When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery
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Editor’s note: This post was last updated on 12 November 2020, with new information.
Coronavirus has us frozen in place for the most part and dreaming of when we can start booking travel again. In the meantime, we’ve been doing a lot of stories at The Points Guy about what those dream trips look like.
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The United States remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak. The U.S. has more cases than any country in the world.
All states are in various stages of their own reopening processes.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still strongly advises against any nonessential travel within the United States. The CDC website advises, “It is possible that some state and local governments may put in place travel restrictions, stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, mandated quarantines upon arrival, or even state border closures while you are travelling.”
Additionally, the U.S. has restrictions on visitors, including a ban on tourists driving into the country from Canada and Mexico as well as all tourists from China, Iran, Europe’s Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales), the Republic of Ireland, and Brazil.
The U.S. State Department lifted its “Level 4,” warning — the department’s highest warning — against any international travel, but it is still not recommended.
Canada eased some lockdown measures, but the border between the United States and Canada is closed through at least 21 November.
Canada is allowing most province-to-province travel, but Americans are not welcome except for those who have dual citizenship or are Canadian residents.
U.S. Congress members have sent a letter to both countries to push them to open the border immediately. Canadian specialists have said the border should remain closed until next year as the U.S faces the continued spread of coronavirus.
Like many other nations, Canada requires all visitors to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. It’s unclear when that might be lifted.
Mexico began a slow regional opening on 29 June, and many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.
Mexico is one of the few countries that flung open its doors to Americans. At first, it was just beach destinations like Cancun, but now even Mexico City is welcoming back Americans.
Restaurants, gyms, barbershops, hotels and other facilities must operate at no more than 50% of capacity in the capital.
All Mexican airports are open. Tourists are advised that enhanced screening and cleaning procedures are in effect. There are also health checks at all airports, but no testing requirements.
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., is officially reopened to all international travellers. You will need to bring a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Upon arrival, travellers will be subject to health screenings, including possible additional COVID-19 testing. You could be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.
Public beaches and water activities are allowed with appropriate social distancing.
If you’re thinking of bypassing hotel restrictions by booking an Airbnb, keep in mind that many of the same rules will apply.
Restaurants are currently open with reduced capacity. As is now the norm in the age of COVID-19, buffets will not reopen and restaurant staff will serve meals wearing gloves and masks.
Shopping malls will be open, and casinos, beaches and gyms began reopening 2 October.
San Juan International Airport (SJU) is open.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix, was under a state of emergency until 11 July, but it began welcoming back tourists as of 1 June with restrictions. Unfortunately due to a surge in cases, the island returned to a “stay at home” order as of 13 August. Now the island has reopened to tourism as of 19 September, but will require a negative coronavirus PCR test for all visitors taken within five days of arrival on the islands.
No quarantine is required for healthy visitors who have negative test results.
Anyone without a negative test result will be required to quarantine at their own expense and according to the government, “are responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care.”
Masks will be mandatory when going into businesses and attractions, beaches will also be open but social distancing is required. Large gatherings remain prohibited. Hotels, guesthouses, villas, timeshares and Airbnb accommodations are all accepting bookings. COVID-19 guidelines are in place for retail businesses and attractions; taxi vans, safari and limo services.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on 4 June.
The government’s latest Travel Advisory requires all passengers arriving by air to have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result, (test for SARS-CoV-2) taken within seven days of their flight. This includes transiting passengers. Children under 12 years of age are not required to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative test to enter the country. Passengers arriving by sea are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. All travellers are also subject to assessment by Port Health Authorities for signs and symptoms through a series of checks and the completion of a health declaration form on arrival.
All arriving passengers will be monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the directions of the Quarantine Authority and the Quarantine (COVID-19) Guidelines. Visitors may be required to undergo further testing for COVID-19 on arrival or at the hotel or place of lodging as determined by the Health Authorities. If so, travellers will have to pay for the test, which costs $100 per person.
Travellers will also have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to six months. Hotels, excursions and restaurants are open (for the latest list, click here).
Aruba has reopened, with visitors from Europe allowed into Aruba as of 1 July.
As of 1 November 2020, the classification of U.S. “hot spot” states is no longer in effect. As a result, as part of the required online Embarkation/Disembarkation card process, residents of all 50 states will now have the option to take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Aruba as well as the option to provide a certified negative PCR test result prior to travel to Aruba. Children under the age of 14 are excluded. Testing requirements can be found here.
All guests must also purchase visitors’ insurance from the nation of Aruba to cover up to $75,000 in health insurance. For a week it will cost you about $100.
Visitors are required to wear a mask in the airport, in indoor public spaces, and on public transport and tour buses. The country has also placed temporary capacity limits on some tourist spots, especially in popular destinations. Casinos are open with new safety measures in place.
The Bahamas has hit several road bumps in its reopening. It first opened up, then shut down again, and now has again reopened its borders to international travellers. Unfortunately, there are still a few hurdles for visitors.
Americans are now allowed, but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival. They will also need a “Bahamas Health Visa” required prior to arrival and will need to upload negative test results into that online form.
The previous requirement for guests to quarantine for two weeks at their hotel, Airbnb, ship, or other lodging was rescinded on 1 November, however, all visitors are required to wear a mask in public spaces (under penalty of a $200 fine or one-month imprisonment) and submit to a Rapid Antigen Test if they display symptoms or if they stay longer than five days/four nights in the Bahamas.
All Bahamas hotels were allowed to open by the middle of October, and they are also able to allow visitors to use their beaches.
Barbados reopened to international travellers beginning on July 12.
Barbados has instituted mandatory protocols that all inbound travellers have to follow:
- COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours prior to departure for travellers from high-risk and medium-risk countries (visitors from low-risk and very-low-risk countries aren’t required to pre-test but will be required to test upon arrival). Then all visitors from high- and medium-risk countries, which currently includes the United Kingdom, will need to stay at pre-approved accommodations and agree to restricted movement (no beach or leaving the property) for two days until they take a second test on island with a negative result.
- Online embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card) with personal health questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms
- Test upon arrival without a documented negative COVID-19 PCR test result and mandatory quarantine at traveller’s expense until results are returned
- Social distancing, temperature checks and wearing face masks
The local government clarifies that high-risk countries are defined as those that have seen more than 10,000 new cases in the prior seven days and community transmission, which would include the United Kingdom. In addition, anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus will be placed in isolation where they will “receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.”
More updates on Barbados’ response to coronavirus and any updates to its protocols can be found on the government website.
Bermuda reopened its borders including to Americans back on 1 July.
The island resumed international commercial air service for visitors as part of its fourth phase of economic reopening after what it calls its “successful management of COVID-19 to date.”
In a news conference announcing the reopening, Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism & Transport Zane DeSilva said, “As we work to finalize the protocols and requirements for travel to Bermuda, rest assured, we will always place the safety of our island and its people above all else.”
Here are the requirements posted by the government of Bermuda:
Pre-departure — A traveller must:
- Within 48 hours of departure, complete the Bermuda travel authorization process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveller is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. NOTE: Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30. Travel authorization FAQ
- Ideally within 72 hours, but no more than seven days before departure, visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result. This applies to adults and children aged 10 and up. Children who are 9-years-old and younger are exempt and are subject to their adult travel companion’s quarantine. Children 10-17 must receive parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young traveller must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Test results must be entered as part of the online travel authorization process and be presented upon arrival in Bermuda. As of July 11, 2020, such visitors without a pre-departure test will not be able to obtain Travel Authorization and enter Bermuda.
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
Additionally, a traveller is required to or should:
- Take a mandatory second COVID-PCR test upon arrival in the airport and self-quarantine in your accommodation until receiving results (generally 24 hours or less).
- Acquire health insurance covering illness and injury outside of your home jurisdiction, including those related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis while in Bermuda. If this is not obtained, a visitor will be responsible for all health and accommodation costs should they require treatment and/or quarantine, including costs related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in Bermuda
- Pack a thermometer
More information on coronavirus in Bermuda can be found here.
Cayman Islands started a soft-reopening on 1 October.
Only Brits who own homes in Cayman Islands, dual citizens, or those hoping to move to Cayman Islands under long-term work arrangements will be allowed in, and only 800 approvals will be offered during the early stages of reopening. They will also need to register with the TravelTime service before their trip.
All arriving passengers will need a negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Upon arrival in the country, travellers will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in hotels. Travellers will also be asked to wear electronic tracking devices and may be subject to random checks. Following quarantine, travellers will be tested for COVID-19, and if negative, they will be released and tracking devices will be taken off.
