This story was last updated March 2, 2021 and will be regularly with the latest information pertaining to international travel for American tourists amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Figuring out where you can and can’t go in the era of COVID-19, and how best to protect yourself if you’re going to travel, is no easy task. Domestic travel is in fully masked, socially distant swing—with an emphasis on road tripping when possible. But once you bring longer flights and international destinations into the travel equation, things get a little more complicated. Here, we’ve outlined the countries currently open to American travelers.
However, before getting into just how much of the world is our oyster these days, we consulted health experts to advise on how best to travel safely amid COVID-19. While, in March of this year, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory encouraging citizens not to travel abroad in light of the coronavirus, that advisory was lifted in August. Even so, as pandemic numbers peak across the U.S., many science and health experts and government officials still discourage traveling abroad.
Dr. James Whitney, a Harvard Medical School virologist conducting research at Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, expressed a strong preference for “hunkering down” or limiting to “car-based travel.” However, if you are going to travel internationally, he stressed the importance of forming an intimate bubble:
“Stay in your family or your ‘pod’ of people that you’re routinely cohabitating with to reduce exposure,” said Whitney.
For those flying, he said the most important thing is to wear your mask properly. Whitney reiterated:
“It absolutely must cover your mouth and your nose. Everytime you remove your mask to drink or eat, you’re potentially exposing yourself or—depending on whether or not you’re infected—exposing someone else.”
His advice is to not remove your mask at all when taking a short flight, and to minimize unmasked time on a longer flight, removing your face covering only briefly to eat and drink.
Dr. Cindy Freeman, chief of the CDC’s Travelers’ Health Branch, told Departures that “many of the steps people take in their communities can protect them and others” when traveling.
Freeman said to keep your mask on when taking public transportation and at the airport. “Watch distance by staying at least six feet apart,” she advised. “And wash hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
For those who are feeling ready to travel, and are equipped with copious amounts of hand sanitizer and the appropriate PPE, these are the countries currently admitting Americans.
Editor’s Note: Nearly every country on this list has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory from the U.S. State Department. The few countries with Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisories or Level 4: Do Not Travel advisories are noted in the following text.
Of course, Hawaii is an American state, but for mainland tourists keen on a Hawaiian escape, you must either show a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to traveling to Hawaii, or quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. Upon arrival, each island has different health and safety standards, so check the safety parameters of your chosen destination island before travel.
American travelers can travel to Mexico with no COVID-19 testing requirements. Upon arrival to Mexico, travelers may be subject to a health screening. There are various curfew restrictions by state in Mexico, and the U.S.-Mexico land border is still closed.
To travel to Puerto Rico, Americans don’t need a passport, as Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory. Americans do, however, need to show a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours ahead of travel. As of December 7, there is a 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in Puerto Rico.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John—considered an unincorporated island territory of America—reopened to tourism in June, closed in August, and then reopened once again as of September 19. They still have safer-at-home parameters that must be followed by tourists visiting the islands. All travelers must submit their COVID-19 negative test results through the Travel Screening Portal five days before traveling.
American travelers can enter Belize after downloading the Belize Health App and showing a negative PCR test for COVID-19 three days prior to arrival. Alternately, they can test upon arrival in Belize for $250. Belize is accepting flights and travel by land as of October 1, 2020.
Costa Rica is open to American travelers from all states as of November 1, 2020. U.S. citizens must show proof of medical travel insurance and a negative PCR test for COVID-19, taken within 48 hours of travel.
El Salvador opened to American travelers this fall—the international airport resumed operations on September 19, 2020. Those traveling to El Salvador must show an original, negative PCR test for COVID-19 issued no more than 72 hours before departure.
American citizens ages 10 and older are required to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival to Guatemala. All visitors must complete a Health Pass before arriving at the airport, and once on Guatemalan soil may be subject to a health screening.
Honduras is open to U.S. travelers and does not require a COVID-19 test prior to arrival. However, if they are exhibiting symptoms on arrival, travelers may be subject to testing and quarantine requirements.
There are no quarantine protocols in Nicaragua, and while U.S. citizens are allowed to enter, they are required to do so with proof of a negative COVID-19 test—the timing on when the test must be taken is not outlined on the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua’s website.
As of October 12, 2020, Panama is excited to welcome international travelers, including American tourists. Foreign travelers must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test—taken no more than 48 hours prior to traveling—or test upon arrival to Panama at the airport for $50.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the East Caribbean, and the OECS, American travelers can enter Anguilla if they have tested negative for COVID-19 via PCR test within five days of travel.
Antigua and Barbuda
American travelers aged 12 and older are required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken seven days before flying to Antigua and Barbuda. Upon arrival, foreign visitors may be subject to health screenings or additional COVID-19 tests and subsequent quarantines.
