These 11 Countries are Welcoming American Travelers Now (or Will Be Soon)
Note: International travel restrictions and guidelines are changing regularly. The information below is accurate as of the time of publication (Monday, July 20). 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.
However, many countries are not currently welcoming international visitors in order to keep their citizens safe and healthy, and some that are opening up have banned American tourists due to the U.S.'s inability to contain its coronavirus outbreak. The nation saw 67,574 new reported cases on July 19 alone.
The 27 nations that make up the European Union announced on June 30 that it would not allow Americans upon reopening on July 1. And on July 20, the Bahamas announced it would no longer be accepting Americans as of July 22 after initially allowing them when it reopened to international visitors July 1.
With most places out of the question for the time being, we put together a list of 11 countries where American tourists 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.
Reopening date: Now
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.
On July 4, Aruba updated its entry requirements for visitors from 24 U.S states, namely those with significantly increasing COVID-19 cases. Visitors from those states must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of traveling and upload their results at least 12 hours before departure as part of the online embarkation/disembarkation process. Americans from the states deemed lower risk will also need to submit a test with the same requirements, however, if they fail to do so, they have the option to be tested at the airport upon arrival in Aruba.
International travelers must also complete a health assessment, provide documentation of the requisite health insurance coverage, and several other requirements.
More information can be found on the Aruba tourism website.
Reopening date: Now
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 COVID-19 test within seven days (preferably 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 the airport and stay quarantined at their accommodations until results are delivered (between six and eight hours).
More information can be found on the Bermuda Tourism Authority website.
Reopening date: Now
According to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism website, the country entered 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.
Visitors entering the country will undergo a temperature check and fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit. Anyone with a temperature over 100.6 will be administered a rapid COVID-19 test and "initiate the protocols for isolation and treatment."
More information can be found on the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism website.
Reopening date: Now
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.
On July 15, the country amended its requirements. Travelers from Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas (states it deemed high-risk) will be required to upload negative COVID-19 test results taken within 10 days of arrival in order to receive a Travel Authorization certification. Everyone must complete this form, but guidelines differ for low- and high-risk guests.
Visitors from other U.S. states may be subject to swab testing and symptom assessment at the airport upon arrival.
Even those with a negative test or who do not require testing will have to stay in an area of the country called the "Resilient Corridor" in order to manage risk. High-risk individuals traveling outside this area will have a mandatory test upon arrival and be asked to quarantine at their accommodation until results are received.
These measures will be in place through at least July 31. More information can be found on the Jamaica Tourism Board website.
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Reopening date: August 20 (tentative)
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 August 20. That date was pushed back from a previous announcement that the country would reopen 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, 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."
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: Partial beginning 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. Guests entering the country will undergo a temperature check and symptom screening and anyone exhibiting symptoms will undergo a COVID-19 test. Random testing may also be conducted.
More information can be found on the Visit Maldives website.
Reopening date: Now
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 for U.S. visitors, though they note this could change at any time and encourage Americans to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts.
More information can be found on the National Tourism Organization of Serbia 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.
"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.
To be granted entry into the country, travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 test at least 72 hours prior to arrival, proof of medical insurance and a completed health screening questionnaire. Once approved, travelers will receive a "certification sticker" permitting their entrance, which can be obtained on the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board website. No quarantine will be required of those with a certification sticker.
More information can be found on the Turks and Caicos Tourism website.
Reopening Date: Now (with a 14-day quarantine)
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 vacationing there unlikely, or at least inconvenient. On July 3, it dropped that requirement for travelers from more than 50 countries. The U.S. was not included in that list so American visitors will still have to quarantine.
"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.
More information can be found on the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom website.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Reopening date: Now
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 from any U.S. state with a higher than 10% positivity rate for the virus, (according to a Johns Hopkins University resource) require a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of travel or a positive test for antibodies taken within the last four months. Currently, twelve U.S. states have a positivity rate above 10%. Anyone who can't provide this will need to quarantine for 14 days or until they are able to get a negative test result.
More information can be found on the Visit U.S. Virgin Islands tourism website.