Cuba again welcomed international visitors back in July. However, the country’s main airport Havana (HAV) remains closed at this time.
Dominica has been open to travellers since 3 August. All eligible travellers arriving in the country are designated as coming from Low-Risk Medium-Risk, or High-Risk countries (the United Kingdom is currently considered High-Risk) and travellers must follow these procedures:
- Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival
- Present notification of clearance to travel in the form of a doctor’s note or similar document
- Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival
- Undergo a health assessment upon arrival, including a temperature check
- Provide confirmation of the health questionnaire and negative PCR test results
- Undergo rapid COVID-19 test screening at Dominica’s airport with a negative test result (children under five are exempt).
Any traveller with a high temperature, high risk alert from their questionnaire or positive rapid test will be given a PCR test, and be taken into mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility or hotel at their expense until results are available. If the follow-up test result is positive, the traveller may be quarantined until released by an authorized health professional.
Visitors must also adhere to stringent on-site policies around social distancing and safe hygiene, including:
- Wearing face masks at all times during the arrival process, up to and including departure from the airport
- Observing physical distancing guidelines
- Following all instructions from local health care staff and officials
The Dominican Republic’s borders were closed by land, sea and air in March, but the island country reopened 1 July, although only approximately 30% of the hotels opened at that time. Currently, most hotels and resorts have re-opened or will re-open soon and masks and social distancing guidelines are in place for indoor public spaces, public transportation and outdoor situations where distancing isn’t possible. There is also a 9 pm curfew (7 pm on Saturday and Sunday) in place through 16 November.
Punta Cana International Airport restarted commercial operations on 1 July.
There are mandatory temperature checks upon arrival, but as of October, pre-testing is no longer required. There are, however, spot checks. Airports and other ports of entry will administer a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3% and 10% of passengers upon arrival. Passengers who present symptoms or whose test results are positive will be isolated and attended at authorized locations.
Travelers are also required to fill out and submit a Traveler’s Health Affidavit to declare they have not felt any COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days.
The United States Embassy in Santo Domingo issued a level 4 health warning not to travel to the Dominican Republic due to the impact of COVID-19. The office warned American citizens to reconsider coming to the country in consideration of the situation with the pandemic.
For the latest updates, check here.
Like its Caribbean neighbours, Grenada began reopening to foreign tourists on 1 August — with many health conditions attached. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for Americans to visit.
Travel can be difficult here for “high-risk” tourists from places like the United States where coronavirus is still rapidly spreading.
All visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of arrival (children under 5 are exempt), fill out online health forms in advance and download the RonaTrac contact tracing app (iPhone users are currently exempt). Visitors from Low-Risk Countries do not have to quarantine. Visitors from High-Risk Countries, which include the United States, will additionally need to show a confirmed reservation for no fewer than five nights and quarantine at your hotel until taking a PCR test and getting official clearance to either go out into the community or return home.
For more information on requirements and restrictions, check here.
Haiti has reopened its borders to regular international passenger traffic. It has also opened its land borders with the Dominican Republic.
According to the local U.S. embassy, travellers coming to Haiti are required to go through a 14-day self-quarantine. On their flight, they will also need to complete a health declaration form and submit it to immigration authorities upon arrival. They will need to keep this form for the purposes of self-quarantine and contact tracing as necessary.
Jamaica officially reopened for tourism on 15 June, but anyone who is hoping to plan a holiday there will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travellers have to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travelers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.
All incoming travellers should expect thermal temperature checks upon arrival, and anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill upon arrival will be quarantined. Even after all those procedures, travellers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in public. Travellers are also expected to follow any policies made by tourist and hospitality establishments, which are most likely derived from the government’s 119-page guide for local hospitality procedures.
For the latest updates on travel to Jamaica, check here.
Martinique is open for tourism, but from what we can tell only citizens of France are eligible. And as of 30 October, new lockdown measures were put into place for four weeks in France that also apply to Martinique, forbidding all but essential travel between the territories.
According to the Caribbean Journal, Air France has resumed flights to Martinique.
All arrivals who are permitted must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for the island, and are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
St. Barthelemy (St. Barths) opened to tourists on 22 June, but there are lots of caveats.
If you want to visit the Caribbean holiday spot, you’ll need to prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours or less before you arrive. Those unable to provide such documentation will be tested on arrival, and will need to isolate at their lodging until results become available.
Visitors who test positive for the virus will be moved into quarantine on the island.
Bruno Magras, president of the island’s territorial council, told the Caribbean Journal:
“Whether you are visiting an island friend or local resident, returning to spend time in your vacation home or coming back to spend some vacation time on the island, St Barth is pleased to welcome you back. Island beaches are open without restriction, restaurants and boutiques are operating as usual, houses of worship are open and holding services and nautical services as well as the other services to which you are accustomed are being provided as usual.”
For those staying longer than seven days, a second COVID-19 test will be required.
You’ll also need to plan carefully.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis began a phased reopening on 31 October 2020. Travellers from within the “Caribbean bubble” will be allowed in with the fewest restrictions. That includes those travelling from the following 8 CARICOM member states: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
According to the St. Kitts and Nevis tourism board, Americans will need to take the following steps:
- Complete the entry form here and submit a negative PCR test completed within 72 hours of arrival from an accredited laboratory (List of accredited labs to be provided by the Ministry of Health at a later date).
- Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
- Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less).
- Days 1-7: Visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
- Days 7 -14: Visitors will undergo a PCR-test (visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveller tests negative on day 7, they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (list to be announced later).
- Visitors staying 14 days or longer will need to undergo a PCR-test (visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveller will be allowed to integrate into the St. Kitts and Nevis
One other note, some visitors will need to stay at one of seven approved hotels for international visitors. Good news? They include the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, the Four Seasons Nevis and the St. Kitts Marriot Resort.
For complete details on travel requirements, visit the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism website.
Saint Lucia is welcoming tourists. Flights to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) have resumed.
Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of boarding their flights to UVF. International travellers (including those from the United Kingdom, must submit the negative test results before travelling and all arrivals 18 years or older must print and carry the results plus the auto-response and Travel Authorization letter they receive. Also required: Downloading, printing and completing a Health Screening form, which must be carried and receiving, printing and carrying the letter authorizing travel to St. Lucia based on verified reservations at COVID-19-certified property.
Once they arrive, guests will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken. All international visitors from outside the St. Lucia Travel Bubble will be required to remain at their COVID-19-certified property for the duration of their stay; only after 14 days will visitors be able to participate in certified tours and activities. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.
For complete details on these requirements, visit the International Arrivals page on the St. Lucia Tourism website.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines began reopening 1 July. Visitors from all countries are welcome, but everyone has to fill out the “VINCY” coronavirus questionnaire form.
For more information on entry requirements, click here.
French Saint Martin remains closed to U.S. travellers, but Dutch Sint Maarten is open and welcoming travellers arriving at Princess Juliana International Airport.
They are requiring several protocols to be followed for tourists, such as submitting the results of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test within 120 hours of the day of travel. There is also a health declaration form for all arriving passengers to submit in advance (confirmation must be shown at immigration).
Visitors are required to have travel health insurance. There are also several protocols that travellers are expected to follow, and it won’t be a holiday away from the social distancing that you may have hoped for initially. This graphic illustrates some of what you can expect, including face coverings, health screenings, and increased cleaning.
For more information on travel requirements, check the St. Maarten Health Authorization website.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March, and banned tourists. The two islands began easing restrictions on 12 May, but so far that doesn’t include welcoming tourists. The country got high marks early on for keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum, although cases rose in late summer and early fall.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said in May that the borders will remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained.
The government also is giving hotels some $50 million to remodel and prepare for when tourists are welcomed back.
Caribbean Airlines has resumed some local flights, and released a video on their new cleaning procedures in the wake of the outbreak.
Turks and Caicos
Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, reopened for international visitors on 22 July. The Providenciales Airport reopened that day.
This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo.
Travellers to Turks and Caicos are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test within five days of visiting the islands and obtain ravel pre-authorization via the TCI Assured Portal. Masks are also required in public places.
For the latest information on restrictions, visit the Turks & Caicos Tourism website.
Albania has resumed commercial flights, and the government lifted all restrictions on tourism on 1 July.
There are no testing requirements for visitors, but temperature checks on arriving passengers at the airport and wearing a mask in all public spaces are mandatory. If a passenger has COVID-19 symptoms and/or a fever they may be required to undergo a mandatory government quarantine.
