Most nations are not currently welcoming U.S. tourists due to the continued spread of the coronavirus

By Hannah Chubb
August 12, 2020 06:06 PM
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Note: International travel restrictions and guidelines are changing regularly. The information below is accurate as of the time of publication (Wednesday, August 12). You should not travel if you are unwell.

After months of staying at home amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many Americans are craving a vacation.

And despite the continued rapid spread of the virus in the U.S. (over 5.1 million Americans have contracted it and nearly 165,000 have died), some countries around the world are slowly beginning to reopen to American tourists. 

On July 20, PEOPLE reported that 11 countries were — or would soon be — welcoming U.S. travelers. That number is now 26, as seen on the map above. 

As of August 12, the following countries are open to Americans, with varying health and safety restrictions in place: Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Cambodia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, French Polynesia, Jamaica, Maldives, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Serbia, St. Barths, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tanzania, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, United Arab Emirates and the Virgin Islands.

Each of these countries has a different set of requirements for travelers, which impact who will be allowed in. Some of those include negative COVID-19 tests (taken a set number of days before traveling), a certain standard of international health insurance and paperwork detailing visitors' health concerns and travel plans.

The U.K. is also open to U.S. travelers — in fact, they never fully banned them — though they differ from the aforementioned countries in that they require all visitors to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine upon arrival. Incoming travelers may be subject to quarantines in other countries as well, but the U.K. is the only place it is mandatory for all.

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On August 6, the U.S. Department of State lifted its " Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory for all international travel (the highest level), which had been in place since March. The advisory urged Americans to “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.”

According to a press release from the State Department, the decision to lift the advisory was made due to the fact coronavirus conditions are improving in some countries yet deteriorating in others. They are now returning to the previous rating system of "country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions)” in order to give American tourists “detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions.”

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The State Department recommends “exercising caution” when traveling abroad, and doing research on your destination before planning a trip. 

American travelers should be aware 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.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.