Note: International travel restrictions and guidelines are changing regularly. The information below is accurate as of the time of publication (Friday, June 26). You should not travel if you are unwell.
After months of staying at home in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), some Americans are dreaming of a summer vacation.
Many countries are not currently welcoming international visitors in order to keep their citizens safe and healthy. And others, like the 27 nations that make up the European Union, will likely not allow Americans upon reopening on July 1 due to the U.S.’s inability to contain its coronavirus outbreak. The nation set a new record for daily infections on July 24 with well over 36,000 new reported cases, surpassing the previous high from April.
With the E.U. out of the question for the time being, we put together a list of 12 countries where American tourist dollars are welcome either right now, or in the near future — from the beaches of Bermuda to the cobblestoned streets of Serbia.
Travelers should be aware, however, that many international tourism guidelines are continuously changing as governments watch the global spread of the virus closely. Be sure to check the most recent information before you plan a trip. If you are unwell, you should not travel. And if you do head out, remember wearing a facial covering, social distancing and good hygiene help ensure you’re protected upon leaving the house.
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Reopening date: July 10
On June 11, the Government of Aruba announced that they would be welcoming visitors from most of the Caribbean, Europe and Canada on July 1, followed by visitors from the U.S. on July 10. Their borders were first closed to international visitors in early March.
In order to be permitted entry, travelers must complete an “Embarkation/Disembarkation form,” provide a self-health declaration 72 hours prior to travel and provide documentation of the requisite health insurance coverage. A negative PCR test (nasal swab test) from at most 72 hours prior to travel is recommended. If a traveler does not provide documentation of a negative test, then they must pre-pay for a test that will be administered upon arrival at the Aruba Airport, followed by a mandatory 24-hour quarantine.
More information can be found on the Aruba tourism website.
Reopening date: July 1
On June 24, the Government of the Bahamas announced that they would be entering Phase 2 of their reopening plan on July 1, at which time they will open their borders to all travelers. The Prime Minister of The Bahamas first put the country on full lockdown on April 6.
In order to be permitted entry, travelers must complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa as well as a negative PCR test from within 10 days of the travel date, both of which will need to be presented upon arrival. No quarantine will be required.
More information can be found on the Islands of the Bahamas website.
Reopening date: July 1
On June 24, the Bermuda Tourism Authority announced that the country would be reopening to all travelers arriving by air starting July 1. Bermuda closed to visitors in late March.
In order to be permitted entry, travelers must obtain a certified negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure, have appropriate health insurance and complete a traveler screening form and arrival card. Upon arrival, visitors must undergo coronavirus testing at either the airport or their accommodation, and stay quarantined at their accommodations until results are delivered (between eight and 24 hours).
More information can be found on the Bermuda Tourism Authority website.
Reopening date: July 1
According to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism website, the country will enter Phase 4 of its reopening plan on July 1, opening for tourism and reopening hotels, airports, gyms and restaurants. The country’s borders have been closed by land, sea and air since March 19.
No requirements for entering the country or required quarantine have been announced.
More information can be found on the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism website.
Reopening date: June 15
According to the Jamaica Tourism Board, the island country opened its borders to all visitors on June 15, controlling entry by registration and approval. The country first closed to tourists in late March.
Currently, all travelers entering Jamaica who are considered “high risk” (those traveling from, or through countries where there is high community transmission) will have to undergo a test for coronavirus. Those who test positive for the virus will be isolated in a public health facility for at least 14 days, or until they test negative twice in 48 hours. All travelers are required to get pre-approval in the form of a Travel Authorization document, which can be applied for online. The approval must be issued at most 72 hours before one arrives in Jamaica.
At the moment, only certain areas of the country — called the “Resilient Corridor” — are open to travelers, in order to manage risk. According to the website, “the Ministry of Health and Wellness has determined that only properties which are assessed as COVID-19 Compliant will be allowed to take guests,” meaning only certain accommodations are available for tourists.
More information can be found on the Jamaica Tourism Board website.