Related: 5 reasons to visit Albania in 2020
Only Austrian citizens and EU citizens are allowed to enter Austria, and even visitors from some countries within the European Union, which are considered high-risk, are restricted. Austria also entered a four-week partial lockdown on 3 November that closed bars and restaurants, cancelled cultural events and imposed an 8 p.m. curfew.
The Austrian government now requires a negative molecular-biological SARS-CoV2 test, which applies to third-party nationals who are allowed to enter Austria right now. The test must be written in German or English and dated within 72 hours of the travel departure date.
Without the required negative test results, European Union citizens and residents are subject to a mandatory quarantine.
Third-country nationals will not be allowed by air from outside the Schengen area.
However, if you are a foreign national and go to Austria for “essential” travel, you’ll need a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old. You’ll also need to self-quarantine for 10 days, in addition to the negative PCR test, although taking a second PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and receiving a negative result will end the quarantine.
Citizens with legal residence status in Azerbaijan are allowed to enter. It doesn’t appear any other Brits are currently welcome. All arrivals must have a negative COVID-19 test and all arrivals are subject to a two-week self-quarantine.
Belarus is in the middle of a popular uprising against the man called the “last dictator in Europe,” so it may not be the best time to visit, but the country bordering Russia is open to tourism.
If you can find a flight, you’ll need to get a visa. A COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours is required for all incoming air travellers, and if coming from a “red-zone” country, a 10-day self-quarantine is required as well. You’ll also need to fill out a health questionnaire and submit to temperature/health checks on arrival.
Any travellers who are permitted entry (there are strict restrictions) must self-quarantine for 14 days. Right now, only fellow Europeans and citizens of the U.K. are allowed to visit.
Those exempt from the no-entry ban are “nationals, permanent residents and their family members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the Schengen Agreement States including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.” In addition, residents of the following countries are exempt from the ban: Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Belarus, Canada, Georgia, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, the Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel and a 14-day quarantine aren’t required for EU nationals and Schengen Agreement nations, but are required for travellers from many countries outside those areas.
Croatia has reopened for tourists from all countries.
Croatia amended its COVID-19 policies due to a slight spike in cases. Incoming travellers must now produce a negative COVID PCR test taken less than 48 hours before departure, or else observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. Masks are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing can not be maintained.
Cyprus is a small island nation off the coast of Turkey, and it is open to British citizens. However, you will need a COVID test and to fill out a pre-arrival form.
The Czech Republic had been allowing international visitors to enter based on a colour-coded system that classifies countries by their coronavirus risks. Then in late October, as cases spiked, the Czech Republic decided to ban all countries, including those in the EU and Schengen zones, from visiting for tourism purposes.
Only those coming to the country for essential reasons will be allowed in and those from low-risk countries can show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours while those from all other countries have to quarantine.
Most travellers who reside in high-risk or banned countries in the EU, Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom, are banned from entering unless their visit has a “worthy purpose.” Outside the EU, only travellers from “open” countries (currently Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay) are allowed in for any purpose, including tourism. All travellers from high-risk and banned countries travelling for essential business must present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
The U.K. has banned visitors from Denmark from entering the country.
Estonia is open to passengers arriving from other countries in the European Union, the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom — although those from countries with infection rates higher than 50 per 100,000 people (which is currently most countries in the EU) are required to quarantine for 10 days.
Testing to reduce quarantine time is available upon arrival (free to Estonian nationals but there’s a 67 euro fee for everyone else) and after a negative result, a second test is required no earlier than seven days later.
Estonia is also open to residents of Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Uruguay, but travellers will need to quarantine.
Finland began allowing some tourism on 19 September, but mostly from fellow-European Union nations. Citizens of countries considered low-risk will not need to quarantine upon arrival if they have a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival.
France has been hit hard by the coronavirus—although it had been continuing to reopen its cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as schools and public transportation and museums—but on 30 October the country imposed a new nationwide lockdown with severe restrictions for four weeks.
France, which reopened its borders to travel from other European nations back in June, has now closed external borders to all but essential travel. Internal European borders will remain open.
Currently, there is no travel slowed between different regions of France. And face masks and social distancing of one meter are in place. Anyone arriving in France as an essential worker—all other entries are barred—needs to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
While Georgia has not fully developed its plans, it is planning to offer its own residency programs for foreigners hoping to conduct remote work there. The project, according to the government’s news site, is specifically targeting freelancers and self-employed foreigners.
While the application has not been released, foreigners hoping to apply can expect to provide personal information, a certificate of employment, proof of travel insurance (valid for six months) and acknowledgement of a 14-day quarantine at their own expense.
Travellers must submit the application and obtain relevant confirmation documents prior to arriving in Georgia. It is expected to show on the Ministry of Economy website once the application goes live.
The country, which entered a partial lockdown on 2 November with bars and restaurants shutting down except for take-out services, has limited entry to just E.U. citizens and residents, similar to the actions taken by other E.U. nations.
In late October, however, Germany added Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay to the list of countries approved for entry, with Japan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong pending.
Some testing and quarantining is required, depending on the traveller’s country of origin or where they have travelled in past 14 days.
Greece had been a rare bright spot for foreign tourists until the Greek government announced stricter measures inside the country to combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases. It began using a two-tiered system beginning 3 November and entered a three-week national lockdown on 7 November.
EU passport holders are allowed entry, including permanent residents of Schengen countries, plus Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the United Arab Emirates.
All travellers eligible to enter Greece must complete the online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before their travel date. Visitors from certain countries are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to travel. Guidelines for visitors can be found here.
Hungary banned foreigners entirely early on in the pandemic and began lifting lockdown restrictions on its own citizens in May. But this fall, the country revised its entry requirements and has once again banned foreigners. Currently, it classifies countries as “green,” “yellow” or “red” based on the state of the pandemic in that nation.
Only Hungary is considered a “green” country. All other countries are currently deemed “red” and people from those countries are not allowed to enter Hungary. Hungarians entering from “yellow” or “red” countries are subject to a 10-day quarantine after receiving a health screening at the border. An exception to this is if they can credibly show two negative coronavirus tests 48 hours apart in the previous five days.
Only European citizens of the Schengen zone are being allowed, as are citizens of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. See the latest updates here.
Beginning 19 August, Iceland imposed stricter entry restrictions for those eligible to travel there. This even applies to residents of Iceland, except for children born after 2005. Anyone entering will have to get a coronavirus PCR test at the airport upon arrival. Then, four to five days after this initial test, you’ll have to get a second COVID-19 test. During that time frame between tests, you must self-quarantine until the results of both tests come back negative. To even be eligible for this test, you must be a resident of the aforementioned countries. As an alternative to the testing requirements, travellers can opt to self-quarantine for a full 14-day period.
A recent lockdown has made travel impractical for anyone not staying in a private residence until at least December. All arrivals must also self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
On 21 October, Ireland decided to reinstitute lock down, which the U.S. Embassy in Ireland says means the entire country has been placed on Level 5 for a period of six weeks. These restrictions, which severely limit movement for residents, limit entry by outsiders to essential travel, and require hotels and other accommodations to not accept new reservations except to carry out essential services, will remain in effect through Tuesday, 1 December.
All arrivals from outside Ireland, including citizens and residents, are required to isolate themselves for two full weeks. Visitors also need to fill out a “Passenger Locator Form” saying where they will be quarantining. There is a fine of up to $2,860 or six months in jail for refusing to fill out the form or falsifying records.
Italy has been among the hardest-hit countries. Italy is open to some Europeans, although travellers from certain countries must provided a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of entering Italy or take a test within 48 hours of arriving. There are currently no internal travel bans.
Rome-Ciampino Airport (CIA) and the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola (FLR) in Florence and other Italian airports have all reopened.
All foreign citizens entering Kosovo who come from high-risk countries, according to the official list of ECDC, must provided a negative COVID-19 PCR test or self-isolate for seven days.
Pristina International Airport is open to all travellers according the embassy.
Still here’s the advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo:
“We urge you to postpone or cancel travel to Kosovo. Kosovo remains under a Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19. The health situation is deteriorating, and public institutions are struggling to keep up with demand. It is possible that border restrictions could be re-imposed with little notice, and the frequent changes are causing confusion at airports and borders.”
Latvia has reopened to EU countries (including the U.K.), as well as to non-EU passport holders that hold EU permanent residence permits. Residents of several other countries outside the EU are allowed to enter. That list can be found here.
The local government is also requiring that passengers from countries with more than 121.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. The list of these countries can be found here. Travellers to Latvia are also required to complete an electronic confirmation form no earlier than 48 hours before entering the country or possibly face a fine of up to €2,000.
