Once one of the world’s most powerful travel documents, the might of the US passport has shriveled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With US coronavirus cases around the 6.6 million mark, many nations continue to view America with trepidation. The European Union has omitted the United States from its list of countries whose tourists may visit. Americans still can’t vacation in their neighbor to the north, Canada, nor head to many Asian favorites such as Thailand.
While most US travelers are staying close to home with short-distance car trips, some still want to go abroad. For those people, there are still popular vacation options such as Mexico, Ireland and South Korea. And the list has been slowly growing.
Whether travel to “open” international destinations is responsible or advisable is up to you. It’s worth noting that since the pandemic is ongoing, anything can change at any time.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US State Department provide Covid-19 risk assessments by country. The vast majority on the CDC website are deemed “high risk.” The State Department categorizes most nations as Level 3, or “reconsider travel.”
What follows is a list of countries, in alphabetical order, where it’s still possible for US passport holders to go for a vacation.
On the gorgeous Adriatic Sea, Albania has resumed international commercial flights. The US Embassy website states that while there’s no Covid-19 test requirements, you can expect a health screening.
“Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice,” it also states.
Antigua and Barbuda
US travelers to Antigua and Barbuda “arriving by air must present a negative Covid-19-RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven days of their flight,” according an advisory on the country’s tourism website.
Visitors are subject to monitoring by health officials for 14 days and another Covid-19 test may be required, which could mean quarantining while waiting for the result. Masks are required in public spaces. Violations can involve stiff fines and even jail time.
Turkey’s intriguing neighbor to the east is open for US tourists to explore. Travelers will need to take a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival or face mandatory isolation for 14 days. Passengers who get tested must isolate until they get a negative result. A list of testing sites can be found on Zvartnots International Airport’s website.
UPDATE: All US visitors 15 and older are required to fill out a health assessment. You must also have a negative Covid-19 test result with either a test prior to travel, a test upon arrival or a dual-testing process. You must also purchase specific Aruba visitors insurance.
Aruba also has a list of US states it considers higher-risk, and people from those states will require additional testing. As Aruba changes this list time to time, you should check for your state here before you make plans. The list was last updated on September 24.
The Aruba tourism site has all the specific health requirements for incoming passengers, which are considerable and too long to detail here.
UPDATE: Visitors to these sun-kissed islands must request an online health visa before travel. You must then upload and later present negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result no more than five days before travel. Hotel guests must vacation in place for 14 days or the duration of their trip, whichever is shorter. Updates can be found on the islands’ Covid-19 travel website.
US citizens may travel to this culturally rich South Asian nation. The US Embassy in Bangladesh says you must have a “medical certificate with English translation” stating you’re negative for Covid-19, with the test taken within 72 hours of travel. You must also “home quarantine” for 14 days even with a negative test.
UPDATE: US citizens must complete an online form and submit 24 hours before travel, the US Embassy reports. You must present a valid Covid-19 PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of arrival. As the US is designated a high-risk country, you must still quarantine for 14 days at an approved hotel or resort and you’ll be monitored daily for symptoms. After five days of submitting the entry test, visitors can take a second second Covid-19 PCR test and be released from quarantine with a negative result. You can also find out more here at the Visit Barbados website.
While in the midst of mass protests, the borders of Belarus are open to Americans. There are no restrictions on entry, although passengers should expect temperature checks at Minsk National Airport.
Bermuda requires each inbound passenger (regardless of age) to apply for travel authorization, at the cost of $75 per adult and $30 for flight crew and children 9 and younger. Visitors who do not have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result will not be given the authorization to travel to Bermuda.
Upon arrival, passengers must present the pre-departure negative test results and submit to an additional Covid-19 test and quarantine until the results are ready. More tests are required after day three, seven and 14. Be sure you read and understand all the requirements before you go.
While Brazil maintains a “Level 4 Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel) due to Covid-19” by the US State Department, its borders are open to US visitors who show proof of health insurance that is valid in Brazil and covers the entire stay.
Because of the pandemic, “only emergency American Citizen Services are available at the US Embassy in Brasilia and Consulates General” throughout the country.
If you have $2,000 and want a Cambodian adventure, it’s a real option.
