valid COVID-19 certificate from an approved laboratory in a departure country tested within 72 hours before travel. They are also required to complete a health surveillance form on their inbound flight and turn it in upon arrival.
Border status report: "At the moment, and until further notice, entry to Israel will be refused to non-citizens or non-residents of Israel arriving from anywhere in the world," its official tourism site says. "In exceptional cases, one may apply for approval of the Foreign Ministry subject to proof of the ability to remain in self-isolation for 14 days."
Border status report: According to the U.S. Embassy in Amman, the Jordanian government has postponed the reopening of its borders to international flights and visitors from approved countries until Aug. 18. The U.S. is not yet on the "green" list, but officials will review the epidemiological situation every two weeks.
What can tourists expect? Visitors must have a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of travel and then take a second test upon arrival at the airport, where they must wait for results. The fee, which must be paid in advance, is equivalent to $56. They must also complete health declaration and locator forms that are available online. Foreign nationals must also show they have health insurance that would cover treatment for the duration of their visit and download Aman, a mobile contact-tracing app for the duration of their stay in the country.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Border status report: Dubai opened its borders to international travelers on July 7.
What can tourists expect? In order to travel, tourists must take a COVID-19 test within 96 hours of their flight and show the airline a negative result, according to its official tourism site. Otherwise, they will be tested on arrival and required to isolate while awaiting the results, which travelers say typically takes a few hours.
Travelers must also have health insurance covering COVID-19 or sign a declaration agreeing to cover the costs of treatment and isolation. They are also required to register their travel details in an app.
Contributing: Jenna Ryu, Charles Trepany and David Oliver, USA TODAY; Associated Press