Switzerland handles immigration and customs matters for Liechtenstein, meaning that as long as you are qualified to enter Switzerland, you are able to enter Liechtenstein. There is an open border between the two countries.
At this time, entry to Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) is permitted for U.K. and EU nationals and residents of other countries not deemed high-risk. If you hold those passports but are traveling from the United States or any other country listed as high-risk on this list, you will likely be denied entry or be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Like other EU countries, Lithuania has reopened its borders to other EU members (including the U.K.). In October, the country adopted the “traffic light” system to allow or deny entry from other U countries based on the 14-day average of cases per 100,000 residents. In addition, residents of several other countries that have less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (“green light” countries) are allowed to enter. You can find information here.
You may be subject to a 10-day isolation upon arrival, which can be shortened by taking a COVID-19 PCR test after arrival and quarantining until receiving the results.
Luxembourg currently only allows EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter.
More information about restrictions can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg website. On 29 October, the country adopted new COVID-19 safety measures that limit gatherings and set restrictions for shops and restaurants.
Only citizens of countries on the Green List are permitted to enter without testing requirements. Those from Amber List can visit but must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight. Residents of countries on the Red List can visit, but only after having spend 14 days in a safe corridor country and showing a negative test result taken within 72 hours of arrival in Malta. See the latest details here.
Malta is small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean, and it began reopening on 1 May. At the time, the country’s Prime Minister Robert Abela said at a news conference, “I am pleased we have managed to weather the storm without having succumbed to pressure to order a total lockdown.” As you can see in the video below, the county had an advertising campaign with the tagline, “Dream Malta now, visit later.” But as of 29 October, the country issued new restrictions that closed bars, limited social gatherings and required face masks and temperature checks at businesses.
Moldova declared a public healthcare emergency 15 May, and it has been extended until since then. It is, however, open to tourism from some countries.
Monaco’s reigning monarch Prince Albert tested positive for COVID-19 and went into self-quarantine. He has since recovered.
The tiny principality is beginning to reopen to tourists and non-essential travel is highly discouraged.
Following France’s lead, Monaco will allow entrance to citizens of the EU and other select nations, but all travellers must report their plans to Monaco’s Health authorities and arrange for a COVID-19 PCR test taken in their country of origin within 72 hours of travel. Without a test, visitors will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Montenegro is allowing some travellers with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival. No quarantine is required, but face masks, social distancing and capacity limits in shops, restaurants and public places are in effect.
The Netherlands has focused on a slow reopening that since 15 June has included some tourists from the EU, Schengen region, United Kingdom and countries with low COVID-19 cases (currently Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay and China).
For the latest updates on who is allowed to visit, check here.
North Macedonia is now open to all tourists. Skopje International Airport (SKP) and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport (OHD) opened on 1 July. All passengers will face temperature screening, but there are no quarantine or testing requirements.
Norway is closed to most tourists from outside the EU, including Americans, and according to the U.S. Embassy, that ban is now extended until 15 January 2021.
Travellers residing within the EU are allowed to visit Norway, but upon arrival they may face quarantine rules based on lists of lower (“yellow”) and higher (“red”) infection areas. Those from high infection areas, which at the moment includes virtually all of Europe, must isolate for 10 days upon arrival.
Poland is open for tourism by citizens or legal residents of European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia.
Additional information is available here.
Hotels have reopened, and most shops, restaurants, bars, museums and galleries are also open. Face masks are mandatory in public and social distancing restrictions are required in public spaces.
Some international travel is being allowed and all travellers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours. However, Portugal has had to scale back allowing tourists from many spots and on 4 November the metropolitan Lisbon region entered a partial lockdown with new restrictions. Countrywide, masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outside when social distancing isn’t possible.
Romania remains closed to most, and those who are permitted for essential business or family reasons are required to fill in an online questionnaire, undergo a health screening upon arrival and quarantine. Residents of other countries may enter but are required to fill in the questionnaire, undergo a screening and quarantine for 14 days if from a high-risk country (see the list here or here).
Many restrictions were eased in June, with most businesses allowed to open. Effective 18 March, the Government of the Russian Federation banned the entry of all foreign nationals. There has been no change since that ban went into effect.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Serbia, Americans can visit, but if entering Serbia from North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, or Romania, U.S. citizens will need to provide a negative PCR test, taken within the previous 48 hours. If entering from other countries, a negative PCR test is not currently required.
There was unrest in Serbia in July as protests against coronavirus restrictions turned violent, but it seems to have quieted. COVID-19 cases have risen in recent weeks and face mask and social distancing measures are in place.
Slovakia has opened its borders to a few countries in Europe but remains shut out to everyone else.
The country enforced a partial lockdown of its residents from 24 October to 8 November, with two weekends of voluntary testing to try to stem rising cases of COVID-19.
All arriving passengers must fill out an electronic monitoring form.
Slovenia has reportedly reopened its borders to some tourism, but it has a traffic light system of entry requirements. Countries on the red list face a mandatory two-week quarantine on arrival.
The U.S. CDC calls the risk of catching COVID-19 in Slovenia “high,” and says, “The CDC recommends travellers avoid all nonessential international travel to Slovenia. Travellers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Slovenia.”
Spain is among the hardest-hit countries in the world.
Travellers from the EU, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travellers are allowed to enter Spain. Residents of non-European nations are being allowed to visit as tourists and this this includes Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. For updates, check here.
Sweden has become well-known during the coronavirus crisis for not shutting down, instead hoping the population would develop “herd immunity” without hurting the economy or killing too many people. Unfortunately, Sweden has the highest number of deaths and cases in Scandinavia, though those numbers are lower than other countries in Europe.
All nonessential travel to Sweden from non-European visitors was banned indefinitely.
At this time, entry to Switzerland is permitted for residents of countries in the E.U, U.K. and around the world that are not deemed high-risk. If you hold those passports but are traveling from the United States or any other country listed as high-risk, you will likely be denied entry or be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Turkey’s international borders are open for travellers from a number of countries, including the U.S.
Travellers who show signs of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board flights or enter the country. Upon arrival, travelers will be asked to fill out a passenger information form and undergo medical screenings for infection, and anyone showing symptoms upon arrival will be tested for coronavirus. Anyone who tests positive will be referred to a Turkish hospital for quarantine and treatment.
However, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey’s website states that tourist travelers do not need to provide specific health documentation to enter or exit Turkey unless they are arriving for medical treatment.
The official crime and safety report for Turkey can be found here.
Ukraine is under adaptive quarantine until 31 December 2020 and mask-wearing is mandatory on public transportation and in indoor public spaces. U.K. citizens traveling to Ukraine must also demonstrate that they have medical insurance covering all expenses related to COVID-19 treatment while in Ukraine.
The United Kingdom has been especially hard-hit by coronavirus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously got and survived COVID-19. And then on 5 November, with cases rising again, the U.K. entered a second lockdown for a period of four weeks with different restrictions for each nation (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) within the U.K.
The British government opened up its borders to 75 countries and its overseas territories at one point without quarantine. Now there is a much narrower list of “travel corridor” countries whose citizens and residents can travel without having to quarantine. And all four nations that comprise the U.K. have different exemption lists. You can find England’s here, Scotland’s here, Northern Ireland’s here and Wales’ here.
Americans and residents of other nations not on the travel corridor lists are currently allowed to visit the United Kingdom, but there is a giant caveat: a mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The penalty for breaking this quarantine is steep, running to more than $1,200 dollars a night in fines for violations. All visitors must also fill out an online passenger locater form within 48 hours of beginning travel to the U.K.
Heathrow Airport in London (LHR) is set to test new screening methods soon including ultraviolet sanitation, facial recognition thermal screenings and contactless security.
The quarantine rules do not apply to international passengers transiting the airports.
We have seen some reports of Americans trying to get to the European Union from the U.K., but it’s not allowed and you are likely to be turned back (and you would potentially be breaking the law).
Philip Goldson International Airport (BEZ) reopened on 15 August, and the return of tourism began 1 October.
Visitors and returning citizens are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight or will be tested on arrival for $50. If a passenger is showing symptoms they may be placed in quarantine.
Note that all visitors will have to stay at one of the country’s full-service hotels or resorts that have received the Belize Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition. Among the requirements for this designation? The hotels must have private transportation to and from the airport, a restaurant on-property, and strict cleanliness protocols.
