Remember pre-COVID when an American passport meant you could pretty much go anywhere in the world? Feels like a lifetime ago now. With any luck, the travel climate will return to normal in the foreseeable future. But for the time being, here’s the current update on where Americans are allowed to travel with masks and travel-sized sanitizer in hand. (Editor’s note: as of Aug. 20, 2020.)
If a country is not listed below, it is currently closed to non-essential travel by Americans. Those with dual passports may be able to travel on their second passport, but should check the country tourism website for any restrictions or requirements. This list doesn’t take into account if there are State Department warnings about traveling to said countries, so be sure to look at that as well.
Back in March, restrictive measures were put in place to temporarily restrict non-essential travel to Canada and Mexico. Those restrictions will remain in effect through Sept. 21, 2020 for land borders; however, travelling by plane to Mexico is allowed.
The European Union (which includes France, Germany, Italy and Spain) has a blanket policy that closed its external borders on March 17 and has been gradually lifting restrictions for other countries. A few EU members have different policies, however.
You are allowed to visit Ireland, but you have to self-isolate for 14 days, as well as fill out a passenger locator form saying where you will quarantine. There is a fine of up to $2,680 or six months in jail if you refuse to fill out the form or lie on it.
In order to enter Croatia, you must pay for your accommodation before entering the country and show proof of the reservation. You also must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test no older than 48 hours upon arrival or self-isolate for 14 days.
As for non-EU member countries, the United Kingdom will let you in, but you have to self-isolate for 14 days. (If you don’t comply, you’ll face a fine of 1,000 GBP.)
Albania reopened its borders on July 1. Your temperature will be taken at the airport, but there’s no testing or quarantine periods.
Serbia is now open to Americans, and you do not have to show any health evidence or quarantine.
The Republic of North Macedonia reopened to Americans on July 1 with no restrictions whatsoever. Your temperature will be taken upon arrival; if you have no symptoms, you’ll be allowed to enter.
Ukraine has opened its borders to all foreigners, but entry requirements are divided into Red and Green Zones, based on your origin country. Green Zone countries don’t have to quarantine, but, the US is considered a Red Zone country. So, this means you will need to quarantine for 14 days or bring a negative PCR test with you (no older than 48 hours before arrival, so factor in travel time). If you don’t want to do either of those, then upon arrival you can download an app with a Ukrainian SIM card/phone number and within the first 24 hours in Ukraine, take a PCR test at an authorized lab and then self-isolate for 24-48 hours. If you test positive, then you have to spend 14 days in isolation.
Cambodia is now open again to U.S. tourists, but it’s a bit of a morbid welcome mat. You have to pay a $3,000 (USD) deposit to cover COVID testing, isolation and healthcare, including $1,500 for funeral costs. You also need to have health insurance coverage of $50,000.
The Maldives fully opened on Aug. 1 (previously only hotels on uninhabited islands were open), but it’s mandatory to have a confirmed booking in a place registered with the Ministry of Tourism before traveling. You have to fill out a health declaration card upon arrival.
Sri Lanka opened on Aug. 1, but you must have a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to departure and then take more tests upon arrival and on the fourth and tenth days of your trip.
South Korea has a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at your own expense. The prices are set by the Korean authorities and nightly costs range from $100-$500, so it could cost you a few grand before you even get a chance to sightsee.
Anguilla opened once again to international visitors, including Americans, on Aug. 21. Before traveling, you need to fill out an application form on the Visit Anguilla website and upload results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three to five days prior to travel as well as proof of a health insurance policy that covers any coronavirus-related medical expenses. Upon arrival on the island, you must quarantine at your resort for 10 days and take another Covid test at the end of the quarantine period.
Antigua and Barbuda reopened to Americans on June 4. Bring proof of a negative PCR COVID test taken less than 7 days before arrival, and be prepared to pay $100 per person to take a COVID test at the airport.
After opening first to Canadians and Europeans, Aruba is now open to Americans. That said, travelers need to either upload proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure as part of a required online Embarkation/Disembarkation form or take a PCR test at your own expensive upon arrival at the airport, depending on what state you’re coming from. All visitors must purchase “Aruba Visitors Insurance” as part of your trip, though some hotels are covering this cost in their rates.
