As temperatures fall and the holidays approach, the urge to travel grows—despite COVID-19 and the cautionary advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci. The surge of virus cases in many countries has experts fearing the coming months will be the worst yet. The CDC and State Department still advise against nonessential travel to most countries.
But some destinations outside the continental U.S. are reopening to American tourists—with many caveats. At this time, about 75 countries are open and hoping to attract Americans. Here’s where you can go and how to travel safely.
Where can Americans go?
Americans can visit any of these destinations by showing proof of a negative COVID test: Antigua and Barbuda, Botswana (on December 1), Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya, the Maldives, Montenegro, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. Most countries prefer the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test; a few accept the rapid antigen test. Each country specifies how recent the test must be (usually between 48 hours and one week before travel) and whether you need to show it on arrival or submit it electronically in advance.
Other countries require visitors to take tests several days into their stay, sometimes requiring them to remain in their hotel rooms or resorts until they get the all-clear. For example, to journey to the beaches of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, you’ll need a negative test five days before traveling, another on arrival, and a resort-based quarantine until you pass another test on day five of your stay.
The Bahamas, Bahrain, Cuba, Djibouti, Lebanon, and Rwanda also require in-country tests, sometimes with quarantine. Ethiopia, Ireland, Niger, South Korea, and the U.K. require U.S. travelers to quarantine (the rules of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are all slightly different). England’s new lockdown doesn’t change entry rules, but visitors must abide by the national restrictions in place until at least December 2. Hotel rooms in the U.K. can only be booked by those traveling for essential purposes.
Also welcoming U.S. travelers—check websites for detailed rules—are Anguilla, Armenia, Aruba, Bangladesh, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, French Polynesia, Ghana, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Peru, Saint Barths, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Turkey, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, Ukraine, parts of the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Countries with no requirements beyond a fever check or filling in a form (and, maybe, rapid tests for randomly selected passengers) include Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico (fly-in only), North Macedonia, and Serbia.
There’s good news for American travelers aiming to stay within the U.S. On October 15, Hawaii dropped its 14-day quarantine, which means that travelers from the U.S. mainland can visit, provided they stick to one island. All visitors need to do is fill out a health questionnaire and show an authorized negative NAAT test taken within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii.
Check your destination’s website because requirements change frequently.