In mid-September, Costa Rica began allowing some travellers into the country, depending on the state they live in or came from. That all changed on 1 November, 2020, when Costa Rica began welcoming visitors from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
All arrivals must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and have travel insurance that includes health coverage.
The country of El Salvador reopened for commercial flights on 19 September, to Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) in San Salvador, for the first time since mid-March.
- Produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival
- Wear face masks and practice social distancing in all public settings, including at the airport
The country has said arriving passengers will face temperature checks. The U.S. Embassy also notes that the Salvadoran Ministry of Health can place municipalities under special quarantine with little or no prior notice when a high number of COVID-19 cases is detected.
El Salvador’s president postponed the second phase of its reopening twice because of a spike in cases over the summer. That set off a constitutional crisis with the country’s Supreme Court ruling the plan was unconstitutional. That means businesses are all open with no restrictions.
Guatemala began by reopening its borders to some neighbours like Belize and Honduras, and is now also open for Americans. The country began slowly reopening to tourism on 18 September. Aurora International Airport is again accepting international arrivals.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, arriving passengers age 10 and over must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test conducted no earlier than 72 hours prior to arrival, and must also complete a Heath Pass. In addition, any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.
Current protocols for entering travellers requires officials at borders to confirm the visitor’s negative coronavirus test result, conducted within 72 hours of travel time. Travellers arriving at La Aurora Airport (GUA) who cannot provide recent, negative test results must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine under supervision by authorities from the Ministries of Public Health and Social Assistance.
Travelers must pass through health checkpoints upon entry, and soldiers are enforcing the mandatory use of masks
There are pretty substantial restrictions on hotels and other lodging. Not all hotels are open. Many restaurants also remain closed.
Honduras reopened for tourists from all countries on 17 August, with its international airports in operation. Spirit Airlines has resumed service from Fort Lauderdale and Houston, and American Airlines is flying from Miami.
Entering visitors must complete a registration form from the government, and have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of travel time. They will also be required to sign an affidavit and complete customs. Masks are required in all public spaces. Updates on guidelines can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Honduras website.
The local health authority maintains the right to grant or deny final approval for entry, based on their determination of risk of COVID-19 from any visiting travelers. Exiting travellers must also complete another pre-check form online, as well as complete a health surveillance form, affidavit of clean health and customs form.
Nicaragua never really shut down. There were never any stay-at-home or social-distancing orders here — moves that have drawn criticism from groups like Human Rights Watch. Local sources have reported that the government is discouraging Nicaraguans — including health workers, airport staff, and policemen — from wearing masks. Because of these relaxed rules, there have been questions about how many cases Nicaragua actually has.
The lack of rules does not mean travel is not impacted. The Nicaraguan government never officially implemented any travel restrictions, but its borders and airports effectively closed until October, when flights resumed to Nicaragua including from AeroMexico, American, Avianca, Copa and United. Then Hurricane Eta hit the northeast region of the country in early November, creating flooding and mudslides.
The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua notes that the Nicaraguan government has yet to officially impose any domestic travel restrictions or national quarantine policies as of 20 October. The embassy also states that some travelers are allowed to enter Nicaragua, and a negative COVID-19 test result is required for entry. Travellers should also be prepared for additional health screenings although the embassy says that, officially, travelers are not required to produce any additional health documentation to enter or exit Nicaragua unless they are traveling from a country with known yellow fever risk. The U.S. Government lists Nicaragua as Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
Panama began reopening its airport back in late August, and is now in a phased reopening across the country.
Panama reopened to tourism on 12 October 2020, along with one of the most comprehensive reopening guides. Local health precautions appear to be just as thorough.
Panama currently requires travellers to register via an online health affidavit and have a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Anyone unable to obtain a negative coronavirus test within that time frame can take a COVID-19 rapid test at the airport (cost: $50) and if the result is positive they must quarantine for two weeks.
Argentina has one of the world’s strictest travel bans, restricting all international visitors indefinitely. Some international flights have resumed, but they are few and far between and only Argentine citizens are allowed at this time. No tourists are allowed.
Some essential workers or government workers are excepted, but all incoming arrivals face two weeks of quarantine and other health measures.
Bolivia is currently off-limits to tourists. Some Americans with official business are being allowed in, but you need advance clearance.
The government announced a total quarantine of the country through 31 October. The local U.S. embassy is now reporting that commercial flights have resumed and air borders have reopened, but strict anti-coronavirus measures were still in place until at least 31 October 2020.
Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) airline has flights between La Paz and the United States, but you must have dual citizenship or special permission to enter Bolivia. No quarantine is required as long as you have proof of negative coronavirus test results.
A negative COVID-19 PCR test is required for entry taken within seven days of arriving passengers flights. There is a curfew in place.
The government has not officially imposed any quarantine restrictions and President Jair Bolsonaro denies the need for them, insisting that only the elderly and other high-risk populations should stay home.
The Chilean government closed its borders to foreigners on 18 March and anyone permitted to return is subject to a two-week quarantine upon their arrival. The country is also closed to cruise ships. Much of the nation is under mandatory quarantine rules, with a strict curfew between 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
President Ivan Duque closed Colombian borders to foreign travellers in mid-March, but international flights resumed on 21 September including flights to the United States.
Colombia now says you’ll need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival. Anyone arriving before 1 October had to quarantine for 14 days. After 1 October, the quarantine requirement went away.
Before travelling, visitors should prepare the following:
- Negative PCR COVID-19 test results dated within 96 hours before departure
- Complete the online pre-travel registration form “Check-Mig” within one to 24 hours of your flight departure time
- Download CoronApp to self-report your health throughout the duration of your trip
- Wear a mask at all times and wash your hands and disinfect your belongings on a consistent basis
Arriving passengers will also face health screenings at their point of arrival.
All arriving passengers are required to have the results of a PCR COVID test within the last 10 days prior to arrival.
Those without negative COVID-19 test results will need to get a test upon arrival at their own expense and quarantine until their test results come back negative or for two weeks.
Quito and Guayaquil airports are open and have resumed normal operations.
There are special requirements for the Galapagos Islands. A negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours is a requirement upon arrival in Galapagos.
Paraguay has been under strict quarantine, and was closed to tourism. But the country began easing its internal lockdown in October and on 2 October, the Government of Paraguay reopened Silvio Pettirossi International Airport. Regular commercial flights are expected to resume sometime in November.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay, foreigners are welcome but are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Quarantine time may be reduced to seven days if the traveller presents an RT-PCR test with a negative result 72 hours before entering the country and repeats the same test with a negative result on the seventh day of the quarantine.
Visitors entering the country for stays of less than seven days (round trip ticket required as proof) will not require isolation, but must show a negative result 72 hours before entering the country.
After a prolonged state of emergency that lasted through the end of September, Peru began phase 4 of economic reactivation on 1 October, including the resumption of a limited number of international flights.
All passengers planning to travel to Peru must, 72 hours in advance of flights, sign a sworn declaration agreeing to comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine and attesting that they are symptom free of COVID-19 upon entry. Passengers must also present a negative molecular COVID-19 test to enter.
Foreigners are barred from visiting the country until further notice, according to the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, although an online application system introduced 26 October allows for limited entry of some non-citizen family members and essential workers. The country’s borders with Brazil and Argentina are also closed. Limited commercial flights have resumed.
Tourism will not be allowed in 2020, and more delays are likely. Arriving passengers face health screenings and must present proof of negative COVID-19 test results.
This South American country has been one of the world’s most at-risk nations amid the coronavirus pandemic. PBS reports that the humanitarian crisis currently being exasperated by the coronavirus pandemic.
All international travel – suspension of commercial flights and closure of land and sea borders – had been shut down, but according to the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, limited flights resumed in early November.
The U.S. State Department strongly advises against travel to Venezuela.
Cambodia has opened back up to visitors. On 20 May, it was reported Cambodia would reopen its borders to tourists from six countries, but not the United Kingdom. People from America, France, Iran, Italy, Germany, and Spain were allowed to enter Cambodia. Per the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, there are still severe restrictions.
All visitors will need to provide a test result proving they are COVID-19 free taken within 72 hours of their arrival in Cambodia. They will also need to pay a deposit of $2,000 upon arrival for mandatory COVID-19 testing and potential treatment, purchase a local health insurance package for $90 (valid for 20 days) and quarantine in official facilities/hotels until getting test results.
Also complicating travel to Cambodia: The country has suspended e-visa and visa-on-arrival programs until further notice and has also suspension of some tourist-related services continue.