Reversing a July 17 decision that barred Americans from the islands, the Bahamas are now welcoming U.S. citizens. All travelers must complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application online before the flight and upload negative COVID-19 PCR test results taken within 10 days of arrival. Upon arrival, there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine at your own expense in a government facility with a COVID-19 test at the end of that period (also at your expense).
Barbados started welcoming Americans again in July, and travelers must take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure. You’ll have to fill out an Embarkation/Disembarkation Card and answer some health questions about coronavirus symptoms. If you don’t take the test beforehand, you will have to take it upon arrival and then be quarantined at your own expense until you get the test results (about 48 hours later).
Bermuda opened its doors on July 1, requiring that visitors bring a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their arrival on the island and have appropriate health insurance. You will also have to fill out a traveler screening form and arrival card.
Dominica reopened on Aug. 7 and you must bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours of arriving on the island. You will also need to fill out a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival. All travelers will undergo a series of checks at the airport and if you’re deemed unsafe (ie. have a positive test result), you will be quarantined at a government facility or a certified hotel.
Upon arrival in the Dominican Republic, you have to submit proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken no more than five days prior to arrival in the country, fill out a health affidavit and have your temperature taken. If you are showing symptoms, you’ll be given a COVID-19 test; if positive, you will need to quarantine at your hotel.
Turks and Caicos became ready for your arrival back on July 22, but you must obtain pre-authorization via an online form before traveling. The form asks health questions and asks you to provide consent to a number of declarations. You cannot board the flight without this travel authorization.
Jamaica reopened on June 15, but travelers need to apply in advance for a Jamaican COVID travel authorization. You’ll be tested on arrival and quarantined if necessary.
St. Barts reopened on June 22 and Americans (aged 11 and older) staying for one week are required to show a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of your arrival. If you are staying longer than a week, then on the 8th day, you will be required to take another test in St. Barts at your own expense. If you test positive, you have to self-quarantine for 14 days or until you re-test negative.
St. Lucia requires all visitors to show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 7 days before arriving on the island. Everyone will be screened and have their temperature taken. If you’re symptomatic, you’ll be immediately isolated and tested; if positive, you’ll be transferred to a respiratory hospital for treatment and care at your own cost. If negative, you will still need to remain on your hotel property except when participating in water-based excursions arranged by your hotel.
St. Maarten officially opened its borders to Americans on Aug. 1. Please note that this is the Dutch side only; the French side, St. Martin, is still closed. You must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of your arrival to the island. You also need to fill out an entry form that must be uploaded no later than 12 hours prior to departure.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines reopened last month and had already been requiring a negative COVID-19 result within seven days of arrival, but now the country requires proof of a fully paid reservation in an approved hotel for five nights as well as an initial quarantine in said hotel for five days. All travelers will be tested immediately upon arrival, but US travelers will be tested again before their release from quarantine.
Central & South America
Belize reopened on August 15 and requires certification of a negative PCR COVID test within 72 hours or testing on arrival.
Ecuador opened its borders to Americans on June 1, but you must provide proof of a negative PCR Covid test taken no more than 10 days before entering the country. If you don’t provide proof, you have to take a PCR test at your own expense and then be quarantined. If you have no symptoms at the airport, you do not need to perform mandatory quarantine and you can move freely within the continental territory. (The Galapagos Islands are still closed to visitors.)
Africa & the Middle East
Egypt opened its seaside resorts in the Red Sea, South Sinai and Matrouh costal governate to tourism on July 1. All passengers are required to have their temperature taken, full out a Public Health card and show proof of a valid health insurance policy.
The United Arab Emirates is still mainly closed to US citizens, but Dubai opened back on July 7. You need to take a COVID-19 test within 96 hours of your flight and show your airline a negative result; if you don’t have the results, you will be tested on arrival and required to isolate while awaiting said results. You also need to have health insurance covering coronavirus or sign a declaration agreeing to cover the costs of treatment and isolation.
Australia & Pacific
French Polynesia reopened its borders on July 15, but before you can board a plane, you need to show proof of a negative RT-PCR test carried out within three days prior to departure and submit the receipt via an electronic form. You also have to take another COVID test four days after arriving in the Tahitian islands.