To visit Aruba, U.S. citizens must take a PCR COVID-19 test prior to arrival, upon arrival, or both. They must also have visitor’s health insurance when traveling in Aruba.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are open to travelers who can present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken three days before travel. American travelers will also have to test upon arrival, quarantine for four days, and then test again before exploring the islands.
Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of their trip to Bermuda. They must then quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Curaçao is one of the most recent Caribbean countries to reopen to American tourists. U.S. citizens from Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York hoping to gain entry must fill out an online immigration card and a Health Department Passenger Locator Card. They must also test negative for COVID-19 within three days of traveling to Curaçao. U.S. citizens from all other states must meet all of the above qualifications, fill out additional application materials, and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Americans are welcome back to Dominica, but because U.S. citizens are coming from a “high risk country,” all American travelers must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure and fill out a health questionnaire 24 hours prior to traveling. Upon arrival, they must visit a second screening area for an additional rapid test.
Americans are allowed into the Dominican Republic, and they do not need to take a COVID-19 PCR test prior to entry. However, Americans will need to follow mandatory curfews (there is currently a statewide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) in some parts of the country and should be advised that the U.S. State Department still has a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for the Dominican.
Americans can travel to Grenada provided they’ve received a negative COVID-19 test within seven days of travel. Foreigners must stay at approved accommodations for the first four days in Grenada “for observation and quarantine.” Grenada’s travel advisory from the U.S. State Department has recently been reduced to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.
U.S. citizens are not required to take a COVID-19 test before arriving in Haiti, but those flying into the country will have their temperature taken at the airport. Foreign travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Haiti.
Americans can visit Jamaica, provided they request a travel authorization in advance and upload proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19. They will also be subject to health screenings upon arrival.
Americans age five and older must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of their arrival. Further, visitors 18 and older coming to Saint Lucia have to submit a Travel Authorization Form. Saint Lucia has a Level 2 travel advisory.
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Saint Vincent and Grenadines is open to U.S. citizens, provided they’ve received a negative COVID-19 test within five days of traveling. Once they’ve landed in Saint Vincent and Grenadines, travelers must quarantine for five days before taking a second COVID-19 PCR test. Saint Vincent and Grenadines has a Level 2 travel advisory, compared to the Level 3 or 4 advisories for most Caribbean countries.
Sint Maarten and Saint Martin
Americans can visit Dutch Sint Maarten and French Saint Martin as long as they’ve received a negative COVID-19 test within five days prior to traveling.
Turks and Caicos
Americans are welcome in Turks and Caicos, provided they have tested negative for coronavirus within five days of their departure. Travelers are required to fill out an online questionnaire about their health and have travel health insurance. These parameters don’t apply to children under age nine.
Brazil is open to Americans without presentation of a negative COVID-19 test and with no quarantining requirements. However, the U.S. State Department has a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for Brazil because of COVID-19 spikes in the South American country.
As of November 23, Chile has reopened its borders to American citizens, who may now enter the country through the Santiago airport. Americans must show a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure, proof of traveler’s insurance that will cover them in Chile, and an electronic travel affidavit. Chile currently has a curfew from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Americans traveling to Colombia must show a negative PCR test for COVID-19, received no more than 96 hours prior to their departure. Upon entry to Colombia, no quarantining is required.
Ecuador is open to Americans, provided they have tested negative for coronavirus within 10 days of arriving. If you do not submit results prior to traveling, you are required to take a PCR test (at your own expense) upon arrival.
As of January 2021, Peru is open to American travelers who show a negative PCR test within three days of travel. Americans must quarantine for 14 days on arrival and must abide by Peru’s 24-hour curfew.
Albania is open to U.S. tourists and there are currently no COVID-19 testing or quarantine requirements. However, visitors are subject to a health screening upon arrival.
While Croatia is technically open to Americans, as the U.S. Embassy in Croatia says, “U.S. citizens may enter Croatia for business, tourism, education, or other pressing personal reasons if they provide the relevant proof and meet the requirements set forth by the Government of Croatia.” A negative COVID-19 test (via PCR or serology) is required—and it can’t be older than 48 hours.
Ireland is open to Americans—and has been throughout the pandemic. A COVID-19 test is not required for those entering Ireland, but they do have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. However, visitors can now test out of the two-week quarantine by testing negative for COVID-19 at least five days after arriving in Ireland.
Americans over the age of four must show a negative coronavirus or antibody test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel. Upon arrival, travelers do not have to quarantine, though they aren’t allowed to fly through countries that Montenegro has not yet opened to. As of December 9, there is a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
As of now, Americans can enter North Macedonia without taking a COVID-19 test or quarantining upon arrival. They will, however, be subject to a temperature check at the airport.
U.S. citizens can visit Serbia by providing proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 48 hours of arrival. There are no quarantine requirements once Americans have arrived in Serbia.