China was where COVID-19 emerged, and it suspended entry for nearly all foreigners and slashed the volume of international passenger flights to and from the country in March and strict anti-travel measures remain in place. This summer, flights began to resume and in September, the State Department eased its travel advisory for China, lowering it from Level 4: Do Not Travel to Level 3: Reconsider Travel, mainly due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws.
The U.S. Embassy in China says that U.S. citizens with valid resident permits and visas can enter China “under certain conditions.” And beginning 6 November, Chinese authorities increased the requirements for passengers seeking to enter China from the United States. Details can be found here.
China is now encouraging domestic tourism, but it is also asking its own citizens not to travel internationally.
People who are proven healthy can generally move around within their own cities now, but they are being closely tracked via their cellphones and temperature checks in public are common.
Hong Kong Airport began allowing transit passengers back in June, but there is no fixed timeline for tourism at this time. Transit passengers are international travellers who are only flying into Hong Kong in order to catch another flight. Transit passengers cannot leave the airport.
Current regulations state that all non-Hong Kong residents arriving by plane will be denied entry, “until further notice.” The U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau says that “only U.S. citizens with Hong Kong residency, diplomats, and U.S. citizens that have not traveled outside of mainland China, Taiwan, and Macau in the past 14 days are permitted to enter Hong Kong.”
All non-Hong Kong residents coming from mainland China, Macau and Taiwan will be subject to a 14-day compulsory quarantine after entering Hong Kong, but entry will be denied if the non-Hong Kong resident has travelled to any overseas countries or regions in the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
There had been talks underway to allow some travel without quarantine between Hong Kong, Macau and parts of China, but those so-called “travel bubbles,” have not yet been possible. One between Hong Kong and Singapore could start in November.
India announced back in March that it was no longer allowing foreigners into the country. A suspension of international flights has been lifted, but only for humanitarian or essential travel. Some business travellers are being allowed in again. No tourists allowed.
According to the U.S. Embassy in India, commercial air travel is picking up slowly within the country. International commercial passenger flights are resuming, and several airlines have been offering flights to European cities that have connecting flights to the U.S. Thermal screeners have been installed in airports to scan arriving international passengers and those with a fever will be taken to isolation facilities for further testing. All arriving travellers must also quarantine, with quarantine lengths varying by region.
India is far advanced in its reopening plans. Businesses are open and the country restarted its metro systems in September. There’s no word yet on when foreign tourists might be welcome again.
Indonesia is in the middle of reopening, but it cancelled plans to reopen Bali to tourists until at least 2021.
The Indonesian government has allowed airlines to resume domestic flights with certain restrictions. International travel is no longer banned, but there are restrictions. All foreign visitors must already have an existing valid visa or residence permit. Visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry for all foreign travellers remains suspended. Visitors must also have a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) and are required to quarantine for 14 days.
The Indonesian government has said it is trying to fully reopen the economy at some point in 2020, but it has faced rising COVID-19 cases. The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory for Indonesia is Level 4: Do Not Travel.
A state of emergency for all of Japan is now lifted, and the country is undergoing a reopening of its economy, but is still holding onto its entry ban for nearly 111 countries and regions – including the United Kingdom. Some business travel has resumed, but no tourism is allowed.
The government has also announced that foreign travellers are required to submit a PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure and will face testing upon their arrival in Japan and will also need to submit a detailed itinerary that includes accommodations and places they intend to visit. Visitors are asked to refrain from using public transportation as well.
Japan was supposed to host the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in July, but that date has now been pushed back to summer of 2021, and may even be further delayed.
The land-locked central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is closed to most travellers. International flights from Azerbaijan, China, South Korea, Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates have resumed.
Tourism is not welcome. The U.S. State Department has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory in place for the country.
Kyrgyzstan reopened some of its businesses in early May and allowed the national curfew to be lifted. Malls and markets were able to open their doors 25 May, along with public transportation and commercial flights have resumed. .
Coronavirus is under control in Macau, but travel is still limited due to active cases in its neighbouring regions. The government is in active discussions to ease travel restrictions, however, with some travel between China and Macau resuming, most of China will be welcome soon.
Malaysia is still advising tourists to avoid coming. In fact, current travel restrictions on all foreign nationals – with very limited exceptions – were extended to until the end of the year. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has eased some restrictions on internal travel.
The Maldives had announced one of the most liberal opening policies in the world, but it has since placed restrictions on tourists.
International visitors must now have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of their departure and complete an online health survey.
Related: Maldives reopening
Tourists also need proof of reservation with an approved hotel or resort.
Emirates Airlines is offering connections through Dubai from major global cities including Chicago. Etihad resumed flights from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives starting in July. Turkish Airlines also started flights in July.
Nepal remains closed to tourism, according to the U.S. Embassy in Nepal. International flights have resumed but only for Nepalese citizens. The Kathmandu Post suggests tourism will not resume until 2021 at the earliest.
Pakistan has reopened for some, however the U.S. state department says, “Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to COVID-19 and terrorism.”
Americans wishing to travel to Pakistan will need a visa, and they will need to take a COVID-19 test on arrival. It is unclear what type of test will be offered. They will also face health screenings on arrival.
A ban on international travellers went into effect on 22 March, and it’s unclear when this restriction will be lifted.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Americans are not allowed unless they meet certain requirements and already have a Philippine visa. There are also quarantines in place in some cities as well as curfews.
The Bureau of Immigration says no foreigners are allowed into the country. Spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said, “Only Filipinos, their foreign spouse and children, accredited foreign government and international organization officials, and foreign airline crew shall remain eligible to enter the Philippines.”
Singapore remains closed for short-term visitors (including tourism). All arrivals must quarantine for two weeks in what Singapore terms a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).
The country is beginning to relax transit restrictions at Changi Airport. Unfortunately, most are still not allowed to transit at the beautiful Singapore airport.
Singapore is also testing a “fast lane” for business travellers from certain Asian countries (like China and South Korea), removing the need for a mandatory 14-day quarantine for them. It is hoping to create travel bubbles with a few other countries.
Many travellers can go to South Korea, but a mandatory two-week quarantine will make it undesirable for most folks.
While the country is technically open to foreigners on short-term visits, most (with limited exceptions) are subject to a mandatory quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense for 14 days. The local U.S. embassy notes that this will cost approximately $100 USD per night, and passengers will be required to sign a release form agreeing to these conditions before departing.
South Korea has agreed with China and Singapore to allow some business travel between the countries.
Limited tourism was supposed to begin again on 1 August, but that has been delayed indefinitely.
When foreign tourism does resume, the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka notes that groups of travellers from selected countries will have to have a valid COVID-19 test done in one of Sri Lanka’s two international airports — Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) or Mattala International Airport (HRI) — and will stay in approved hotels that have met the safety and sanitation requirements. Popular tourist locations will be open with regular temperature checks. Individual travelers will still not be welcomed.
Taiwan banned international tourism as of 19 March.That ban remains in place.
Some travellers are allowed to go to Taiwan under certain very strict circumstances. They must have permission from the Taiwan government beforehand. All arrivals must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine.
Transit passengers passing through the nation en route to other destinations are now allowed, but there are lots of rules including restricting transit time to under eight hours.
Tajikistan never did have a full lockdown, and most businesses, hotels and restaurants reopened on 15 June. The U.S. State Department has a “Do not travel” advisory in effect for Tajikistan related to both COVID-19 and the potential for terrorism.
Thailand remains closed to most foreign tourists, and anyone entering the country will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
There is some progress to report. In mid-September the government announced it would soon begin offering 90-day visas to some tourists willing to stay for three months. Applicants will have to stay at a hotel or private accommodation for the entire time. After a two-week quarantine, they will be able to freely move around the country.
All flights in and out are cancelled until at least early November. In addition land borders are closed. Turkmenistan claims it doesn’t have any cases of COVID-19, but the embassy casts doubt on those claims.
Uzbekistan promises to compensate tourists up to $3,000 if they catch COVID-19.
U.K. citizens need a visa for entry, and a negative COVID-19 PCR test is required within 72 hours of departure to Uzbekistan. Tourists face health screenings on arrival.
Radio Free Europe reports Uzbekistan lifted its ban on international flights from October 1.
Vietnam resumed international flights in September from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia and Laos for Vietnamese nationals, diplomats, experts, managers and skilled workers. Tourists are still not welcome.
Foreign tourists were originally banned as of 22 March, and it is uncertain when the Vietnamese government will revisit this travel advisory. According to the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, U.S. citizens are not permitted into Vietnam, with “limited exemptions for diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers, foreign investors, and high-tech workers of businesses involved in important projects as determined by the Government of Vietnam.”
