COVID get in the way of your travel plans? You’re not alone, and for the first time in modern history, Americans are experiencing what it’s like to not be able to travel virtually anywhere in the world with relative ease. However, exactly where U.S. citizens can travel during the pandemic might be ever-changing. It’s important to research in real-time exactly where you can travel and if there are any self-quarantining rules associated with it. For example, do you really want to go somewhere if you’ll have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival?
Due to the fluid nature of traveling as a U.S. citizen in these times, it’s also a good idea to try to plan your trips in the immediate future. You’ve probably seen the ads on social media offering an escape in Mexico for pennies—as long as you book and use the trip by a certain date. Many times, these dates seem relatively far away, but what if something happens in the next few months? Ultimately, right now, it’s a good idea to stick closer to home and only travel internationally if you absolutely have to.
Want to Know Where U.S. Citizens Can Travel?
If you’re one of those people who enjoy high-end restaurants because there’s only a handful of items to choose from, now might be the right time for you to take to the skies. The U.S. Department of State still has a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, which urges Americans to avoid international travel, but the Department is also posting regularly updated information on which countries you actually can visit. As of July 2020, a few countries are open to U.S. citizens, including Albania, where there are no quarantine requirements upon arrival.
You can also visit Antigua and Barbuda, though you’re required to have proof of a recent negative COVID test to get there (which is stated on the Health Declaration Form). Additional screening may be needed upon arrival, which will mean a $100 test. Ultimately, the authorities in Antigua and Barbuda will determine if this is required of you. If you arrive by sea, most U.S. citizens are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
A Tropical Getaway
Aruba is one of the most recent countries to start re-welcoming Americans as of July 2020. To travel here, U.S. citizens will need proof of a negative COVID test taken 12 – 72 hours prior to boarding your flight if you’re from a high-risk state. If you’re from another state, you can upload your test results or opt to have one at the airport for $75. Once you arrive in Aruba, you must quarantine for 24 hours if you’re still waiting for test results. Mandatory Aruba Visitors Insurance is not required here, and you must purchase coverage that costs around $100 for most adults.
Other U.S. citizens are looking to the Bahamas for their tropical escape. However, be careful about traveling here as complete lockdowns are scheduled throughout the summer. In many cases, Bahamas residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials during specific times. Technically the country is open to U.S. visitors, but if you’re visiting, you must also abide by the lockdown (which means no lounging on the beach). Self-quarantining for 14 days post-arrival is recommended, and you also need proof of a negative test taken within 10 days of travel.
Barbados is another popular option during quarantine, with requirements including an online immigration/customs form within a day of travel. Proof of a negative test is highly recommended though not technically required. You’re considered high-risk if traveling from the U.S., and testing is available at the airport at no cost. A quarantine period of 14 days is required for most U.S. citizens but may be 7 days in some cases.
Prefer something a little cooler? A number of European countries are welcoming U.S. citizens, such as Turkey. Turkey online e-Visa procedures make travel a little easier and visitors are screened with a thermal camera. Face masks are required in most areas in Turkey, and failure to comply comes with a fine.
Croatia is another country where U.S. citizens can travel; however Americans are required to bring a negative-PCR test. If you do not, you will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. You must also show confirmation of paid accommodation in Croatia.
Planning Your Vacation
For those intent on traveling internationally right now—or have to—there are options. Just keep in mind that “standard” procedures have changed and you must stay up to date with the destination country’s regulations until your departure date. Check the embassy website for each specific country — and re-check often before traveling, as conditions can and do change suddenly.
It will also be wise to have travel insurance that specifically covers Covid-19. In fact, in some areas, it is mandatory. During this time of uncertainty, knowing where U.S. citizens can travel requires extra legwork and monitoring.
Most importantly, you need to balance your desire to travel with the risk and difficulty of arranging for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be that delaying plans for next year may be your best option.
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