Rules are stringent. Visitors must present a negative test taken no more than 72 hours upon arrival. You then must take another Covid-19 test, and if negative, the remaining funds will be returned minus $160 to cover the cost of the test and a fully catered day in a waiting center.
A positive test result carries serious financial and social consequences, involving hospitalization, medical care and the 14-day quarantine of all fellow inbound flight passengers and additional affiliated expenses.
UPDATE: As of September 21, US tourists from 18 states and Washington, DC may enter Costa Rica: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey,New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state and Wyoming. Costa Rica is planning to admit travelers from California on October 1 “if the epidemiological scenario permits it.” Travelers’ residency in these states is to be verified by driver’s license. This state list is subject to frequent changes, so check it before you make plans.
Visitors must also complete a “health pass” form show negative on Covid-19 PCR test, taken within 48 hours of travel. You must have proof of travel medical insurance, which you can get in Costa Rica.
Ignoring the EU ban Americans traveling to Europe, Croatia began welcoming US tourists in July.
Travelers need to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test, “not older than 48 hours (starting from the time of taking the swab until arrival at the border crossing),” according to an alert on the website of the US Embassy in Zagreb.
This eastern Caribbean island reopened to international tourism in early August. All travelers to Dominica must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, recorded between 24 and 72 hours before arrival, and complete an electronic Immigration and Customs form via Dominica’s online portal 24 hours before traveling. US travelers should expect further testing and screening.
UPDATE: People traveling to the Dominican Republic no longer have to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test result on arrival. DR authorities will give breath tests to no more than 10% of random passengers plus anyone showing symptoms. You must also fill out a health affidavit.
Visitors to Dubai must have medical travel insurance to cover any Covid-19 treatment and present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 96 hours of arrival. You must complete a “health declaration form” before departing to confirm you are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms.
Furthermore, “tourists are required to register all their details in the Covid-19 DXB app on arrival,” according to the Visit Dubai website.
Ecuador requires US travelers to present proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 10 days of arrival to avoid quarantine. Testing is available for those who don’t have a negative result. You must quarantine at an approved facility while waiting for results.
The Galapagos islands’ require visitors to take another Covid-19 PCR test and present negative results within 96 hours of arrival in Ecuador.
All international travelers to Egypt need to present a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival. Travelers must present paper copies; digital copies aren’t accepted. Children 5 and younger are exempt.
On September 1, Egypt reopened Luxor and Aswan governorates to international visitors, including temples, archaeological sites and museums.
Known for its surreal landscapes and ancient culture, Ethiopia requires arriving US citizens to have a medical certificate with a negative Covid-19 RT PCR test issued 72 hours before arrival. In addition, Ethiopia requires a 14-day quarantine.
US travelers are welcome to the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora. French Polynesia requires a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure, to be presented before boarding. Passengers must complete a “sanitary entry form” detailing their state of health and agree to report symptoms and submit to additional testing deemed necessary.
A West African cultural jewel, Ghana is open to US travelers. You must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result that’s 72 hours old or less. Arriving passengers then must take a second test that costs $150. There’s also a temperature screening.
Arriving passengers must complete a health form and self-quarantine for 14 days.
According to the US Embassy in Haiti, “The Ministry of Public Health will check in with passengers three times after arrival in Haiti, using information provided in the health declaration form, to determine any onset of Covid-19 symptoms.”
Travel to Honduras is permitted with a negative Covid-19 PCR and/or serology test. There may also be a quarantine requirement for passengers who have symptoms. Honduras is rated Level 4: Do not travel by the US State Department.
US travelers were never banned from visiting Ireland, but you must finish 14-day quarantine upon arrival and fill out a “passenger locator form.”
UPDATE: Through at least September 30, Jamaica requires completion of an online “travel authorization” and the possibility of being tested upon arrival. All passengers arriving from the US 12 or older are required to upload negative Covid-19 test results to receive travel authorization. The test date must be less than 10 days of arrival.
Be sure to read the website’s requirements carefully before you plan your trip as it has explicit instructions about taking tests and where you can go.
Kenya is open to US travelers with a negative Covid-19 test result taken 96 hours or less upon arrival and who pass a strict health screening.
UPDATE: The Maldives has reopened to all international tourists. All arriving tourists must present a negative result for a PCR Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. There is no mandatory quarantine. See the Maldives’ official tourism website for details.