Some tourist attractions have reopened, and there is some good news to report. Domestic tourism within Vietnam is now open again, and Vietnam is in talks with several other countries to created so-called “travel bubbles” allowing citizens of trusted neighbours to visit.
Australia remains closed to most foreign visitors.
However, in October Australia and New Zealand created a “travel bubble,” allowing anyone who has been in New Zealand for the past 14 days and are travelling on a quarantine-free flight to travel to Australia quarantine-free.
Australian leaders have suggested foreign travel for Australians might not even be possible until 2021.
French Polynesia officially reopened on 15 July. The island nation had implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travellers back in March, but it was dropped under pressure from the tourism industry (among others), and the nation then saw a surge in cases. It subsequently created new entry protocols.
If you plan on travelling to French Polynesia, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure for all adults and any child age six or older. You must also present the receipt of your online health registration from the Electronic Travel Information System platform.
Additionally, all incoming travellers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance.
Four days after arrival, you will be subject to another COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health and Prevention is distributing self-test kits to all visitors, which must be self-administered and then dropped at your hotel’s reception desk for collection. Instructions can be found here.
All travellers are advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. If you do exhibit symptoms during your stay, you must self-report and self-isolate in your room until further instruction from local emergency operators.
Authorities have also implemented a state of health emergency with reinforced safety measures through 16 November, with the likelihood of extension though 25 November. The islands of Tahiti and Moorea have a curfew in effect from 9 pm to 4 am.
If you’re itching to travel to French Polynesia, there are lots of options for getting there. Be sure to check out our guide on the best way to get to Tahiti using points and miles.
Fiji has a strict lockdown still in place. The country is essentially closed to tourism with no signs of easing the lockdown anytime soon. Fiji Airways has grounded 95% of its flights; the only flights in November are repatriation flights for Australian and New Zealand citizens seeking to return home.
Here’s how the U.S. Embassy in Fiji puts it: “Entry to Fiji is currently very restricted. Travel by non-Fiji citizens for tourism or visits is generally not permitted, with exceptions possible for arrivals by sea. Travellers should contact Fiji Immigration with specific inquiries.”
Many hotels are closed. Interestingly, Fiji does allow visitors by private yacht. Arriving tourists must quarantine for two weeks at sea before being allowed ashore.
Fiji is in talks with Australia and New Zealand about entering into a so-called “travel bubble” that would allow citizens of the three countries to travel freely, but nothing has been finalized.
New Zealand has been praised for its early and tough restrictions that kept cases of coronavirus low in the country. It restricted travel from Wuhan, China, by 3 February. In fact, New Zealand is being hailed as one of the shining stars of dealing with COVID-19.
A complete ban on foreigners is now in effect and the border is effectively closed to foreign tourists. From the government website: “The New Zealand border is currently closed to almost all travellers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has discussed a travel bubble with Australia, and the initial roll-out began in October with a one-way program to select Australian destinations with travellers able to forgo Australia’s 14-day quarantine.
As of 4 September, some travellers are once again permitted to receive a visa upon arrival. U.S. visitors do not need to bring a negative PCR COVID-19 test when entering Bahrain. However, all arriving passengers will be tested for COVID-19 at their own expense, at a cost of $80 (30 Bahraini dinars). Passengers remaining in the country for more than 10 days must take two tests, which would double the cost to the traveller. Any positive test results will result in quarantine at a government facility until a clean bill of health is received.
Israel was forced to go into a second lockdown on 13 September because of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, but the international airport remains open.
Israel’s Ministry of Health updated its Covid-19 restrictions, which include the requirement to wear a protective mask over the nose and mouth in public.
Back in March, the government announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, would not be allowed to enter Israel. There are no current plans to ease that restriction. Some Israeli citizens returning from overseas and some non-nationals whose lives are based in Israel are being allowed to return and self-quarantine.
Luxury hotel company Dan hotels announced it was reopening all of its hotels including the King David Jerusalem.
Jordan is open to some, but they must complete an electronic application prior to travel and receive an acceptance QR code minimum 24 hours before the flight. They will also need to provide results of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for Jordan, have health insurance and take another coronavirus test on arrival. They will also need to install Aman.jo app on their mobile phones and agree to health tracking.
Once in Jordan, travellers must undergo mandatory home quarantine for a period of 14 days, according to this official government designation. During home quarantine, COVID-19 PCR testing will occur on the seventh and fourteenth days of quarantine.
Kuwait is not welcoming foreign tourists.
Travellers entering Kuwait will only be permitted in with either a valid visa or a residency permit. Visitor visas are not being issued upon arrival at the airport, nor are visas available electronically in advance; they can only be requested from a Kuwaiti embassy or consulate.
Arriving passengers over the age of six must produce a negative PCR test result administered by a health clinic within 96 hours of boarding their flight to Kuwait. Results must be in English, and do not need to be translated. Furthermore, a random PCR test will be conducted on 10 percent of passengers of each flight upon arrival.
Travellers arriving must register through the Shlonik app prior to boarding the aircraft, and must quarantine at home for 14 days upon arrival in Kuwait.
The use of face masks is mandatory in all public areas, and the Ministry of Health is randomly testing residents and citizens daily.
Some travellers can travel to Lebanon. As of 31 July, all travellers over the age of 12 must produce a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel in order to enter the country. Upon arrival, travellers must opt either for a second PCR test within 72 hours of arrival at the traveller’s expense (about $50, collected by the airline), or else go into self-quarantine for 10 days. All travelers to Lebanon must complete a medical form issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health before boarding their flight.
The Ministry of Interior has also restricted movement and activities in several villages in Lebanon through early November.
Masks are required at all times outdoors and in public spaces, and all violators will be fined $33 per each violation. Furthermore, there is a nightly curfew in place from 1 a.m. until local sunrise each night.
Flights resumed to Oman on 1 October, but only those with valid Omani residency are allowed at this time.
Proof of a mandatory PCR COVID-19 test is required to be taken within 96 hours of entering the Sultanate through Muscat International Airport (MCT), Salalah Airport (SLL), Sohar Airport (OHS), and Duqm Airport (DQM). In addition, travellers must quarantine for seven days and a second PCR test is required on day eight. Each test costs $65, and will be paid by the traveller.
PCR tests must be pre-booked on the Tarassud+ mobile app before arrival in Oman. The application collects health and contact information as well as taking payment for PCR tests online.
Qatar is not welcoming foreign tourists. According to the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, non-Qatari citizens cannot enter Qatar.
U.S. travellers are allowed to enter Qatar under specific circumstances, but not for tourism. Entering travellers must produce a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine upon arrival.
Those who are citizens and enter Qatar are subject to a two-week quarantine. Americans are now allowed to transit Doha’s international airport, but their onward flight must be within 24 hours.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, travellers are only allowed to enter Saudi Arabia with current residence permits as well as valid entry/exit visas, or if they hold business or visit visas.
Face masks are mandatory in all public venues, and violations are subject to a fine of $2,666. Crowd sizes are limited to no more than 50. Grocery stores remain well stocked, and malls, shops, and private entities are open, though some may only offer limited services.
Travellers over the age of eight must produce a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country, with results obtained within 72 hours of arrival time. Upon arrival, travellers must quarantine for two days upon arrival.
The U.S. Embassy also says that the government of Saudi Arabia has announced that the complete lifting of restrictions on entering and exiting the Kingdom and resumption of all means of transport through land, sea and airports will occur after 1 January 2021 and will be announced at least 30 days ahead of the opening.
U.K. travellers are not able to enter Syria at this time.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is opening to tourism. Dubai reopened to tourists beginning 7 July, and now tourist visas are being issued in all emirates, including Abu Dhabi. .
Tourists over the age of 12 visiting the country will be required to present a recent COVID-19 PCR test negative certificate done within 96 hours of departure or undergo testing at Dubai or Abu Dhabi airports. Tourists must also download the COVID-19 DXB app and register their details.
All test results must be presented either in English or Arabic in original, physical form. Digital copies will not be accepted. Travelers with severe and moderate disabilities may be exempted from the test requirement.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority of the UAE (NCEMA), as well as the official website of the UAE, has stated that anyone entering the UAE from another country must undergo a self-quarantine of 14 days. Violating home quarantine is punishable with fines or jail time.
However, visitors entering Dubai are not required to quarantine, but they might be asked to take a second PCR test upon arrival and then quarantine at their hotel or residence until receiving a negative result. Travellers entering Abu Dhabi and other northern emirates must quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their test results. For complete testing requirements, check here.