Turkey is open to U.S. travelers and they are not required to take a COVID-19 test prior to arrival. Upon arrival in Turkey, travelers must fill out an information form and will be checked for COVID-19 symptoms; if symptomatic, a test will be administered and they may have to quarantine. As of December 4, there is a curfew in place for Turkish citizens, but it doesn’t apply to tourists.
Americans can travel to the United Kingdom, which includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Travelers must fill out a Public Health Locator Form and quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, intermittently testing for COVID-19. American travelers are subject to lockdown orders within the U.K.
To enter the Ukraine, U.S. citizens don’t need to test for coronavirus beforehand, but they will need to take a rapid test for COVID-19 upon arrival or go into self-quarantine for 14 days. Beyond that, the Ukraine is under “an adaptive quarantine until December 31, 2020.”
Bahrain is now open for U.S. tourists to explore the Persian Gulf archipelago. Travelers must take a PCR test for COVID-19 upon arrival, which costs approximately $80. If the results are negative, they will not have to quarantine.
United Arab Emirates
Tourist visas are now available for Americans interested in visiting certain Emirates within the UAE. They are granted upon arrival at the airport, and tourists must have negative results from a PCR test taken 96 hours before departure to the UAE. U.S. citizens can enter Dubai, as long as they test negative for coronavirus within four days of their departure and fill out a Health Declaration Form. American travelers can then gain entry to Abu Dhabi by driving.
Americans must complete certain qualifications before entering Jordan. They need valid health insurance that would cover COVID-19 treatment in Jordan, they must submit a health declaration form online (that includes a negative COVID-19 PCR test), and they must pay for their second test—taken at the Amman airport—in advance.
Americans need to produce a medical certificate (translated into English) granted 72 hours before traveling to Bangladesh that shows they’ve tested negative for COVID-19. This only applies to travelers who are age 10 and older. Once in Bangladesh, American travelers must quarantine for 14 days and follow the country’s mandatory mask and distancing protocols, enforced by law.
Americans can enter Cambodia if they put down a $2,000 deposit, pay $90 for local health insurance, and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Cambodia is one of the rare countries with a Level 2 Exercise Increased Caution travel advisory. Travelers must still quarantine for 14 days in compliance with local restrictions.
The Maldives is welcoming all international tourists, though they need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before arrival.
U.S. citizens are allowed into South Korea, but must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. While travelers do not need to take a PCR test for COVID-19 beforehand, they will be subject to coronavirus testing when they land.
To enter Ethiopia, Americans must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of their departure. Upon arrival in Ethiopia, they have to quarantine for 14 days.
Egypt is open to U.S. travelers—and even the archaeological sites and the Great Pyramids of Giza are accepting tourists as of September 1, 2020. Travelers must present a negative PCR test certificate for COVID-19 (paper copy required)—and the test must be taken 72 hours before arrival.
Americans can enter Ghana as long as they have tested negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours prior to their departure. Travelers will be tested again upon arrival at Accra Kotoka International Airport, which costs $150 per passenger.
Mauritius is open to American travelers who can produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken five to seven days prior to traveling. Once on the ground in Mauritius, travelers must quarantine for 14 days.
Morocco is open only to U.S. travelers with a hotel booking, reservations with a travel agency, or an invitation for a business engagement. Travelers need to show proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19, taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers should know that restrictions within Morocco are still in place to combat the spread of coronavirus.
American travelers are welcome in Kenya provided they have proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19, taken 96 hours before arrival, and a temperature of less than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. U.S. citizens do not need to quarantine upon arrival, but they do need to follow the country’s 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly curfew.
Namibia welcomes U.S. travelers with a negative PCR test for COVID-19, taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Once in Namibia, travelers do not need to quarantine, though they may be subject to a follow-up COVID-19 test.
Americans need to show that they’ve tested negative for coronavirus, with a test taken five days before traveling to Senegal. This applies to any travelers age three and older.
As of mid-November 2020, South Africa is allowing foreign tourists, including American travelers, back into the country. Visitors will have to follow the country’s curfew, currently in place from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. while in South Africa. To enter the country, travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken 72 hours before departure, and if they don’t present this evidence, they will have to go into mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Americans flying to Tanzania must fill out a Health Surveillance Form on the plane, and depending on where they’re coming from or what airline they’re flying, will likely have to show a certificate proving they’ve recently tested negative for COVID-19. Travelers may have to undergo additional screenings upon arrival to Tanzania.
Americans can enter Zambia as long as they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 within 14 days of their arrival.
Americans are allowed into Zimbabwe, with a negative COVID-19 test taken 48 hours prior to their arrival. However, they must quarantine for 14 days, and following their quarantine must obey any lockdown restrictions enforced within the country.
There are a few select countries, like Armenia and Pakistan, that are open to U.S. travelers, but that we have omitted from this list based on armed conflict warnings issued by the U.S. State Department.