Travelers wishing to sidestep the EU travel ban and who are willing to quarantine can visit Malta. Passengers who transit via a “safe corridor country” that allows US visitors may enter Malta after they’ve been in that country for 14 days.
For example, US travelers can stay 14 days in Ireland or Turkey and then be eligible to enter Malta. All passengers must fill out Public Health Travel Declaration and the Passenger Locator Forms before departure.
UPDATE: Though the land border between the United States and Mexico remains closed through October 21, US travelers can still fly to Mexico. No testing requirements are in place, but the State Department lists numerous states to avoid because of crime. You can expect temperature checks and other screenings upon arrival.
Montenegro welcomes Americans with a negative Covid-19 PCR test result or a positive coronavirus antibody test result, neither older than 72 hours. Travelers 5 and younger than do not have to show test results.
According to the US Embassy in Montenegro, “Travelers must not have stopped, nor transited through, countries that are not permitted to enter Montenegro within the previous 15 days.” No quarantine with a negative Covid-19 result.
This North Africa favorite is open to specific US travelers only. You must have reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency or be invited by a Moroccan company for business, the US Embassy in Morocco says.
A printed, negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours and a serological test (can be outside 48 hours) are required. Expect a health screening, but no mandatory quarantines are in place. Limited flights available.
UPDATE: US citizens can visit the desert nation of Namibia, which requires a negative Covid-19 PCR test result that’s 72 hours old or less. There are health screenings at the airport. There’s no mandatory quarantine upon arrival, but you must be available for a second Covid-19 test on the fifth day of your visit.
All international visitors must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken within 120 hours of departure to Rwanda. They also must take a second test upon arrival, shelter in a hotel and receive their results within a day. The national parks are open, including primate tracking.
UPDATE: According to the US Embassy in Serbia, you must fill out a self-assessment before entering. One notable exception: If entering Serbia from North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria or Romania, US citizens need to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken within the previous 48 hours.
The island of St. Barts reopened to international travelers in late June. Visitors are required to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those staying longer than a week will need to pay about $150 for an additional test on their eighth day.
US citizens traveling to St. Lucia must provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken within seven days of arrival. Visitors must also complete a travel registration form arrive with a printed copy.
Visitors must have confirmed reservations at a Covid-certified property for the duration of their trip. And tourists must stay where they have registered unless the hotel has set up an approved excursion.
UPDATE: St. Maarten has reopened to US travelers, who must present a negative result from a PCR test for Covid-19 “obtained from a naso-pharyngeal swab only and performed within 120 hours prior to departure.”
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
UPDATE: US travelers to St. Vincent and the Grenadines must thave a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken seven days or less upon arrival. You’ll need to quarantine in an approved hotel for five days and get a second Covid-19 test.
US travelers can visit South Korea, but you must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
According to the US Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea, “Generally speaking, US citizens traveling to [South] Korea from the United States as tourists on the 90-day visa-waiver program do not need a Covid-19 test prior to travel but will be tested upon arrival … and may be subject to quarantine in government facilities at their own expense.”
A favorite for safaris, Tanzania is open to tourists. Incoming passengers are required to fill out a health surveillance form and have a health screening. You might also have to take a Covid-19 test.
There no restrictions for US citizens traveling to Turkey, although passengers must complete an information form and prepare to be checked for coronavirus symptoms. In addition, the US Embassy and Consulates in Turkey says all US citizens must purchase tickets for onward travel to the United States.
Turks and Caicos
Visitors to the Turks and Caicos must provide a negative Covid-19 test result and the test must have been taken within five days of arrival. Children 9 and younger are exempt. Travelers must complete an online health questionnaire and carry travel medical insurance to cover any Covid-19-related costs.
US travelers may travel to the United Kingdom, but you have to do mandatory, 14-day quarantine. Click here for details about England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Known for Victoria Falls and its wildlife, Zambia is allowing all international travelers to enter. While a Covid-19 test is not a requirement, travelers do need a passport and visa. There’s no quarantine requirement but expect a limited health screening.
The following countries had been allowing US citizens to enter but are closed for now: Tunisia and Ukraine (until September 28 at least).
Editor’s note: The US State Department advises that travelers consult country-specific travel advisories via their website or consult the CDC’s latest guidance. Before you make any international travel plans, check these sites first.