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All arrivals will also be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveler is suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus.
Tourists must comply with preventive measures and safety procedures and must self-isolate for 14 days if they test positive.
The U.S. State Department has maintained a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory on Yemen for some time, even before COVID-19 became a threat, due to issues with terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, armed conflict, and landmines. The embassy in Sana’a suspended operations in early 2015, and U.S. citizens in Yemen will not be able to rely on emergency services from the U.S. government.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August. It is perhaps best known for the Virunga National Park and for being home to the mountain gorilla. Most businesses and schools are now open. Unfortunately, Virunga National Park is not set to open until 2021.
According to the U.S. Embassy, all arriving international travellers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days of their departure to DRC. Upon arrival, travellers age 11 and older must take a COVID-19 test at the airport. Travellers should register their information and pay for the test at INRBCOVID.com before they begin their travel. The cost of the required test is US$45. After testing at the airport, arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.
International tourism resumed in Egypt on 1 July. The Great Pyramids of Giza also reopened on 1 July after being closed since March, reported Reuters. The pyramids underwent a deep cleaning of all paths and touchpoints earlier this summer.
Related: Egypt reopening
You may need a tourist visa available on arrival or before arrival via online enrollment. There are no quarantine requirements although you will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test. According to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, while most travellers over the age of six, including Egyptians, will require results of tests taken within 72 hours prior to departure for Egypt, passengers travelling from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt will be allowed to provide the test certificate performed at a maximum of 96 hours prior to flight departure, due to the long travel and transit period from these airports. You also have to have the physical (printed) test results. No digital documents are being accepted.
According to the Egyptair website, international passengers travelling directly to Sharm el Sheikh (SSH), Taba (TCP), Hurghada (HRG) and Marsa Alam (RMF) airports who failed to submit a valid PCR test (72 or 96 hours before flight departure time), will undergo the PCR test upon arrival to those airports with a charge of 30 USD. Passengers will then be isolated in their hotels until the PCR test result is received. Should the PCR test be positive, the passenger will need to self-isolate in his/her room at the hotel and coordinate with the Egyptian Ministry of health.
Ghana’s Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international service on 1 September, although the country’s land and sea borders remain closed. Arriving passengers by air must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin not more than 72 hours prior to departure.
In addition, upon arrival, each traveller age five and older must undergo a COVID-19 test conducted at the airport. There is a $150 fee per person. Travellers can pay the fee online before departure or pay upon arrival at the airport in Accra. Ghana’s Ministry of Public Health has mandated the use of face masks in public.
Kenya is now open for tourism again as of 1 August. President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country has reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions but precautions should still be taken, reports Reuters.
Under the reopening plan, travel in and out of Nairobi was allowed and general domestic travel began 15 July. International travel began 1 August. Mosques can open for an hour with 100 visitors. A mandatory face mask requirement while in public remains in effect and a nightly curfew starting at 10 pm has been extended through 3 January 2021.
All visitors need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival.
The island nation was under lockdown from 20 March to 15 June when the restrictions were fully lifted.
As of 1 October 2020 Brits are now allowed to visit but only long-stay arrivals may be approved with a mandatory 14-day quarantine at an establishment recognized by the authorities, which includes multiple COVID-19 PCR tests.
Mask mandates remain in effect throughout the island.
Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius
Morocco extended its strict state of emergency until 10 November. Brits are among citizens of several dozen countries currently allowed to enter the country without a visa, but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and present it in printed form at airport check-in and upon arrival in Morocco. Face masks are mandatory in flight.
According to the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, travellers must also have confirmed reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency.
Be aware that there are still curfews in some cities, and domestic travel within Morocco requires a travel authorization letter from local officials. Apparently, a hotel reservation can be all the documentation you may need.
To help fight coronavirus, Morocco has rapidly expanded its fleet of drones for surveillance, public service announcements and sanitization.
Namibia is open with a COVID-19 test required.
Arriving visitors also have to stay at their first lodging for a period of one week. It has to be a government-approved hotel or camp, and arrivals must be registered with the government.
International flights and tourists are now allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival, fill out a health questionnaire and stay in their hotel or other lodging for seven days before being allowed to move freely in the country. The current rules are in place through 30 November, according to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia.
President Hage Geingob said in a televised address, “The virus is likely to remain in our midst for a prolonged time and we must learn to live with it … learning to live with the virus means adapting our attitudes and behaviours so that we can reduce the damage it can do to our country.”
Nigeria reopened its airports on 8 July after months of closure. Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports all reopened for domestic flights in July, and international flights resumed in August.
All tourists are again welcome.
Arriving international passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of departure. A Quarantine Protocol issued in September requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal and pay for another test seven days after arrival in Nigeria.
Now might be the perfect time to plan that safari adventure you’ve always wanted to take if you are able to swing it. Rwanda has done a good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak with only 4,020 cases and 16 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. Face masks are required when in public spaces.
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Rwanda is home to three major national parks. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.
The land-locked country reopened to all nationalities back on 17 June, and the international airport reopened to commercial flights 1 August. All arriving passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test taken within 120 hours (five days) of departure for Rwanda.
VisitRwanda’s reopening guidance says, “For passengers entering Rwanda, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours, during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.”
Rwanda is offering visa on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com.
All national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for coronavirus 19-48 hours before visiting.
International flights have resumed to Senegal, but land and sea borders remain closed. The government of Senegal is only allowing legal residents for the most part. Senegal also requires a negative COVID-19 test taken with seven days of arrival and only from the country where you started your trip. The West African country also requires all arrivals to submit a ‘Public Health Passenger Locator’ form. Arriving passengers face health screenings. Hotels are open. There is no curfew, but a mandatory mask order remains in effect.
Seychelles is currently open to visitors from 45 countries.
Commercial flights started back up in July.
Approved countries have been divided into Category 1 countries and Category 2 countries. Tourists from Category 1 countries are required to be tested for COVID-19 (polymerase chain reaction test) within 72 hours before they arrive, while those from Category 2 countries must present a negative test taken within 48 hours prior to departure and upon arrival isolate in a designated establishment for six nights, with a second PCR test performed on the fifth day.
Visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures, and the tourism department is planning to introduce an app that will track tourists’ movements to facilitate contact tracing.
The Seychelles said at one point that it was banning cruise ships until 2022.
South Africa began reopening to tourism on 1 October. And on 11 November, the country announced it was opening to all travellers, provided they provide certain information.
Citizens of countries approved to come will need to provide a negative coronavirus PCR test taken with three days of departure. They will also face a health screening on arrival.
If a passenger has a negative test result, they will not have to quarantine. Those who don’t bring tests will need to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense.
Travellers must also download the South Africa coronavirus mobile tracing app, and fill-in all the information on that app.
Tanzania is now accepting tourists with no quarantine conditions attached.
Tanzania was among the first African nations to reopen to tourism. At first, tourists only had to undergo a health screening, but now all incoming travellers need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Many tourists are required to have a visa with details here.
The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and all arriving travellers are “subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary COVID-19 rapid testing. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit. Readers have confirmed that they have had no issues flying into the country.
Arriving passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin taken not more than 72 hours before departure for Uganda. Passengers will be subjected to temperature and health screening upon arrival at Entebbe Airport. Any arriving passengers who exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation centre for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travellers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment, or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost.
Uganda has eased some of its lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen. There is a nightly 9 pm curfew and masks are required when in public. The U.S. State Department has also issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning due to COVID-19 and the risk of kidnapping.
Previously, the government imposed strict restrictions that included the closure of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public vehicles. Transportation resumed in 33 districts, others who have large refugee populations and alre large hubs of transit on the border remained restricted.
Zambia is open to international travellers. The country is known as one of the top safari destinations and includes Victoria Falls.
Zambia now requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 14 days of arrival. Tourists also need a visa. There are also no quarantine requirements right now, but there are reports of some limited health screenings. You can apply for an e-visa online here.
President Edgar Lungu said on 11 September 2020, that bars and schools would begin reopening with limited hours.
Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on 1 October 2020. In a statement, the government said, “All travellers will be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.”
The country had been asking all arriving passengers to self-quarantine for 21 days though that request was lifted when the international border reopened.
The Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told media outlets the country was also now allowing all attractions and businesses to reopen including the spectacular Victoria Falls.
Additional reporting by Katherine Fan, Jordyn Fields, Jane Frye, Donna Heiderstadt, Liz Hund, Brian Kim, Stella Shon and Mimi Wright.
Featured photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images.
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