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Reopening date: July 21
According to the Mexperience tourism website, Mexico’s airports and seaports are currently open, but travel between Mexico and the U.S. is limited to only “essential crossings” (medical treatments, diplomatic travel, emergency response, etc.) until July 21. The government first put stay-at-home orders in place on March 30.
While the plan is to open borders for free travel to Americans on July 21, the website indicates that tourism will likely return gradually. “States and destinations that rely on tourists are setting out phased plans to reopen leisure services in the months ahead. A modest flow of domestic tourism is anticipated to resume this summer and it’s expected that international tourism will take longer to return,” the site reads. “States and regions are still working out the details of how hotels, restaurants and other leisure activities can reopen.” No requirements for entering the country once the borders open have been shared at this time.
Those interested in visiting the country should look into the exact destination they wish to travel to, and see how tourism is being handled by that area.
More information can be found on the Mexperience tourism website.
Reopening date: July 15
On June 23, Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced that the celeb-favorite destination, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, would be reopening to international tourists on July 15. According to a press release, “Resorts, Liveaboards and hotels located at uninhabited islands” will reopen on July 15, while “Guest Houses and hotels located at inhabited islands” will open August 1.
The country asks that visitors who have experienced coronavirus-related symptoms or been in contact with someone who has tested positive in the last 14 days do not travel. That said, if they have not experienced such, they are not required to undergo any form of quarantine, nor produce a negative coronavirus test to be allowed entry. The only thing they must provide is a “confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism” prior to traveling.
More information can be found on the Visit Maldives website.
Reopening date: May 22
According to the U.S. embassy in Serbia — a nation in southeast Europe that is not a part of the EU— the country lifted all coronavirus-related entry restrictions on May 22.
Americans can now travel freely to the Balkan country — Belgrade is an under-the-radar tourist spot — without a negative coronavirus test, nor any special permit. No quarantine is mandatory, though they note this could change at any time.
More information can be found on the National Tourism Organization of Serbia website.
Reopening date: June 1
According to the U.S. embassy in Tanzania, the Government of Tanzania lifted the suspension on international flights to the country — which is popular for its safaris — beginning in June. The embassy website notes that the Tanzanian government has not released or published data on coronavirus cases or deaths in the country since April 29, and therefore can not give an accurate report on the risks related to traveling there.
Visitors to the country must fill in a Health Surveillance Form while on the plane and will be “subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary COVID-19 rapid testing,” according to the embassy website. No required quarantine has been announced at this time.
More information can be found on the Tanzania Tourist Board website.
Turks and Caicos
Reopening date: July 22
On May 29, Turks and Caicos Premier Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson announced that the islands would be reopening to international tourists on July 22. As of June 25, the country only had four confirmed active cases of coronavirus.
“Overall my government will ensure that the health and welfare of our industry workers, residents and guests is paramount . . . We are eager to welcome visitors back to our shores. This careful planning will put Turks and Caicos at the top of the competitive ladder, as visitors will recognize that we put their safety first. I am looking forward to the re-opening of our borders in a way that will safeguard the health and safety of all and ensure that TCI remains ‘Beautiful by Nature’ and as safe as possible from COVID-19,” stated Minister of Tourism Hon. Ralph Higgs in a press release.
The country has not yet decided what will be required of incoming visitors come July 22.
More information can be found on the Turks and Caicos Tourism website.
Reopening Date: Now
The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is one place that never completely closed their borders to international travelers — Americans included.
On June 8, they put in place a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all arriving travelers, however, making vacations there unlikely, or at least inconvenient.
“Journey and contact details” will be required of every incoming traveler via a Public Health Locator form, and the government may contact visitors to verify quarantine compliance. There are currently no requirements for negative coronavirus test results.
More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom website.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Reopening date: June 1
According to the Visit U.S. Virgin Islands tourism website, the group of Caribbean islands (a U.S. territory — no passport required!) reopened to all international visitors on June 1. The islands first closed to visitors on March 25.
Incoming travelers will be subject to health screenings and temperature checks at the airport, and will be asked to monitor themselves for 14 days post-arrival (though this does not imply a self-quarantine). No other requirements are mandatory at this time.
More information can be found on the Visit U.S. Virgin Islands tourism website.